Yankees shut down by Tillman as playoff hopes fade away

Game 144: Win It For The Bullpen
2013 Minor League Awards

This eleven-game stretch against the Red Sox and Orioles (and Red Sox again) is the most important stretch of the season, and the Yankees have responded by going 1-4 in the first five games. Somehow that 1-4 record makes them look better than they’ve actually played too. Monday’s loss pushes New York to four back of the second wildcard spot in the loss column with just 18 games to play. It doesn’t get much closer to being done, folks.

(Greg Fiume/Getty)
(Greg Fiume/Getty)

Two Dingers, Nothing Else
I thought it was an excellent decision on Joe Girardi‘s part to stick Alex Rodriguez in the second spot of the lineup with Derek Jeter‘s sore ankle forcing him to the sidelines. Too many top of the lineup at-bats were being wasted on low-OBP guys like Ichiro Suzuki and Vernon Wells. A-Rod went into Monday’s game at .286/.380/.448 (130 wRC+) and left it at .294/.384/.477 (138 wRC+) after going 2-for-4 with a first inning solo homer to the opposite field. I think his at-bats — laying off pitches out of the zone, working the count, etc. — are the best on the team. Perfect choice for the two-hole.

Unfortunately, the Yankees managed nothing off Chris Tillman after A-Rod’s dinger. Well, nothing until Lyle Overbay led off the eighth with a solo homer to right. In between dingers, Tillman retired 20 of 22 batters faced — 14 in a row at one point — and completely befuddled New York with a big-breaking curveball and a fading changeup that made his low-90s fastball look like the low-100s. At least that’s what I assume based on the swings the Yankees were taking against him. The Bombers did close to zilch at the plate on Monday but give credit where it’s due: Tillman was pretty great.

(Greg Fiume/Getty)
(Greg Fiume/Getty)

Quantity But Not Quality
It’s kinda sad that on September 9th, CC Sabathia allowed four runs in 7.1 innings and his ERA went down. Of course only three of those four runs were earned, but still. Sabathia’s crash-and-burn act will be a huge reason why the Yankees miss the postseason, assuming they actually do miss the postseason. I hope they don’t.

The Orioles had seven hits against the New York southpaw, including three leadoff doubles. Two of the three came around the score while the third featured a vintage Sabathia-esque strike out the side performance to escape the jam. He walked two and struck out six, getting six outs on the ground compared to ten in the air. Seventy-one of his 117 pitches were strikes. The Yankees desperately needed length from their starter on Monday and that’s exactly what they got. Unfortunately, like most of Sabathia’s starts this season, the overall performance wasn’t good enough.

Joe Girardi and Buck Showalter got into a Showalter-initiated shouting match after the first inning because the Yankees thought Orioles third base coach Bobby Dickerson was stealing signs and/or location. Maybe he was, I don’t know. Either way, Girardi was chirping at him during the inning before Showalter came out of the dugout. The two had to be separated by their coaches and the umpires. Kinda silly but whatever.

A-Rod, Brett Gardner, and Eduardo Nunez had singles in addition to the two homers and that was it. Five hits total. Zero walks and a dozen strikeouts, tying their fourth highest strikeout total in a nine-inning game this season. The 3-4-5 hitters went a combined 0-for-12 with three strikeouts. The 8-9 hitters went 0-for-6 with five strikeouts. Woof.

Adam Warren was the only pitcher used in relief of Sabathia, and he managed to record two outs while throwing just two strikes out of five total pitches. The rest of the bullpen got a much needed night off.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
For the box score and video highlights, go to MLB.com. FanGraphs has some other stats while ESPN has the update standings. Cool Standings gives the Yankees a 6.6% chance to make the postseason.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
Same two teams on Tuesday night, in the second game of this four-game set. Ivan Nova and Miguel Gonzalez is your pitching matchup. Hopefully the offense shows up.

Game 144: Win It For The Bullpen
2013 Minor League Awards
  • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Kramerica Industries

    You know things are getting bad when the recaps go up so quickly.

    (yes, I saw the blurb on the bottom; don’t destroy my narrative with your pesky facts, Mike.)

  • Conor in China

    It’s not that bad. Tampa’s been playing awful and now they have three against Boston. Baltimore still has a tough schedule. So does Kansas City (and Texas). With so many teams, it’s a long shot, but it’s not hopeless.

    It will look better with Nova on the hill tomorrow.

    • MB923

      I’m more concerned about Cleveland due to their easy schedule the rest of the year

      The only good team they play is a team I don’t think will even come close in the end (KC). Besides 2 series with KC, they play the White Sox twice, the Twins, and the Astros

      And as it stands now of course, they are ahead of the Yankees in the standings. Gotta figure Oakland or Texas grabs the 1st WC spot. And with Tampa up 2.5 games and with Cleveland ahead of the Yankees in the standings, I don’t think we have a good shot. Am I giving up? No of course not, but the Yankees will need a lot of help. Thusfar they’ve gotten help from Tampa Bay’s opponents, and they’ll need that to continue along with Cleveland’s opponents.

      I don’t remember the last time I said this, but gotta root for Boston the next few nights.

  • forensic

    Pretty poor and very disappointing performance by the offense. Very blah game by the team. They looked pretty disinterested, though I know teams often look like that when they don’t hit.

    • dkidd

      not surprising, considering the last 96 hours. girardi doing whatever he can to fire up his exhausted troops

      still feel good about this series (probably irrational)

  • Darren

    Ok, at this point, you have to imagine it would be amazing to make it no matter what, so this loss isn’t the nail in the coffin. We can be 1 back with 10 to play with just some decent ball, so I’m not giving up, not even close.

  • Betty Lizard

    Is it possible to hate losing to the Orioles more than losing to the Red Sox?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Anything is possible, Betty.

      • Betty Lizard

        I think hope lost its feathers out on the trail road with Lewis and Clark Romine and Nunez.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Nothing wrong with a bit of extra hope. No one ever died from hoping too much, except for that one guy who hoped he’d just bounce off the bus.

  • Betty Lizard

    And, is it wrong to wish Girardi had decked that fsck-y Showalter?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      It’s never wrong, Betty.

    • Mscott

      I’ll take Giradi by a knockout in the first…Showalter could hang around for a few rounds by clinching but I don’t think anyone on this year’s Oriole team is capable of clinching anything.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Incredibly boring game. Even more disappointing is Cano’s walk rate and that hat living to fight another year.

    • Darren

      I didn’t think it was that boring, felt more like a quasi pitcher’s duel for a while. It was close the whole time, Overbay’s dinger got us back the one run right away, Grandy came close to his signature At Bat of the year. He’s due pretty soon.

      • forensic

        Why is he due for a ‘signature at bat’? And even if it did go, it wouldn’t even have given them the lead, so I’m not so sure it would’ve been some ‘signature at bat’ at that point, though it’s up to your personal definition of that I guess.

        • Darren

          He’s due for a signature At Bat because he hasn’t had one yet this year, maybe even in his Yankee career. Just because he’s due doesn’t mean it will happen, but he’s due. that’s for sure.

          I agree it wouldn’t have been a big deal unless they won.

          • forensic

            Well, it’s not one AB but he did have that 3 HR game last year. Other than that, you’re probably right that he hasn’t necessarily had his “Giambi walk-off HR in the 14th inning in the rain” kind of moment, at least not that I can think of off-hand (though it’s not like those moments happen all the time).

            But, I’m just not sure this would’ve been even close to that though. He had that 2-run HR in the scoreless game in San Diego and the HR against the Angels that ended up being the difference. I don’t really see a game-tying HR here as being bigger than those.

            To each their own though.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Just read over that lost Joy Division album called “Tonight’s Game Thread.” Someone claimed CC would never win another playoff game in his career. One thousand Internet dollars that guy is wrong.

    Also, Erica was summoned, and none of us were around to ensure she was aware of the summon. Our apologies.

    • dkidd

      icedcoffee, icedcoffee will tear us apart again

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

    I think we’ve officially reached “let’s just worry about giving Mo a kick-ass sendoff” point.

    The Yankees had a ludicrous amount of injuries and are going to end the season with almost the exact number of wins we expected them to have. Nothing to be proud of and nothing to be ashamed of. They had injuries, the injuries affected them, this is the result.

    Looking forward to Mariano Rivera day and then Devils season.

    • Darren

      You’r really gonna quit now? I just don’t get it. Isn’t it more fun to believe, especially when they still have a legit shot?

      • ialien

        legit shot? as in winning 15 of 18 legit shot? K…

        • Darren

          Can you please explain the 15 of 18 reference? Especially by incorporating the events of the past weekend (i.e., dropping 3 of 4 and not losing ground in race for playoffs)?

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

        Legit shot? It’s ‘legit” in the sense that they’re not mathematically eliminated. That’s pretty much it. Their chances are pretty much shot.

        What I think won’t affect them. If I’m wrong and they make it in, great, I was wrong. But I don’t see it, and honestly if I had to guess I’d say they finish three or so games back. Maybe two if they start picking it up a bit.

  • Jorge Brosada

    2013 CC really stinks. Maybe there’s an underlying medical issue or he’ll get his shit together next season, but I’m not keeping my hopes up.

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

      My money is on the “put the 30 (50?) pounds back on” solution.

    • toad

      I quite seriously expect a big comeback from him next year.

      I very much doubt anything irreparable has gone wrong.

  • mustang(The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

    I think even Lewis and Clarke would have lost confidence but now so you it’s bad.

  • fred robbins

    whoever said CC won’t win another post season game is correct– in my opinion as well– unless he gets traded to a team that will be in the playoffs. This Yankee team could be bad for a good long time again and they are sure no fun to watch.

    • Rolling Doughnut

      Yep. Actually,considering the injuries and the down year CC has had, they did better in 2013 than expected. The next few years could be a lot worse.

  • Vern Sneaker

    They’re headed for an 85-87 win season, most likely. Pretty much what most people thought was going to happen at the end of spring training. Not bad considering the additional injuries since then, CC’s sub-par year, and other assorted miseries. Still hoping they get super-hot now for some mysterious reason (it happens!)and we’re playing in October.

  • mick taylor

    i would offer cc and ichiro to the angels for josh hamilton and 20 million. cc is done as an ace. hamilton will rebouund and you will save money on the deal

  • Kosmo

    If Sabathia had a 5+WAR season and Hughes a 2.0+WAR season NY would be in the playoffs. It´s been an interesting(?) season considering all the injuries and patchwork offense. 11-7 to finish up the season would be great.