Yankees (barely) hold on for 6-5 win over Angels


You didn’t think it would be easy, did you? The Yankees snapped their five-game losing streak on Sunday afternoon, but not before nearly blowing a six-run lead in the bottom of the ninth. This team, man. New York ended their ten-game West Coast trip with a 6-5 win.



The Ace We Need, Not The Ace We Deserve
For at least one start, CC Sabathia looked like his old dominating self. The left-hander held the Halos scoreless for the first eight innings on four singles and two walks, retiring eleven straight and 22 of 26 after the first two men he faced reached base. Only once did Sabathia throw more than 16 pitches in an inning, only twice more than 14. From the second through eighth innings, he threw 61 strikes compared to only 21 balls. Only four of the 24 batters faced during that time saw a two-ball count, and only one saw a three-ball count. Dude was on point.

According to PitchFX, Sabathia averaged 92.7 mph and topped out at 95.1 mph with his fastball. I don’t know if that was his best velocity of the season — I think he has averaged higher, but I don’t think he’s topped out any higher — but it was certainly more than he showed earlier in the year and more than enough to succeed. It also continued a positive (if not inconsistent) trend in the right direction. Aside from the velocity though, Sabathia seemed to have his changeup working better than he has at any other point this season. It was consistently down and away from righties and his most effective offering by linear weights (1.6 runs better than average for the start).

The final line was two runs on five hits and three walks in eight innings, but both runs scored after Sabathia left the game. We’ll talk more about that in a minute. The big man has now allowed eight runs in 29.1 total innings (2.45 ERA) in four starts following a loss this year, which is exactly what he is expected to do: stop losing streaks. This wasn’t his best start of the year — only the fourth best by Game Score, actually — but it might have been his most important. The Yankees have been playing terribly and Sabathia, the guy they count on to be their ace, put his foot down and took care of business on Sunday. Bravo, CC. Bravo.



All With Two Outs
Offensively, it was more of the same right in the very first inning. The Yankees put runners on second and third with no outs, but the 3-4-5 hitters failed to bring even a single run home. Pretty much the same frustrating stuff we’ve seen for two weeks now.

The third inning went much differently, at least eventually. New York again had runners on second and third with no outs only to have Ichiro Suzuki (strikeout) and Robinson Cano (fly out to shallow left) make outs without bringing a run home. We were all prepared for another blown opportunity, but instead Travis Hafner cranked a two-out, two-strike, three-run homer to dead center off Jered Weaver. He went into the inning riding an 0-for-23 slump. Yuck.

Those three runs felt like three million runs, but the Yankees didn’t stop there. Vernon Wells followed the homer with a single to left, then he came around to score on Lyle Overbay‘s double to dead center. Peter Bourjos nearly made the play, but the ball clanked off his glove. Jayson Nix followed with a single to left to plate the team’s fifth run of the inning, all with two outs. The five-run frame was Bombers’ first 3+ run inning since the six-run third inning against Aaron Harang in the first game of the road trip, and also the first time they scored more than four runs in the last eight games. Not innings, entire games. It was awesome.



Six-run lead, Sabathia cruising, both David Robertson and Mariano Rivera well-rested and available … this one was in the bag, right? Sure, no sweat. Five runs later, everyone was sweating. Sabathia put the first two batters of the ninth on base, then David Robertson allowed two of the three men he faced to reach to give the Angels a run and the bases loaded with one out. With the tying run on deck, it was officially a save situation. That meant it was time for Rivera.

Coming into this season, Mo had a .264 BABIP in over 1,200 career innings. He excels at weak contact, specifically soft pop-ups and ground balls via broken bats. That’s his thing. Coming into Sunday’s game, Rivera had a .338 BABIP in 2013. An awful lot of bloop hits have been falling in of late, and that’s exactly what happened in this inning. The first batter he faced grounded out to first to drive in a run, but more importantly the 26th out was record. That’s when it happened. Bloop to right, two runs score. Bloop to left, one run scores. Just like that, it was 6-5 with men on first and second. Since that wasn’t ridiculous enough, Mo then walked Mike Trout on five pitches to loaded the bases.

Thankfully, Albert Pujols put together one of the worst at-bats you’ll ever see. He took the first pitch down and in for a strike, then fouled off the second pitch, also inside, for strike two. With the count in his favor 0-2, Rivera fed Pujols a two-seamer up and in that the Hall of Fame-bound first baseman half-swung through for strike three. The best closer of all-time stranded the tying run at third and the go-ahead run at second by striking out the best hitter of his generation on three pitches. Had another bloop fallen in … I probably would have lost it. A win is a win, but let’s not do that again. Like, ever.



The Yankees tacked on what turned out to be the winning run in the eighth, when Wells hit a sacrifice fly to deep right-center. Of course, he also grounded into an inning-ending double play to end the rally in the first. For the first time since Wednesday, the Yankees scored in more than one inning in a game. Remember, they played an 18-inning game on Thursday.

Brett Gardner has been the team’s best player for about two weeks now, and on Sunday afternoon he went 2-for-4 with a double and a stolen base. His season batting line is up to .286/.352/.454 (119 wRC+), and he very quietly has a solid case for next month’s All-Star Game. I doubt it happens, but he’s in the conversation. Nix went 3-for-4 with a double and was the only other player in the lineup with multiple hits.

Robertson was hit by a comebacker in the right thigh/knee, but he stayed in the game after throwing a few test pitches. The ball deflected away and into right field, and he seemed to limp a little bit as he went to backup the plate. Robertson did strike out certified Yankee killer Howie Kendrick right after that, so it couldn’t have hurt too bad. Sabathia also took a comebacker to the behind and was fine. Waved the trainer off before he even got to the mound. Exhale. And then exhale again.

The Yankees went 4-6 on the ten-game trip, which isn’t nearly as bad as it felt. They were outscored 37-30 during the ten games, and they only hit four homers on the trip. Cano and Mark Teixeira hit back-to-back dingers off Harang in the first game, Cano took Jarrod Parker deep in the seventh game, and Hafner took Weaver deep in the tenth game. As a team, the so-called Bronx Bombers are on pace for 169 dingers this year. That would be their lowest total since 1997.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
The box score and video highlights are at MLB.com and the other stats are at FanGraphs. ESPN is the place to go for the updated standings. The Rays last and the Orioles beat the Red Sox, so the Yankees are two back of Boston, one back of Baltimore, and two up on Tampa in the loss column.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
Talk about a perfectly timed off-day. Even with the road trip-ending win, the Yankees need a day away from the park to forget about how crappy things have been going of late. The Dodgers are coming to the Bronx for the first time since the 1981 World Series (!) for a quick little two-game set starting Tuesday. Phil Hughes and left-baller Hyun-Jin Ryu is your pitching matchup for the opener.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. Eddard says:

    And with all that doom and gloom they didn’t really lose any ground on the division. They made it through the WC trip and played about as bad as they can play. Now they come back home and hopefully get on a roll again. The pitching is still there and that is the backbone of a team.

    • Dalek Jeter says:

      Eddard, apart from being Axisa or Matt, or Ben, or Joe, how could you possibly are the first to comment on like 70% of any thread.

      Apart from that, I drank with my brothers and my one brother’s best friend from 6 through 20 minutes ago (about 50/50 scotch and beer) so I’m pretty drunk. nycsportzfan and troll(as well as all of all of troll like names/ names the troll created) you’re nothing but a troll trying to bring down all up beat fans/all regular posters.this team is not awful or bottom 1/3rdd of the AL(or MLB)

      sorry if that doesn’t make sense, I’m shit faced and this toolk 20 minutes to post w/o spelling errors.

      • Eddard says:

        I’ve been the positive one these past few days. Most of the other rats jumped ship, including Mike, so don’t go saying I’m bringing down the team. I’ve been supporting them all season.

        • Jim Is Bored says:

          2 different thoughts. He wanted to know how you were always the first to comment, and then separately he called out the other trolls.

          At least that was my interpretation…

        • I'mVernonI'mVernon4U says:

          He’s not saying that… he’s just wondering how you post so fast, lol. As am I.

      • Jon Niese says:

        Hey big boy.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        Remember kids, don’t drink and comment.

      • Dalek Jeter says:

        I really didn’t mean that as negative or positive Eddard, just…how?! I actually like you shtick.

      • nycsportzfan says:

        You calling me a troll? Fuck you, you drunk baboon! I’m anything but a troll and know more about the yanks then you could in 2 lifetimes!

        I come here to talk yanks and am always respectful of everyone untill they attack me. I could care less about any of your petty qualms about other people and there writing skills and whatever else you whine about.

        I’m here to comment about the team I have rooted for since 1990 and that is all. Sure, they do stink sometimes , and I talk about it, but i’m anything but a troll. I’ve never said one thing on these boards that could be interpreted as troll like.

        So put down the bottle you drunk loser, and keep my name outta your waste case mouth!! Punk!

        • Pat D says:

          I smell a cage match!

          And, yea, whatever Dalek was drinking still lingering on his breath.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          FWIW, I don’t really think you come on here to troll either. You were a bit of fun target on a slow night because of the text-like comments, but whatever. I can tell you’re an actual fan of the team, and not someone here to try and start shit.

          He was drunk. People do dumb shit. It happens. Let’s move on. Plenty of zeroes in the confidence poll, I’m sure, for us all to PROVE WRONG. :)

  2. trr says:

    OK, we broke the skid and won this game. Just barely, but a win’s a win. So, now what? Back to the Stadium, but is that enough to wake up the offense? These guys have gotta step up. The cavalry ain’t coming over the hill. We have to stay in contention with what we have.

  3. Get Phelps Up says:


    Gardner absolutely has a case to be an all star. I hope Kuroda makes it too.

    • Eddard says:

      Gardner’s an All Star. Hiroki’s an All Star. Mo is. Cano will get voted in. They’ll have some representation in the NY game. The Os will have a lot of the starting position players.

    • Pat D says:

      Yea, but you’ve gotta remember the voting structure now. He’s not gonna win the fan vote. The players then vote for most of the backups. I don’t see him winning that vote.

      He’d either have to be picked by Leyland, which I see as a longshot, because he’ll probably have to pick some individual team reps, or the last man vote, which would depend on who else is on that ballot, and for which I still don’t give him much of a chance.

      It would take something highly unexpected to happen for him to be there.

    • Laz says:

      He has been underrated by many for a while. Compare him to Bourn over their careers, and while Gardner isn’t quite as good a baserunner, he gets on base at a higher clip. He is often ignored, but is very valuable member of this team, not a mediocre hitter that is often made out to be.

    • j says:

      One thing I got form that link,I had no idea Bautista was that good of a defender

  4. Get Phelps Up says:

    Also wow, that Pujols contract really sucks. They would have done well to sign younger cheaper Fielder instead and sacrafise a bit of name value.

    • trr says:

      Does that remind you of any other team, Phelps?

      • Get Phelps Up says:

        ARod? No. That contract is bad but not near as bad as Albert’s. Pujols in year 2 of his contract is having a worse season than Alex has ever had. And he hasn’t even able to play in the field on a consistent basis.

        • trr says:

          Actually, I was speaking in more general terms about giving multi-year contracts to past their prime stars. At least A-Rod had some excellent years in the beginning , and of course we won a Championship. But God we will (over)pay for that the next 4.5 years…

          Pujols DID look pretty pathetic in that last at bat though, huh?

    • Laz says:

      I liked the Fielder contract better when it was signed. For me it was all about age, I’d rather have Fielder until he is 36, than Pujols until he was 42, even if I thought Pujols was better.

  5. Matt DiBari says:

    “day away from the park to forget about how crappy things have been going of late.”

    And of course, return right back to Phil Hughes.

    Who’s pitching for the Dodgers Wednesday? Going to that game.

    • trr says:

      Still TBD for Dodgers. Kuroda for Yanks

      • Wheels says:

        I reckon it will probably be Stephen Fife. Maybe Kershaw if they want him to go up against Kuroda?

      • forensic says:

        Ryu is pitching for the Dodgers.

        He has a pretty big reverse split. Any chance Girardi actually looks at that and plays a bunch of lefties (at least at the few spots that he has choices of who to play)?

        He also has a massive home/road split. Hopefully that plays out as it should in YSIII.

        • Matt DiBari says:

          He ignored Romero’s reverse split last year and stacked as many bad right handed hitters as he could, so I wouldn’t count on it.

        • Tom says:

          I assume you are asking a rhetorical question?

          The only real problem is it probably means a return of Nix to the #2 spot… unless Girardi thinks “3 hits batting 7th… I’ve found me my #7 guy(TM)”

          I do hope he DH’s Hafner though.

        • vicki says:

          kind of young in the guy’s mlb career to be talking reverse splits.

          all’s i know is i’m superpsyched to see the korean david wells at yankee stadium.

          ryu will pitch tuesday. dodgers are saying they’ll activate cap for the wednesday start at the stadium.

  6. Robinson Tilapia says:

    How the hell did I wind up feeling like we stole that game? Amazing. I hope we high-tailed it back to the east coast already.

    4-6 road trip which felt like a 1-100 road trip. Back home never felt so good.

  7. Betty Lizard says:

    Just hope we don’t Ryu the day Hughes pitches against the Dodgers.

  8. Pat D says:

    So, up to this point with the caveat that naturally anything can still happen, doesn’t Danny Green have to be the probable Finals MVP?

    • LK says:

      Well, like you said, anything can still happen. The Heat still have a good shot to take the final 2 games at home. Plus, performances in a clincher also tend to have an overstated impact on series MVP voting, so Green would have to continue to make it rain in SA’s hypothetical 4th win. But the fact that we’re even talking about it as a possibility (much less a probability) is pretty insane. I’d have to imagine no Finals MVP has ever been cut multiple times before.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      He’s the obvious choice so far.

  9. Bob Buttons says:

    I don’t know what’s worse, almost blowing a 6 run lead in such a short time or 4 homers in 10 games.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Almost blowing the lead does have a “no harm, no foul” quality to it if the lead is not, in fact, blown.

  10. LK says:

    Man, can you imagine the vitriol if A-Rod was as bad for the first 1.5 years of his 10-year contract as Pujols has been for his? I know A-Rod’s getting paid more, but he was at least still an excellent player at the start of the deal. It looks like Halos might not get even a single elite season out of that albatross. That St. Louis front office knows what the hell it’s doing.

    • forensic says:

      Just think, in 2 years Pujols starts making more each year than A-Rod. Then after that, he’s still under contract for another 5(!) years.

      • forensic says:

        Sorry, still under contract for another 6(!!) years after that.

        • LK says:

          As bad as A-Rod’s contract is, I think the Pujols contract ends up as the worst in the history of baseball.

          • Tom says:

            The harsh thing is his deal also was backloaded to make room for CJ Wilson and deal with the Vernon Wells contract (until some team was foolish enough to take part of that salary off their hands…)

            12mil last year
            16mil ths year
            23mil next year

            Then tack on 1mil every year after (all the way up to 30mil).

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

    Wait, did the real Dalek actually post that drunken comment up there? Not some dude impersonating him? Because if so, that may be my favorite RAB comment EVER.

  12. mustang (The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013) says:

    It’s funny this game happen on Father’s Day because it reminded me of parenthood. Kids can give you so much love and happiness on minute and suck the life force out you the next.

    Does this team have problems YES but somehow they made it through the west coast trip from hell without losing ground in the standing.

    Boar’s Head Natural All Beef Hot Dogs Presents Mustang’s Has Been and Wannabee of the Game Awards:

    The Wannabe of the game is Jayson ” I just want to go home” Nix

    The Has Been of the game is CC “Give me some of whatever Dalek Jeter is drinking” Sabathia.

  13. King George says:

    Crazy that, after all the sucking of genitalia we’ve seen over the last week, that this team lost little to no ground. That is crazy.

  14. forensic says:

    So, I’m just now skimming through Saturday’s FOX game so can I ask a question?

    What the hell is that crap on Joe Buck’s face???

  15. Get Phelps Up says:

    Man, I can’t imagine what the confidence poll would look like if we’d blown that lead.

  16. vicki says:

    if i didn’t know better i’d say axisa is giddy. when was the last time he talked linear weights?

  17. Travis L. says:

    That was the best Father’s Day ever!!! Not only did the Yankees win (!), but I found out that I’m going to be a DAD!!!!!!!!


  18. LarryM Fl says:

    Congrats to the Yanks on a win. Unable to watch the game was not on the Extra Innings Package. I wonder why?

    Congrats to Travis L. on the good news. May your child experience health and good luck.

  19. NeilT says:

    I had to switch the game off with 1 out bases loaded bottom of the 9th, Mo just coming in. Figured I wasn’t going to miss much. Maybe 6-2, 6-3.

    So I see 6-5 and immediately think “heh bet someone tagged Mo, and he cleaned up the last 1 or 2 – happens…”.

    Then I read the reports.

    Mo is not getting much BABIP luck recently – two broken bat hits in Oakland, and now this. Watch him not give up so much as a squibber until August now.

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