Orioles steal series finale on Rivera’s blown save

Ruiz homers again in SWB win
Fan Confidence Poll: July 8th, 2013

When the weekend started, I would have been more than happy with the Yankees winning two of three. That’s exactly what they did, but this series ended on a sour note because the third win was ripped away in the final moments. The Orioles stunned New York by the score of 2-1 in the series finale.

(Jim McIsaac/Getty)
(Jim McIsaac/Getty)

The Nick Markakis just foul homer was ominous. Mariano Rivera picked an unfortunate time to be something less than his historically great self on Sunday afternoon, blowing a one-run lead on a Markakis single and an Adam Jones two-run homer to left-center. The single really stung because it came in a two-strike count. It was Mo’s second blown save in 31 chances this year.

Losing on a Rivera blown save is always a crummy feeling because we tend to take those games for granted. Got a lead with Mo on the mound? The game will be over soon and the win will be in the bank. That’s why it’s so shocking whenever he does blows a game and I can’t get worked up over it. The Orioles beat the best and that’s that. Tip your cap to them and move on to the next game.

Bad Hip? No Problem
After a sore left hip flexor forced the Yankees to essentially delay Hiroki Kuroda‘s start by two days, the veteran right-hander came out and tossed and absolute gem on Sunday afternoon. He held the Orioles to two doubles, one single, and one walk in seven scoreless innings, striking out four, and recording 15 of 21 outs on the infield. Fifty-three of his 88 pitches were strikes (60%), and although only 12 of 25 batters saw a first pitch strike, only three of the 25 saw a three-ball count.

(Jim McIsaac/Getty)
(Jim McIsaac/Getty)

Obviously 88 pitches in seven innings is pretty economical, certainly enough to send him back out there for the eighth, but Joe Girardi decided to turn the ball over to the bullpen. It was a crazy hot day and Kuroda is coming off the hip thing, so it could have just been a precautionary move. He did leave a few pitches up and run some deep counts in the seventh inning. It seemed a little weird at the time but is really no big deal considering who is available for the late innings in the bullpen. The most important thing is that Kuroda was outstanding and showed no ill-effects from the hip problem. He was awesome, as he has been pretty much all year.

One Run
If nothing else, this game is a harsh little reminder that the Yankees still have a really crappy offense. They scored just one run in the game even though Jason Hammel was clearly laboring — 102 pitches in five innings, and he faced just seven of 22 batters with no one on-base — and nine runs total in the three-game series. Beating up on the Twins is great, but the offense has to do better than that against a division rival during super-hot weekend in Yankee Stadium.

The run scored in the second inning, when Zoilo Almonte led off with a walk before coming in to score on Eduardo Nunez‘s sacrifice fly. A Lyle Overbay single to get Almonte to third was mixed in. Nunez has now driven in three of the team’s last five runs, which is not a good thing. He shouldn’t be the guy they count on in those spots. The Baltimore bullpen retired 12 of 13 batters faced and the last Yankees hit came in the fifth. They had four men in scoring position all afternoon. The Yankees have needed a bat since Curtis Granderson was re-injured, but they’re obviously content with counting on the injured guys to return to spark the lineup. That is very, very risky.

That play by Manny Machado you see above is on my short list of candidates for Defensive Play of the Year. Not only was he like, ten feet in foul territory with his momentum taking him towards the dugout, but he muffed the catch with his glove and had to barehand the ball. Just an outrageously great play. Man can that kid play.

The only Yankee with two hits was Chris Stewart, who went 2-for-2 with a walk and a stolen base. Replays showed he was clearly out on the steal though, hell he even took a step away from the bag so he could start walking to the dugout. The top two hitters in the lineup (Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki) went 0-for-8 while the top five hitters went 2-for-18 with two walks. Ain’t good enough.

David Robertson tossed a perfect eighth inning on nine pitches between Kuroda and Rivera, his fifth appearance in the last seven days. I was totally cool with working him hard this weekend given the importance of the series, but he’s going to need at least one and probably two days off now. Girardi knows he can’t keep running him into the ground like this all year.

This was Kuroda’s eleventh start of at least seven scoreless innings since the start of last season, the most in all of baseball. Clayton Kershaw and Felix Hernandez have done it ten times each. Some company.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees moved into a three-way tie in the loss column with the Orioles and Rays for both second place in the AL East and the second wildcard spot.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The Royals are coming to the Bronx for a four-game set. Phil Hughes and former Oriole Jeremy Guthrie will be is the pitching matchup for Monday night’s series opener. RAB Tickets is the place to go if you want to catch the game live.

Ruiz homers again in SWB win
Fan Confidence Poll: July 8th, 2013
  • Eddard

    The Royals and Twins are coming to town and that’s always a good thing. NYY haven’t lost a game to either this season. Hopefully Weaver outduels Lackey tonight and no ground will be lost. Keep it within a few games by the ASB and help will arrive. Nuney swinging the bat well.

    • Preston

      Are you in love with Nunez again?

      • vicki

        aren’t you??

  • your mom

    Horrendous outcome. You could blame the shit offense, but bottom line is Mo blew the save. I forgive him. We all do.

    Let’s hope we don’t go on another losing streak now.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    What is there to say? They beat the best there’s ever been. It rarely happens and, like Mike said, when it’s done, you tip your hat to the other team. Whether the score was 1-0 or 12-11 when it happened is secondary.

    Feast on the Royals.

    • mustang (The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013)


      Just don’t bother to tell anyone at the end of the game thread. I will NEVER understand the joy that people get just going off on completely stupid rants of one lost especially at the end of a 6 game winning steak, in a series that was already won and at the hands of the best closer in the history of game. Then again maybe it’s a good thing that I don’t understand it.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I left while they were still winning. It seemed like the Elton Cod show today. Hopefully that show gets cancelled.

        Without going back there, ill take a guess and say there was a Matt appearance.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Oh god, I just looked at the game thread after I left. There are no words

        Only Greg would egg Matt on like that. Guys like that who only show up at the end of losses to jack off all over themselves should be so easy to ignore.

        • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores

          Matt was right though. Greg is ridiculous. I tried not responding to him, I really did, but…http://xkcd.com/386/

          At one point we’re going to have to Oaktag him, because he’s really become a joke. His dumb comments drag down the game threads. It’s ridiculous. We really just need to start treating him like a troll, because if he isn’t one he might as well be.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            You know what I think. If his intent is to get a rise out of people with his schtick (and I see no other reason why a guy who gets the abuse Greg does every night on here would continue it), then he’s trolling.

            This whole “pitchers need to give up zero runs” thing is taking the idea of “little room for error” and adding a heavy dose of pathology to it. If he truly believes this, the more I actually start to think about it, the sadder it makes me.

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

              Responding to him drags the whole threads down. I know I’m guilty of this but it really should be a collective agreement among us not to respond to him anymore. It’s just gone too far.

  • 28 this year

    Machado is really something. He’s fun to watch. If the Orioles could develop a pitcher or two or get one or two from elsewhere, they can be unbelievable because they definitely have the offense.

    • jimmy james

      No kidding. Matusz, Arrieta, and Britton have all failed as starters. Reminds me of another team who had a set of three up-and-coming starters that didn’t pan out compared to what scouts pegged them as…

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Yeah, Generation K didn’t do a whole lot other than Isringhausen,

        Tillman seems to have figured it out. Matusz has found a niche, although certainly not what was expected from him. The others? Too much too soon thrown at them, perhaps.

        Hopefully, for their sake (and certainly not ours), their success will mean needing to throw less guys at the wolves.

    • your mom

      They should trade for Cliff Lee. They have the prospects, not sure about the money though.

      • jimmy james

        I think I would hang onto Bundy and Gausman over acquiring Cliff Lee. Those two have the potential to be top-of-the-rotation guys for a long time in Balitmore. Plus, it’s not like the O’s are old. Machado, Markakis, Davis, Jones, and Wieters as well as most of their pitchers are on the right side of 30. They should probably hold off on acquiring overpriced talent, because they have the right pieces only a few years away to be good for a long time…especially with Buck running the show.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Yeah. Stick with the plan that got you there. Agreed.

        • Mickey P

          I would laugh in Amaro Jr’s face if he mentioned Bundy or Gausman. Those two have some serious potential. Whether it comes to fruition or not remains to be seen. I realize the O’s have a team that could win now with a good arm or two but there nucleus is still young enough to win a couple of years down the road when the young colts are ready.

          • vicki

            you would laugh in raj’s face if he wanted gausman for cliff lee.

            that’s what you said.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    In all these years, he’s blown 75 saves, according to Chad. That’s just an amazing number.

    • Wheels

      Comes out to an average of approx. 4 blown saves a season for his career. Pretty awesome

  • Mice taylor

    Cashman needs to get a Michael young or alfonzo soriano or chase utley or mike morse now . Waiting for jeter and arod is dumb

  • Brian S.

    Hank Conger!

  • DaveM

    Mo’s WHIP in the last 28 days: 1.78.

    • I’m One

      And I’d still trust him more than I’d trust any other closer in baseball.

      • mustang (The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013)


        • trr


    • Robinson Tilapia

      Mo’s Awesome Quotient since the beginning of time: +1,000,000,000,000.

    • BFDeal

      It’s obvious he needs pitching lessons from Matt.

      • Get Phelps Up

        Matt’s in at least his 3rd year of being the best pitching coach/manager not employed by an MLB team.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          That’s why he always shows up so late to the threads. He’s just so busy.

          • BFDeal

            Bill James has him on speed dial.

  • mt

    Right after All Star break we play Red Sox, Texas and Tampa – hopefully our offense will somehow be in better shape by then to compete with those teams – not sure who will be back from injured list by then, if anyone.

    The offense this week was better with RISP (thank God Nunez returned)and yes, Cano went off in Baltimore and Minnesota but the lack of extra base hits from the lineup in general, especially in Yankee Stadium, is alarming. We are lucky to actually win 2/3. Nova’s complete game on Friday really saved our bacon and allowed some rest to the overworked Robertson and Mo.

    Looking at Machado, who just turned 21, makes me wonder what this rivalry will be like in a year or two as he matures and gets better. Is it too much to say that he is an Arod like talent at such a young age who can eventually dominate this match-up? I am sure O’s will find some more pitching (although Miguel Gonzalez and to some extent Hammel seem to have no problem with our lineup).

    Mo has saved 29/31 but he is giving up base runners – mostly cheapy hits but also some solid contact. It also seems the offense is giving him more one run leads to protect as opposed to 2 or 3 run leads. As with the whole team, there’s a lower margin for error. If Mo’s level even dips a little (even if he remains at a superior level) with this offense behind him, Yanks are in trouble.

    Kuroda, I am sure, is happy to survive the outing and hopefully he will feel OK tomorrow with no lingering effects of his hip issue but it is uncanny how he is the one who bears the most impact from lack of run support relative to the other starters.

    It would be nice to score at least 4-5 runs a game this week before All Star break against the weaker teams that we are playing.

    • OldYanksFan

      Machado (who just turned 21) is surely a stud.
      But we shouldn’t forget what a phenom ARod was. In his Age 20 season, he posted a 161 OPS+. Manny M. is at 119 this year.

  • Jersey Joe

    Even though we are a half game out of the wild card, 4th place is just really disappointing. I’m hoping that the Yankees seize the opportunity for the easy wins against the Royals. They can’t afford to lose anymore momentum at this point.

    As much as I like the Travis Ishikawa move, I’d like to see a righty bat. Michael Young makes sense, especially with Nix out. He could play replacement defense at third and could go in the 2 spot, where Nix was for a while.

  • forensic

    It’s nice that they won the series, but it still sucks that they lost the chance at the sweep which was less than an inning away.

    Just gotta do what they should against the Royals and Twins this week and try to get a little closer to the top of the playoff race.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mattpat11 Matt DiBari

    One run off Jason Hammel is far more infuriating than a rare blown save.

  • Get Phelps Up

    I hope in a week we can lament being 2 outs away from a 14 game winning streak.

    • Kramerica Industries

      I know, I know, “setting up for disappointment”, yada yada yada…

      I expect the Yankees to clean house this week. I also expect the Rays to clean house this week. I expect Baltimore and Boston to pretty much split their games. At the break, I’m envisioning something like this:

      Boston: 57-40
      Tampa Bay: 54-42 (2.5)
      NY Yankees: 53-42 (3)
      Baltimore: 53-43 (3.5)

      Seems fair to me.

      • Get Phelps Up

        I would take that no questions asked.

      • forensic

        You seem to be missing the 2013 World Champions in your standings.

        • Get Phelps Up

          Angry TomH rant coming in the morning.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Miller Huggins would have never stood for this

  • Kramerica Industries

    Red Sox face Felix tomorrow.

    Hey, M’s, please win this series this week. Time for the Red Sox to finally start falling back to the pack.

    • forensic

      They also face Iwakuma the next night. As a four game series, I doubt the M’s can win it, but hopefully they can at least split.

  • BigBlueAL

    Tampa this week hosts the Twins and Astros for 7 games. Considering the brutal schedule the Yankees have immediately following the All-Star break it seems pretty imperative they win at least 5 of 7 this week.

    Although to be fair to them every time it has seemed like they were in trouble of really falling down the standings they have recovered. But you just wonder how long they can keep up this houdini like act.

    On a side note, sure would be fun to see Jeter return this week.

    • forensic

      I could see them rushing (IMO) Jeter back this week, but don’t really see the point. I know every little bit can help, but these 7 games are ones they should be able to win anyway with Nunez instead of Jeter. There’s also no guarantee that he’s much help at this point anyway. Plus, you get him back for a couple games, then he sits around again for 4 days during the ASB.

      Leave him down there to play part way into the break, then give him a day or so off and have him join them in Fenway after the break, followed closely by A-Rod. Hopefully they can both produce and give them some help in the 2nd half.

  • Here Comes the Pizza

    Anyone have stats for Yankees starting pitchers’ run support this season? Curious to see how everyone in the rotation compares…guessing Hirok has the lowest run support.

    • forensic

      Run support for the full game that a pitcher starts:

      Hughes: 3.2
      Kuroda, Nova, Nuno: 3.7
      Sabathia: 4.2
      Phelps: 4.7
      Pettitte: 4.9

      Run support (per 27 outs) while the pitcher is in the game:

      Nuno: 1.6
      Sabathia, Nova, Hughes: 3.8
      Kuroda: 3.9
      Pettitte: 4.9
      Phelps: 5.5

      • Here Comes the Pizza

        Interesting, thanks!

  • Fin

    I hate to say it, but I knew it wouldn’t end well today. Mo, or anyone else…You just don’t hold that lineup scoreless. Mo, paid the price. Btw, Mo’s periferals aren’t what the were, he could have regression this year, which will still make him among the best, just not the best.

    I hate sending Adams down, he was just starting to be worth watching. He was walking and hitting. Almonte will be the next to go when Jeter and Arod come back.

    The thing is, did we see enough Adams? He sucked bad for 100PA but hes been a lot better since. Did we see enough of Almonte? hes been one of the better players. We know the one guy over matched is Romine but they leave him to take a beating.

    • forensic

      Has there been an official announcement that Adams has been optioned? I didn’t watch today’s game yet to see if they mentioned it and the only thing on here is Mike ‘guessing’ that they’ll send him down.

      No way Almonte is optioned for Jeter or A-Rod (at least not the first one to be activated. That would again leave them with only 3 OFer’s. One of the utility guys will hit the waiver wire again before Almonte goes.

  • Pat D

    Anyone know if the MASN announcers were making Brooks Robinson comparisons on that Machado play?

    It reminded me somewhat of this famous play (the first one):

    • forensic

      The Robinson one is much better (also in the World Series).

      I have a hard time giving guys full credit when they (sort of) botch the play in the first place which is what makes it look harder/better at the end.

      • Pat D

        Yea, but even with the botch, his momentum was carrying him away from the line, just like the Robinson play. So it was going to take a great throw, which he made (and on the fly, at that).

        Of course the Robinson play will always be more remembered because, like you said, it was in the Series.

  • forensic

    One thing really stands out to me when looking at the box score.

    Matt Wieters (even after 2 hits and a walk today): .232/.291/.414

    For comparison, Overbay is at .244/.290/.421 and we know how iffy he’s been (though there is a different standard for their positions of course).

    5th overall pick and #1 prospect in baseball to a sub-.300 OBP? I know he was a little better the last two seasons, but it’s still 3 of his 5 years that he’s been under 100 in OPS+. Outside of his partial rookie season, he’s never even reached a .265 BA or .330 OBP. Never passed a .450 SLG or .780 OPS. Yeah, there’s a different standard for catchers, but you have to think O’s fans are wondering what’s happening there.

    Certainly no “Mauer with power” at this point.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Cashman failed.

      • Bavarian Yankee

        I blame A-Rod.

  • OldYanksFan

    Mo is GOAT, there is no dispute.
    However, while his Save/ERA numbers are fine, his H/9 (and WHIP) are at a career high.

    Those who have watched all the games (like myself) have seen many more ‘solid’ hits of Mo this year. Not as many broken bats.

    I personally believe that the movement on Mo’s Cutter is way down.
    Last night was probably just a bad night for Mo, but his pitches were pretty flat.

    He will need to make adjustments and pitch very smart the rest of the year if he is to be our Savior.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Dear lord, I just looked at Scott Hairston’s numbers this year. Vernon and Ichiro suddenly look like Miranda Kerr.

    • Pat D

      Dear lord, that’s the Wyatt Family’s music!