Yanks can’t protect 3-0 lead, drop third straight

Game 79: A Big Series
Nunez singles and steals in a base in second rehab game

Source: FanGraphs

I picked a great game to miss. Didn’t see any of it television and I Gameday’d just a few innings, which was more than enough for me. That early 3-0 lead was nice, but just like the month of April, it was a tease. The Yankees didn’t get a single runner beyond first base after the fourth inning while CC Sabathia melted down in the sixth and seventh innings. Sure, the dinky infield singles hurt, but the Manny Machado two-run double and Nate McLouth go-ahead homer were more than well-struck.

Of course, this is all par for the course these days. The Yankees have an awful offense and Sabathia has been prone to the big inning all year, even after looking dominant early on — he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning with an Alberto Gonzalez error accounting for the only base-runner. Therein lies the real problem. Guys like Gonzalez are playing everyday. David Adams started at first base and sure enough, his inexperience contributed to that three-run sixth, which was not unexpected. In fact, the Yankees had just one player on the field (Robinson Cano) who would have started for the Orioles. Maybe Brett Gardner, but you’d have to really argue that. Either way, the point stands.

That is where this team is at right now. If the so-called Bombers don’t get help soon — and I don’t mean right at the trade deadline either, I mean in the next week or so — they’ll be lucky to go into the All-Star break in third place and not fourth or fifth. The season is half over, it’s time for the front office to actually go out and make some moves to improve the club, something they haven’t done since the 2011-2012 offseason. They’ve now lost three straight, four of their last five, and 19 of their last 31.

Anyway, MLB.com has the box score and video, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Red Sox beat the Blue Jays and the Rays lost, so the Yankees are four back of Boston, one back of Baltimore, two up on Tampa, and three up on Toronto. This ship … she is a sinkin’. David Phelps and left-hander Zach Britton is your pitching matchup for Saturday afternoon’s night’s game.

Game 79: A Big Series
Nunez singles and steals in a base in second rehab game
  • Bo Knows

    It sucks, but it is what it is. We’ve been lucky for a long time to have great teams, sometimes luck runs out and it needs to refill.

  • TomH

    Hear! hear! Correct all the way down. This is at present the worst starting lineup in the AL East, as you make clear when you point out how inferior it is to the starting O’s lineup. In fact, is there an AL East team’s starting lineup that is inferior to that of the Yankees? The pitching is no longer capable of getting them through the Division.

  • Get Phelps Up


    I don’t think you “really have to argue” that Gardner would start for the Orioles. He’s been one of the very best outfielders this season.

    • WhittakerWalt

      Yeah but has he been so good that he’d automatically displace one of the existing O’s outfielders? Doubtful. Hence, argument.

      • Wolfgang’s Fault

        Yeah, well I’ve been prone to the really small evening pretty much the entire 21st century. Sabathia hasn’t exactly been a beast as the ace of the staff, but I find it comforting he’s still living large in the evenings. How many Orioles can claim that?

        • WhittakerWalt

          I’ll just assume this is relevant to someone else’s point.

          • Wolfgang’s Fault

            “Sabathia has been prone to the big evening all year . . .,” from Mike’s original pre-edited 2nd paragraph of tonight’s game. Easy does it there, WW.

            • WhittakerWalt

              Oh, I got it. I’ve responded to the wrong before myself, so it’s only natural to think someone else did it.

      • Dave

        Give me Brett Gardner all day over Nate McLouth.

    • Greg

      I was gonna make a similar comment.

      I mean, we get it, the Yankees are fielding a legitimately terrible offensive team, but you don’t need to say obviously inaccurate things to drive that point home. Gardner’s easily better than all of the Orioles OFers, forget at least one of them.

  • Kramerica Industries

    This is really one of the rare games where I’m more pissed that the Yankees opponent won, rather than that the Yankees themselves lost.

    I will take any outing where Sabathia allows only one walk and two hard hit balls over seven innings. Those two chickenshit hits in the 6th were the absolute essence of awful luck. You can’t pitch around that. And that’s what derailed them tonight.

    I mean, no, you can’t allow that HR to McLouth in that spot. Just that if the results matched his pitching in the 6th, it may not have ended up being so damaging.

  • Tom

    I’m trying to envision the Yankees dugout in the middle innings

    5th inning:
    “Hey Joe, Wells is due up, maybe we should hit Hafner with Gausman on the mound”
    Joe: “We’re up 3 runs why the hell would you PH, enjoy the lead. If it was tied or we were trailing it would obviously be the smart play, but when you already have the lead, why bother? It’s not like we are facing a good offensive team that can score 3 runs”

    6th inning
    “Hey Joe Adams is due up, maybe PH Overbay here?”
    Joe: “Again, what part of up 3 run lead can you not understand… enjoy the lead”
    “But won’t you be putting in Overbay for defense next inning anyway? I just figured if you are going to pu thim in for defense, might as well get him an AB against a right and get him in one inning earlier”
    Joe:“Yeah, but it’s the 6th inning, you don’t do defensive replacements until at least the 7th inning. Beside this is a good spot to see what the rook can do”

    (later that inning)
    “Hey Joe, Gonzalez is up… we could PH Overbay here and shift Adams to 3rd”
    Joe:“Why would we do that? I’m going to put Overbay in next inning with a lead, not this inning! Besides it’s real important for me to find out what the future piece of the organization named Alberto Gonzalez can do”

    7th inning (tie game)
    Joe “hmmm… maybe we should have taken that chance to try to tack on a run or two by getting some more lefty AB’s” (laughs hysterically) “Gotcha! Hey, now that it’s tied, tell Hafner to start loosening up to PH and get Overbay ready to go in as a defensive replacement in the bottom of the inning”

    Why is it when Girardi has a 3 run lead, he just shuts it down in terms of making moves with the lineup? I’m not saying that this is the reason they lost, but it seems like the only time you can make moves on offense is if the game is within a run or two. Or if you have an opportunity to do a double switch – because that’s managing in its purest state!

    • WhittakerWalt

      Maybe he’s just so stunned to even have a 3-run lead in the first place that his brain shuts down.

    • forensic

      It’s too bad I had to leave right as people were trying to use Hafner’s injury history as the reason for not using him. Of course, they never acknowledged that he was off yesterday, he was off Monday, he had half today off, and he’ll have half tomorrow off.

      But yeah, manage everything scared instead, that’ll really help the team.

  • forensic

    So, that was some game thread. Too bad I had to leave before the end of the game. It probably would’ve been fun to keep going a little more. :-)

    • forensic

      Oh, and regarding the game, that really sucked but it’s almost getting to be par for the course at this point.

      • vicki

        dear god, we’re all starting to sound like jet fans.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Which is sad, since I always thought rooting for the Jets was how Yankee fans paid their penance.

          • Pat D

            Not those of us who have the good sense to be Giants fans.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              That’s why the good lord invented the New York Knicks, then.

              • Pat D

                I don’t really get into the NBA.

                Mostly because rooting for the Knicks over the last decade has been like rooting for………Enron?

    • Tom


  • Bob Michaels

    This yankee Lineup looks like the 44, 45 club with guys like Oscar Grimes, Russ Derry, Bud Metheny, Johnny Lindell, Mike Garback, no wait they are worse. Blame Steinbrenner and salary cap dictums.

  • Kramerica Industries

    12-19, by the way, is a sub-.400 win percentage. Ever since that seemingly-uplifting win against the Rays on May 25, the Yankees have just fallen apart.

    We all talked about treading water until the injured players return. Well, here we are, nearly halfway through, and either the injured players are still out, or they’ve come back and got hurt again.

    • forensic

      either the injured players are still out

      And none due back for at least another 3-4 weeks or so (other than maybe Nunez).

      they’ve come back and got hurt again.

      And in getting hurt again, are done for the season (Tex), or were healthy for a little bit and are now done for the season anyway (Youk).

      • KD

        When will they take that damn Youk banner off the side of the Stadium?

        • Robinson Tilapia

          As soon as they have to return it to Rent-a-Center.

          • forensic

            Can’t believe they didn’t just sign a week-to-week lease. Don’t they know Youk’s history???

            • Robinson Tilapia

              Rent-a-Center has been ripping off the poor, and those who don’t know any better, since the dawn of time.

  • BronxBombers?

    I can’t wait for the commenters to start saying how negative Mike is and how the offense will turn it around since it was good 2 months ago!

    • vicki


  • briancg

    what exactly do you think they should do mike?
    there’s not a lot to be done. trade sanchez, trade murphy, trade mason williams, trade their draft picks? for who? who do you want? maybe they can trade it all for jeter back and alex of 7 years ago? do you make the trade? stock is low on all their trade bait.
    just gotta play it out. hover for awhile….sheeesh, maybe even they have a tough year. this does happen. as long as these guys are playing hard i can take it. their is a lot of holes and questions in the yankees future and they can’t plug em all today. they will make it happen, again, eventually.
    take the good with the bad and maybe even enjoy the bad a little.
    hope for the best and “let’s go yankees!”

    • Robinson Tilapia

      This sort of common sense and calm will get you nowhere in life, my friend.

  • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

    I applaud all the people that take the condescending tone that we’ve all been spoiled and have been used to winners.

    Good for you. It’s true to an extent, we’ve come to expect championship caliber teams. A bloc post following a Yankee loss may not be the best place for you, however. You’re not showing that you’re enlightened. You’re not educating anyone. All you’re doing is drawing attention to yourself is “Look at me. I am a well-adjusted human who can rationalize sport.” Congratulations.

    Through your judgmental truisms, you are blind to the fact that most people that are pulling their hair out were expecting some level of this as well. Their frustration is that with so many one-year “stop-gaps” and no true prospects within 2 years of the majors, the team has no direction right now. If there’s nothing to look forward to in the near future, it is only natural and WARRANTED to be frustrated with the current iteration of the team.

    Stick to open threads and keep the altruism away from post-loss threads. You’ll get the respect you pine for ….probably.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Because the alternative is so much better and so less attention-seeking itself.

      If anyone thought it was going to be easy to keep this going forever, following the folks who’ve been carrying this team for over a decade just plain getting old, they were living in fantasy land. This franchise was going to have to reinvent itself at some point, and that’s not easy. They’ve screwed up in several places along the way, and that hasn’t helped. It still wasn’t going to be easy if most things went right.

      Im trying to focus on something that i can actually have fun with here, even if its poking fun at my own favorite team. Hell, Mets fans have been doing it for, like, 3/4 of the team’s existence. There’d be mass suicide along the 7 line every night if they didn’t. If someone can’t do that, if you can’t find enjoyment in the worst of it, then they’re not cut out to be a sports fan.

      Here, I’ll even give you an example, which is what I came on here to say:

      I normally don’t like to pass out blame to individual players. Tonight, I make an exception. David Adams, you can eat the worlds biggest bag of dicks.

      I don’t know why they bothered scoring the three runs. I could have fit in two episodes of “True Blood” had the game ended a bit earlier.

      See, was that hard? Was that non-altruistic enough?

      You’re a good commenter, Cuso. I hope tomorrow’s a better day. It was a damn shitty game tonight, it’s been a damn shitty run, and i certainly can’t blame you for being frustrated. In your attempts to stop others from being condescending, though, you’re coming off as pretty damn condescending yourself. I understand the frustration on anyone part, though. Good night.

      • vicki

        my old boyfriend is on true blood. i thought only girls watched it.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          You caught me.

      • TomH

        Hell, Mets fans have been doing it for, like, 3/4 of the team’s existence.

        That way madness lies.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I still consider us the Rolls Royce and them the ’73 Pinto.

    • Pat D

      You’re still not over the Final Four, are you?

    • Now Batting

      They’re just happy to see the kids play.

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      Fat chance — about the respect thing I mean.

      Open threads are similar to open sewers in that they’re tough to get out of w/little if any damage once you fall into one. Far better to take the condescending judgmental truism approach & continue to affect an obvious superior knowledge of the grand ole’ game, and throw in a few tips & solutions for good measure while deflecting any responsibility for the disappointing play by this year’s edition of the Highlander 9 (+16).

      Oh, Jeez! What am I thinking? Of course, that won’t work. Let me go to plan B – patronize them: Yeah, you’re so right. I hope everyone does exactly as you say. Glad you brought it up!

    • mac

      Spot on Cuso, esp. the second to last paragraph.

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

      Here’s a fun response to this Cuso, just because you were so friendly to start with: Cool, story, bro.

      I really don’t care what you think, I’ll post whatever I think is worth posting.I suggest other people do the same and not worry about whether or not people think it’s suitably pessimistic.

      Express your frustration, but if people think you’re wrong, people think you’re overreacting, or people are more optimistic than you, then it looks like you’re going to have to live with people saying so. Last I checked, that wasn’t against any commenting guidelines. Here let me check again…nope, still fine.

      Good thing I wasn’t coming here for your respect or I’d really be in trouble now, huh?

    • FIPster Doofus

      Fantastic post, Cuso.

    • trr

      I don’t know man…do you really think people post on these threads for approval, attention or validation? For myself, I come here to learn a little, laugh a little, and celebrate or commiserate with like minded fans. As a 50 year fan of the team, I’ve seen it all, from Ross Moschitto to Zoilo Almonte with 1,000 stops in between. I admit, these last few losses have particularly rankled. Even if the team craters this season (the fan in me says no) we’ll move forward and improve; if not this season, then next season, or the season after that. More than Wisdom, Time gives perspective you see…and when that next championship banner is raised, I’ll be there, smiling from ear to ear.

  • Pat D

    Even Gordon is giving up.

    (Start watching at about 0:37.)


    • Gonzo

      I got a good laugh out of the trick ending.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Adams and Gonzalez at the corners today had to be the worst combo at those positions I can remember. Thank god the old stadium got torn down. I think it would have hopped out of town otherwise.

    • Pat D

      Hmm. That sounds like a challenge.

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      Ah, you weren’t alive in the late ’60’s. Some of THOSE corners were so bad, the Stadium actually did skip town & only found it’s way back by like 1976 & only then w/a total facelift. Hardly recognized the girl.

  • emac2

    I don’t like the idea of trading for this year. This isn’t a team that’s going to win the series this year no matter what. Wasting prospects on some panic moves to gain one game in the standings isn’t a good idea.

    I agree with the complaints about the lack of a bench. Average hitters need to be used less not more. I think Hal learned how to stream pitchers. sort of.

    • BFDeal

      I disagree somewhat on this. Trading our best prospects for rentals…forget it. Trading for players that can potentially help this year and future years…yes. Too many games left to throw in the towel on this season.

      • emac2

        I wouldn’t throw in the towel and was referring more to not making trades JUST for this year.

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

    In unrelated news, I’ve finally seen “Serenity”.

    My life has changed forever. I don’t even.

    I’m now embarrassed for the new Star Trek movie.

    This was on a level above any movie I’ve seen in years. As somebody who’s not a huge Star Wars fan I can safely say that I think this is the best sci-fi movie of all time. This was a level above. This was genius.

    I am still in shock.

    • Tom

      Good to see you enjoyed it.

      On a semi-related note (you mentioned it while singing the praises of Firefly), I caught the first two episodes of Sherlock Holmes – pretty good stuff. Thanks for repeating yourself multiple times on this as it stuck in my head and I finally got around to it.

      Will be watching the last episode soon – how does season 2 compare in terms of quality?

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

        Season 2 is, if anything, even better. “The Reichenbach Fall” should go down as one of the greatest TV episodes in television history, and “The Hounds of Baskerville” is almost as good (fans of the original book will love it).

        Tons of people love “A Scandal in Belgravia”, and it’s considered one of the best episodes, but I was never a big fan of the ending. Plus I’m tired of people making Irene Adler a sex symbol or love interest. BUT – the cinematography is terrific, and overall it undeniably has some brilliant dialogue and acting, as usual.

  • UncleArgyle

    Feces Shit-Bath-ia

    • WhittakerWalt


    • BFDeal

      Who let their drunk uncle on here?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I’m trying to keep the altruism away here. It’s hard to keep it away. It’s crawling back, like the hand in “Evil Dead.”

  • Gonzo

    Here’s something I find interesting. In the month of April Nate Schierholtz never started a game against a lefty starter. I wonder how that plays into the “the Cubs offered more playing time” bit.

    Not disagreeing that something might have tipped the scales in favor of the Cubs. I just think that if the Cubs used him as a platoon bat right away, it might not be as much of playing time decision. Maybe it’s because the Al East has more lefties, who knows.

  • Duh Injuries

    2014 Yankees

    C – J.R. Murphy (Have Cervelli back him up, trade Romine, let go of Stewart.)
    1B – Adams (Trade Teixiera in the offseason, re-sign Overbay to be Adams’ backup and veteran mentor.)
    2B – Joseph (Trade Cano by the 2013 trade deadline.)
    3B – Eric Jagielo (Let go of Youkilis.)
    SS – Nunez (Let go of Jeter, re-sign Nix.)
    LF – Almonte (Let go of Granderson, keep Wells as the backup LF/CF.)
    CF – Gardner (See what he does in his walk year.)
    RF – Melky Mesa (Trade Suzuki in the offseason.)
    DH – Mustelier (Trade Hafner by the 2013 trade deadline or let him go.)

    If Jeter exercises his 2014 player’s option, start him at DH and Mustelier in RF (Mesa is the backup OF, Wells is traded.)

    $10 Bleacher Seats
    $15 Grandstand Seats
    $50 Field Seats

    Every home game is Yankee Cap Day.

    $1 off any ticket to the next home game for anyone who wears a Yankee Cap Day cap.

    $1 Poland Springs
    $2 Cokes
    $3 Draft beers
    $4 Hotdogs
    $5 Bottled beers
    $6 Yankee caps

    • forensic

      Sounds easy enough to me…

    • Robinson Tilapia

      We’ve abandoned the Melky Cabrera idea, I see.

    • WhittakerWalt

      Trading Wells is my favorite part.

    • trr

      Not sure if OP is joking about that lineup.
      That’s a 50 win team, at best

      • Pat D

        He is most certainly not. This is about the fifth time he’s made this suggestion.

  • Matt DiBari

    I lay this loss at Girardi’s feet. You need to maximize what you have, and playing people out of position to get ALBERTO GONZALEZ’S right handed bat in the lineup is basically the exact opposite of that. At some point, Joe is going to have to consider something other than what hand a batter hits with

    • Kosmo

      I agree. Totally.

  • kenthadley

    It starts with Hal (I don’t understand why fans are upset, we signed three of the best free agents available) and ends with Cashman (I want full control of the minor league system, 2006). Leaders are accountable for their results, and this team with the three best free agents available and a minor league system that has supplied very little beyond secondary pitching in the last five years is the result. Sans injuries, they’d still be in trouble, but more competitive. Signing Martin and Ibanez, and probably Chavez too would have helped. All hindsight, but Mike was calling it in the winter, along with many here. The only surprise was April.

    • TomH

      I’m happy to blame that bland owner, with his self-serving and disingenuous remarks all day and every day. As for Cashman, yes, he has much to answer for concerning the lame farm system.

      However, it wasn’t until next season that I expected all the chickens to come home to roost from the failings of those two. They can’t be blamed, though, for this bizarre epidemic of major injuries and injuries on top of injuries. I’ve been following the Yankees for 60 years and have never seen anything like it.

      After a night’s sleep, I now think there’s very little to be done to redeem this season. Who is going to help the Yankees without first raping the Yankees? Or, more (?) charitably: when you see something slipping, give it a shove. The Yankees are slipping. The wrong trading partner will give them a shove.

      The temptation this year will be to make an effort to stay competitive–and keep fans from storming Hal’s box–by giving away too much. For too little. Better to see what help Jeter, et al. can bring to the starting lineup later, and what help Pineda might offer the rotation. I doubt it will be enough to keep them ahead of TB in the final standings, but it may, with luck.

      The test of ownership’s bona fides will come in the off-season. If they continue with Austerity 189, they’ll kill the last advantage the Yankees have against their rivals.

      I know, I know: “They’ll just have to get smarter.” Bah. Does anyone really think they’re not trying to be smart NOW?

      Thus, and to go back now to the beginning, it’s why the Yankees may need a new front-office/ownership makeover, from some as-yet-unkown Other, who, I hope, is watching the situation in the Bronx unfold.

  • nycsportzfan

    What a amateur curve ball CC threw to McLouth on the HR pitch. I mean, are you kidding me? That is classic CC Sabathia last night. A step below a Ace, and you see it in the postseason more then anything, as the guy always seems like the 2nd best pitcher when facing a true ace, ala Verlander and those types. I still can’t get over that meltdown last night. Get a clue, fat ass!

    • Robinson Tilapia


      • Thurm

        I agree with sportzfan. That was ridiculous. You don’t get paid 20 million plus to blow three run leads in matter of 15minutes in such a important game. More of the same for Carsten Charles.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          And his beloved Verlander has never, ever done that.


  • fred robbins

    Slow lazy curveballs seems to be a specialty of this staff, from Hughes to CC and worst of all Logan. It must stem from the pitching coach who has a staff of non competitors which shows up the most as last year- not this- as no Yankee hitters are worth hitting, but when a Yankee batter would get hit, there was never any retaliation. Other than Clemens. We have No Pitchers with the fire and guts of Clemens and no hitters with the fire and guts of Jeter.
    You had to love Cano’s slow stroll to 1st base as the last out of the game and it seemed he was not even going to make it all the way to 1st base. or maybe it was the 2nd out of the inning… But in either case, Cano is a hitting .230 for June– and yet he is given star status and the full permission of Girardi and Cashman to only run when he feels it is worth his effort.
    This is a band of losers and I feel bad for any of the young players who have to come up and witness such a quitter being called elite no matter what he does.
    Great comments earlier about the lack of putting in Overbay to pinch hit and then go out on defense.
    The Yankees look about 3-5 years away from becoming a watchable team again, when hopefully all these washed up players will be gone without a trace.

  • Eddard

    I don’t care how bad the offense is, when they hand the ace a 3 run lead he needs to make it stick. He hasn’t been an ace this year. Kuroda has and Phelps has the 2nd best ERA on the staff. Pitch better.

    • nycsportzfan

      Well said Mr. Stark! Not only did he blow it, he did it in next to no time. It was pathetic.