Yankees eke out 6-4 win over Dodgers


A win is a win, and the Yankees have now strung together two wins following their two ugliest weeks of the season. It was another nail-biter, but beggars can’t be choosers. The Yankees beat the Dodgers 6-4 in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader.



Demonstrate My Lyle
After Mark Teixeira returned, Lyle Overbay received a total on 15 plate appearances across two weeks of games. He was relegated to pinch-hitting duty and spot starts in right field, which is not an easy thing to do. Playing irregularly is hard, especially if you’re used to playing full-time. It takes an adjustment, but Lyle does have experience in the role after spending the last several years as a part-timer in the NL.

With Teixeira back on the DL, Overbay is again the regular first baseman and he showed no rust on Wednesday. He doubled in a run in Sunday’s win and then doubled in the first two runs of this game. Thomas Neal and Ichiro Suzuki started the third inning with back-to-back singles, then were moved up on David Adams‘ sacrifice bunt. Hyun-Jin Ryu caught way too much of the plate with a fastball in a 1-1 count, a pitch Overbay clobbered to dead center for the two-run-scoring hit. Andre Ethier is a DH miscast as a center fielder, but even Brett Gardner wasn’t catching that one. It was crushed. Lyle has picked up right where he left off before Teixeira’s return.

(Mike Stobe/Getty)

(Mike Stobe/Getty)

Old Friend
Six years ago, Hiroki Kuroda came over from Japan as a free agent and started his MLB career with the Dodgers. He spent four years in Los Angeles, and on Wednesday he faced them as an opponent for the first time. He didn’t give his former mates any preferential treatment though; Kuroda held the Dodgers scoreless through six innings before allowing his only two runs in the seventh.

For all intents and purposes, it was a typical Kuroda start. He wiggled around some base-runners early before settling into a groove in the middle innings, then things got a bit hairy late. Two runs on eight hits and one walk in 6.2 innings isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing line, but it is plenty good enough to win. To be fair, Kuroda did get lucky when Ethier’s soft line drive wound up in his glove in the third inning, allowing them to double Adrian Gonzalez off third base with men on second and third with no outs. He escaped the inning one batter later with a ground ball. They said it’s better to be lucky that good, and Kuroda was both on Wednesday afternoon.

Two Errors, Three Insurance Runs
It takes a special kind of bad to make two errors on one play, and thankfully Ronald Belisario is that kind of bad. With the washed up Vernon Wells at the plate with men on first and second in the seventh, the right-hander got cute and let a soft little infield pop-up fall in so he could turn the double play. He didn’t field it cleanly because the ball had a little English, and it scooted backwards through his legs. Belisario then picked it up and threw to second for the force out, which would he would have gotten easily had he had not thrown the ball into center field. Here’s the GIF, courtesy of Mike Petriello:

One error on the intentional drop, another on the throw. Just like that, the Yankees had a big insurance run. Belisario (unintentionally) hit Neal with the next pitch to load the bases, then Ichiro broke things open with a two-run bloop single to left off lefty specialist extraordinaire Paco Rodriguez. He chipped in a solo homer in the sixth as well. Runs are always great, but that three-run seventh inning was a big pick-me-up after the Dodgers scored two runs a half-inning earlier to make it a one-run game. Belisario gets the majority of the credit, but big ups to Ichiro for driving in those two extra runs.

No Easy Wins Allowed
As for the bullpen, Shawn Kelley deserves credit for striking out Nick Punto to end the seventh and clean up Kuroda’s mess. Preston Claiborne faced three batters and allowed three rockets in the eighth. One went for a double, one found Ichiro’s glove for a great catch, then one sailed over the wall for a Hanley Ramirez two-run homer. Probably his worst outing as a big leaguer.

David Robertson replaced Claiborne and promptly walked the first two men he faced, putting the tying run on base and the go-ahead run at the plate. He escaped the jam with an infield pop-up and a routine ground ball. Four (!) of his 14 pitches were strikes. It’s been a long time since Robertson was that wild. Mariano Rivera restored order with a perfect ninth for his 25th save.



The Yankees had a chance to break things open in the fifth, when Chris Stewart (walk) and Gardner (single) reached base to open the inning. Unfortunately, Jayson Nix bunted the runners up and took the bat out of Robinson Cano‘s hands. The team’s best player was intentionally walked, putting the onus on Wells and Neal. The former struck out before the latter grounded out to end the scoring chance. If you don’t trust a guy to hit with two on and no outs, don’t bat him second.

Ichiro went 3-fot-4 at the plate and also made a very nice jumping catch on the warning track to rob Gonzalez of a surefire RBI double in the eighth. It wasn’t close to a homer, but there was a man on second and no outs in the inning. That was the only out Claiborne recorded. No other Yankee had multiple hits, and in fact Gardner, Nix, Cano, Neal, and Overbay were the only other guys with hits at all. Stewart drew the walk and that was it for the offense.

Yasiel Puig has been the talk of baseball for a few weeks now and it was obvious he was pretty amped up in his New York debut. He got thrown out at second base trying to stretch a single into a double in the first, then in the second he tried to throw Neal out at first base on a base hit to right. The throw was over Gonzalez’s head and went all the way to the backstop. He’s a bit excitable, I’d say.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some nerdy stats, and ESPN the updated standings.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
Let’s play two? Like it or not, they will. These same two teams will give it a go at 7pm ET tonight in the nightcap of this doubleheader. Phil Hughes and Chris Capuano is your pitching matchup. See you then.

Categories : Game Stories
  • your mom

    Fastest game recap after a win?

  • Dalek Jeter

    “Excuse me Joe, why in Mo’s name was Wells allowed to hit for that play you were just giggling about??”

  • trr

    Didn’t see the game, but Wells 0-4, 2k’s. 6 LOB?
    When is this gonna end?

    • Dalek Jeter

      Oct. 26th 2014.

      • Tom

        I laughed (and cried)

      • NYinTX

        October 29, 2015 after they re-sign him for one year after a dead cat bounce in 2014.

        • Dalek Jeter

          I just cried for this one. 2 bad years are not worth one good one.

        • trr

          Even a dead cat made of rubber couldn’t bounce back enough

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Plouffy scores!

    • your mom


    • PFOJ

      .190/.218/.288 since May 1. At this point you might as well start Boesch when he gets healthy.

      • trr

        100% agree

      • The Doctor

        I do not understand the refusal to use Boesch one bit. He had one great year, an injury screwed year, and he’s done well in limited time this year. It’s definitely time to see if he can have some sustained success.

        • vicki

          once he’s off the dl.

    • Get Phelps Up

      It’s not too hard to make a Judgement that he needs to be replaced.

    • forensic

      Girardi in the postgame (seriously): “He’s had good at-bats, especially against lefties. I know he’ll figure it out.”

      • Dalek Jeter

        His first AB was one of the worst AB’s I have ever seen.

  • Frank

    Glad they won this game. I have a feeling tonight’s game will be ugly with Hughes going.

    • trr

      Yeah, Romine will probably catch, Neal again.
      Wells? please God, no

  • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

    To be fair during that third inning Kuroda himself actually made a very nice play for the outs.

  • Dalek Jeter

    Anybody know when the line-up for tonight gets announced?

    • vicki

      second verse, same as the first*.

      *but with phil hughes’s personal catcher.


      • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

        I’m Henry the eighth I am, Henry the eighth I am, I am!

  • Greg

    two mediocre teams with a combined payroll of over $400M. Neither one looks playoff bound. And both teams have more money on the sidelines (Kemp/Crawford) (Arod/Jeter/Tex/Grandy) than the payrolls of either the Astros or the Marlins.

    • The Doctor

      Being 1 game out of the post-season with reinforcements on the way hardly counts as out of the playoff picture.

      • Robinson Tilapia


    • Get Phelps Up

      The Yanks are playoff bound right now…

      • The Doctor

        Wow I didn’t even k ow we’d passed the Rangers. The comment is even stupider now.

        So much for the demise of the AL East. They’d send 3 of the 5 AL post-season teams if the season ended today.

        • FEED.ME.MORE!

          Don’t spoil the narrative with data.

          Shame on you.

  • toad

    So the Infield Fly Rule doesn’t apply to Wells’ popup? Is that because the pitcher was involved and no infielder could have caught it? Seems strange.

    • The Doctor

      The play happened too fast for anyone to call it apparently.

    • J-Money

      I think Michael Kay said something about the rule not applying when you attempt a bunt

    • pat

      It’s basically a hazy judgement call that the ball has to have been easily handled by the fielder. Basically it needs to be routine as routine can be. Belisario would have had to catch that on the move as opposed to being camped under it.

      • pat

        Say basically again, motherf*cker.

        • The Doctor

          Does he look like a bitch?


      • Ross

        Nope, no infield fly on a bunt. Check out the espn MLB rules quiz, question 3:


        • Dalek Jeter

          It wasn’t a bunt, it was a full swing. The Gif is up in the wrap up. If it’s frozen just click on it.

        • pat

          Well there you go. I’m stuck at the office and didn’t see it was on an attempted bunt. Not that I would have known anyways.

          • toad

            It wasn’t a bunt.

            From the rules:

            An INFIELD FLY is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied, before two are out. The pitcher, catcher and any outfielder who stations himself in the infield on the play shall be considered infielders for the purpose of this rule.

            That sure looks like an infield fly to me. It was neither a bunt nor a line drive. If it couldn’t be caught with “ordinary effort” why is there an error on the play?

            • The Doctor

              Because if he had just fielded it cleanly, even on the bounce, there was probably time to get Wells. That thing didn’t pop very high in the air.

            • steves

              Keep reading: “When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an Infield Fly, the umpire SHALL IMMEDIATELY DECLARE “INFIELD FLY” for the benefit of the runners.” Without the IMMEDIATE DECLARATION by the umpire it is not an infield fly no matter how high it was hit; the intent of the rule is to benefit the runners with an immediate declaration and being a judgment call the umpire’s judgment governs.

              • toad

                So you’re saying the umpire made a mistake, and that means the IFF doesn’t apply.

                The intent of the rule is to benefit the runners by not letting the defenders get a DP. Suppose Belisario’s play had worked. Then what?

                Could the umpire say it was an infield fly all along and revoke the DP? I bet you’d have had an argument, and likely (losing) protest from the Yankees if he didn’t.

                Mattingly couldn’t very well argue the call, because the mistake gave LA the chance for the DP. Oddly, it seems that even if the runner had been out at second NY would be better off than with an IFF.

                Strange situation.

                • steves

                  You may not still be reading this thread but to address your reply FWIW:

                  1) The umps made a mistake: Yes; say 3 of the 4 umps thought it was an infield fly but decided it was not their call and the 4th ump thought it wasn’t “apparent” or it was one of the other ump’s calls. The failure to “immediately declare” trumps whatever the other umps thought; this has to happen pretty fast so runners should be running once they see ball hit the ground and no ump declaration was made.

                  2. Intent of rule: Intent is really to give runners an early warning to avoid subtrefuge; lack of early warning is the signal baserunners should be looking for; if Cano was a good baserunner he would have been running as soon as the ball hit the ground instead of being flatfooted at first;

                  3) Could the umps have said it was an Infield Fly all along? No; Again, the immediate declaration by the ump’s is key; and since this is a judgment call there is no right to protest under the play as it unfolded; in fact if the umps tried to retroactively impose an infield fly and send the runners back for example that would be worthy of a winnable protest since the element of “immediate declaration” was not met.

  • Eddard

    Ichiro and Overbay are so important to this ballclub. They add length to the lineup. Should be able to sweep the series tonight. Like I said, if Hughes struggles tonight you just bring in Adam Warren and then it’s easy to flip their roles going forward.

    • LK

      I mean, they would be important if they actually did add length to the lineup. Even after their good games today they have wRC+s of 80 and 93. Unfortunately in Overbay’s case, that 93 is better than the Yankees’ season average.

  • pat

    Calling Vernon Wells washed up is disrespectful to driftwood everywhere.

    • WhittakerWalt

      That stinky yellow foam that washes up on Jones Beach has better plate discipline than Wellsie.

  • The Doctor

    All told they’re 8-6 in their last 14. Obviously a very ugly stretch in the middle there, but they haven’t been terrible as a whole.

    • Eddard

      Yeah, and this is why I didn’t understand why so many rats jumped the ship. They always struggle on the WC trip. This isn’t anything new for this ballclub that is devastated by injuries. And when you go through the course of 162 games you just might get swept every now and then. And you just might sweep yourselves every now and then. That’s baseball.

      • JMK

        You can predict baseball, Suzyn?

  • forensic

    Very nice win, especially with Hughes going in the nightcap. Thankfully, they have Capuano going so maybe the offense will do a little something, depending on how many righties they can find to put in the lineup.

  • DERP

    Same lineup tonight except Romine in for Stewart. Wasn’t Zoilo supposed to start tonight?

    • The Doctor

      I’m guessing they want to get him started against a right handed. He hits them much better, so they probably think it’ll help get him off to a good start or something.

      • Jersey Joe

        Either way, Girardi should be shaking up the lineup as much as possible to see what happens. Thomas Neal and Zolio Almonte are probably similar players, even if Zolio doesn’t do well vs. lefties.

        • Jersey Joe

          Sorry – I meant to say that the production of Neal vs. lefties is probably not that much better than Zolio’s.

          • The Doctor

            Probably not, but as someone said below they probably want to at least start him in his comfort zone.

    • Jersey Joe

      Yeah I read that too. Surprised Neal isn’t out of the lineup for the game.

    • forensic

      Vernon Wells… Clean-up AND DH…

      Can’t make this shit up.

  • Binger

    Is that a MADBALL reference with “Demonstrate My Lyle”? If so, awesome.

    • vicki

      i seriously almost cried. blogger crush, deepened.

      • DF


    • dkidd

      blew my mind

      coney island high forever

      • vicki


      • Binger

        I might have caught them at Coney Island High. Definitely at CBs. One was their last show before Freddie went to jail. Good times.

  • Shittyshittybangbang

    Line-ups are up for tonight already ?! You almost have to give Z smoov a shot in place of the alien invested carcass that is/was V rot.

    • King George

      You want to give the kid a shot, but at the same time you don’t want to wreck his confidence if he does better against lefties. Start him out in his comfort zone…

      • Robinson Tilapia


  • Robinson Tilapia

    Well, it was 6-2 when I stopped listening to THOSE TWO RUNS DON’T COUNT TO ME.

    Sweep em.

  • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

    That kind of bad, not that kind of special

  • The Real Greg

    vs. RHP: .303/.377/.451
    vs. LHP: .281/.342/.328

    That’s in 2013. But his splits were more pronounced last year.

    vs. RHP: .303/.349/.542
    vs. LHP: .213/.254/.352

  • Dale Mohorcic

    The Yankees have the exact same record as the Detroit Tigers who have real major league players in their lineup. Of course, they have a 70 run differential advantage over the Yanks, so correction has to be coming.

    • DaveJohnson2346

      It didn’t for the Orioles last year, though.

      Great job by Mr. Suzuki, today. He is quietly coming along with the bat and his defense remains above average.

  • teddy

    put hughes in the pen