Yankees finish off sweep in KC with 4-2 win


Mariano Rivera suffered a season-ending knee injury when the Yankees visited Kansas City last May, but this May he helped the team finish off a three-game sweep of the Royals. Sunday afternoon’s 4-2 win was New York’s fifth straight victory and 22nd in the last 31 games.

(Kyle Rivas/Getty)

(Kyle Rivas/Getty)

Coming into Sunday’s start, six of the eleven runs Hiroki Kuroda had allowed this season came in the first inning. He following that script against the Royals, allowing a first inning run on a double, a bunt, and a sacrifice fly, but after that he was money. Kuroda retired the next 12 and 17 of the next 19 batters he faced before running into some problems in the eighth. Kansas City scored their second and only other run on a double and an RBI ground out in that inning.

Kuroda allowed the two runs in 7.2 innings, surrendering just six hits and one walk. He struck out only one batter and got just a dozen ground ball outs compared to ten in the air, so this one probably made you grimace if you live and die by DiPS Theory. It was pretty obvious Kuroda was sharp despite the general lack of strikeouts and ground balls, so don’t sweat the small stuff. The Yankees got another strong performance from their rotation, and that’s all that matters.

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

The Yankees scored all the runs they would need in the third inning, when Robinson Cano and Vernon Wells used the pink Mother’s Day bats to whack back-to-back homers off right-hander Ervin Santana. Cano’s was a bit of a golf shot — he had to go down and get a pitch that came in around his knees. Chris Stewart singled two batters prior, so that was a two-run shot. Wells jumped all over a fastball for a rocket solo homer down the line.

The fourth run was a much-appreciated insurance run, which was made possible by Brett Gardner‘s leadoff double. Wells brought him home with a two-out single to left. Verndog has had himself one hell of a road trip, going 3-for-4 with the homer in this game and 9-for-25 (.360) with three homers in the six games so far. To think, I said he was in a slump less than one week ago. Timing, I has it.

(Kyle Rivas/Getty)

(Kyle Rivas/Getty)

About the only negative of this game was the (completely necessary) use of David Robertson and Mariano Rivera. Both have pitched in four of the last five games, meaning they might not be available at all during Monday’s doubleheader. Robertson did only throw two pitches on Sunday though, so maybe Joe Girardi will be willing to squeeze an inning out of him on Monday if needed. Either way, the duo closed the door after Kuroda.

The wrap-around 9-1-2-3 part of the lineup went a combined 8-for-15 (.533) on the afternoon while the other five lineup spots went 1-for-20 all together. Cano and Stewart had two knocks apiece while Wells chipped in a stolen base for good measure. He advanced to third on the play when the throw got away from the infielder. He was pretty close to a one-man wrecking crew this weekend.

Final Note: Kuroda got into a bit of an argument with home plate ump Laz Diaz while exiting the game. There were some goofy ball/strike calls during his final at-bat of the afternoon, and he gestured towards the ump on his way off the field. Diaz barked back, but that was it. No ejections or anything. This is only notable because I can’t ever remember Kuroda getting into it with an ump. He’s very mild-mannered.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings has the box score and video highlights, FanGaphs some other numbers, and ESPN the updated standings. The division lead is up to two games in the loss column.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The Yankees are off to Cleveland for that quick doubleheader against the Indians to make up last month’s rain outs. The scheduling is pretty tight — game one is set for 12:05pm ET (David Phelps vs. Justin Masterson), then game two will follow at 3:35pm ET (Vidal Nuno vs. Trevor Bauer) — so they won’t have to hang around very long before returning home Tuesday.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. Kramerica Industries says:

    Brett Gardner‘s one-out leadoff double

    That’s impossible.

  2. forensic says:

    They announced that it will be Nuno starting the second game instead of TBA.

    I would think it’s better to start him in the first game, but it’s not a huge deal.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

      Seems like the idea might be that they want to avoid having to activate Marshall if possible. If Warren is needed in the first game, Marshall probably gets activated for the second game. With Nuno starting, it’s almost definite Warren would be needed, given the scarcity of work for Nuno lately. With Phelps starting, there’s a better chance of getting enough innings to avoid using Warren in the first game.

      • trr says:

        yeah, I don’t think we’ll get more than 5 innings if that, out of Nun

      • forensic says:

        Yeah, I’m just looking at it from the standpoint of if they use Nuno in the first one and then they need more help (Marshall) for the second game, then you can send him down for Marshall. You can’t do that for Phelps (well, obviously you can, but you wouldn’t). If it came down to Warren having been used in the first game, then you could send him down for Marshall.

        I guess I was just more stuck on Nuno being the more fungible guy since he’s newer, but you could just as easily do it with Warren instead.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

          Or they could just carry an extra pitcher for a game or two, and expel some of the excess baggage between games instead of demoting a pitcher.

          I’m looking at you, Ben Francisco.

          • forensic says:

            That would work very well too.

            Hell, they aren’t scheduled to face a lefty until maybe the 18th, the 17th at the earliest, in the Blue Jays series. No real use for him anyway until then, and hopefully they’ll have an Adams and/or Granderson and/or someone else at that point.

  3. Bob Buttons says:

    Totally glad that I sat Ervin today.

    Also, is it just me or 4-5 spots are not doing much lately? (I blame Francisco).

    • forensic says:

      Hafner’s been in a bit of a slump lately (maybe Mike can write an article about it ;-)) and the games in Colorado certainly didn’t help him. Hopefully he’ll find a bit of a groove again soon.

      And yeah, Francisco’s been killing the 5 spot.

      • Bob Buttons says:

        If he keeps sucking and doesn’t get cut by May 15th I’ll call the act of stinking like shit and still gets playing time despite being apparently expendable pulling a Francisco.

      • mustang says:

        “(maybe Mike can write an article about it :)

        I like your thinking here.

  4. Get Phelps Up says:

    A split in Cleveland means a 6-2 road trip. I would be thrilled with that.

  5. hogsmog says:

    Jesus christ the first line of this recap almost gave me a heart attack-

    “Mariano Rivera suffered a season-ending knee injury…”

  6. oldmanalex says:

    Any updates on the Joba/Rivera beef? Can’t believe Joba actually talked back to Mo.

  7. mustang says:

    This has been the Vernon Wells road trip 9 for 25, 3HR and 7 RBI.

  8. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Wah. They’ll be lucky not to get swept. Wah. Wah. Wah. You pollyanas think they have a chance on this road trip. Wah. Wah. Wah.

    5 out of 6. Suck my Yankee nuts.

  9. Eddard says:

    Consistent pitching will always carry you even when the offense goes through its ups and downs. Hafner was the only one in the series that struggled. Maybe he’ll feel more at home tomorrow.

    I don’t see Wells, Hafner or Cano playing both games tomorrow so the lineup will be thin. Maybe Cano plays one game and DHs the 2nd but that’s about it. With the 5th and a AAA spot starter going a split would be a great result. It would close out the road trip on a high note at 6-2. Just amazing what this team is doing right now.

  10. Eddard says:

    And can MLB just do a mass firing of its worst umpires? Laz Diaz is at the top of that list. Kuroda wouldn’t have said anything but Laz had to walk down and get his say. Angel Hernandez, Laz Diaz and Fielden Culbreth should have been let go after their actions this week.

    They should have to field questions from the press like players and coaches do and they should be fired if they just flat out suck like the NFL pushed for in its last labor negotiations.

  11. MC says:

    I suppose it’s appropriate at this point for someone at RAB to write a post on Joba in the coming week. Its time to start evaluating precisely what his value is in this market. The Cards are playing really well and could use an arm like Joba and I wonder if there is anything else the Yanks can package with Joba to tap into their awesome minor league system. The point is, Joba will be traded. If Kelly continues to improve, Clairborne pitches well and the possibility that Montergomery can be called up, the Yanks are pretty deep in the pen and with Joba being a free agent and no QA being offered, I can’t see how anyone can reasonably believe that Joba WON”T be traded in the next month.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Well, for one, the team’s in first place and has no reason to trade it’s third-best reliever.

      • MC says:

        I’m looking past their record. Like I said, he is a free agent, definitely not receiving a QA and likely doesn’t have much of a future with the team in any regard. I have a hard time believing that the Yanks will go “all in” just because of Joba or just let him walk at the end of the season with nothing in return. My guess; Cashman packages him with another player for a prospect in return. Joba is useful to a lot of teams and frankly, I think “third best” is a bit of an overstatement at the moment. There is Robertson and Mo and then everyone else, who have looked very good.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          You don’t know that.

          He could easily be affordable enough as a reliever to be brought back.

          I also can’t imagine what this prospect looks like that you’d trade your third-best reliever, in the middle of a pennant race, for.

          Not realistic.

          • MC says:

            Not happening, buddy. I’ll stand behind this one more than any other statement I’ll ever make on RAB or any other forum that concerns, politics, money, etc. That’s how sure I am that Joba is NOT with the Yanks in 2014 and beyond, which again, with their great bullpen depth, leaves me to believe he will traded in the next 6 weeks.

            • Robinson Tilapia says:


            • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

              He very likely will not be with the Yankees in 2014, but I think you are overstating their bullpen depth. The Yankees pretty clearly view Joba as their third best reliever. They aren’t dropping that just to drop him unless he does something much worse than telling somebody not to shush him.

            • TomH says:

              As a concept, “bullpen depth” is like that Denver weather: sunny now, rainy in an hour, then snow, etc.

            • Rick says:

              As mentioned, who are you trading him for? Also, it’s “leads me to believe.” Just saying.

      • hogsmog says:

        Or, the team’s in first place, and has a huge reason to want a better ss/3b/catcher/1b/RHDH…

        I can see trying to flip Joba, as long as it fills a need.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

          I don’t think a middle reliever is near enough to accomplish trading for any of those needs. And barring additional setbacks, probably the only one of those they might look to fill while weakening another aspect of the team at the same time might be SS.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          I don’t think Joba gets you any sort of upgrade at any of those positions.

          • Rick says:

            What about Trout or Harper? Their teams will probably want to get rid of them before they get expensive. Amiright?

  12. Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

    I’m done predicting things with this team. I’ll just assume they’ll win every game from now on, and if they don’t, well, something odd has happened.

  13. Get Phelps Up says:

    I wonder what the reaction to this whole Mo/Joba thing would be if it was CC or Cano or DRob instead of Joba.

    • SDB says:

      Wouldn’t happen – CC, Cano and DRob all have more than 2 living brain cells in their skulls.

    • forensic says:

      If it was them then it wouldn’t even have been a ‘thing’. Joba just seems to be about one step above A-Rod in the hierarchy of Yankees that their own fans can’t stand. No matter what they do, it’s wrong.

      • mustang says:

        Yes and Joba hasn’t earn that rep at all.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          People are going to dislike whoever they dislike for whatever reason. I’ve never really had a reason to dislike Joba Chamberlain. That’s just me, though.

          • mustang says:

            I’m just tire of the whole act the DWI, the trampoline while recovery from arm surgery, the Youkilis thing, the Joba starter thing this spring,……

            but whatever.

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              I agree he’s been his own worst enemy, more often than not. I still can’t bring myself not to like him. Just one of those things.

              • Bo Knows says:

                This story has just completely shut me off on Joba. I can’t say I dislike him, but its brought me to a point that I feel he’s not worth the energy to get to like or dislike, or even think about; which I feel is probably worse.

                In the grand scheme its a non-issue, but I’m just tired of his schtick and I won’t give Joba another thought when he leaves, he’s a disappointment that’s all he’s been. Who’s fault that is can be debated till the cows come home, but that’s what he is now.

            • Jim Is (not) Bored says:

              Oh please. Anyone who is annoyed at him because of the trampoline and enjoying his life as a father can go jump off a cliff.

              • mustang says:

                Maybe it’s just me, but if I made my living throwing a baseball and I’m recovery from arm surgery a trampoline would be the last thing I would be on.
                If my kids were disappointed I would explain. I would think I’m better father healing and making $$$ for my family then running the risk of getting hurt jumping up and down on a trampoline but that’s just my thinking.

                • Manny's BanWagon says:


                  There’s Lots of other ways to be a good father besides jumping on trampolines especially when you’re 250+ lbs recovering from surgery and are a professional athlete.

              • Robinson Tilapia says:

                Which would be decidedly worse than jumping off a trampoline.

            • mustang says:

              For the record I won’t trade him. They wouldn’t get enough value back for what he means to this team on the field.

              • Manny's BanWagon says:


                Trading him or cutting him is ridiculous. I’d hope Girardi or Cashman would have sat him down and told him that he made himself look like a fool saying that to Mariano.

                He’s gone after this season anyway. Someone will surely promise him a chance to start next year and it’s bye bye Joba.

    • mustang says:

      Looking at it from the outside I would think those players would of chose a different path. CC, Cano, and DRob have a public history of being more mature, but I’m totally speculating here.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:


        I just don’t understand why it matters. So he’s got less tact. He’s been occupying the same locker room as Mariano Rivera for five or six seasons now. If they, as professionals, can’t get past what we saw in about five minutes, then that would worry me a hell of a lot more.

        This is such a non-issue.

  14. Pat D says:

    The funniest thing my dad notices about Kuroda getting upset with Diaz’s calls at the end was the way he caught the ball and quickly snapped his glove behind his back. I think he did it twice. We never saw him do something like that previously.

  15. Swing Batter Swing says:

    I’d just like to know who this team thinks it is? It’s a bunch of replacements who are replacing the replacements and they’re in first place? The nerve! The gall! Someone should tell them that they’re playing over their head.

  16. JRod says:

    Claiborne has pitched 3 innings. Kelley looked awesome last out but still has an ERA over 6. They have a long way to go before establishing real confidence. Joba is clearly #3 in the Pen, and dare I say it, a tweaked hamstring away from being the set-up man. Why would they be in a rush to trade him? He’s touching 96, 97 on the gun again, and if they can get the 7-8-9 blockade forcefully established again, it’s pure magic. Why the hell would you want to mess with that? You hoard pitching. You never have enough. Even assuming your trade scenario eventually plays out, why do you think they are under pressure to do it in the next month?

  17. Matthew says:

    Please do not begin posts with “Mariano suffered a season ending knee injury”

  18. Deep Thoughts says:

    Flip the roles. Suppose the Yankees are playing in Panama City. Joba is holding court in the dugout before the game with reporters, talking for the 40th time about the awesome stuff the Dream 62 Foundation does, and how humble he is–just PR, nothing baseball-related. Meanwhile Mo is shouting up to the stands to his uncles and nephews and cousins who live nearby and seldom get a chance to see him in uniform with the Yankees. Joba stops his response once, smiling and shaking his head, and then “Shhh!”s Mo and puts a finger up to his lips.

    Now who’s the asshole?

  19. yankeepankee says:

    a scouting report on Caleb Cotham, now at AAA please?

    and Yanks should have Kuroda teach his split to Phelps, Warren, others who need an out pitch.

    • forensic says:

      Yanks should have Kuroda teach his split to Phelps, Warren, others who need an out pitch

      It’s so simple! Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before???

      They should also have Mo teach them the cutter, Joba teach them the slider, and Robertson teach them the curveball.

  20. vicki says:

    bad spelling and grammar is one thing, but there’s a whole lot of plain ol’ dumb around here lately.

    i may start to forget to act the lady i was raised to be.

    • I'm not the droids you're looking for... says:

      I agree. I’m usually not in grammar and/or spell check police mode. But this thread is …. well, making me scared for our future.

  21. vicki says:

    i’m annoyed we don’t get kazmir; the schedule originally said we would.

    go skeeters.

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