Yankees can’t finish off sweep, fall 8-4 to Angels

Thursday Night Open Thread
Heyman: Yankees agree to sign Mark Reynolds

Well, sweeping a four-game series is tough to do regardless of opponent, but winning the first three games before dropping the fourth is a tough pill to swallow. The Yankees lost a winnable 8-4 game to the Angels in Thursday’s series finale.


Phil Goes Phive
For the first time in four starts, Phil Hughes actually completed five innings of work on Thursday afternoon. He even tacked on a sixth inning for good measure. Three runs on six hits, a walk, and a hit batsman in six innings represents Phil’s best start since early-July, which is far too long to go between acceptable starts. That’s what this was, acceptable. Not good, not bad. In the middle. Tolerable. Not good enough to feel good about and not bad enough to cost Hughes his job.

The Yankees were in the game until the eighth inning, two innings after Phil had been removed, when the Angels broke things open against an ineffective Boone Logan. I always pay extra attention to what happens after a pitcher stays in the game after issuing an intentional walk, and sure enough Logan followed the free (free) pass to Mark Trumbo with an unintentional walk to the unwalkable (5.4 BB%) Hank Conger and a grand slam to the powerless (.061 ISO) Chris Nelson. I swear, hitters have like a .900 OBP against pitchers who stay in the game immediately after an intentional walk. It seems to throw everything off. Nelson’s slam — his second homer of the game/season — put this one to bed.


Blown Early Chances
After scoring 25 runs in the previous two games combined, the Yankees turned eleven hits and one walk in 6.2 innings against starter C.J. Wilson into just one run. They had two men on-base in the second, the bases loaded in the third, and two on in the fourth, but only got the one run out of it. Vernon Wells made three outs in two plate appearances to help kill the various rallies, including an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.

The good news, despite the lack of runs, is that Alfonso Soriano (4-for-5), Robinson Cano (3-for-5), Alex Rodriguez (2-for-5), and Curtis Granderson (1-for-3 with two walks) continue to perform well in the batters’ box. Brett Gardner tripled to help create the first run, Eduardo Nunez singled twice, and Austin Romine picked up another hit to extend his little hot streak. Four runs on 18 total base-runners kinda sucks, but if they continue getting men on-base like that, the runs will come. Keep up that pace.


The Yankees did make some noise in the ninth inning, scoring three runs thanks to a Cano single and a Wells two-run double. They had the tying run on deck at one point, which is pretty good considering they opened the frame down seven runs. This means The O’Neill Theory is in effect for the next game, right? Too bad we never bothered to keep track of that to see if it holds true.

Shawn Kelley (one inning) and Joba Chamberlain (one-third of an inning) both allowed a run while Adam Warren tossed a scoreless frame. Kelley’s base-runner reached on a bloop double to shallow center when Gardner made a rare bad read and broke back on a ball he should have come in on, then scored on Nelson’s grand slam off Logan. Rough way to get charged with a run, but that’s life.

Isn’t it amazing how, 120 games into the season, the Yankees still don’t have a viable platoon partner for Lyle Overbay? He went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and three feeble at-bats against Wilson, lowering his season line against southpaws to .200/.246/.305. Yuck.

Mike Scioscia used four pitchers to get the final four outs with a seven-run lead. Of course, it went from a seven-run lead to a four-run lead during that time. Perhaps the two issues are related.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
For the box score and video highlights, go to MLB.com. FanGraphs has the other stats and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees are six back of the second wildcard spot in the loss column with four teams still ahead of them. That’s a lot of ground to make up in 42 games. They’ll need a lot of help.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The Yankees are off to Boston for a three-game weekend set against the Red Sox. Left-handers Andy Pettitte and Felix Doubront will start the series off on Friday night.

Thursday Night Open Thread
Heyman: Yankees agree to sign Mark Reynolds
  • Jigga

    What’s the O’Neill theory? I’m a nerd for these sports related theories.

    • Pat D

      I’m probably not exact on this, but it’s something like if a team scores some runs in the last few innings of a game where they’re getting blown out, they’ll have an offensive explosion the next day.

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

        Something to do with carryover.

  • http://www.twitter.com Scully

    At least I can feel good about them running out a MLB caliber 1-9. Will it be enough to get them into the Postseason? Almost certainly not, but It’s only August 15th, and they’re one true hot streak away from leap frogging a couple of teams in front of them.

    Unfortunately this is the best we can hope from from Phil Hughes.

    • george jetshon

      Do not blame Phranchise Phil. It is not his fault that the team cannot score six or more runs like a decent yankees team. Please place blame appopriately on Arod and Wells.

  • Wheels

    Wells killed us today.

    • trr

      yeah… there’s days where he’s horrible

      • I’m not the droids you’re looking for…

        Like Mondays through Sundays.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    The 9th inning comeback made this go down a bit easier, I must say.

    Not much to say about Hughes that a hundred other folks won’t say. Interesting that MLBTR is reporting that he’d be willing to sign as a reliever. I can’t imagine saying that in advance helps his earning potential. Perhaps the wrong day of the week to say this, but a big-stadium team would still take a chance on him as a starter and pay him a higher salary than someone would for him to pitch the 8th or whatnot. Silly thing to say, if you ask me.

    I’ll gladly take 3 of 4 this series. Time to take it to the frontrunners, and take it to them we WILL.

  • CONservative governMENt

    Mark Reynolds – there’s your Overbay platoon partner!

  • Nathan

    Any viable option who can take Phil’s rotation spot?

    • Mike


  • HateMclouth (formerly I’mVernon)

    Very happy taking 3/4. Lets carry the momentum into Fenway.

  • Dick M

    It may have been the intentional walk. Or it might just be that Boone sucks.

  • Kramerica Industries

    Well, Joe Saunders finally started pitching like Joe Saunders again.

    So, yeah, back to 6 and 6.5 back. This is irritating.

  • Kramerica Industries

    Isn’t it amazing how, 120 games into the season, the Yankees still don’t have a viable platoon partner for Lyle Overbay?

    Let me one up you – isn’t it amazing how, 120 games into the season, Lyle Overbay is still on the active roster?

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

    Phil Hughes pitching decently in a loss is pretty much worst case scenario for this game, right?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      25 simultaneous groin pulls.

      • Pat D

        Inadvertent or otherwise?

  • toad

    Well, sweeping a four-game series is tough to do regardless of opponent, but winning the first three games before dropping the fourth is a tough pill to swallow.

    Please get over this.

    The first three games don’t matter. Whether you’ve won tehm or lost them or split them has no effect on the fourth game.

    What happened in the first three games has zero, zip, nada, etc. effetc on ypur chances in the fourth game.

    Please understand this.

    • vicki

      that’s not true. it’s not a matter of coin-toss probability.

      (one factor that comes to mind is a disparity in bullpen availability.)

      • toad

        If it’s not a matter of coin-toss probability, and I think it is, I’d say the odds lean toward the team that has lost three rather than the winner.

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

      He never said anything about your “chances” in the fourth game. He said he found it tough to swallow losing the fourth game in a series after winning the first three. Not the same thing.

      • toad

        No tougher to swallow than losing the first game of a three-game series, or any other game.

  • Crime Dog

    31-11 is the goal for this team the rest of the way I’d imagine. That’s basically 3 out of every 4, which is very difficult. Id imagine for them to make the playoffs, or approach 90 wins they’d need to reel off like 12 of 14 at one point (or two points) the rest of the way. Hey, it’s possible.

  • forensic

    Who stole Girardi’s binder and erased the ‘L’ next to Logan’s name???

  • JGYank

    Going to the game today wasn’t great. Really frustrating especially after all the hits we had and a rare quality start from Hughes. Girardi simply let Logan face too many righties and should of pulled him a batter or two earlier. Wells should of been replaced by Ichiro after Wilson came out or should of started in the first place since Ichiro has hit lefties and is way better defensively which Wells proved in the first. Don’t know why Wells is still batting 5th even against a lefty. At the game I also felt like our outfielders particularly Wells and maybe Gardner were playing too deep.

  • dkidd

    adding insult to injury: on espn’s “top performers” sidebar, chris nelson is pictured in a yankee hat


  • Lukaszek

    This was a moral victory because at least we didn’t go down without a fight. Our offense was there, but the usual suspects (Wellerbay) killed us

  • Kosmo

    Wells cannot hit anything above the letters. Pitchers get him out time and time again with pitches above the letters middle away. Virtually every AB is a carbin copy of the last AB. His 9th inning AB was a very hittable belt high pitch. IF IF he´d only lay off those high pitches.

    Ichiro pinch hitting for Romine in the 9th inning ? Ichiro swung at 2 pitches that would have resulted in ball 4. Romine needs ABs.

    • SDB

      Think Ichiro’s chasing his hit milestone?