Yankees come from behind again in second straight big win over Orioles

Hughes starting over Huff tomorrow
Thoughts following the back-to-back wins over the Orioles

The Yankees might not qualify for the postseason when it’s all said and done, but these games right now definitely have a playoff feel to them. Nerve-wrackingly awesome. Some ninth inning heroics gave the Yankees their second straight come from behind win over the Orioles on Wednesday night, this one by the score of 5-4.

(Patrick Smith/Getty)
(Patrick Smith/Getty)

That’s Why He’ll Make The Big Bucks
Might as well start from the end. The score was tied at three heading into the ninth inning, and with both David Robertson and Shawn Kelley having already been used, the Yankees were in the danger portion of their bullpen. Robinson Cano, who could be (but unlikely is) playing his final games in pinstripes, made the second tier bullpen dreck a moot point. He got a hold of a hanging Tommy Hunter changeup for a solo homer to center field to leadoff the inning, giving New York a late lead in a hugely important game. Someone is going to pay Robbie a ton of money in a few weeks because he can change a game like this in an instant. Huge homer.

That wasn’t the end of the inning, though. Curtis Granderson whacked a triple off the center field wall — I seriously thought it was a pop-up off the bat, I have no idea how it carried all the way to the wall — before Lyle Overbay plated the insurance run with a two-out infield single (!) off a left-hander (!!!). It was a well-located ground ball into the hole between shortstop and third base, and he barely beat the throw to first. I thought Joe Girardi should have pinch-hit for Mark Reynolds one batter earlier — you need contact with a man on third and less than two in the ninth inning of a one-run game, so someone like Ichiro Suzuki or Eduardo Nunez would have been a better option — but Overbay picked him up following a three-pitch strikeout. That run turned out to be rather important.

(Patrick Smith/Getty)
(Patrick Smith/Getty)

Pitch Count? What Pitch Count?
It looks like the plan to limit Andy Pettitte to 85-90 pitches is a thing of the past with less than three weeks remaining in the season. Girardi let Pettitte throw a season-high 109 pitches in 6.1 effective innings on Wednesday, his seventh straight start (ninth out of the last ten) with three runs or fewer. The Orioles did touch him up for nine hits and one walk — he put the leadoff man on base four times in the seven innings he started — but three well-timed strikeouts and two double plays limited the damage. Vintage Andy, really.

Chip, Chip Away
The Yankees have trailed at some point in each of their previous four wins, and this game made it five straight. The Orioles were up 3-1 when New York started to chip away in the fifth … well, they didn’t exactly chip away, they more or less broke out the sledgehammer and knocked down the whole wall. Granderson hit a solo homer onto Eutaw Street to make it a 3-2 game in the fifth, then one inning later Alex Rodriguez tied it up with a solo homer to right field. They were both bombs.

After recording four stress-free outs for the save on Wednesday, Mariano Rivera allowed a run on back-to-back two-out hits in the ninth. That’s why the insurance run Overbay drove in with his infield single was so big. Rivera has been shaky these last few weeks but the Yankees are going to rely on him this next 2+ weeks. A lot. I expect to see a a few more saves of more than three outs before it’s all said and done.

In his first game back from a shoulder issue, Robertson allowed two singles in a scoreless eighth inning. The first was a legit single, the second was more of a ground ball that scooted under Brendan Ryan‘s glove. More on that in a sec. Robertson escaped the jam and gave the middle of the lineup a chance to do damage in the ninth. Kelley relieved Pettitte and got two outs while facing one batter thanks to a caught stealing. Chris Stewart made a real nice throw and Nate McLouth got a poor jump.

The Yankees scored their first run without the benefit of a hit. Brett Gardner led the game off with a walk, stole second, moved to third on a ground ball, then scored on a ground ball. Three of the team’s six hits were solo homers and two others were Granderson’s triple and Overbay’s infield single. Cano singled to center for the other hit and Gardner drew their only two walks. That’s it, that’s all the offense. It was just enough, thankfully.

Ryan’s debut in pinstripes was mostly nondescript. He did make one real nice play ranging to the the second base side of the bag for an out, but he also whiffed on the ground ball to his right in the eighth. Ryan was there, he just lifted his glove too early. He also went 0-for-4 at the plate and struck out on a pitch that hit him in the back foot. That’s pretty much the Brendan Ryan experience right there.

The win was Girardi’s 557th as Yankees manager, moving him past Billy Martin and into sole possession of sixth place on the franchise’s all-time wins list. Ralph Houk is fifth all-time with 944 wins, so it’ll be a while before Girardi jumps over someone else.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Red Sox beat the Rays again, so the Yankees are now just two games back of Tampa in the loss column for the second wildcard spot. Two! They’re tied with both the Orioles and Indians in the loss column but ahead by percentage points. Cool Standings has New York’s playoff chances at 20.8%. They haven’t been that (relatively) high in a long, long time.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
This four-game series will finally come to an end on Thursday. Phil Hughes, not David Huff, will get the ball. Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen will be on the bump for the Orioles.

Hughes starting over Huff tomorrow
Thoughts following the back-to-back wins over the Orioles
  • Robinson Tilapia

    Sweet game, and great production from a few guys who I hope remain Yankees forever and ever.

    Never say die.

  • Jedua

    A-rod feeds on your hate

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

    I have to say – Boston has some unreal killer instinct right now, and I mean killer in more ways than one. The way they are beating the Yankees and Rays right now is just some of the most demoralizing shit imaginable. The kind of demoralization I would, ironically, only wish on the Red Sox and Red Sox fans.

    I cannot describe this. It’s truly unbelievable.

    (but for tonight, we’ll all take it. Grab tomorrow’s game, hope the Sox win again, and the WC2 spot is even.)

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

      Meh, to be honest I’ve tuned them out. Yes, you’ve kicked regular season ass, well done. Now back it up in the playoffs.

      Our series against Boston this weekend will be a disastrophe. I’m not holding my breath here on that playoff spot, and considering what’s coming up this has a vintage “string ’em along and break their hearts” feel to it. Plus, we’re not exactly playing like worldbeaters and there are better teams than the Rays also creeping into the race.

      I’ve been a pessimist ever since the White Sox sweep, and I don’t have enough of a reason to change my opinion yet. If they actually get in position for the playoff spot, in the loss column, then I’ll admit I’m wrong.

      • Winter

        I think the whole season comes down to the Red Sox series and, if try make it through that, the Rays series. The Sox are by far their toughest opponent left this year, and it is vital that they at least hold their ground this weekend, even if they can’t gain on the Rays. Two out of three against Boston is going to be tough, but if the Yankees can manage that they will have passed through the fire. Pretty much every team in the wildcard race has been scuffling, but you can’t continue to count on that. The Yankees are about I play the hottest team in baseball, and if they can pull through I have to say I like their chances.

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

          I think that’s a fair opinion, though it’s worth noting that even if the Sox win this series, theoretically even if they sweep, the Yankees will still have a shot because of that Rays series. They’d just be forced to sweep.

          Our biggest weakness right now is our bullpen, and that sucks. I never feel confident with a lead anymore – and, sad to say, ESPECIALLY when Mo is on the mound. I pretty much expect him to allow at least one run, so I’m always hoping for the ever important insurance run before that ninth inning. I don’t feel confident with him there anymore.

          In fact, the only relief pitcher I really feel consistently confident in right now is D-Rob. Actually, he’s pretty much the only pitcher on the staff period.

          • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

            Unless TB continues to lose, of course. Even if we get swept, the way TB/Cle/Bal are playing we could very well only lose 1 game.

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

              KC’s gonna sneak into the WC, aren’t they?

              • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

                Can’t discount it! Thanks to the Rays, this race has gotten ridiculous. Even Texas isn’t safe yet, actually.

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

                  Texas and Tampa are on the same skid right now. 3-10 in their last 13 games. This is how the gap from #1 to #6 in the wild card race has become a scant 4.5 games. And, might I point out, the Rangers and Royals play each other this month.

                  • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

                    Thank God we have excitement. If the Rays and Rangers hadn’t collapsed, this would be a boring september.

      • davew

        Yeah, meh. You’re so cool. If the Yankees had this type of turnaround you’d be wetting yourself. Yeah, sure, the regular season ends and then it’s a whole new seasons. Still, no one thought the Red Sox would do what they’ve done. Very, Very impressive. They won’t take your yankee underoos if you admit that.

  • Pat D

    Gotta say that I love ARod sticking it to hecklers like that.

  • DT

    A month a go if you told me the Yanks would be one game back of the WC, Jeter would not be playing and ARod would have .890+ OPS I’d laugh in your face. Wow.

  • Jonathan

    I was in complete agreement with you about pinch hitting for Reynolds. With the deep bench that’s an easy call, especially with Ichiro on the bench. He’s one of the top guys you’d want up in that situation if all you needed was one run. The guy puts the ball in play like crazy and they’d be hard pressed to pull in the infield in with all the loopers and grounders he hits. Nunez also makes a lot of contact so I dunno wtf that was all about. It’s not like you were saving Reynolds for defense in the bottom half of the inning. Still, a win is a win and I’m really enjoying watching ARod/Soriano/Granderson/Cano in the middle of the lineup.

    I was really surprised they put Hafner on the 60 day DL since he’d be a great lefty bat off the bench if he’s healthy. Oh well.

  • vicki


  • Get Phelps Up

    Now all ARod has to do is find out where Dalelama lives.

    • WhittakerWalt

      The curiosly-silent dalelama, you mean.

      • Pat D


        If you say his name one more time, he’ll show up like Beetlejuice.

        • WhittakerWalt

          I just think it’s funny that d******a has nothing to say now that ARod is carrying the team.

  • dkidd

    i’ll miss andy pettitte

    hope we get one more andy-mo win-save combo before it’s over

  • Wheels

    Love that photo of ARod and Jeter.

    • Get Phelps Up

      ARod is probably having more fun playing baseball now than any other time in his life. I’m loving every minute of it.

  • forensic

    It sure is nice of the Rays to be doing their best impression of the 2011 Red Sox collapse.

    • vicki

      wow, you’re not kidding. 4-13 since august 25. that’s a worse percentage than boston’s 7-20 in september 2011.

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

      Also nice of the Rangers to be doing their best impression of the…2012 Rangers collapse.

  • Darren

    We can still win the World Series.

    Isn’t the mantra here on RAB that the playoffs are the ultimate SSS crapshoot?
    Why we can’t we win Game 163, a WC playoff, and a first round ALDS in 5 games?
    Once you’re in the ALCS, anything’s possible.

    This season would be one for the ages if we capped it off with a ring. Why not believe?

    (And while you’re at it, why not keep alive the possibility for a return of the Cap’n at some point during the run?)

    • Robinson Tilapia


      The 2013 New York Yankees can win the World Series. I wouldn’t call it likely, but I’ll be there rooting with you every last second.

      • I’m One

        It ain’t over till it’s over!

    • Pat D

      Not picking on you here, but have you adjusted your prediction for how likely Jeter breaks Rose’s record at this point?

      • Darren

        Well, he’s definitely not getting the 30 hits I had him penciled in for this year. ;)

        • Pat D

          Ha. Fair enough.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    One more night of rooting for the Red Sox, then I get to shave this damn beard.

    • JLC 776

      But you look so gritty!

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I’ve managed to avoid looking grey by being clean shaven. I bet I’d begin to actually look like Mike Lowell if I started growing something like that out.

  • fred robbins

    I really hope ARod gets those last few home runs to get that magic 6 million from the Yankees… It is the best thing that can happen this season and I have a feeling ARod wants it to happen more than anything else. And it sure is pretty darn funny that without Alex the Yankees would be done already

    • OldYanksFan

      7 HRs (or is it 8?) in 16 games?
      A bit much to hope for me thinks.

      • JLC 776

        I believe his playoff HRs will count too, so that makes it much easier ;)


  • JLC 776

    I sure am glad this team didn’t quit at the trade deadline.

  • the Other Steve S.

    Somebody help me out on the Ryan play.

    So he swings and misses and at that point he is out. The fact that the ball hit him is irrelevant.

    Weiters fails to catch strike three and Ryan runs to first and is safe. so why is he called out?

    • PFOJ

      The ball is dead once it hits Ryan. There’s no Dropped Third Strike for him to advance on.

  • PFOJ

    OT, does anyone know when FOX announced the Saturday games? I have tickets for San Fran on the 21st and the time is still showing as TBD.

    • PFOJ


  • Wil Nieves #1 Fan

    I love A-Rod so much.

  • nycsportzfan

    Its amazing were still in the playoff hunt when you take a look at the combined win/loss record of Kuroda/CC/Andy. They are only a combined 3games over 500(despite solid ERA’s from both Andy and Hiroki), and yet a game out is where we sit from the postseason. Pretty amazing.

  • Robert

    Will the Yanks call up Catcher Gary Sanchez as a 3rd catcher once the Trenton Season is over.In lieu of Romine’s concussion we have to have the option to Pinch Hit for Stewart.And there is plenty of Fat on the40 man roster to make room.

    • CS Yankee

      A bad decision…Sanchez doesn’t need to be added to the 40-man…Murph’ just got added.

      That’ll now make 4 catchers on the 40-man already for the off-season (Stew’, Cerv’, Romine & Murph’). They should perhaps bring along that 30-something AAA vet & then cut him come October.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I sincerely doubt it. I may even eat Kabak’s hat if they do.

      • Robert

        They should release Cervelli,I think its time.

  • FLYER7

    No way there are 4 catchers on the winter 40 man roster, three at the most and only a fourth if a FA catcher is signed. Romine, Murphy, free agent and maybe, maybe Stewart…