Sep
22

Spoiled: Yankees fall to Giants as Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte say goodbye

By

A lot of goodbyes were said on Sunday. The Yankees celebrated Mariano Rivera‘s career with a pre-game ceremony that lasted a good 50 minutes, Andy Pettitte made the final start of his career at home in Yankee Stadium, and the Yankees waved goodbye to their already tiny playoff chances with a 2-1 loss to the Giants. What a day.

Goodbye, Andy
First the first five innings, it looked like we were in for a storybook day. Pettitte took a perfect game into the fifth inning and a no-hitter into the sixth inning before things came crashing down. Someone named Ehire Adrianza hit a poorly located 2-2 pitch out to left field for a solo homer that broke up the no-hitter and the shutout in one fell swoop. Adrianza’s first career homer erased the 1-0 lead New York was nursing since the third inning. Ehire Adrianza. Seriously.

Aside from the homer, Pettitte was marvelous in the penultimate start of his career. He held the Giants to a single, a double, and a walk in seven innings plus one batter. He struck out six, got nine ground ball outs compared to six in the air, and recorded all but two of his 21 outs on the infield. After Angel Pagan flew out to left field to start the game, none of the next eleven San Francisco batters hit the ball out of the infield. Andy has been spectacular of late and was at his best on Sunday. He walked off the Yankee Stadium mound to a thunderous ovation and came back out for a curtain call for the final time in his career. What a stud.

(Getty)

(Getty)

Goodbye, Mo
Prior to the game, the Yankees honored Rivera by retiring his number (and re-retiring #42 for Jackie Robinson) and having Metallica play a live rendition of Enter Sandman. They also gave him a bevy of gifts, including a $100k donation to his charity. A few hours later, they handed him a one-run deficit and asked him to keep them in the game. Mo did just that.

Doubles by Pablo Sandoval (off Pettitte) and Tony Abreu (off David Robertson) gave the Giants a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning. They also had a man on second with one out. Joe Girardi brought on Rivera for the five-out appearance, and he pitched out of the jam with a strikeout and a ground out. A single to center and  rare error by Robinson Cano — his shuffle pass to Brendan Ryan on a potential double play ball was in the dirt — put men at first and second with no outs in the ninth, but a pop-up to second (Buster Posey) and a double play (Hunter Pence) ended the threat. Rivera cut right through San Francisco’s two best hitters to escape the jam.

It’s disappointing the Yankees didn’t hand Mo a save opportunity on his special day, but no one will remember that anyway. Seriously, you’ll forget about that in about a month. We’ll all remember the pre-game ceremony though, the pre-game ceremony and the nearly two-decades of dominance. The Yankees aren’t going to the playoffs, so Rivera’s career is ending in exactly one week. No more Enter Sandman, no more cutter, no more understated handshake with the catcher following a job well done. An era is coming to an end, folks. The Yankees will never be the same.

(Getty)

(Getty)

Hate You, Offense
The Bombers scored their only run of the game on a Mark Reynolds solo homer. I thought it was a pop-up off the end of the bat — he might have missed the sweet spot, I didn’t see a replay — but the ball kept carrying and carrying and carrying into the visitor’s bullpen. It was definitely a welcome but unexpected outcome based on my read off the bat. Unfortunately, the Yankees didn’t score after that. They did have their chances though.

Eduardo Nunez led off the seventh inning with a single, and he moved up to second on Ryan’s single one batter later. With Yusmeiro Petit nearing the end of his effectiveness, Girardi lifted Chris Stewart for pinch-hitter Lyle Overbay against the tiring right-hander. Giants manager Bruce Bochy responded by bringing in lefty specialist extraordinaire Javier Lopez, prompting Girardi to pinch-hit for the pinch-hitter. Out went Overbay, in came Vernon Wells. The result really didn’t change though. Wells struck out and Ichiro Suzuki followed with a strikeout of his own. Inning over.

In the eighth, the Yankees put runners at second and third with no outs thanks to an Alex Rodriguez single and a Cano double. Pinch-runner Zoilo Almonte probably would have been able to score from first on the double had the ball not hit the sidewall and deflect out to Pence in right field. Alfonso Soriano followed with a hard-hit grounder to third that Nick Noonan bobbled but recovered quick enough to throw out Almonte at home. The rookie froze on the play and broke for home late. It was obvious he should have stayed at third, but alas. Nunez followed with a single to shallow left and Cano was thrown out at the plate to end the inning. Two runners thrown out at the plate in the eighth inning of a one-run game. Don’t deserve to win if you do that.

(Getty)

(Getty)

Leftovers
Cano (three), Nunez (two), and Ryan (two) all had multiple hits while A-Rod and Reynolds chipped in one apiece. Ichiro and Soriano drew walks. The Yankees struck out eleven time as a team, including two by Ichiro, two by A-Rod, and three by Curtis Granderson. Yusmeiro Petit? Really?

Robertson got a ground ball out before allowing what amounted to the game-winning double by Abreu, but I’m not sure why Girardi bothered to go to him if he was willing to use Rivera for multiple innings. Just seems kinda weird. Mo can get five outs down a run with a man on second but not six outs in a tie game with a man on second? Weird.

Pettitte took the undeserved loss and fell to 10-11 on the season, so if he doesn’t win his final start against the Astros next weekend, Andy will finish with a losing record for the first time in his career. He went 14-14 in 2008, the only time he finished with even a .500 record.

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 are now four games back of the second wildcard spot with six games left to play. Cool Standings gives them a 1.3% chance to make the postseason and the tragic number is down to just three. They’re done with a capital DONE.


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The Yankees are off on Monday and will open the final home series of the season on Tuesday night against the Rays. Maybe the Bombers can play spoiler and make Tampa a little miserable in the final week of the year. It’ll be Hiroki Kuroda and Matt Moore in the first game. Check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch the game live. It’s Mariano Rivera bobblehead day, you know.

Categories : Game Stories
  • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

    Why don’t we just continue discussing Pixar. I can talk about their awesomeness basically forever.

  • ropeadope

    Not DONE (capitals or otherwise). Unlikely? Yes. Done? No.

    • Darren

      Exactly. I know Mike is a huge Yankees fan and it’s tough to see the team so close to elimination, but I simply don’t understand the desire to sign the death certificate when there’s still a pulse, however weak it may be. In our lifetime we saw the dreaded Red Sox do the unthinkable. Why not keep hope alive until it’s totally impossible?

      • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Kramerica Industries

        It’s ok to be realistic. Today was a death knell blow, and even I concede that, and I’ve tried to hold out for a long time.

        I’ve made my peace with it at this point. I’m more than happy to look back at all the good today, all the memories that came rushing back, and just be glad that we got to watch all those fine players, including Andy and Mo, for as long as we did.

        Damn, Thursday’s gonna be tough. So is Saturday.

        • ropeadope

          I don’t possess the required expertise, but seeing your reaction (and dozens of similar reactions) leads me to believe that accepting the finality NOW, is a way of cushioning the blow for when the guillotine actually falls.

      • mustang(The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

        With all respect to Mike but the “death certificate” was being written here almost the whole season.
        I understand being realistic, not liking the winter moves, or not liking the overall direction of the organization.
        However, they did a lot with the hand they got given and they did better than most forecast.
        Like the site, but the vibe here this season was one of team playing around 10 games under .500 rather than 10 games over.
        .

    • Betty Lizard

      Yeah, I hate to see Axisa join the ranks of those poor souls who don’t seem to want to bother with actually playing the games.

      I cried during Mariano’s ceremony–which was beautifully done, as always, by the Yankees.

      But I found myself BAWLING after Andy Pettitte’s last pitch.

      • ropeadope

        Emotional game in many respects. Take a breather tomorrow (while pulling for the Showalters), and back to the salt mines on Tuesday. Eighty-eight wins still possible, and that could be enough.

      • Laz

        It’s one thing to be a pessimist, it’s another to be realistic. If everything goes perfect sure they have a chance, but that would require a collapse by 2 of TB, Cle, and Texas. In addition to KC, Baltimore not making up more ground than the Yankees.

        This is where I saw them at beginning year too, if anything this year isn’t as big a failure as many writers will make it out to be this winter.

  • freakyfast

    Ehire? Isn’t that a job board?

  • Oh My God

    Can’t wait to see DRob closing games next year

  • Nathan

    Goodbye, playoff hopes.

  • dkidd

    they better win andy’s last start

    no losing seasons would be incredible

  • JGYank

    Being realistic here, we have to make up 4 games and pass 3 teams with 6 games left. Coolstandings has us at 1.3%. It’s not happening especially with the way we’re playing. If we win out we’ll only have 88 wins and we probably won’t win out. 88 wins probably won’t get us in anyway since both Cleveland and TB are predicted to win more than 89. It was a nice effort and we were kinda close. The Boston, Toronto, and several other series screwed us. Hard to think that Mo and Andy won’t get to the postseason one last time but that’s the way it is. It’s going to be weird seeing Jeter the only remaining Core Four player left.

    • Nathan

      It’s going to get ugly.

      The team needs to get under the budget threshold which means they’ll depend on youngsters to produce. As we’ve seen and what the vaunted “Big Three” epitomized, the Yankees aren’t very good at developing young talent.

      So…we’re likely going to see more cheap rentals, retreads and such.

      I’d like to stay positive but I’m a realist.

    • ropeadope

      88 wins probably won’t get us in anyway since both Cleveland and TB are predicted to win more than 89.

      You’re not accounting for the fact that 88 Yankee wins guarantees 3 TB losses. They’re currently at 86 wins, and their other 4 games are 1 at home against the O’s (tomorrow), and 3 in Toronto. If they split those 4 games, Yanks and TB both finish 88 – 74.

      • Winter

        It’s not impossible for the Yankees to make the playoffs. Incredibly unlikely, yes, but not impossible. If the Yankees go 6-0, that puts their final record at 88-74. If the Yankees sweep the Rays, they need to go 2-2 against Toronto and Baltimore (as you pointed out). Then they also finish 88-74. If Baltimore doesn’t go 7-0 against the Rays, Jays and Sox, they’re out. If, on top of all that, two of [Rangers going 4-3], [Royals 6-1] and [Indians 2-4] happen, the Yankees would tie for the second wildcard.

        Each of those, on it’s own, isn’t so unlikely. All of them happening together? Extremely unlikely. But stranger things have happened. The Yankees playoff odds sit at exactly 1.0%. That’s better than your odds of drawing a straight or better as a poker hand, and I’m sure that’s happened to most, if not all, of you. Heck, I once drew a four of a kind, and the odds of that are 0.00139%.

        Playoffs: Unlikely? Yes. Impossible? No.

        • ropeadope

          You’re preaching to the choir, Winter. We’re in complete agreement. As I stated in the second reply to the post: Unlikely? Yes. Done? No.

          • Winter

            Yeah, I was building off what you said, not trying to disagree with you.

            • ropeadope

              Cool.

      • JGYank

        Ok I didn’t account for that but there are still other teams we would have to pass and we don’t control our own destiny. Texas and KC are ahead of us along with TB and Cleveland. Too many teams to pass.

        And do you really expect this team to sweep TB and win out? We probably don’t get to 88 and even if we do it’s unlikely we make it.

        • ropeadope

          As I said all the way up top, unlikely but not beyond the realm of possibilities. Since you ask, yes, I expect the Yankees to win out and finish with 88 wins. I expect the Indians, Rangers, and Rays to reach 88 wins as well (Royals fall a game short at 87, and the Orioles two shy with 86) setting up a four way playoff for the two wildcard slots.

          We’ll know soon enough.

  • Captain Turbo

    I’m going to be crazy and hold out hope until the actual moment of elimination. One point three percent? “So you’re telling me there’s a chance!” God bless you, Lloyd Christmas.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Being at the stadium today was an amazing experience, one only partially due to my meeting Jim, our Bored Peckerhead, in person.

    Watching Mariano addressing us all, surrounded by his teammates both young and old, had me thinking so much about that other lasting image if a Yankee addressing the stadium at his retirement. I thought about Lou Gehrig, how different the path to that day was for each player, but how likely it is that generations will watch Mariano’s speech the same way Yankee fans can hear that voice saying “today I consider myself the luckiest man alive.” To be there in person for this moment…wow.

    Suddenly, Zoilo Almonte making a rally-killing base running mistake seems mighty small in comparison.

    I don’t care who won today. Maybe tomorrow I’ll call about the Yanks and whether they’ve only got a week’s worth if baseball to play. Tonight I care about two great Yankees walking off that mound, their mound, for the last time. I’ll care about their contemporaries there to celebrate them, and I’ll care about how lucky I am to have watched those men’s entire careers. You’ll never see players like them again on that field at the same time.

    • bobtaco

      Well said.

    • mustang(The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

      Well said and agree except for one part I care who won today because they did.

      • mustang(The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

        I wanted them to go out on a winning note so badly even if it was just this game.

        • mustang(The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

          But I guess everyone wants more of a good thing.

          :(

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Of course.

        • umbrelladoc

          They did go out on a winning note. They competed, they played well, held their heads high on a beautiful day in the Bronx. Not on a warning track in KC. The old Spartan warrior saying, “With your shield, or on it.”

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

      Whoa dude, calm down a bit. Mo’s speech was very nice. Gehrig’s was one of the greatest of all time. You need to remember the beautiful tragedy of that moment, and the courage it took Gehrig to say those words and the realization, by the fans, not necessarily that he was dying, but that he was retiring at the top of his game because he HAD to, not because he was choosing to. Not even in the way a big injury ends a career – just by the way everybody was acting it’s clear that they realized this was something much more serious.

      Knowing all of this, you realize how inspiring it was for Gehrig to tell us how lucky HE was, when it was really the fans who were lucky to see him play. The perspective that took, the wisdom of that statement, is truly inspiring.

      Mo made a pretty good speech. Gehrig made an immortal speech.

      • mustang(The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

        Wow!

        You guys are on point tonight.

        WELL SAID!!!

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Agreed. I think you need re-read what I said, though, as I did make a point to say that both men took very different roads to that speech.

        I don’t think we should be prematurely putting down Mo’s speech (“putting down” is a bad choice of words, but it’s early and I’m NyQuil-ed out and not 100% brain awake right now). The humility of the entire moment was beautiful. The little things: kissing Sharon Robinson on the forehead, the hugs with his teammates, “let’s go play ball,” thanking God twice, just all what you’d expect Mo to say.

        Funny…..”Enter Sandman” just started on my son’s MP3 player. Must be a sign.

        There was a power behind Gehrig’s speech that will never be equaled, and it is not rivaled in that sense. However, there is something behind Mo’s speech that I think will make it timeless on its own merits.

        At the end of that day, though, I just couldn’t stop putting the image of those men next to each other yesterday.

        • I’m a looser baby so why don’t you kill me?

          Btw where was Brosius? His absence was notable to me. Such a fan favorite on those late 90s teams. And a name custom built for the chant.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            I loved me some Scotty, but I’m not too concerned as to his absence.

          • Darren

            Mo is still pissed at Brosius for freezing on the double play ball in Game 7 in 2001. Actually, that’s one of the few times Mo ever called out a teammate for an on field mistake.

      • Mike B.

        Amen!

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

      Woooooo baseball!

      Great day. Even with the loss. I love the Yankees.

  • Kenny

    The whole thing: http://wapc.mlb.com/play/?c_id.....3_12241644

    Can’t believe I was there for it. Sensational.

  • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

    What I really dislike about the playoff percentages is that they’re near impossible to interpret.

    It’s more than needing the Yanks to win on a given day, you need the exact correct teams to win. Texas needs to beat KC today, but KC needs to beat Texas tomorrow. We need Baltimore to beat TB today but Toronto NEEDS to beat Baltimore tomorrow.

    I think that’s why you’re seeing a lot of acceptance and malaise.

    The 1% chance means not only do you know the records you need all the other teams ahead of you need to get, but there’s actually a specific SEQUENCE in which they need to get those records. It’s over, man. Yes there’s a miniscule chance, but any single deviation from the sequence kills it. Nothing wrong with holding out hope, of course. But it doesn’t make someone less of a fan because they’ve seen enough for too long to know better.

  • nyyank55

    Is it me or was anyone else extremely miffed at the way Girardi handled the 8th inning today? It was a slap to the face and an insult to the fans and in particular, Andy Pettite. During the commercial break between the bottom of the 7th and the top of the 8th I was wondering of a fitting way to give Andy a proper send off since it was obvious that he had reached his pitch limit and it was his last start at home. Why put him in a position to lose the game? Just send him out to the mound I thought, let him go through his warm ups then Girardi could come out, remove him from the game and let Andy have his moment in the sun as he walked off the mound to a cheering crowd (with no chance of losing the game). But no, Girardi had to find a way to mess this up too. Joe Torre must have been scratching his head because I know in my heart that that is the way he would have handled it, with class and dignity. I honestly hope Girardi takes his classless act to Chicago next year. He never was and never will be a YANKEE.

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

      Wow dude, this is so completely ridiculous that I don’t even know how to respond.

      Just…what?

    • BFDeal

      It’s you.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I was there. Andy had his moment. He wasn’t cheated in any way. It was beautiful.

  • http://riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

    Just send him out to the mound I thought, let him go through his warm ups then Girardi could come out, remove him from the game and let Andy have his moment in the sun as he walked off the mound to a cheering crowd (with no chance of losing the game).

    Can’t do that anymore. Rules changed a year or two ago. If a pitcher goes out to the mound and warms up before the inning, he has to face at least one batter.

    • Born in 1991, went into a coma in 2008, recovered in 2010, so 1996 and 2009 don’t exist as far as I’m concerned

      Well, then Girardi should’ve let him throw the 1st pitch of the inning, and then taken him. He should’ve known Sandoval would double on the 2nd pitch Andy threw. What good is his binder if he can’t figure something that simple out.

      So Girardi was the starting catcher when they won the 1st title in 18 years in 1996, and even had the key triple of the 3-run 3rd inning rally that eventually won the last game of the World Series that year, that doesn’t prove he’s a “real Yankee”, and even if he was the manager when they won their first title in 9 years in 2009, that doesn’t prove he’s a “real Yankee” either, even though nobody knows what the hell “real Yankee” even means.

      • Darren

        I know you’re just trolling, but today was not the day to make decisions based on emotion. Girardi was trying to win the game, as he should have done. You can argue whether Mo or DRob should have started the 8th, but clearly Joe thought bringing Andy in was the best best, and I’m glad he gave Andy the shot.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        He should have known? Are you shitting me?

      • Rolling Doughnut

        What are you talking about? Unless you think it said specifically in the binder “Sandoval will double on the 2nd pitch Andy throws him in the eighth.” The Yanks had several opportunities to win, and couldn’t pull it off. It happens. Tough loss, but Mo and Andy still went out with consummate class.

  • fred robbins

    A beautiful day and another perfect example of why at this point in time, it is nothing but an exercise in futility to be a Yankee fan and truly care about the team. They have a gutless manager and a team so full of holes for next year and a front office that seems to be looking through rose colored glasses without anyone but yes men-literally- to just go along with what has become a joke of an organization.
    Robertson? If he is given the chance to close, there could be a record for blown saves, especially if Joe G is still here.

    Why was there a call for curve ball? it seems every pitch that costs the Yankees a game is some floating middle of the plate curve ball that screams- please hit me and end the game—- did you see that pitch that Robertson threw?– It was just like the slow middle of plate curve ball– Jaba three to give up that 3 run homer– and like all the slow curves Logan has thrown to cough up games–
    blame the catcher or bad location- not much difference
    yanks are screwed for years to come

    • Robinson Tilapia

      What a lovely sentiment. Next, you’ll tell us you were around for the late 60’s and that we should all trust your wisdom because of it.

      #oldyeller

    • BFDeal

      So I can just get rid of all my Yankee paraphernalia and become a Braves fan because the great soothsayer fred robbins said so? I

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

      It’d be nice if you and the people leaving before the end of the 9th inning at the game and didn’t come back when the team makes the playoffs again.

  • mick taylor

    please mariano, take rob yanks of runs thompson with you into retirement. he must have caused yanks to lose 5 games this year with his bonehead calls , the difference betweem making and not making playoffs .also, if girardi bolts for cubs, bring back joe torre on a 2 year deal and have dave righetti learn from him so rags can take over in 2016

  • br3wnor

    Man, what an amazing experience to be there in person.

    My Uncle got tickets from his company for 3 rows back right behind home plate, the best seats I’ve had at Yankee stadium (new or old) were in the 300’s sections. From the second you get to the stadium you’re treated like royalty, unlimited, INSANE food, entire full course meals if you want (seafood, steak, sushi, pasta, mexican, etc.). Basically everything is comped except for alcohol and people come up and down the rows every inning to ask if you need any more food brought out once the game starts. It’s almost surreal to be that close to the action and have guys I’ve followed for years walk to the plate just a few feet from me.

    I also realized the reason so many of the Legends seats are empty during games is because a large group of people end up staying in the legends suite bar/restaurant area for most of the game. Seems like a waste to me but it was pretty cool to sit at the bar for one 10 minute period and just have a drink while watching the game on TV knowing I was about to be back in the seat. Was great to see how the other half lives and feel rich for a few hours.

    Pre-game ceremony was incredible, Yankees really know how to send their legends into the sunset. Game was great until the end, all I can ask for. I’ll probably never have seats like that again but what luck to have that experience on such a historic day. (My Uncle asked his boss for the tickets in June (Birthday gift for my grandmother’s 80th) and by chance was given yesterdays game)