Yanks can’t overcome bullpen, fall 8-5 to Texas


For the first time this season, the Yankees lost a game while scoring at least five runs. They were a perfect 24-0 in those games coming into Wednesday night, and they were the last team to suffer a loss when scoring five or more in 2013. The Rangers took the middle game of this three-game set 8-5. This was an annoying one.



Death By Bullpen
The offense wanted to claw its way back into this game. It really did. The lineup tried its darnedest, but the bullpen just wouldn’t let it be. Four relievers combined to allow four runs in three innings, though two of those four relievers — Preston Claiborne and Boone Logan — don’t deserve any blame. They retired all three men they faced. It was the other two who put the game out of reach on two occasions.

Joba Chamberlain, who has no business being in a one-run game (especially with a 13-man pitching staff) was sent out for the seventh inning. He allowed four hits and two runs — both on a Nelson Cruz homer — while recording two outs, raising his season ERA to 6.38. In his last seven appearances, Joba has allowed nine runs, four homers, and 16-base-runners in 6.2 innings. Very bad. Shawn Kelley gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits in an inning and a third thanks in part to a Brett Gardner error. Kelley has been very good for the last eight weeks or so, so he doesn’t deserve the same kind of vitriol as Joba, but he didn’t get the job done. Ugly night for the relievers.



One Really Bad Inning
For the fourth time in five starts since coming off the DL, Andy Pettitte allowed at least four runs. All four of those runs came in the third inning, when he gave up an 0-2 double to Adrian Beltre with the bases loaded and a two-run double to A.J. Pierzynski, who came into the game with an 83 wRC+ against lefties. It looked like Andy had a chance to escape the bases loaded, no outs jam unscathed after striking out Cruz for the first out, but alas.

Outside of that third inning, Pettitte pitched pretty well. Typical Andy really, some base-runners and wiggling out of jams. Of course that bad inning counts, and when you allow four runs in the first three innings with this offense, you’ve dug a huge hole. In his five starts since returning from the lat problem, Pettitte has allowed 18 runs and 43 base-runners in 31.2 innings. Hopefully he snaps out of it soon; Andy has looked very much like a 41-year-old who spent a year away from the game this month.

(Mike Stobe/Getty)

(Mike Stobe/Getty)

The Yankees scored their five runs on a Lyle Overbay solo homer, Robinson Cano and Travis Hafner singles (both against a lefty!), and an Ichiro Suzuki two-run homer. On two occasions they fought back to turn a three-run deficit into a one-run deficit, but the bullpen gave those runs right back. Gardner and Ichiro went a combined 5-for-9 from the one-two spots, but the other seven hitters went 5-for-24 with seven strikeouts. Yuck.

Jayson Nix had a really bad game. He went 0-for-4 at the plate with an inning-ending double play while batting with the bases loaded in the sixth, and he also botched three defensive plays. First he ran into Pettitte while Andy was fielding a weakly hit ground ball, then he pulled the first baseman off the bag with a throw on a routine ground ball, then he let a foul pop-up drop in when he assumed shortstop Alberto Gonzalez would catch it. The first two mistakes contributed to that four-run third inning in a big way.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
For the box score and video highlights, check out MLB.com. For some other stats, FanGraphs is the place to go. For the up to the minute standings, head over to ESPN. The Red Sox and Blue Jays won while the Orioles and Rays lost, so the Yankees are two back of Boston, one up on Baltimore, and three up on both Tampa and Toronto in the loss column. This division is way too close, yet no one seems to want to run away with it.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
Phil Hughes and Derek Holland is your pitching matchup for the rubber game on Thursday afternoon. The Yankees will have a chance to not only win the series, but also make this a winning homestand. Check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch the matinee in person.

Categories : Game Threads


  1. Kramerica Industries says:

    “Death By Bullpen”

    I was waiting for that one. That’s an RAB Classic right there.

  2. Cool Lester Smooth says:

    Hey, now. Cano went 1-3 with a walk! Like he seemingly has for the last 4 games. Don’t lump him in with the rest of these bums!

  3. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Yeah. Pretty crappy game all around.

    With so much focus on the back of the rotation on here, and probably because he’s ANDY F’ING PETTITTE, we haven’t talked about how ordinary he’s looked at times. There are the times where the brilliance is there, but I can’t imagine he’s happy with what he’s contributed this season for the team. I’m interested in what happens from here on out with him.

    Joba…just wow. Maybe we can dump him on the Marlins for Nokasco as insurance or something, if the Marlins are really looking to dump the salary, but he’s just been terrible. What a sad end there.

    Tomorrow’s a new day. At least the offense showed some fight again.

  4. Different Josh says:

    For all the shit that Ichiro has gotten this year, and rightly deserves, he’s hit over 300 at home this year. Granted thats still a wRC of 91, but its considerably better than his miserable 64 wRC on the road.

    Also if you expand it a little bit more, you’ll find that Ichiro has hit lefties very well this year, wRC of 114, and when he’s faced a lefty at home, he’s killed them to a tune of a 141 wRC.

    Granted these aren’t the largest sample sizes, but it should be taken notice meanwhile, and examined more at a further date, when we have some more at bats.

    • WhittakerWalt says:

      I’ve been killing the Ichiro signing all year, but I have to admit he’s the least of our problems these days.

      • LK says:

        I’ve been killing the Ichiro signing all year, too. I still think it was a bad move. But he’s clearly the 2nd best OF right now (I’m not buying Zoilomania), and what, the 3rd best position player on the team? I’d love for them to acquire an OF so he can be the 4th OF when Grandy comes back, as I think he’d be quite capable in that role, but right now they need a guy with league average bat – it doesn’t even matter where he plays.

        • The Doctor says:

          My gut reaction to “3rd best position player on the team” was “no way, come on there’s…” After about a minute of silence I gave up.

          The sad truth. Luckily Cano and Gardner are both among baseball’s elite (in very different ways, granted); they’d be completely lost without either one.

  5. Dan says:

    Joba’s new role should be middle relief, Phil’s new role should be 7th inning, and Ivan Nova to the rotation.

    • Kramerica Industries says:

      And pray and hope Michael Pineda returns to the Majors in a triumphant manner and shatters all reasonable expectations.

  6. BigBlueAL says:

    Cant believe Im saying this, hurry back from rehab Eduardo Nunez.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      I’d still rather have Nix out there.

      • Cuso says:

        I can tolerate Nix in every capacity except when he’s batting with runners on base. He loses his mind for some reason as in an 0-2 hole before you can blink.

        • WhittakerWalt says:

          You’d think a player who was that limited as a hitter would really try and bear down when he was in a spot like that. Just grind it out. Put together one of those really pesky, just make contact, foul pitches off kind of at-bats. The kind those annoying Angels slap hitters always seem to have against us. It’s not like Erick Aybar is a good hitter, either, but he makes an effort to do something productive.

          • Cuso says:

            Thats what I would think. I feel like maybe he even used to do that a little. But he’s definitely not doing that this year for whatever reason.

      • Wolfgang's Fault says:

        Yeah, YOU would; wouldn’t you.

  7. Tom says:

    It’s time to do 3 things:

    1) Get a legitimate backup catcher (regardless of how close Cervelli is). Guys like Hernandez or Shoppach are bad, but that is still a step up from Romine.

    2) For a manager who likes to have defined bullpen roles, it’s time to define Joba’s role. Is he really a 7th innning guy who should be higher in the bullpen pecking order than Adams or Claiborne? If not don’t be pitching him in 1 run game in the 7th when the other 2 are available.

    3) End the 3 man bench (with 2 non-hitters) nonsense. There is no reason to have two long man in the pen as a “just in case” policy. If Cashman can’t find a cheap bat, call up Johnson (you can put Tex on the 60day DL for the 40man spot) and use him exclusively as a PH until some other solution can be found. Girardi is now trying to find the one magic place to use a PH, and apparently it’s down 3 runs with noone on base…

    • Tom says:

      #2 should be Kelley and Claiborne…

      • Wolfgang's Fault says:

        They’ve both been decent to solid so far, but I don’t really trust either of them all that much.

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

      They can also put Youkilis on the 60-day DL to free up a spot.
      And they already have an open spot without either of those moves.
      There really is no excuse.

  8. stuart a says:

    you mean susan and sterlings favorite Nix is not a”ballplayer” the guy is 0 for 10 wit the bases loaded. his DP killed the team. expecting this lineup of bums to score more then 5 runs is asking to much. trade Joba for a rental starter! newsflash they can pitch they cannot hit. Pineda is coming back also. every trade in should be for offense…

    • WhittakerWalt says:

      Why would anyone trade for Joba?

      • BFDeal says:

        Because Joba’s true stats are hidden on a Marauder’s Map that only RAB readership can see. To the rest of MLB, Joba appears to be a sub 3.00 era reliever.

        • WhittakerWalt says:

          That must be it.

        • Wolfgang's Fault says:

          I don’t know if the Yankees can sneak him through waivers, but they should really send Joba down & see if they can put humpty dumpty back together again. He looks really lost at present. If another team claims him, then try to work out a deal. I still think he’s got a lot of ability left, but he’s not getting it done and he clearly looks discouraged. He needs to go find a place where he can piece it together again.

          • WhittakerWalt says:

            He’s been almost exactly average 3 out of the last 5 years, and this year he’s quite a bit worse than that. I’m not really sure he’s anything other than what we’ve seen.

      • J-Money says:

        Because it’s the responsibility of the other 29 teams to make trades to try to help the Yankees.

        Seriously though, can we stop saying trade Joba and thinking the Yankees will get something in return. You’re not getting anything in return for a relief pitcher with a 7 ERA.

        • Travis L. says:

          In all honesty, was Juan Miranda such a great player that we got (somewhat) useful Scottie Allen out of that trade? Couldn’t we get an org guy for Chamberlain? Hell, Kerry Wood sucked ass when we got him from Cleveland and see what he did for us that year?

        • Matt DiBari says:

          We’d be getting no more Joba. Isn’t that enough?

          What exactly is equal value for a fat loud mouth mediocrity of a middle relieiver that we can’t just trade him? What is the magic number that we’re looking for?

  9. WhittakerWalt says:

    Can anyone find me the stats for Jayson Nix hitting with the bases loaded, and hitting with a runner on third and less than two out. Something tells me those numbers will make me weep.
    Other than that, he does something to help the team win every day.

    • Pat D says:

      Bases loaded: 0 for 8, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 GDP, 1 SF

      On 3rd, > 2 out: 4 for 14, 8 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K, 1 GPD, 1 SF, 1 IBB

      There are a few AB’s of overlap there, but the most telling stats are the high number of strikeouts and the absence of XBH.

    • Tom says:

      This year?

      Bases loaded:
      .000/.181/.000, 3 RBI (11PA’s, 0 for 8 with 5 K’s, does have 2BB, 1 sac fly)

      Runner on 3rd, less than 2 out:
      .286/.350/.286, 8 RBI (20 PA’s, 4 for 14, 7K’s, 3BB, 3 sac flies)

      Want a real crazy stat though?
      Yankee wins: .777 OPS
      Yankee losses: .427 OPS

      As Jayson Nix goes, so go the Yankees?

      • Pat D says:

        Considering how their W-L record has been almost completely based upon their ability to score runs, I’d bet most guys are like that.

        Perhaps not to that extreme, but still.

  10. Pat D says:

    Pardon me, I have nothing to say!

  11. J-Money says:

    It didn’t end up mattering but why in the world would Girardi replace Ichiro, the hottest hitter in the lineup? I don’t care about the way the lineup was set up and what spot was due up, there is no reason to replace their hottest hitter. I usually never question Girardi (intentionally walking Sean Rodriguez not withstanding) but this move really seemed foolish.

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

      Agreed. Especially with 2 innings remaining, if they were going to come back, the #2 spot in the order was going to bat again.
      Overmanaging 101.

  12. Fin says:

    If his name wasn’t Joba, wouldn’t he be a candidate to just be released or sent down? I keep seeing people saying trade him for this or that but that doesn’t seem likely. Seems hes worth the ole cash/ptbn or released.

    • Wolfgang's Fault says:

      Results notwithstanding, he still has a lot of life in that arm of his and he’s still young enough where just giving him away would be foolish and counterproductive. There’s still the chance, slim though it may be and probably even slimmer here w/the Yankees, that he could find something, maybe another pitch or approach, that helps his other pitches play up more effectively and before you know it, he’s lights out. No really, no joke. Will it happen? Probably not, but this is baseball, & stranger things have happened. He needs to get his confidence back somehow & the Bronx at present doesn’t appear to be the most hospitable of places for him. I’d try to sneak him through waivers in order to send him down and have him stretched out in the minors and allowed to throw all his pitches. I still think he could become an effective starting pitcher. Regardless, he still has the potential to be a very good major league pitcher, whether coming out of the bullpen or in a starting rotation. I wouldn’t be willing to give up on him yet.

      • Fin says:

        I just thought that since hes a FA in a few months and the season is half over, that the Yankees may not want to wait for him to figure it out while costing them games as there is no future reward in it. I also don’t think he will pass through waivers with his name recognition and so many teams needing relievers, someone is gona take him and hope a change of scenery is what he needs.

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

        I believe Joba would have to give consent to being sent down, since he has 5+ years of service time.
        I’d be very surprised if he accepted a demotion.

  13. Kosmo says:

    I´m sure there are a few contending teams willing to gamble on Joba.
    NY most assuredly will not get much in return for him but it´s time to say goodbye to what might have been.
    Joba needs a change of scenery more than anything.
    He looks great now and then but just doesn´t show any real consistency.
    He still has good stuff.
    He could be part of a package deal that could net a good RH bat.
    I wish him the best.

    • WhittakerWalt says:

      Why would a contending team trade anything valuable for half a year of Joba and his 6.38 ERA? Explain and cite examples.

      • Travis L. says:

        I would even take an Organizational arm. Something to spell the prospects during a blowout. That’s more useful than Joba right now. And to think…he should have at least one option left. I say we use it.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        I was going to respond, then I noticed the word “valuable” thrown in there. They’re not getting much of value for him right now unless its a team willing to accept someone with a pulse and MLB experience in exchange for a salary dump, which I do think is possible. That’s why I mentioned Nolasco above, even though I do tend to agree with MBW that Miami could do better. They are dumb, though, and I do think there’s some z-level baseball celebrity still left in Joba.

      • Kosmo says:

        “will not get much in return for him“ Could that not be any clearer?

  14. Bavarian Yankee says:

    and just like that Ichiro has the 2nd best average on the team. Cano at 3rd. Mike will be pissed when he sees that :D

  15. Jim Is Bored says:

    I have a feeling that terrible inning goes a lot better with a real 3B out there.

  16. trr says:

    Back of the bullpen time for Joba; he simply can’t be trusted in close games, and to echo what others have said: right now he has no trade value. Just deal with it.

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