Cano returns to the Bronx, helps Mariners to 6-3 win

DotF: Banuelos moves up to Double-A, Judge homers in Charleston win
Update: Michael Pineda has Grade I back strain

I guess the good news is that the Yankees didn’t get blown out by the Mariners on Tuesday night. The so-called Bronx Bombers had this “win or get blown out” thing going for a little while. Robinson Cano‘s new team won the series opener 6-3.


More Offensive Struggles
Did you realize the Yankees came into this game having scored more than four runs just twice in 13 home games? It’s true. They haven’t scored more than four runs at home since the second-to-last game of the Red Sox series, Brian McCann‘s two-homer game. That was eight home games ago. They also scored only eight runs total in the three games against the Angels this past weekend. Easy to forget they were knocking the cover off the ball up in Boston not that long ago. Baseball, man.

The Yankees actually jumped out to a two-run lead early on against the Mariners, getting a Mark Teixeira solo homer in the second and a gift run on a throwing error in the second. Brett Gardner attempted to steal second against the Chris Young-Mike Zunino battery and he did, though Zunino threw the ball into center and Brian Roberts trotted home from third. That play was on the shortstop, Willie Bloomquist. Bad throw but one he has to knock down and keep on the infield.

It was tough to get something going against Young and his 85 mph nothing ball, but the Yankees did push a run across and bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth. Fernando Rodney then struck out both Derek Jeter and Carlos Beltran, so that was that. Teases. The bottom four hitters in the lineup went a combined 5-for-13 (.385) with three walks, so they were doing some damage, but the top five hitters went 3-for-21 (.143) all together. Those are the guys who need to produce and right now some of them simply aren’t. The Yankees will continue to have trouble scoring runs until those guys get going.

You start hitting better and you start pitching better. (Elsa/Getty)
You start hitting better and you start pitching better. (Elsa/Getty)

CC Sa-bad-thia
The first four innings of this game were vintage Andy Pettitte. CC Sabathia wiggled around some trouble with an array of well-placed offspeed pitches and some solid defense behind him. Things came undone in the fifth inning — there’s that one bad inning again — when the Mariners put together a four-run rally thanks in part to a pair of infield singles. The first was overturned on replay and Roberts failed to cover first on a sac bunt attempt for the second. Just like that, Seattle was in business.

Sabathia struck out Stefen Romero for the first out and got Cano to ground out to first for the second out, so it looked like he was about to escape the jam, but then he caught too much of the plate with a two-strike fastball to Corey Hart. Hart doubled into the right-center field gap to score two runs and turn a one-run Yankees lead into a one-run Mariners lead. Justin Smoak poked a single to right one batter later to score Hart. Add it all up and you get four runs. Sabathia’s final line was those four runs on nine hits in five innings plus two batters. He struck out six. CC’s last two starts were really good. This one? Not so much.


Dellin Betances and Preston Claiborne combined to allow two insurance runs in the seventh inning. Betances put ’em on and Claiborne let ’em come home. Betances struck out four and did escape a first-and-third, no outs situation, but he needed 40 pitches to get five outs. Chris Leroux made his Yankees debut in garbage time, allowing two bloop singles in a scoreless inning. He’ll be the guy you forget on the Sporcle roster quiz at the end of the season. The four pitchers combined for 12 strikeouts and no walks.

Teixeira’s homer was his second in as many games. It was also his 81st homerun at the new Yankee Stadium, which is the ballpark record. He broke a tie with Cano with his solo homer in Sunday’s game. Here’s the full list, if you’re interested. Yangervis Solarte and Roberts both doubled for the team’s only other extra-base hits of the night.

And finally, Cano went 1-for-5 with an infield single, a stolen base, and two strikeouts in his return to the Bronx. He was indeed booed in his first at-bat, rather loudly by all 37 people in attendance. There was also a “you sold out!” chant. All that was missing was Randy Levine holding up TRADER sign in the owner’s box.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some additional stats, and ESPN the updated standings.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
Same two teams tomorrow night, assuming the weather holds up. The forecast is looking pretty grim right now and in fact the Mariners have reportedly been told to check in to see if the game is postponed before coming to the ballpark on Wednesday. If they do play, it’ll be David Phelps against rookie lefty Roenis Elias. RAB Tickets can get you in the door if you want to catch the game live.

DotF: Banuelos moves up to Double-A, Judge homers in Charleston win
Update: Michael Pineda has Grade I back strain
  • Yangeddard Solarte

    We’re in big trouble. It now falls on BGDP’s shoulders to win tomorrow if they want a puncher’s chance to win the series against King Felix on Thursday. It was thought that BGDP would be pitching for the 5th starter’s job but now it appears he is pitching for the 3rd starter’s job. Pineda will be DL’d and CC is putting up Phil Hughes numbers. Tanaka is the only pitcher anyone has confidence in right now.

  • Yangeddard Solarte

    And I get the booing but what was with the “You’re a sellout” chants? These people do realize that the Yankees are a team full of sellouts don’t they? If he leaves your club for more money he’s a sellout if he comes to your club for more money he made a great business decision. I guess that’s the way some people think but I thought it was stupid.

    • Kiko Jones

      It’s different when you’re a homegrown Yankee and best player on the team and badmouth the organization on the way out. Cano wasn’t a journeyman who played here for 3 seasons in the middle of his career.

      • Rancid

        No it’s not. It’s still fucking stupid.

        • Kiko Jones

          Yes, it is. It’s so different that it’s never happened before. That’s how different it is. I don’t boo ANYONE but I’m gonna give a pass to the folks who gave Canó grief Tuesday night. Especially since he thought he was getting a standing ovation. Shows how well he can read a situation.

          • The Big City of Dreams

            That’s how different it is. I don’t boo ANYONE but I’m gonna give a pass to the folks who gave Canó grief Tuesday night.

            Why these are the same clowns that would cheer if he decided to come back. No pass should be given. If they want to be jerks then that’s cool but they are hypocrites no two ways about it.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              I thought “you sold out” was a bit silly, but whatever. At 26 million a year, I’m not going to worry much about his ability to handle that from a couple of thousand fans. It’s a non-issue.

              • The Big City of Dreams

                Yea It’s a non-issue for him.

                It makes Yankee fans look kinda dumb though when they’re banging the drum to bring in players at high prices.

                • Jorge Steinbrenner

                  Perhaps. Fandom is hypocritical in nature, though. As long as you own your hypocracy…..

                  • The Big City of Dreams

                    Nothing wrong with that.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      Yea it was stupid but it’s the Yankee fan base a number of fans are hypocrites.

    • nyguy

      Agreed. The ‘You’re a sellout’ chants were pretty hypocritical. Cano left for the money. Period. No argument. In his shoes I would probably have done the same thing. He was a great contributor to the Yankees for 9 seasons and I appreciated his time here. Where he lost me is a recent interview in which when commenting on the Yankee’s efforts to resign him (or lack thereof in his opinion)he said ‘It was about respect’- meaning the Yankees did not show him any. Seriously? If an offer of $175 mil over 7 years is not respect then what is? I guess the Yankees unwillingness to commit to 10 years is his point of reference but whatever. Given that unwavering demand, in my opinion the Yankees made the right decision.

    • jgibs

      Agreed. The “sell-out” chants were stupid. However, i think fans (myself included) are more upset with Cano for saying he felt the Yankees offer was “disrespectful”, than they are with him with actually leaving for more money. It is BEYOND impossible for any fan, or anyone who is not a major league baseball player to see a sum of $175 mil as disrespectful, but salaries I guess are how some/all players value themselves so the difference between 175 and 240 mil is a lot of value to Cano. I think if Cano had taken the money and kept his mouth shut there would be(slightly) less animosity towards him from NY fans

  • forensic

    What a horrible game. McCann sure has been underwhelming offensively. It sure would be nice if he’d start picking it up at some point. Even Beltran has been a little bit of a disappointment too. He had that nice nine game stretch, but other than that hasn’t really done much. Also, obviously, a very poor job by CC.

    I disagree with what seems to be the consensus regarding the bunt play. With where they positioned Roberts (deep and almost behind 2nd base) there’s no way he’s gonna out-run Almonte to 1st base. If anyone is to blame on that one, it’s Tex who should recognize earlier that the bunt isn’t gonna end up anywhere close to him and he should’ve tried to get back to the base instead. Really, though, I think I mostly side with it just being an unusual choice by Almonte that just caught them totally off-guard and gave them almost no chance to get him.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Not my favorite game this season. That’s for sure.

    Rather AJ-like performance by CC. He is still too good a pitcher to be falling victim to “one bad inning” syndrome. Offense couldn’t out it together, and the insurance runs given up by the otherwise-filthy-looking Betances and not-filthy-looking Chris Leroux didn’t help matters. Great job nullifying Robbie in his comeback, but I’d rather have won the game.

    Pineda’s absence is concerning, as it now puts two swingmen types in the rotation. We may be seeing the team hit the trade market sooner than we thought.

  • Matt DiBari

    The collective inability to hit Chris Young was far more annoying than anything any individual did, even Sabathia or Roberts

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Not the first time Young has stymied the Yanks either.

  • Giancarlo Murphy

    I’m sorry–for a moment I thought you wrote that Brett Gardner attempted to steal second base.

    • forensic

      Yeah, he’s only t-6th most steals in the league with a 100% success rate. What a bum…

  • forensic

    It’d also be nice if they stopped partying like it’s 2013 with RISP (actually, they’re even worse than last year). Third worst OPS with RISP in the league so far, only ahead of the offensive juggernauts in Kansas City and Houston.

    • Kiko Jones

      This has got to be an organizational thing. Dreadful w/ RISP every season, regardless of having different players and lineups… something does not add up.

  • nycsportzfan

    Kinda harsh not mentioning that jam Betances got outta Mike. Betances was really really good. That jam was 1st and 3rd with nobody out in 4-2 game, if I remember correctly. Beast!

    • forensic

      You criticize Mike for not mentioning his first inning, then you proceed to completely fail to mention his second inning where he helped allow two big insurance runs to score?

      • Looser trader droids FotD™

        No. Mike mentioned that so he didn’t have to.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      A four-run difference is a different thing from a two-run difference. He had his moments. He also contributed to helping get the game slightly more out of reach. He shouldn’t get hugs and kisses for last night.

  • Michael Cutler

    Sabathia is a number 4 starter

  • Steinbrenner’s Ghost

    Mariners are 4-10 over the last 2 weeks. They have the 2nd worse offense in the AL, only the Lastros are worse.

    And the Yanks yield 15 hits.

    What a disgrace.

    • MB923

      That’s baseball.

  • BigBlueAL

    I dunno how the hell the Yankees are 15-11 right now. -11 run differential, 9th in the AL in runs scored, 9th in team ERA.

    Im not sure if we should feel lucky and be worried that they will start losing games soon very similar to last season or we should feel encouraged they have such a good record and once the offense starts heating up they will be fine. The injuries to the rotation though are definitely a concern regardless.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      How are they losing games similar to last season? I’ve been watching this sort of loss my entire life. This isn’t a 2013 thing.

      “Team looks great, starter has bad inning, offense then falls asleep while behind” is a blueprint every team has to deal with sometimes. It’s awful to watch, but it wasn’t invented by Lyle Overbay and Vernon Wells.

    • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod

      Yay, run differential arguments after one month of the season. Here’s an idea: let’s just replace the real win-loss record in the standings with the teams’ Pythag. records! That way the playoffs can feature the teams who really deserved to win (based on a single stat) instead of teams who just got lucky!

      Sarcasm aside, I agree that the pitching injuries are a concern. This team looks nothing like last years though.

    • anon_coward

      2 huge blowouts
      the angels and the rays

  • Wolfgang’s Fault

    I know the conditions were brutal and the guy wanted to get out from under the elements, but that 3-2 pitch HP ump Greg Gibson punched Beltran out to end the game on wasn’t even close — way inside. Ball four and it’s bases jugged & McCann has a shot at the walk-off salami opportunity. Regardless of how that would have played out, on this night anyway, Gibson chose ballgame over rather than THE classic baseball moment — visiting team’s closer laboring, 2 down, bottom of the 9th, bases jugged, three runs down, power hitter vs. power pitcher. Gibson doesn’t get it that this is why baseball fans watch the game to begin with. We want to see this spot and we want the players to decide it on the field — one way or the other. Really bad call — shame, shame, shame, Greg Gibson!

    • forensic

      I thought that pitch was nowhere near inside, and Brooks agrees. I actually thought it was a really good pitch, though Brooks has it just barely low (so close that it’s hard to argue with a call either way on it).

      • Wolfgang’s Fault

        We’ll just have to agree to disagree. Look at the video again and watch where Mariner catcher Mike Zunino first receives the ball before he drags it back toward the plate. Easily 3 inches inside plus I actually think the pitch was too low as well. I couldn’t watch most of the game so couldn’t tell if Gibson was this bad all night or this call was an aberration. No left-handed hitter does more than make weak contact on a pitch like that. It was ball freaking 4. Can’t find video of it anywhere or I’d post it. The pitch started way inside & looked like it was tailing back towards the plate, but it never made it. Not even close without Zunino framing it & Gibson wanting to get out of the rain. Horrible call.

    • n0exit

      Of all the plays and strikeouts today that call is not one to complain about, Beltran needs to protect with 2 strikes, that’s getting called every game. Also why did Gardner not run with jeter at the plate?

  • 461deep

    Thought CC was not too bad. Close overturned play & Roberts not making first in time hurt him. Hart hit the ball hard with a couple slicers. Tex another nice homer but other hitters not good tonight. Must pick it up since starting pitching short now. Betances is beastly when he has control. 4 K’s but Cano cheapie + SB & beat the shift grounder cost him a run. Impressive outing. Actually they fare good against King Felix. Cano left for 240 M but who wouldn’t & Melo will leave to if Jackson expects him to take way less than others offer. Better hope Jacoby comes back soon. McCann will get some key hits but right now his swing looks a little slow & he looks old for only 30.

    • Looser trader droids FotD™

      How do you know that about Melo? LeBron and crew took far less than max to all play together.

      I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m just saying that not only don’t we know, there’s a very recent precedent in his sport for doing the opposite of what you said. The fact that it worked for the those guys makes it even more pertinent.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        If Carmelo Anthony leaves New York, money will be one reason. It won’t be the only reason.

  • rogue

    Soriano is the main problem. He just plain sucks.

    • forensic

      I’m not disagreeing at all with Soriano’s ineptitude, because that’s pretty obvious at this point, but there are several other guys who have also been a big part of the problem too. Soriano’s actually right in the middle of the pack offensively right now, as sad as that may be.

      • Looser trader droids FotD™

        Nature of the beast with streaky guys, which he’s always been.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Thank you.

  • zach

    Sad to say but I’m having the 2013 feeling all over again.
    At some point, our inability to hit with RISP and our poor pitching is going to come back to bite us in the butt.
    Our offensive additions sans Ellsbury simply aren’t getting the job done anymore then the people we had up here last year.

  • Bronx Boy

    What did we learn from this game? That only people who hate Robbie Cano go to cold, wet, miserable, early week night games in the Bronx.

  • LarryM Fl

    Sad to see Cano get booed. He played well for the Yankees while in Pinstripes. I do not boo at any sport event not in my nature.

    On another note CC is struggling but I give a pass because of weather as with the general crappy game. MLB will never change the scheduling in early April because double headers are frowned upon but players leave ST in shape and by the end of April DL stints and roster changes are a concern.

    How can you ask Roberts to cover first when he’s in position away from normal second base in a shift for a right hand hitter. That is too much territory to cover. IMHO the shift play may end for some of the hitters as the less pronounced hitters are played fairly straight up.

    We are hurting already with Nova and Pineda down. I guess we will see our depth in action or the depth that we don’t have.

    • LarryM Fl

      Teams do not win the World Series if they need to go past the 8 starter in the organization. We will have used our 7th starter this week. Knowing that Kuroda and Tanaka will need a rest during the season. It is my hope Pineda comes back soon to keep us from going over the magic target of 7 starter.

      Whitey Ford???????????

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        You have a funny way of spelling “Bruce Billings.”

  • Mickey Scheister

    I miss Robbie, the 2013 video on the GT was the tipping point. Maybe the Yanks can absorb that bad contract in a couple of years, eh?

    • The Big City of Dreams

      Former Yankees always come back. Sori is here and he was traded away lol.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Wouldn’t surprise me at all.

  • Frank

    Injuries are slowly but surely starting to rear its ugly head with this team. The starting pitching went from a strength to a bunch of ?? with the loss of Nova, Pineda (at least 2 months I’m betting), and the obvious diminished skills of CC and Kuroda. The infield is still a giant ? as well. Even though I’m sure the offense will come around once the weather gets warmer, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this team is sitting in last place by June 1. They just don’t have the pitching.

    • LarryM Fl

      Frank: My concern is written above. I did not see your comment prior.

    • Zach

      The Rays will be holding the last place spot but I think the battle for first is going to be between Baltimore and Boston again.
      Sad to say but pitching is something we simply don’t have.

  • fred robbins

    I don’t get the scheduling. With all the warm weather cities and domed stadiums, why is it that the Angels come to Yankees first and then Seattle when Yankees could have done the West Coast swing at this time of year and not be playing in such horrible conditions. It’s just no fun watching a baseball game with people bundled up for winter.
    It’s also no fun wondering if CC will have a decent game or worse game. He is a 50/50 shot going either way now and his good games are still going to be giving up runs and if this RISP continues, it will be a long season no matter who is pitching.

    I guess the bright spot here is if Pineda comes back strong and his innings limit will take him all the way to the end of the season now.

    • KD

      No fun watching these April games at home and even less fun watching them at YS3.

      I’d be fine with no April games at all for northern tier teams without a roof and adding in some double headers to make up the difference, if need be.

  • Tony

    Hey guys, wanted to get an opinion on this: I’ve got tickets for the game on Saturday, which is currently lined up to be Boss Tanaka starting. Obviously I’m excited for that… I’m wondering if there’s a rainout tonight, if that’s in jeopardy? What happens with the rotation, do they push guys one day forward, or skip either Phelps or Nuno and keep Tanaka on for Saturday?