Yankees finish off sweep of Twins with 9-5 win

Fourth of July Open Thread
Lillibridge & Ruiz homer again in SWB win

Source: FanGraphs

I think we all need to petition MLB to move the Twins to the AL East next year. The Yankees celebrated America’s freedom by finishing off the four-game sweep of Minnesota on Thursday afternoon, winning the finale by the score of 9-5. Let’s recap the win:

  • Five Runs: The Bombers made this one relatively stress-free early on by scoring three runs in the first inning, including two on a single by Vernon Wells (off a righty!). Four of the first five Yankees to bat reached base, with the one exception being a Robinson Cano sacrifice fly. They scored two more runs in the third — Wells doubled in one, Luis Cruz singled in the other — and just like that, they had a five-zip lead.
  • Then Four More Runs: The Twins pushed across a run on a Justin Morneau solo homer in the fourth, but the Yankees responded with four more runs in the sixth. Alberto Gonzalez singled in one, Ichiro Suzuki tripled in two, and Zoilo Almonte grounded out to plate another. Ichiro was a homer shy of the cycle as he continues his hot streak.
  • Bullpen of Doom: Despite leading by eight runs at one point, Joe Girardi still had to cycle through four relievers — including ace setup man David Robertson — to nail down the win. Joba Chamberlain and Boone Logan faced six total batters and four reached base. Before you knew it, that 9-1 lead was a 9-5 lead. Shawn Kelley and Robertson cleaned things up in the eighth and ninth. Despite carrying eight relievers, the middle innings can still be nerve-racking.
  • Leftovers: David Phelps pitched fine, but his line (four runs in 6.1 innings) was uglified because Joba and Logan allowed two inherited runners to score … Travis Hafner reached base four times (single, two doubles, hit-by-pitch) in five at-bats … Almonte, Wells, and Cruz all had multiple hits while Cano, Lyle Overbay, and Austin Romine went hitless … the Yankees had 9+ runs and 13+ hits for the second time in the series after doing it five times in the first 81 games of 2014.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees remain five back in the AL East but are now just one back of a wildcard spot in the loss column. The Orioles are coming to town for another huge three-game weekend series now, the last three games New York will play against a team with a winning record before the All-Star break. Ivan Nova and Miguel Gonzalez is the pitching matchup for Friday night’s opener in the Bronx.

Fourth of July Open Thread
Lillibridge & Ruiz homer again in SWB win
  • Pseudoyanks

    “I’d like to thank the Good Lord for making the Minnesota Twins.”

  • jim p

    Ichiro has been hitting .432 since June 12th. With 8 multi-hit games in the last 21.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      He’s 28-81 since June 12th (.346)

      Still very good, though.

      • forensic

        Don’t even really have to stop at June 12th. He’s well over .300 going back to the middle of May, right after his 0-20+ streak ended.

      • jim p

        Thanks. Yes, I counted the 7 hits in July twice. Still, not paltry, and not a short time either.

    • mustang (The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

      Yep, He is done.

      • trr

        Love Ichiro, enjoy this hot streak while it lasts

      • whozat

        You’re right, he is done. Several weeks of hot hitting (like he had last September) don’t contradict 2.5 years of sub-mediocre performance.

        • Bob Buttons

          Guess the phrase “I guess there’s still some magic left in that old hat” is meant to be specific to you.

          Don’t know how you call “done” but I see it as unable to put up even satisfactory performance for a short while.

          A quarter of a season’s worth of a hot streak means he’s still got some magic left in him.

        • Darren

          A couple of hot weeks in September, a couple of hot weeks in April, a couple of hot weeks in June, and a scorching start to July.

          Um, yeah, that’s not done.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Didn’t you hear the man? DONE.

            Even he hits 1.000 the rest of the season. DONE.

            • mustang (The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

              getan !!!!
              fait !!!!
              hecho !!!!!!
              Okonawa !!!!!!

            • i collect brett gardner cards

              yea this ichiro thing is old here with mike. not for nothing.
              hot streak?
              hes hitting 280 on the year.
              its july
              its a good year which is half over, simple as that.
              hard it may be for him to admit it.

              • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

                His average is fine.
                Essentially everything else is below average.
                He’s one of the weakest hitting RF’s in MLB.

                It’s definitely not a good offensive year.

              • Cool Lester Smooth

                Sup, Yoda.

                But yeah, batting average is only important insofar as it affects a players OBP and SLG%. Unfortunately, Ichiro’s OBP and SLG% are still awful despite his decent BA. This means that he’s a terrible hitter.

          • Cool Lester Smooth

            He is currently the worst starting RF in the entire MLB offensively.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

              Not true, but he’s close.

              • Cool Lester Smooth

                By wRC+ he’s worse than both Hamilton and Stubbs, even after today’s game.

                • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

                  He’s been better than anyone who’s played RF for Oakland.
                  There may be 1 or 2 other teams, I’m just too lazy to look.
                  Not that being in the bottom few is much better than being dead last.

                  • Cool Lester Smooth

                    None of the Oakland RFs have enough PA to be qualified, though.

                    You’re right that the A’s RFs have been worse, but my comment was still technically correct, haha.

                    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

                      Somebody has to start for Oakland, right?
                      Houston too?

                      Not that it really matters at all.

                    • Cool Lester Smooth

                      You’re right, I should have said “qualified,” not “starting,” although I suppose one could argue that a platoon player is no a starter in the purest sense of the word.

                      Don’t you just love debating technicalities on a baseball forum at one in the morning?

        • mustang (The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

          Shhhhhh boys don’t tell him what all the hot streaks add up to.

          “don’t contradict 2.5 years of sub-mediocre performance.”

          Yeah Ok and who gives a shit all l care about is what he is doing this year.

          • mustang (The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

            Look at the roster dude its all about the here and now.

          • Cool Lester Smooth

            And it sure is exciting that he only need a couple more games of hot hitting to crack that pesky 90 wRC+ barrier.

            Your starting RF, ladies and gentlemen.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

              One more good game will do it.

              • Cool Lester Smooth

                I mean, he just cracked the .300 wOBA mark!

                It’s an exciting, exciting time in the Yankees offense.

                • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

                  Meh, he’s been getting it done for a while now.
                  Beggars can’t be choosers.

                  • Cool Lester Smooth

                    I’m more than happy that he’s been doing well recently. That doesn’t change the fact that he’s sucked overall, however.

                    • vicki

                      CLS. great stuff.

  • your mom

    Will anyone miss Joba or Boone after this season? I sure as hell won’t.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      Bold prediction:
      Yankees re-sign Boone for 3/$12M.
      Boone then immediately gets injured and doesn’t pitch an inning for the Yankees in the 3 years.

      • forensic

        Sadly I could totally see that happening.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

          Weakest team in several years.
          First team in several years without a $4M/year LOOGY taking a permanent spot on the DL.


          I think not.

      • JLC 776

        Other half of the prediction: Joba signs with the Pirates and wins 15 games as their #3 starter.

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      Really? You won’t miss a lefty reliever with ~13 K/9, ~2 BB/9 and a sub 2.50 ERA who limits righties to a .293 wOBA?

      Please, name someone available who you think would be an improvement.

      • WhittakerWalt

        A LOOGY who got lefties out would be nice.

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          Logan has a 16.5 K/9 and a .75 BB/9 against lefties. He’s held them to a .286 OBP and a .296 wOBA…

          • WhittakerWalt

            I guess I’m just remembering all the big hits.

            • Cool Lester Smooth

              They do hit .270 off of him, but they just never walk and don’t hit for any power.

              Basically, he turns ever lefty he faces into Ichiro Suzuki.

  • TomH

    I’ll say the series with the O’s is huge! Although it’s not make-or-break-time yet (3 mos. to go, etc.), this series may begin to make clear the color of each team’s money. Another sweep by the O’s would be a terrific confidence boost for them, and it would be they who thanked the good Lord for making the Yankees. The Yanks just can’t allow that.

    Some good Yankee signs though. Not just Cano: Ichiro’s hitting well. Both Hafner and Wells are showing signs of life and might well benefit from a return to The Stadium. Almonte’s OK so far.

    My worry is primarily, these recent days, the pitching staff. Don’t like this Kuroda hip business (could that be a cause for the slight falling off in his recent performances?). Pettitte is just not right, and I’m beginning to think it’s probably Father Time. He says he feels “real good out there.” OK. But remember that story about Gossage in his late, post-Yankee years. Some writer said to another, “Goose throws as hard as ever. Trouble is the ball just doesn’t go as fast.”

    I have no idea what’s up with CC. He’s laboring out there, struggling the whole way. He got the job done the other night, true enough. But, then, the Twins ain’t the Orioles.

    • forensic

      I still doubt anything with really come from Wells. Hafner did show some very nice signs in this game and series. Really looked like he was trying to make a conscious effort to go the other way and it obviously worked out well. YSIII could help him, but it could also drop him into another try to dead-pull everything slump. Hopefully he finds a happy medium between the two for a while.

  • MannyGeee

    Biggest surprise of today… 200+ comments in a game thread on the Fourth of July. Dafaq?

    • vicki

      which reminds me, if you were a homerun away from the cycle, and you could hit a homerun any damn time you wanted to, why why why would you not hit the homerun? what am i missing?

      • And in merrie olde England

        What you’re missing is that he can hit for the cycle whenever he wants.

  • JimmyIn

    I didn’t know Mike could see in the future to view the statistical outcome of the first 81 games in 2014! WOW!

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      I was really hoping they’d improve the offense for next season.
      Guess not.

  • trr
    • Cool Lester Smooth

      Chooch! Chooch! Chooch! Chooch! Chooch!

      Say it with me everybody!

  • Eddard

    The offense is coming into its own and should be able to keep it going into the 10 game home stand. Cano, Hafner, Wells and Ichiro are all back. Zolio is still hitting well.

    Won’t be long now before help arrives. Nuney and Alex are in rehab games, Jeter is running, Curis is taking wet swings. Tough news about Frankie. The guy was playing so well and now suffers a setback. In the meantime, they should call up Murphy and send down Romine. What have they got to lose?

    • whozat

      They could break Murphy by parking him on the bench in the big leagues when what he needs is development time. He’ll be rusty in every plate appearance, and the pitching will be too advanced for him at this point in his career.

      In short, they could lose their next potential big league catcher.

      Why would you do that?

      • BFDeal


      • Bob Buttons

        Or maybe Murphy suffers a gluteus maximus injury while trying to sit down on the bench.

        But yeah, don’t see how Murphy being backup over Stewie helps much, if any.

  • BigBlueAL

    I just want the Yankees to continue to win enough games and stay within a few games of the Wild Card spot so when Grandy/Jeter/Arod return the games will still mean something. So far so good.

  • mustang (The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

    I will take a 4-3-road trip after dropping the first 3. Hopefully they can take advantage of this 10 game home stand starting with some revenge on the Birds.

    Boar’s Head Natural All Beef Hot Dogs Presents Mustang’s Has Been and Wannabee of the Game Awards:

    The Wannabe of the game is Vernon “I just needed some rest” Wells

    The Has Been of the game is Ichiro “Don’t put the nails on the coffin” Suzuki

    A-Rod is 0 for 4, but the Yankees are riding his mojo to 4-0. LOVE YOU A-ROD!!!!!

    • vicki

      i demand that you change your name to either ‘has beenS’ or ‘wannabe.’

      singular or plural. choose. agree. i can’t take it anymore.

      • mustang (The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

        Anything to make you happy.


  • vicki

    however hard your heart, vern is a cool damn dude.

    when he sinks us that’s on cash and the skipper.

    he was so happy today.

    me too.

    • Rick

      Come with me to the Yankees/Red Sox game in a couple weeks!

  • fred robbins

    nice sweep.. why all the Ichiro bashing? I think the bashing should be saved for Logan who can not get a lefty out to save his life or a game whichever comes first. And what the F with Girardi to keep putting him to get a lefty out- watch him throw a pitch, hang his head and wait until the runner rounds the bags and for someone to come get the ball. It is just pathetic.
    I keep reading in the post and nydaily news about the great Yankee pitching- this will be a decent test starting with the O’s, as they sure looked cooked to me. Even Kuroda looks tired unless that is his usual look. But CC, and Andy sure look like they need a few months at a spa and Phelps and Hughes–well- enough has been said about them. At least Hughes is pitching well enough to get some interest from another team.

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      If you read some of the posts above, you’ll see both an explanation of the Ichiro “bashing” and a debunking of the idea that Logan can’t get lefties out.

      CliffNotes version: Recent hot streak notwithstanding, Ichiro Suzuki is the worst qualified RF in the MLB offensively, and Boone Logan is absolutely dynamite against lefties, even though he does give up a bunch of singles.

  • JLC 776

    Every single time we beat up the Twins like this, I’m simultaneously amazed and not amazed. I found myself in a bar outside of Minnesota a few years ago and struck up a conversation with the bartender. Turned out to be a really nice guy. At some point, I apologized to him. Just kind of felt I had to.

  • mustang (The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

    “I want to compete. I want to stay in New York. I refuse to quit. Maybe it’s stupidity, I don’t know, but I’m wired to compete and give my best. I have a responsibility to be ready to play as soon as I can.”

    LOVE YOU A-AROD!!!!!