Salvaged: Yankees avoid sweep with extra innings win over Rays


Source: FanGraphs

A loss on Sunday would not have eliminated the Yankees from postseason contention, it only felt like it would have. Dropping three straight to a division rival who also happens to be one of the teams you’re chasing at this point of the year is pretty close to a disaster. The Yankees walked the tightrope in the series finale against the Rays before eking out the extra innings win. The final score was 3-2 in eleven.

I’m still out of town and didn’t see a single pitch of the game — it’s rather liberating, I recommend taking a weekend away from baseball every so often — but this looks like a classic “shaky but made a pitch when he had to” start for Ivan Nova. He walked six (one intentional) and has now put 46 (!) men on base in his last four starts and 27 innings. That’s way too many. Alfonso Soriano created the winning run with a double to left before stealing third, a ballsy move that helped win the game. Curtis Granderson, who was quietly been awesome since coming off the DL, plated the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly.

Two questions: One, why didn’t Alex Rodriguez pinch-hit for Lyle Overbay against the lefty pitcher with two outs and two on in a one-run game in the sixth? Winning has to take priority over getting A-Rod a full day of rest at this point. Besides, he’ll have plenty of time to rest when he gets suspended after the season. Two, using Shawn Kelley for one batter was really foolish. Ideally David Robertson would have finished off the seventh before pitching the eighth, allowing Kelley throw a full inning (or more) later in the game. Oh well, Robertson did go two innings though. Still some weird managerial decisions there. has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has the other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Orioles pounded the Athletics, so the Yankees are four games back of the second wildcard spot in the loss column. Cool Standings has their postseason odds at 10.9%. The Bombers open a three-game series against the Blue Jays in Toronto on Monday, when Phil Hughes gets the ball against reigning NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey.

* * *

Roster Update: Preston Claiborne will be sent down to clear a roster spot for Derek Jeter on Monday, which is preposterous. If the Yankees are trying to win, they have no business keeping Joba Chamberlain over Claiborne or anyone else in that bullpen. I assume Claiborne will go to High-A Tampa since their season ends on September 1st, allowing the team to circumvent the ten-day rule and bring him back on the 2nd. Hopefully the Yankees come to their senses and decide to keep him over Joba at some point in the next 24 hours.

* * *

Minor League Update: All of the box scores are available right here. 1B Greg Bird drew a walk — he’s two away from a hundred with seven games to play — and RHP Jose Campos threw two scoreless innings of relief. Not much else happened. Triple-A Scranton was officially eliminated from postseason contention with their loss.


  1. Robert says:

    Good luck in Trenton Charlie Short,Saw him in May Charleston Vs Lakewood.

  2. Steinbrenner's Ghost says:

    With A’s losing, Yanks only 4 games back!

  3. Eddard says:

    I thought Nova pitched like the $20 million ace we never had today. He knew he wasn’t going to get a lot of run support in a pitcher’s duel but he still kept it tied and gave his team a chance to go ahead.

    I agree with every point you made, Mike. A-Rod shouldn’t be resting with a month to play. There was a lefty on the mound so Alex should have PH. Even if they walk him you’ve got Reynolds on deck. The reason you got Reynolds is because Overbay can’t hit lefties.

    Girardi has always burned through pitchers so he can play his match ups and put guys in their inning. Kelley can’t pitch the 8th because he’s the 7th inning guy.

  4. Eddard says:

    And I also agree 100% about Preston. Girardi brings in Jobber for a batter, he lets the batter get on base and then Joe immediately pulls him for a better reliever. Why even bother bringing him in then? And by sending down Preston you’re basically saying the games last week and this week don’t matter that much. They are crucial and the best pitchers should be up here.

  5. Captain Turbo says:

    If they can’t make the right roster moves, they don’t have a chance to make the playoffs. DFA Joba or whatever it takes and get Claiborne in the bullpen.

  6. Matt DiBari says:

    This Joba thing is bizarre and infuriating.

  7. 28 this year says:

    I dont really think Cashman should be let go of but this is the type of situation where new management is beneficial. With Hughes and Chamberlain representing a huge era in Cashman’s leadership, he simply doesn’t have the balls to let them go and admit the mistakes. Companies fire CEOs and stuff because leaders have a harder time letting go of their pet projects than the new guy. Cashman just can’t let go of them and its hurting the team. The Hughes thing is less of a concern now because the depth has vanished but Chamberlain is a prime example where we have better options in house that are proven enough but he can’t let go.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      “Companies fire CEOs and stuff because leaders have a harder time letting go of their pet projects than the new guy.”

      Such as?

      A Board of Directors would fire a CEO over holding on to one employee or project for very long? Perhaps if the project was hemorrhaging money for the company. Is that really what Joba is doing? That seems excessive.

      I’m all for keeping Claiborne up as well, but all this “doesn’t have the balls” stuff is a bunch of nonsense. This team consistently has shown they will keep the player with no options over the player who can continue to ride the shuttle, even if the player staying up isn’t the clear better player.

      • 28 this year says:

        Fair enough but I think at a certain point, especially when each game is crucial, you can’t give up a guy that Girardi clearly trusts at a 7th-8th inning guy in Claiborne in order to keep a guy that if one runner gets on, you lift him. The Yankees need every reliever because they need to treat each game as a playoff game. Having someone you trust in Claiborne is helpful in just shouldering some of the load off of Kelley adn Robertson and having one other guy you could go to. Joba isn’t that guy and thats the guy we need. We have Huff and Warren for mop up duty, Joba is redundant and useless. Claiborne isn’t.

      • 28 this year says:

        and this is more obvious when Joba isn’t exactly a long term piece or even really in the consideration as a long term piece.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          I agree. I just think this is what this franchise does. I feel like it’s really only in moments of desperation/need for a shakeup where they’ll buck the trend of not letting a player go. Hell, how long was Ben Francisco on this team?

          I don’t think six days is a massive deal, not when Shawn Kelley’s been pitching well and can handle the 7th just fine. I like Claiborne a ton and do want him around as much as possible.

          Clearly the team thinks that having Joba around in some capacity may help them in some capacity before the year is through, and that letting him go isn’t a step they care to take until they have to.

          • RetroRob says:

            I don’t think this is a case of the team making the choice of Joba or Clairborne. I think this is a case of the team making the choice of losing Joba for the next five weeks or losing Clairborne for one week.

            This move says to me that down the stretch they want both arms in the pen, and the way to do that is to sacrifice no Calirborne for this week.

            • Robinson Tilapia says:


            • Captain Turbo says:

              They don’t need Joba in the pen. The re-animated corpse of Old Hoss Radbourn would be a better choice.

              • RetroRob says:

                You mean Keith Law?

                • Pat D says:

                  You think he’s the guy behind Old Hoss?

                  I actually hope we never find out. I’d rather it remain a Deep Throat-like mystery.

                  • RetroRob says:

                    I don’t, although he certainly would be a logical candidate.

                    I mentioned it since there was a bit of a funny exchange on Twitter over the weekend where Law tweeted something like: “Having dinner with Old Hoss Radbourn. nbd.” More than a few people, including sports reporters, chimed in with a variation of “it’s sad that you have to eat alone.” About an hour later, Old Hoss tweeted something like, “another sad meal by myself on the road.”

                    Those who didn’t see Klaw’s tweet earlier had no idea what Old Hoss’ tweet was referencing.

                    That all said, would I be shocked if Old Hoss and Klaw were one in the same? No, but I’d be surprised. I don’t think they are, and like you I’d rather not know.

  8. Get Phelps Up says:

    Your full DoTF report right here…

    AAA Scranton/WB: 5-6 Loss to Pawtucket

    David Adams 2B: 1-4, R, BB
    Adonis Garcia CF: 2-5, 2B, R
    Dan Johnson 1B: 3-4, 2B, BB, R, RBI
    Ronnie Mustelier LF and Neil Medchill RF: 2-4, 2B, BB
    Bobby Wilson C: 2-4, HR, 3RBI, BB, R

    Chase Whitley: 4 IP, 3 H/R/BB, 2K
    Matt Daley: 2 IP, H, R, 3K

    AA Trenton: 3-2 10 inning win over Portland

    Ramon Flores LF: 1-4, RBI, BB
    Jose Pirela 2B: 1-3, 2B, R, BB
    Gary Sanchez C: 1-4, RBI, 2K
    Kyle Roller 1B: 1-4, RBI, K
    Reegie Corona 3B: 3-4, R, RBI

    Mikey O’Brien: 6.2 IP, 9H, R, 9K
    Pat Venditte: 1.1 IP, H, 2H
    Charley Short: 1 IP, BB, K

    Hi A Tampa: 2-11 loss to Daytona

    Mikeson Oliberto LF: 1-2, 2B, BB, 2R, K
    Rob Refsnyder 2B: 1-2, 2RBI, BB
    Saxon Butler 1B and Dan Fiorito 3B: 2-4, K
    Ali Castillo SS: 1-4, K

    Cesar Vargas: 2.1 IP, 7H, 8R, 4BB, 2K
    Ben Paullus: 2.1 IP, 4H, 3R, BB, 2K
    Edixson Mejia: 2.1 IP, H
    Taylor Garrison: 2 IP, zeros, 2K

    Lo A Charleson: 8-5 win over Asheville

    Jake Cave CF: 2-5, 2B, RBI, K
    Greg Bird DH: 2-4, 2B, BB, RBI, 2R
    Ericson Leonora RF: 1-4, 2B, K
    Jackson Valera C: 3-4, HR, 3RBI, R
    Fu Lin Kuo 2B: 0-3, R, BB
    Daniel Aldrich LF: 2-4, 2B, HR, 2RBI, R, K

    Luis Niebla: 4 IP, 8H, 3R, 3BB, 2K
    Jose Campos: 2 IP, H, 3K
    James Pazos: 2 IP, 2H

    SI Yanks: 3-7 loss to Tri City

    Yeicok Calderon RF: 1-3, 2B, R, BB
    Michael O’Neill CF: 2-4, R
    Bubba Jones 1B: 2-4, 2B, HR, 3RBI, R, K
    Trent Garrison C: 0-2, HBP
    Hector Crespo 2B: 1-3, K

    David Palladino: 4 IP, 6H, 4R, 2BB, 3K
    Charles Haslup: 4 IP, 7H, 3/2 R/ER, 2K

    Both GCL teams had the day off

  9. Robinson Tilapia says:


    There are better things than treading water, for sure. There are worse things that treading water. Losing two of three, but coming out of the series in the same place you were where you started is the best you could hope for considering the dismal performance those first two games. Striking distance, and it’s not September yet.

    Fabulous job by Soriano in the 11th, taking it upon himself to make something happen there. What we’ve gotten from him thus far has exceeded every expectation I had for him.

    Most important win of the year thus far? Sure felt like it. Whether that’s true or not, who knows.

  10. Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

    That was such a ballsy steal by Soriano. He is DAMN lucky he was safe, because if he wasn’t not only would he have earned the collective hatred of the fandom but he also probably would have gone a long way himself to crushing their playoff hopes.

    I give the man credit, dude has been a difference maker.

    • Eddard says:

      If the Yankees do end up making the playoffs Hal Steinbrenner should be named Executive of the Year for pulling off the Soriano deal.

  11. dkidd says:

    would have been great to win the series, but still 11-4 in the last 15

    start a new streak in toronto, hope the captain is back to stay, and see what happens

    nothing is written!

  12. Kramerica Industries says:

    Still fairly annoyed that, when the Yankees went to LA for a two-gamer, they ran into both Greinke and Kershaw, but when the Sox went out there for a three-gamer, they avoided both.

    Has there been a more blessed team in baseball this year than the Red Sox?

  13. Pat D says:

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to send down Warren since he has options (unlike Joba or Huff) and they shouldn’t need two long guys over the next week, especially considering they’re off on Thursday? I mean, that’s just the way I see it.

  14. Nathan says:

    Taking a few games off helps as well, especially this season. I’ll still check the gamecast but watching every game is draining.

  15. Steinbrenner's Ghost says:

    Preston Claiborne will be sent down to clear a roster spot for Derek Jeter on Monday, which is preposterous. If the Yankees are trying to win, they have no business keeping Joba Chamberlain over Claiborne or anyone else in that bullpen.

    Can they send Joba down – isn’t he out of options?

    • forensic says:

      He’s not talking about sending Joba down, he’s talking about just DFA’ing him.

      • 461deep says:

        Go Alphonso. Hope Jeter is ready as Nunez is doing okay lately. That turf will be tough on Derek’s range but help his grounders slip through. Red Sox big win tonight in LA.
        Kershaw, Grienke or not the Dodgers were winning anyway but their hot hitting cooled some. Nova spun those DP balls every time he needed one. Loney with bases loaded in 1st a game saver. Mo kept Longo in park by a few feet. Concern, Jays in 1 game win streak. Yanks not lighting-up board so must do like last week and keep Jays better hitters quiet. Have to catch O’s to have a chance.

  16. vicki says:

    yours is the most vital of all the yankee blogs, but do you really want people to think it’s “liberating” to duck out on a HUGE weekend during the most exciting august in maybe fifteen years of yankee history?

    honestly, i feel insulted.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      After we all chipped in for the straps on his recliner as well:

    • RetroRob says:

      I’m with you. Let’s storm the RAB Gates!

    • forensic says:

      I’m not totally positive, but I think this is serious and not sarcastic.

      And if so, I totally agree. I didn’t know how to comment on it, but you took the lead nicely. It’s basically become the AAB (Axisa Avenue Blues) blog recently, and Mike’s done a terrific job trying to keep up with everything and have fresh posts periodically and staying on target.

      But, I guess that’s the real issue. Mike’s almost spoiled the other ‘staff’ here. Obviously real life happens, and Ben and Joe have given their heart and soul to this blog (in the past), but are you really going to tell me that none of the other eight (8!) people in the sidebar, outside of Mike, could’ve authored a single post all weekend to accomplish any number of goals including just giving Mike one (1!) day free of having to write about the Yankees. Did none of those 8 people watch the game more than Mike (who apparently didn’t watch any the last couple of days) and have 10 minutes to just throw up a random post to satisfy us pitiful commenters?

      I’ve given Mike my share of sarcasm, typo corrections, and various other stuff, but he gives a TON of his life and effort to this blog almost daily, which is extremely laudable and impressive.

      • Kramerica Industries says:

        I agree with much of this. In addition, it actually CAN be a liberating experience to get away from baseball for a day or two. The daily grind wears on us. I enjoy when I see a Yankees off-day that has zero compelling games elsewhere in the league; gets the night off, MLB Network gets the night off, I only click a few times to check scores, because I can do a myriad of other things instead of baseball for a change.

        We all love baseball, that’s pretty much obvious, but off-days (or brief get-aways) are not only fun, but they are also good for our health.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          We all love baseball, but it’s baseball. The day the Yankee schedule dictates anything I do is the day my priorities have become ass-backwards.

          B-b-b-ut R-Tils, you’re commenting all the time?!?! That’s called “procrastination at work,” folks.

      • Eddard says:

        The only one of those 8 people on the sidebar who actually post anymore is Matt Warden. Everyone else has abandoned the site. Notice how there aren’t any podcasts anymore with Mike and Joe. Mike is like Robbie Cano with Vernon Wells and Travis Hafner hitting behind him.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        The other two founders obviously have other life pursuits. Ben himself has a highly interesting blog that may even require more footwork than 1/3 of RAB would. As for the others, yes, I’d love to have them around, but being a part-time contributor to a website can easily take a backseat when other life pressures come calling. I should know – I’ve abandoned a whole lot of responsibility with the MUCH smaller music tech website I co-run since becoming a dad.

        Still, though, there is obviously professional and personal benefit for Mike to keep RAB going, so he has, and I am certainly grateful he’s done so, as I know you and others are. I don’t see eye-to-eye with him on the franchise much of the time, and will give him shit when I think it’s called for, but he’s doing the fanbase a great service by continuing to run a site that’s equal parts stat and informed opinion driven. It’s still the best, no matter if he falls into hyperbole more often than he used to.

        There used to be guest columns from commenters here all the time. Who can forget TSJC’s “Mike Mussina’s five greatest starts on rainy Sundays on odd-numbered years?” There are intelligent contributors here who can chip in every now and then. It’s a bit intidimating for me, as I don’t consider myself knowledgable enough a fan to write anything that could be considered a column but, hey, I’d be good for a fluff piece every few months trolls would immediately crap on. :)

        • Pat D says:

          *rolls eyes*

          Once again with all your fake claims of “becoming a dad.” Stop lying about your non-existent personal life, you smug fish-fingered idiot.

          /typical troll’d

          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            We should try that experiment one day where I post an actual picture of my family and watch people not believe that’s actually us.

            On second thought, no, we’re never EVER doing that.

    • Rolling Doughnut says:

      Who says he “ducked out”? Sounds rather presumptive to me. Maybe he had a previous commitment. In any case, Monday’s here and the blog has endured his absence, it would appear.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

      I’m not sure I consider this the most exciting August in 15 years.

      And I’m also not sure that you’re correct in assuming it’s a bad thing to take a weekend off. But whatever, you’re privy to your opinions. He should have had a backup author to pick up the slack, but to insult his fandom is just flat out stupid. Taking a break, at any point in a season, can be liberating, refreshing, and can let you get back into the swing of things with a better attitude.

  17. JLC 776 says:

    We’ll have to figure out how to win in Tampa again someday.

    Part of me thinks the price of cock-blocking the Red Sox in 2011 on the final day of the regular season was the inability to ever win in Bronx-South. Ugh…

  18. FLYER7 says:

    Okay to keep Joba and Claiborne, just send Adam Warren down. Is the need for a long man out of the pen that great?

    Btw, at what point does Romine start playing 3 of 5 games or 2 of 3 and I dont mean late game appearances like Sunday but STARTS…

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