Dodgers walk-off as Yankees lose winnable game they couldn’t really afford to lose

Cave & Bird help River Dogs to a win
2013 Trade Deadline Open Thread

Source: FanGraphs

As far as walk-off losses go, that one was slightly less soul-crushing than the average. You could see it coming a mile away, especially after Joe Girardi declined to use David Robertson for a second inning (nine pitches!). Shawn Kelley ominously had trouble putting Juan Uribe (!) away before surrendering the winning losing hit to Mark Ellis in the ninth for the 3-2 defeat. The season isn’t young anymore; the Yankees really can’t afford to lose winnable games without their best pitchers on the mound.

New York didn’t do much offensively, wrote the blogger to no one’s surprise. Lyle Overbay drove in the team’s two runs with a solo homer (second inning) and a ground out (fourth). Eighteen of their final 19 batters made outs, which is something I feel like happens every other game. It’s like, once the pitcher gets through the lineup the first time and reads each swing, the Yankees don’t get anyone on base. Five hits, no walks, that’s it. Hopefully Wednesday’s trade deadline brings a new catcher and a new third baseman because the last 106 games tell me they might need some help there. Chris Stewart looks completely out of gas.

If there is good news, I guess it’s that Andy Pettitte actually pitched well. He’d been struggling big time since coming off the DL two months ago. The Dodgers scored runs in the first (two-out single by Hanley Ramirez) and the second (monster homer by Uribe (!)) before Andy fired off five zeroes and gave the team seven strong innings. He struck out three and got some scary fly ball outs to the warning track. It was only Pettitte’s second start of at least seven innings and no more than two runs in May 11th. Yikes.

For the box score and video highlights, head to FanGraphs has some other stats and ESPN has the updated standings. The Yankees are now eight back in the loss column in the division and three back of the second wildcard spot. There are four teams within three losses of that spot, not including the team who currently holds it. Anyway, it’ll be a matchup of aces on Wednesday night, when Hiroki Kuroda and Clayton Kershaw will wrap up this quick two-game series. That should be a blast.

Cave & Bird help River Dogs to a win
2013 Trade Deadline Open Thread
  • Kramerica Industries

    Well, that’s not a long title or anything.

    • forensic

      Beat me to it. I was gonna say that must be the longest title for a recap ever.

    • Pat D

      Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again by The Monkees.

  • Mark

    Kershaw vs this lineup, cue Ron Swanson laugh.

  • Pags

    Have to second guess Joe’s decision to not pinch hit for Nix or Stewart with Ichiro on 2nd. That was the chance to get a run.

    • vicki

      with whom?

      • Kosmo


      • Pags

        Perhaps Liilibridge who has more clutch hits in the past 2 weeks than cano. Nunez. Certainly letting a backup catcher who has 3 hits in his last 40 abs or a guy who is a light hitter and just off the dl who looked overmatched in his previous ab, that’s who. Scoring chances are limited. Have to take advantage with your best hitters. That is not Nix or Stewart.

  • HateMclouth (formerly I’mVernon)

    Tomorrow’s gonna be a blood bath…

    Kershaw is one of my favorite non-Yankees, though.

    • your mom

      At least we’re not facing Capuano. . . . . . . . . .

    • Robinson Tilapia

      If this is the way we’re going to play it, I’ll be the contrarian.

      We will beat Clayton Kershaw tonight. You can underline me saying that.

      I’d rather be wrong in predicting a Yankee win than right in predicting a loss.

      • Jersey

        You have been wrong all year long already. Why stop now….

        • Robinson Tilapia

          There’s two ways to reply to this:

          1. Remind you that my mantra all season has been, “It’s going to be a dogfight,” and here we are….in a dogfight all season.

          2. Just say, “That’s not what Mama Jersey said last night.”

          You all can pick the reply you prefer there.

        • Pat D

          What have you been right about?

  • Kosmo

    Scoring 2 runs of Greinke is admirable but the Yanks lineup is still pitiful.

  • Chris

    Gonna be interesting to see this team under 500 in August for a change.

    • trr

      I don’t know if interesting is the right word

  • WhittakerWalt

    How many games this year have the Yanks had where they received ZERO walks? It feels like quite a few, and I’m wondering if it would be a record.

    • FIPster Doofus

      It’s hard to believe that this very franchise finished third in walks last season and hit 31 more homers than any other team. I wonder if an MLB offense has ever dropped off this dramatically in the span of a year.

      • I’m One

        I wonder if an MLB offense has ever dropped as many significant players for 2/3 (or more) of the season due to injuries as this one and not dropped of this dramatically.

  • YankeeFan

    It continues to amaze me with great anger how Stewart and Nix continue to get play for a team that is desperate for offense. Chris Stewart, he of the .228/.303/.295 line coming into tonight has 7XBHs in 193ABs and is .148/.246/.185 in his last 54ABs! While Romine, though struggled to start does have 7XBHs in only 86ABs and is .333/.385/.500 in his mere 24ABs in July while showing above-average defense.

    Meanwhile, Nix, he of the .236/.303/.304 line in 237ABs was hitting .221/.290/.298 in his last 95ABs. Adams was starting to hit & take walks before being sent down the first time and was 3 for 10 in his promotion. We all know what Stewart and Nix are. Romine & Adams are guys that are prospects who have proven to have the ability to hit in every level. It is amazing and unfathomable to think a team that is struggling for offense hasn’t put out the best team available from within.

    How has this not be questioned!?

    • YankeeFan


    • Kosmo

      it is odd and to me discouraging. Girardi seems to be old school.

      • forensic

        Unfortunately, these moves aren’t odd to me. Sending down Adams in deference to Nix and Lillibridge is such a typical Yankees move to me. You know what Nix is and you know what Lillibridge is (and it extends to Stewart in a similar manner). Adams was recovering and hitting well before they sent him down last time, and it was similar this time, though he was barely given time to play because Lillibridge was so indispensable.

        I’m certainly not saying Adams is suddenly going to turn into some Trout clone, but at least he has a chance to out-produce Nix and Lillibridge (which isn’t exactly a high bar to beat).

        A couple of their injuries have certainly hit them hard, but I think many of their struggles are self-inflicted.

        • nycsportzfan

          totally agree

        • Kosmo

          so not being odd to you means a continual predictable managerial pattern ?

          • Kosmo

            Michael McHenry, Russ Martin`s backup is having a better season than Stewart.

        • fat jeter

          You nailed it right on the head. It is such a typical Yankee move to go with proven (but not very good) veterans over giving a minor league prospect a shot. I’ve always wondered what this mentality does for prospects. I can’t imagine it gives them a sense of accomplishment to ride the yo-yo from the bigs to AAA and back once someone comes off the DL. Enough ink has been spilled over the use of prospects and how its not really a winning strategy but the fact of the matter is, and forensic pretty much said it above, we all know what Lillibridge and Stewart are. Adams at least represents an unknown variable and possible value on the trade market (Hell, he and a few others could have netted us Lee a few years ago if it wasn’t for a bum ankle). Look at what the Red Sox did with a historically light-hitting SS prospect in Igleasis (sp?). They called him up, stuck with with him and he lit it up with his bat just long enough to be swapped for Peavy and a realistic run at a championship. Obviously this is not an apples to apples comparison, but it is indicative of how 2 different teams go about their business.

          • Kosmo

            just the fact NY is willing to move forward with Nix AND Lillibridge is a head scratcher. I can understand having Nix around but Lillibridge too ? NY has a backup SS in Nunez. Adams at least can play 3B, 2B and fake 1B.

            • fat jeter

              yea but Lillbridge has clearly won the “Sergio Mitre award for the guy that has no business being on the team but continues to stick around for some unknown reason”.

              –now that’s a long title

    • LarryM Fl

      I agree but development of prospects (OJT) is not a Yankee thing. You hit the ground running or forget about it. Few exceptions on positional players such as Jeter, Cano, Bernie, to some extent Posada. There is no excuse for playing Stewart over Romine consistently unless pitchers are making a request. Stewart has nothing to offer at the plate.

      Romine has had practically two lost years in his development. 2012 injuries at AAA and lack of playing time while on the 25 man roster. I had mentioned, he looks better at and behind the plate of late. Adams looks over matched at times but don’t they all. It could be pressing or lack of playing time for Adams.

      • dalelama

        C’mon Romine sucks.

        • fat jeter

          Stewart isn’t any better though. It’s like comparing cat shit and dog shit.

          • I’m One

            Dog shit is bigger, though. (Not sure how this relates to your comment above, just an observation. Is Stewart dog shit and Romine cat shit?)

            It seems the Yankees just aren’t used to not being in the hunt. They expect to win and feel that more experienced (although possibly more sucky) players give them the better chance.

            I happen to agree that now is the time to go with the less experienced players and let the chips fall where they may. Unless they make some sort of completely unexpected deal before 4PM today, this team doesn’t appear playoff bound.

        • Coolerking101

          Romine doesn’t suck. He’s struggling like you would expect any rookie to struggle….especially a rookie who gets to play once a week. His ceiling is considerably higher than Stewart.

        • LarryM Fl

          The team is going nowhere if get into the playoffs and last more than one game in the WC playoff. I will be surprised. Romine has been given little opportunity to make adjustment to the big leagues.

          I guess you embrace Stewarts play so far.

      • fat jeter

        I’ve always wondered about how Cano made it up to the show. If tony womack didn’t suck so bad in 2005, does anyone really think Cano would have even been called up, let alone stuck around long enough to be up for a giant (and looming) contract?

        Other than that, I am 100% in agreement. Romine needs to play more, Adams should be with the team. Really no excuse there other than a love of veterans and a sense of mistrust for prospects. Poor Zolio as well. No chance we see him again once he comes off the DL.

      • toad

        The trouble with this philosophy is that it’s a terrible way to develop players.

        It’s hard to improve at any game unless you play against tough – by your standards – competition. A good AAA player needs to get some Major League time. The struggles are a cost of doing business.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Romine should be playing.

      My assumption here is that having Adams ride the shuttle preserves depth, as you’d have to DFA either Nix or Lillibridge if you took them off the roster. Like it or not, preserving depth is a VERY Yankee thing to do.

      • trr

        It seems Romine is juuuuuust starting to hit. Certainly he seems more relaxed, more confident at the plate. Going forward, he should get more playing time. If we fall out of the race, he should get ALL the playing time.

        The problem is, we’re preserving SHALLOW depth.


  • Mick taylor

    Yanks need to trade for a 3rd baseman. This nix is total garbage. I am sick of watching him this season striking out with the go ahead run in scoring position as he did last night . If he gets a hit in the 7th yanks problably win. He must have done that at least 10 times this year. Play Ronnie muestier

  • Mike Ri

    This team is so fking hard to watch

  • JLC 776

    Mike has to be searching hard for new ways to say, “Yankees lose must-win game”.

  • John

    This team is just not built to win at this point and needs a lot of pieces to be even decent offensively but the constant hyperbolic “must win game” has gotten old. I am truly amazed the team still has a shot at the playoffs but there are too many games left for any single one of them to be a must win at this point.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Seriously. If they win the next two, was this still a “must win?”

  • Coolerking101

    This game was a walking advertisement for why the team should be sellers at the deadline. This year’s team was a last hurrah with the old guard…and it didn’t work out. After this year, Rivera is retired, Pettitte is retired, Kuroda might be retired and A-Rod/Jeter/Tex/Ichiro are likely to be below average players. CC has shown his days as an elite, #1 starter are probably over.

    The problem with giving it one last go this season is that the team will have absolutely no high end, tradeable talent next year. The only chance the Yanks have to get one or two elite prospects this year or next year is to trade Cano NOW and hope to re-sign him over the Winter. There simply is no other reasonable option.

  • I’m One

    So, how will we (and the rest of Yankee Fandom) react to a team that sits around .500 for the next few seasons? I think the only way back for them is if A-Rod does get a lifetime ban and the Yankees have that extra $27.5M to play with.

    • trr

      Can’t speak for everyone, but I’ll be here.
      As I suspect you will be, my Quadra-Phenic friend

      • Rolling Doughnut

        Happy to see the Who/Townshend tradition lives on.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I don’t think that’s true at all. I think all, or some, of Alex’s salary coming off the books helps, but I don’t see what the impediments would be, other than self-imposed impediments, towards this team improving in the off-season.

      Getting Alex’s salary off the books for 2014 would be huge. Allows the team to bring back Robbie. Allows the team to make big and mid-size signings in other areas. Not much out there that can play third, though. Hello……Nuney?

      How will we react, though? Maybe some of the spoiled fans who only intended to root for this team as perennial frontrunners go do something else. That’d be great. Otherwise, my assumption is that we’ll react in the same way we react to our favorite teams in other sports, who don’t have the same track record the Yanks do, or we’ll react the same way real fans of the other teams in baseball do. There will be more talk as to how to retool, more focus on positional battles, etc. We used to complain that Spring Training was boring because every spot on the roster was pretty much settled, right?

    • David Brown

      Keep in mind, things can get better quick, because lots of Contracts are coming off the Books: Andy, Mariano, Youkilis, Hughes to name a few, and Wells and Jeter’s will be reduced, obviously Cano is a question mark (but I would not give him more than five years). I also think Alex Rodriguez will not play in 2014. However, I do not see Rodriguez getting a lifetime ban (although I wish he would). That said, I think the odds are he played his last game for the Yankees (they will simply release him, when the suspension is over, and payoff whatever he is owed). The funny thing about this, is if he would have kept his mouth shut, and taken his medicine, he would have probably gotten the Ryan Braun punishment and been back in 2014, but statements like “Being A Role Model” and trotting out “Experts” like Dr. Michael Gross, who got in trouble with New Jersey over Steroids, show he is either in “Total Denial” from reality or happens to be narcissistic and self loathing. I suspect even the Players Association (whom he is not letting help him (a very strange decision on his end)), would be very happy if he could be slapped with 100 Games (or more) without the Lifetime Ban).

  • Joe

    Even the best offenses would not have been able to drawn walks against Greinke last night. People have to understand when a pitcher like Greinke is consistently throwing first pitch strikes that completely changes an at bat. No longer can you really go into the taking mode, because before you know it it’s 0-2. And the percentages go down drastically of you walking the farther behind you are in the count. I think power hitters in particular are more vulnerable to these pitchers, because they are different from hitters who can shorten up better like a Mauer and foul off pitches with 2 strikes. Power hitters are more reliant on getting ahead in counts and looking to hit it out and walking if the pitcher allows it, but you can’t rely on them to be a hitter that can consistently foul off pitches with 2 strikes especially when you had Greinke pumping in strike after strike last night.

  • Vern Sneaker

    Agree totally with everything said above about why to play Romine and Adams instead of Stewart and the flavor of the day/week/month at 3B. At the very least share catching duties between Stewart and Romine, with Romine getting slightly more assignments at minimum. He does not suck, we don’t really know what we’ve got and won’t find out this way. Stewart is an adequate back-up catcher with a quick release on steals.

  • Mouse

    Nix and Stewart are the manager’s pets. No way they will sit unless the other options are overwhelmingly better.

    • YankeeFan

      The funny (or sad) thing about that is the options are overwhelmingly better considering how terrible Stewart & Nix are. Nix has a sub-.600OPS in his last 100ABs & is sitting at .600OPS on the season. In Adams’ last 31ABs in the Majors, he was 8 for 31 (.258) with a 6:6 BB:K ratio which equates to a .370+ OBP.

      Like I said with Stewart, he has 7XBHs in 196ABs. Romine has that in only 86ABs.

  • Squints

    I wish Vin Scully did Yankees games.