Apr
01

The Curse of Eduardo Nunez: Astros top Yankees 6-2 on Opening Day

By

See what happens when you designate Eduardo Nunez for assignment? You lose to the Astros on Opening Day. The Yankees dropped their first game of the season 6-2 on Tuesday, and it sure looked like the score would be much more lopsided early on. Losing on Opening Day really sucks, especially to an awful team like the Astros, but that doesn’t mean it’s a harbinger for the rest of the season.

(Scott Halleran/Getty)

(Scott Halleran/Getty)

Which Trend Continued?
Coming into Tuesday’s start, CC Sabathia had a history of terrible Opening Day starts and an awful 2013 season in the rear-view mirror. Which trend continued in the first game of the 2014 season? I hope it was just the former but eh, it was probably the latter. The Astros roughed Sabathia up for six runs on eight hits (four for extra-bases) and one walk in six innings, forcing him to throw 50 pitches in the first two innings. That’s … a lot. The details of his 99 pitches:

  • 47 fastballs, averaging 89.7 mph.
  • 22 changeups, averaging 84.3. Some more separation from the fastball wouldn’t hurt.
  • 30 sliders, averaging 80.8 mph.
  • Nine swings and misses and 15 foul balls, including six with two strikes.

Sabathia showed the same problems as last year, meaning he struggled to put guys away — the Jason Castro at-bat in the first inning was a perfect example, Sabathia used to eat up lefty hitters but instead Castro fouled off two two-strike sliders before driving in a run with a fielder’s choice — and his command was terrible, especially in the first two innings. The evidence:

Jesus Guzman L.J. Hoes homers

Those are the homers hit by Jesus Guzman (left) and L.J. Hoes (right). Both pitches were pretty much belt high, right over the plate. You can get away with that when you’re throwing 93-95 mph. But at 88-91 mph? Not as often. Just for the record, Guzman hit his dinger off a fastball, Hoes hit his off a changeup.

Anyway, the Yankees were down six-zip after the second inning and while Sabathia settled down wonderfully after that — he retired 12 of the final 15 men he faced — it doesn’t matter how many lineup additions you make over the winter down that many runs. It’s tough to come back and win that game, even against Scott Feldman and the Astros. Sabathia did not give the Yankees much of a chance on Opening Day and, unfortunately, he really didn’t do much to suggest he will be more productive than last season. Hopefully things go better in five days.

New Lineup, Just Like The Old Lineup
Four new regulars, including seven new starters from Opening Day last year, but the result did not change. The 2014 Yankees offense paid homage to the 2013 Yankees offense by playing just like them, being held to two runs on five singles, one double, and three walks. They didn’t have a runner reach third base until there were two outs in the seventh, and 19 of the first 22 men they sent to the plate made outs.

The Yankees rallied for two runs in the eighth — Brian McCann and Mark Teixeira both went the other way for RBI singles — but their best chance to realistically get back in the game came on inning earlier, when Feldman started to run out of gas. Teixeira singled with one out then Brett Gardner (hit-by-pitch) and Brian Roberts (walk) reached to load the bases with two outs. Astros manager Bo Porter went to Kevin Chapman, his only lefty reliever, to face Kelly Johnson, who hit a weak ground ball back to the pitcher to end the rally.

(Bob Levey/Getty)

(Bob Levey/Getty)

I thought maybe that Johnson at-bat would have been a good opportunity to use Frankie Cervelli as a pinch-hitter against the lefty. It burns the backup catcher, but Cervelli has always hit lefties and the left field porch at Minute Maid Park is tiny. If there was ever a time to take a shot at making this a game, that was probably it. That said, it is the first game of the season and the score was so lopsided that sticking with Johnson was fine. Nothing wrong with showing some confidence in him there.

It wasn’t until Feldman was out of the game that the offense put up a fight, so perhaps the Houston right-hander was just sharp in the season-opener. Eight of the final 15 Yankees reached base — six of eight reached at one point — but by this point, the deficit was just too big. Alfonso Soriano really killed them, striking out to end the fourth with two men on base and grounding into a double play to end the eighth with two on. At -0.084 WPA, he’s the easy goat.

Dealin’ Dellin and the Vidal Nunos
It might not seem like a big deal with three long relievers on the roster, but Sabathia did save the bullpen some by following up those disastrous first two innings with four scoreless ones. The Yankees open the year with 13 games in 13 games and you know they want to take it easy on Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda if at all possible. Saving the bullpen a few innings was a silver lining to an otherwise forgettable game.

Dellin Betances was electric in the seventh, facing the top three hitters in Houston’s lineup and completely overwhelming them. He struck out Dexter Fowler on five pitches, struck out Robbie Grossman on three pitches, and got Jose Altuve to ground out weakly to second base on the second pitch. Betances topped out at 99.3 mph (!) according to PitchFX. Dynamite. Vidal Nuno faced four batters in the eighth, striking out three and getting a weak ground ball that slithered passed Derek Jeter and Johnson. Too bad we can’t erase those first two innings, the pitching was pretty excellent after that.

(Scott Halleran/Getty)

(Scott Halleran/Getty)

Leftovers
Jeter’s final Opening Day started with a hit-by-pitch. He took a Feldman fastball off what initially looked like the left wrist, but replays showed it got him off the left forearm. That woulda been some way to start the season, wouldn’t it? Jeter struck out looking in his second at-bat, grounded back to first in his third at-bat, then slashed a Jeterian single to right field in his fourth at-bat. The same hit we’ve seen about a couple thousand times these last 19 years.

The Yankees played some hilariously sloppy defense in the first inning, particularly on Castro’s fielder’s choice. Teixeira fielded it cleanly and tried the cut runner down at home, but he threw the ball in the dirt and it bounced to the backstop. After McCann picked it up, he tried to get the runner at third base, but instead airmailed the throw into left field. Gardner did a good job backing up the play and preventing the runner from scoring. Teixeira was clearly trying to do too much in his first game after such a long layoff. He’s gotta take the out at first there.

Carlos Beltran picked up the team’s first hit of the season, singling to left field on a soft line drive with one out in the fourth. He also slide head-first into first base down six runs in the eighth inning. Silly. I know he wants to win and help his new team and all that, but he’s asking to get hurt by doing that. Ellsbury went 0-for-4 with a walk, McCann went 1-for-4, and Teixeira went 2-for-3 with a walk. Johnson doubled with two outs in the ninth for the team’s first extra-base hit of 2014.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. Spoiler: the Yankees are in last place.


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
Same two teams Wednesday night, though that one is an 8pm ET start. Stupid time zones. Hiroki Kuroda and Jarred Cosart will be the pitching matchup for that one.

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

    So, how long does CC stay before a phantom injury sends him to the minors?

    I give it a month.

    89.7? Ouch.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      He’s not going anywhere.

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

        Yes, he is.

        Look, I can do it too!

        Seriously though, one month from now let’s say he’s still pitching like this. You don’t think the Yankees are going to be looking for an excuse to get him some minor leage practice and time to rest a bit and clear his head?

        Perhaps in over a month?

        Now, you probably don’t think he’ll still be pitching like this, which is fine. But blithely dismissing the comment in four words is just stupid. It’s a perfectly valid point even though it’s negative.

        • RetroRob

          A month? That’s nothing.

          As the man above says: He’s not going anywhere.

          It’s also a game.

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

            Uhhhh…yeah. It’s a game all right. I’m not sure when that point was in contention?

            True, a month for a pitcher is a lot shorter than a month for a hitter. It’d probably take until the all-star break at least of him pitching at this level, or close to it.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          He was a dumpster fire last year and he still took the ball every fifth day.

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

            Yeah, but it would be his second year running now of this shit.

            In retrospect, a month is a really short time for a starter. It would probably be closer to the all-star break if he doesn’t get his act together.

            • http://riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

              How long did it take them to pull the plug on Hughes? Sabathia has built up way more good will too.

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

                They had a different mentality with him. For one thing, expectations kept getting lowered. We don’t really have that luxury with CC, since he’s supposed to be our anchor. For another, Hughes was not just any player, he was a prospect, and one of the big three. It was very important not just to the team but to the ORGANIZATION that Hughes did well. There might be a better word for it, but I think you get my gist.

                CC is just a great pitcher in rapid decline, and if he doesn’t get it together soon he won’t lose his job (I never did say that), but I do think the Yankees will make up an excuse to get him out of the way awhile.

                • Jorge Steinbrenner

                  I think we held on to “prospect” and “big three” much longer than they did.

                  The upside of the other four starters puts less of that “anchor” pressure on CC for sure. Someone isn’t going to pitch to expectation out of these five. It could be him.

                  It’s going to be much longer than a month. CC had shitty Aprils when he was the CC of old.

                • nycsportzfan

                  As Mike said, he was a dumpster fire last yr, and still won 14games, and before that, he was dominant every yr with the yanks. Hes earned the right to pitch this entire season, because to be honest, if last yr, is about as bad as it gets for CC, then he’ll most def not be taken outta the rotation this yr, as its not good by any stretch, but not Phil Hughes like or something 4-14..

        • Greg

          You’re living in a fantasy world if you think Sabathia will pitch poorly enough to be clearly unworthy of a spot in the Yankee rotation, or that the Yankees would force him out of the rotation (in exchange for…David Phelps? Manny Banuelos?) even if he did.

          and “like this?” lol. Let’s relax about 6 innings where 50% of the flyballs hit against him left the park. What do you think is going to happen here?

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

            Well, I think when your command is as bad as his you’ll get hit damn hard.

            I never said he’d be replaced. I said they’d make up an excuse for him to get sent down temporarily. Obviously he’d be back, they’re not idiots.

            • New Guy

              I realize you’re just putting the idea out there but it’s making you look like a bad sterotype of a Yankee fan. It’s one performance, and you’re asking ok how long until he gets sent to the minors? C’mon, dude. Lets see him pitch more than once to see what he’s got. I actually think he looked pretty good later in the game. THe velocity isn’t there but he’s still got good stuff.

              • OB/GYN Kenobi, bushmaster

                I’m mostly picking nits here, but it’s not just one start. He was one of the very worst pitchers in all of baseball last year, by both old skool stats and new.

                If he hadn’t had a solid last 4 starts last year, and good ST this year, then I think last night’s performance would be extremely worrisome.

                As it is, it’s only somewhat worrisome.

  • Eddardo Nuney

    The curse of the Great Eduardo. I think it’s more like the curse of the albatross contract known as CC Sabathia. It’s the case of a guy who was too overworked early in his career and now he has nothing left and the Yankees gave him a 7 year extension. We’re left with nothing but a $20 million paperweight.

    The depth is there in the starting staff to pull him if this doesn’t improve. People will say, well it’s just one game. Did you watch last season?

    • lightSABR

      I’m getting sick enough of the “DFA CC” crowd that I’m going to make a prediction. I’m not going to eat my hat if I’m wrong, but here it is:

      CC Sabathia is going to be worth at least 3.0 bWAR this year.

      • OB/GYN Kenobi, bushmaster

        I’ll take the under.

  • forensic

    What a buzzkill this game was. Terrible pitching, terrible offense, terrible defense, terrible telecast, terrible country music singer.

    About as bad a game as possible.

    • Tanuki Tanaka

      At least no one got injured.

      • forensic

        I’m just waiting for the ‘precautionary’ x-rays on Jeter, Gardner, McCann, and/or Beltran…

  • Tanuki Tanaka

    I took a shower around 7 pm after taking out the garbage and by the time I finished showering we were already down 6 runs.

    Not a fun opening day, after all the anticipation.

  • forensic

    By the way, CC has the worst ERA on opening day in MLB history (among guys with 10 opening day starts) at 6.12. Kind of sucks that there will probably still be several more we’ll have to sit through.

    • RetroRob

      If he has another season like last he won’t be the opening day starter. They’ll give him the respect this year coming off a bad season. They won’t if he has two in a row.

      • whozat

        Yeah, they will. Because it’s a meaningless boon. If Tanaka rocks the face off the league this year and next, maybe in 2016 he takes a backseat…but probably not.

        • RetroRob

          I’m not going to say he’ll never pitch on Opening Day because there are other factors that could influence that, but, yeah, if he produces another season of a near 5.00 ERA, he won’t start next Opening Day. Well, that is unless the entire rotation collapses, in which case it won’t matter!

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I can’t believe emac2 never used that to support his argument.

        • Chip Rodriguez

          but confidence.

    • RetroRob

      Hmmm, so we have vintage CC. Perfect. Cy Young season in the making!

      Joking aside, I suppose if the man doesn’t pitch well on Opening Day, and historically he pitches better as the season progresses and his velocity increases (which has been true up until last year), then we shouldn’t have expected too much last night.

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

    I thought Sabathia was (slightly) better than his line. The defense was atrocious (Beltran looked bad all night) and bringing the infield in in the first inning was the silly, pointless over managing that we’ve seen backfire a thousand times.

    • Deathstroke Heathcott

      He was but at the same time, more potent lineups are gonna tag him for more runs anyway so it wasn’t really super encouraging either.

      • OB/GYN Kenobi, bushmaster

        Yup.

  • Masahiro Dinero

    All the velocity talk is ridiculous really… just look at tonights pitching matchup.

    Did Feldman ever top 90mph?

    How many zeros did he put up?

    • Eddardo Nuney

      Yeah but Feldman knows how to pitch. CC has never learned how to pitch without a 95 mph fastball. He didn’t learn anything from Andy. He learned nothing from Moose. These are guys who showed you can pitch effectively deep into your 30s without a blazing fastball. CC hasn’t learned how to pitch like these guys.

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

        To be fair, they always had completely different styles from him. I doubt CC was being stubborn or anything, it really is hard.

      • D$1184

        CC and Moose were never on the same team. Moose’s last season was 2008. CC’s first was 2009.

    • nycsportzfan

      Feldman never used his fastball to set all his other stuff up. CC’s entire career, the fastball is what setup his offspeed stuff and slider. Its completely different.

      That said, I believe CC will figure it out, and be a 14-16game winner with a ERA in the 4’s for for the next serveral seasons.

    • The Guns of Navarone

      Did Feldman ever average over 94mph? It’s not just velocity, but being accustomed to pitching at that velocity. There’s also the “sharpness” or “bite” to the pitches or whatever you want to call it that doesn’t seem there with CC.

      CC having by far the worst stretch of his career coinciding with a steady drop in velocity means something. We’re all going to have to come to terms with it.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    I did like that pitcher they brought in in the third to replace CC. Who was that guy?

    Shit first game. The good news is that, as bad as it was, it still counted as only one game. Dellin and Tex were silver linings for sure, as was whatever CC and McCann did differently from the third on.

    Get back out there tomorrow. Only 161 more to go.

    • OB/GYN Kenobi, bushmaster

      Wonder if we’ll ever hear about any adjustment that was made starting in the third, or if it can be analyzed by the smarter types around here…pitch mix, sequences, command, TEH VELO, whatever.

      Said another way: I’d really love to see some evidence that they did actually change something at that point, as opposed to “the Astros regressed to the mean for the rest of the game.”

  • Dan in Athens

    “I’ve seen teams suck before but they were the suckiest bunch of sucks who ever sucked.” – Homer Simpson

  • Mike

    I liked CC’s velocity. Much better than last year. This was a step in the right direction.

  • Nathan

    Discouraging start by CC. It *is* Opening Day so you would expect some rust but considering how bad he was last year, it feels like more of the same. Perhaps the Yankees need to ask Moose for a favor and have him talk with CC about pitching with diminished stuff. I bet everyone is willing to try just about anything right now.

    Yup, new lineup performed like the old lineup. Made Feldman look like a Cy-Young candidate up there tonight.

  • dasani

    Getting handcuffed by Scot Feldman can’t be a good omen.

  • Farewell Mo

    Worst thing about tonight was that the Yankees didn’t even try to win the game. That just chaps my ass.

    • vicki

      lol.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Those bases got loaded by accident in the 8th. They were taking part in an Easter Egg hunt at the time.

  • Official Scorer No Can See?

    Can anyone explain how there were no errors on either Tex or McCann in the first inning? I mean, I guess you could say that Tex’s fielder’s choice wasn’t an error because the runner would have been safe at home, but McCann threw the ball into left field…

    • forensic

      For McCann, it’s a stolen base (as Altuve was running on the pitch) and then he advances on the wild pitch (instead of an error on McCann).

      For Tex, I hate when they don’t give errors and instead just call them fielder’s choices. Yes, he chose to go for the guy at home instead of 1st, but he committed an error by not getting that guy out.

      • forensic

        I should also add that had Altuve scored on the throw, then it would’ve been scored an error allowing yet another base.

      • vicki

        then you’d cheat castro out of an rbi.

        • forensic

          He shouldn’t get an RBI. He didn’t bat Altuve home, Tex threw him home.

          • vicki

            altuve was on third; he was running on contact. you can’t assume the out at home. bottom line is teix probably should’ve taken the out at first.

            • forensic

              I disagree. If it’s a good throw Altuve’s out and there’s still no RBI for Castro.

              If they never assumed outs, then there would never be an error on a bad throw.

              • vicki

                castro did his job hitting the ball to the right side of the infield with a runner on third. teix could have gotten the out at home, or altuve could’ve been safe. there are other instances when an out isn’t assumed, like the second out of a double play.

    • vicki

      rule 10.04(c) The official scorer’s judgment must determine whether a run batted in shall be credited for a run that scores when a fielder holds the ball or throws to a wrong base. Ordinarily, if the runner keeps going, the official scorer should credit a run batted in; if the runner stops and takes off again when the runner notices the misplay, the official scorer should credit the run as scored on a fielder’s choice.

      http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/officia.....rer_10.jsp

      altuve kept running.

  • NHYankeefan11

    What drives me insane is how these guys refuse to take advantage of the shift

    Tex finally hit one through the left side but then Soriano pulls an outside pitch right into the freaking shift!

    Sickening. Why doesn’t Girardi and Long force these guys to take advantage of a wide open infield? ?

    Are they really that gutless? ?

    • vicki

      girardi is not a little league coach. he’s managing millionaires, who made their money playing their game.

      • NHYankeefan11

        So Girardi and Long have no control at all over these guys?

        How about they tell them to hit the other way. Or drop them in the lineup or even bench them.

        Martin did it to Reggie.

        Even Girardi benched Cano once.

        • vicki

          very little. joe can make suggenstions; but no, he can’t make them go the other way. kevin long is there if the guys come to him. they’re grown men.

          and i wouldn’t cite billy and reggie as an example of effective player management.

          • NHYankeefan11

            I wouldn’t be happy with Girardi and Long letting guys walk all other them either.

            He has every right to tell them to go the other way. ..In fact he needs to do so.

            Girardi and Long are just cowards.

            • vicki

              i’m just telling you how it is. mark teixeira is not a prospect. he’s earned his contract, and as long as he’s productive he’ll be expected to show up and do his job. girardi and long are not his bosses. cashman and the steinbrenners are. a manager sets lineups, manages personalities and the media, and makes in-game decisions.

          • NHYankeefan11

            I’m a grown man too…but I still get told to do stuff at work that I must comply with or else as I’m sure many others do as well.

            Nice to see some of the Yankees are above that and that you seem to condone it.

            • TWTR

              Not many (if any) mangers or head coaches have the power to sit a player making double digit millions.

              • vicki

                i’ve heard it said football is a coach’s sport; basketball a player’s sport; baseball a gm’s sport. maybe a little simple, but sounds about right.

                • Deep Thoughts

                  Sounds like exactly what a condoner would say. Tex and Soriano are out of control, and you and Girardi have basically put the gun in their hands and squeezed the trigger for them. Nice to see you’re OK with being a murderer.

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

                    lol

                  • Jorge Steinbrenner

                    Not sure if serious.

                    • Deep Thoughts

                      Nah, just LOLing at NHYf11’s insider knowledge of clubhouse discipline and immediate passive-aggressive smearing of anyone who disagrees. Good strong trolling effort on opening day. I will call him/her Mr./Ms. April.

                  • vicki

                    heehee, yep. i’m a regular sociopath.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              That has nothing to do with hitting against the shift.

              Your boss called. Get back to work.

              • NHYankeefan11

                Nice to see a bunch of you happy with letting these guys do whatever they want

                Who cares if they don’t take advantage of only one infielder being on one side of the infield. ..try to jack the ball out of the park every time. Soriano only cost us 3 runs doing that last night.

                At least Kay has enough sense to call these guys out on the air.

                • Jorge Steinbrenner

                  Your righteous indignation is just what this team needs. Watch them come back and win tonight straight off of you carrying them on your back.

                  What I care about, or dismiss, has no bearing on what actually happens on the field…..I think. Maybe I don’t know my own strength.

                  • NHYankeefan11

                    You are an absolute clown.

                    Why are you ok with them not playing the game the right way? With leaving 3 runs on the field?

            • New Guy

              Yeah and how exactly would this conversation go? “Tex, hit the other way or you’re benched!” “Ok, so who is replacing me at first?” Yeah I see your comparison here to your work. haha, the difference is anyone in the world can sit in a cubicle and blog on Yankee sites.

              • OB/GYN Kenobi, bushmaster

                Come on man. Cubicle sitting takes skillz.

            • karcotte

              You suck at your job compared to any MLB player at his.

              • NHYankeefan11

                Actually I make life saving drugs…just a tad more important than playing a kids game yet making millions for it.

                Watch your mouth.

                • Jorge Steinbrenner

                  Like picking drugs out of dumpsters, or saving people from drugs?

                  The latter may actually make me your boss. Victoria, is that you?

                  • NHYankeefan11

                    Big pharma jackass.

                    • CS Yankee

                      Did you pick Villanova in the Merck Madness?

                • BFDeal

                  Bullshit. Unless you’re in a menial labor position, because it’s obvious you lack the maturity or fortitude for any position of importance.

                  • NHYankeefan11

                    Yeah how dare I be upset about the Yankees leaving 3 runs on the field for refusing to take advantage of the shift. The audacity of me!

                    • BFDeal

                      Reasonable people get upset too. The difference is they can be rational about it, whereas, you lack that ability.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I probably saw more success from Tex against the shift today than I have in a while.

  • TWTR

    It’s a turn the page game.

  • NHYankeefan11

    If CC keeps this up I hope Girardi has the guts to drop him in the rotation. He currently looks like the #5 starter.

    I wonder if some of the commenters are right…that he hasn’t learned how to pitch without a 95 mph fastball.

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

      What does “drop him in the rotation” even mean after opening day?

      • Deep Thoughts

        I think he should be the #6 starter now. And if he doesn’t shape up and fly right, then make him the #11 starter. And then the #16 starter…

    • forensic

      Drop him in the rotation? It’s not like a batting order where he can change the lineup every day. At this point he just goes out there every 5th day. And no, they won’t skip his turn through the rotation ever either.

      • NHYankeefan11

        Which is a shame. Are CC’s precious feelings and his ego more important than winning?

        He shouldn’t have gotten the ball tonight. Kuroda deserved it for being the real ace last year.

        If Girardi had the guts to start Kuroda instead who cares what CC would’ve thought? Have him get pissed and prove himself instead of being handed things he no longer deserves.

        • pat

          Lol

          • NHYankeefan11

            What’s so funny Pat? You like the Yankees embarrassing themselves? ?

            • BFDeal

              If you get this worked up over one game, I hate to see what happens to you when they hit the inevitable 4-5 game losing streak during the summer.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner

                We’ll never find out. He won’t be here.

                • NHYankeefan11

                  Now why would I miss talking to great fans like yourself?

                  Been a Yankees fan my whole life son, don’t make assumptions you know nothing about.

                  I was looking forward to opening night. .pretty disappointing to see them lie down the way they did.

                  I still think the Yankees win the East though unlike Axisa and many others. Cy Tanaka is the real deal to cover for CC and the lineup is much better than last year.

                  • Jorge Steinbrenner

                    If you’re commenting here on a daily basis in July, I’ll mail you a dollar.

                    • NHYankeefan11

                      If there is mostly clowns like yourself then I won’t bother.

                      I have nothing to prove to you or anyone else.

                    • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

                      A dollar won’t do it for me.

                      I need about tree fiddy.

                    • BFDeal

                      Wonder if he knows that commenter who’s a brain scientist?

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner

                      I wonder if we’ve ever seen this guy and big john stud in the same place at the same time.

        • lightSABR

          Why would they skip CC’s turn in the rotation? Kuroda, Tanaka, and Pineda are all supposed to keep their innings down this year. Somebody’s got to eat the innings, and even on his bad starts, Sabathia does that.

          • JAG

            Or, more importantly, HOW would they skip his turn? They play 13 straight games in a row. Are we spot starting Phelps or Nuno?

        • Evan3457

          So, uh, if CC had been dropped to the #5 spot before the season, then instead of starting his first two games against the Astros and Blue Jays, they’d be against the Blue Jays and Red Sox.

          As CC is finished, done, shot, kaput…starting him against the Red Sox instead of the Astros helps the Yankees win more games…exactly how?

    • pat

      Just pretend Kuroda is the new #1 and count down from him.

      • TWTR

        I don’t start counting until the playoffs.

  • Dan

    So,in summation. Another series of blunders by Hank,Hal and Brian. Granderson was by far a better option than Ichiro or Soriano.Both would have been a far better option to trad off for pitching and an infield. CC is a thing of the past. Despite his normal slow starts he obviously isnt effective. The Yankees owe the fans for last years debacle. Falling back on the “injury riddled” roster was lame. This organization has little to no depth at all levels.Are we suppose to pin our hopes on Tanaka and Nova? Let us remember the goal here is to win a World Series for the fans!

    • JRod

      So, in summation…Granderson was 0-5 with 3 strikeouts on Monday. Another series of blunders by Freddy Coupon, Sandy Alderson, Mr. Met, and Sammy Davis Jr.

      • lightSABR

        In other news, the Baltimore Orioles have already won the World Series for the year, having knocked off the defending champion Red Sox.

        • FIPster Doofus

          Not so fast. The Mariners, led by their tremendous offense, will dominate MLB.

    • D$1184

      They’ve been trying to trade Ichiro for months and there are no takers. The Cubs tried to move Soriano for years before last season and they couldn’t arrange anything that Soriano would waive his no-trade, which he still has, for.

      I liked Granderson.. but there was more than a fair chance that he would have struck out in those situations. He did that a lot.

  • TJF

    Getting socked around by the Astros to start the year isn’t what I was expecting by CC. He’s starting to look like a back end starter and not an Ace. I think all those heavy inning years are catching up to his poor conditioning.

    • NHYankeefan11

      Starting to? He looked like a #5 starter all last year.

  • Wheels

    Hey, at least the Rays lost.

  • Steinbrenner’s Ghost

    John Flaherty: “CC has nothing”

    https://twitter.com/flash17yes/status/451144468578979841

    Okay. Flash isn’t a CC hater. In fact, he’ll probably get in trouble with his employer for saying this public.

    How are CC defenders gonna spin this away?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      No one cares what Flaherty thinks.

      • OB/GYN Kenobi, bushmaster

        Actually, he gets paid to do game commentary, no? Thus, I’m pretty sure he gets paid for what he thinks.

        (I hate him in the booth, fwiw).

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Besides, no one needed him to tell them Sabathia sucked. He did have nothing.

    • forensic

      “CC’s not proud of his stuff.”

      • TWTR

        Nice.

    • FIPster Doofus

      What is there to spin?

    • RetroRob

      Nothing to explain or defend. He was correct. CC had nothing working for him last night. I’ve had catchers and pitchers say that before, meaning they had nothing in a particular game. What’s the surprise?

  • Nick Social

    Whoah… slow down, people.

    It’s just game 1 of 162.

    And let’s not sleep on the Astros.

    They almost won the World Series a scant 9 years ago.

  • 461deep

    CC will be better but a .4 ERA will mean he needs more run support. Defense looks to be a problem as some fielders not reaching balls in a tmely manner clear sign of age. Beltran may not reach some liners younger OF do. He will hit though. Tex nice 2 hit game & even a good throw may not have gotten fast breaking runner at home. Nunney will probably find a new home as he has some but not great talent. Astros look a little better to me. Kuroda needs to have them flailing at his splitter tomorrow.

  • Dan in Athens

    Panic!!! The season is over!!!

  • Henry

    CC has a real problem and its not velocity nor is it command because those are what they are and in all probability at 33 years old they wont change for the better. CC needs to change his entire mental outlook as a starting pitcher. At a 50 % fastball rate he is playing in to the hands of opposing lineups who sit dead red fastball and crush every one that leaks over the plate. Until he accepts in his heart that he must learn to pitch backward he will never be any better than what we have seen for about his last 40 starts. Which by the way is a large enough sample size to be significant. He can no longer try to work his way through the lineup the first time thru featuring fastballs to “not show so much”. He needs to throw multiple breaking balls with a variety of tilt angle and velocity early and often in the count till opposing lineups have to get off his fastball and then he can slide his fastball by when theyre not looking for it. He needs to study the starts made by Moose at the age of 38 when he won 20 games and absolutely dominated lineups with a fastball topping out at 85-86 . he made teams look sick. IF i have to watch a lefty starter with an 88-90 mph fastball pitch for the yankees right now the best choice is Vidal Nuno cause right now he ias the better pitcher. At least when he misses with his fastball its off the plate. but salary dictates who starts and until he tries something really different how can cc really expect really different results.

    • OB/GYN Kenobi, bushmaster

      Paragraphs please.

      • high heat

        Seriously. Who the hell is going to read a block of text like that?

      • Kenny

        “Paragraph”? It’s a skill as much in decline as CC’s fastball.

        You ask way too much!

      • BaltimoreYankee

        non-childish name, please. What are you, twelve?

        • OB/GYN Kenobi, Jedi bushmaster

          Yes! How’d you guess.

          Actually, no.

          And your handle is so TEH AWESOMEZ!!!

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

          Paragraphs are commonly accepted internet posting form if you want to have your thoughts read.

  • pft2

    Glad Joe aligned the rotation so CC gets the Red Sox twice this month and Tanaka misses them entirely

  • LK

    I just want to see one 162-0 season in my lifetime, and EVERY SINGLE YEAR these fuckers blow it.

    Not really much to take from this game. Certainly don’t feel any better about CC, but plenty of time to turn things around. Little troubling to see him give up the two homers after they were the main problem last year – they have figure something out there. But hey, Brian Roberts didn’t get hurt.

    • New Guy

      I laughed at this post.

  • D$1184

    There’s not NOTHING to take from this game, y’know. Betances looked really good. In a situation with men on base, McCann drilled a ball against the shift and knocked it through the left side of the infield, where only the third baseman was. Hopefully he doesn’t get pull happy like Giambi and Tex once he sees the short right field porch in Yankee Stadium.

  • Jimmy

    Lost in the terrible start is that CC pitched his 1000th strikeout as a Yankee last night.

  • Kosmo

    A lot of folks on here want to throw CC under a bus. WOW just WOW. Give the guy at least a month or so worth of starts before sticking a fork in him.
    I can imagine what the fan reaction will be if Tanaka is ineffective his first time out.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I’m more interested in that pitcher who replaced him in the third. Who was that guy?

      • Steve

        Try it a third time

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          You’re the one counting, dipshit.

          • BFDeal

            Don’t you know you’re not allowed to see anything positive last night? The season’s over and CC will never throw another meaningful inning. They’re just being realists.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              Don’t know you that Steve’s one of my personal stalkers? Doesn’t have shit to say on here other than get on me. At least this time he didn’t just reply to someone else’s remark like he usually does.

              Steve, do you think I’m really a Marlins fan?

              • BFDeal

                How many do you have now…10-12?

                • Jorge Steinbrenner

                  I assume no more than two, but different screen names.

                  • RetroRob

                    Probably just one, although actually wasn’t aware you had any. I guess I’m haven’t been paying close enough attention!

              • Steve

                I think you probably root for them when they’re good. I’m pretty sure you’re a bandwagon fan, which is why you kept the Heat when you moved to NY but switched to the Yankees. I also don’t give a shit who you’re a fan of. I think you’re an idiot, which would be fine if you weren’t constantly up on your soap box telling other people why they’re wrong and making the same tired jokes over and over.

                I also don’t get why you have people on your dick like BFDeal. What I said was that you made the same stupid joke twice, which was true. What he read was that I was saying CC will never throw another meaningful inning. I can’t even fathom how a person could make that leap.

                • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

                  Yeah, I definitely think you’re the sane one here.

                • BFDeal

                  Someone agrees with someone other than yourself, so they’re “on their dick”. Really? Are you some angst ridden teen with no greater expression of words other than “on their dick”? I can’t fathom anything else.

                  • Steve

                    The thing was I didn’t take a position about anything other than Jorge reusing a terrible joke. There was nothing to agree or disagree with.

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner

                      Yet here we are, six hours later.

                    • Steve

                      It is six hours later. I still haven’t taken a position about the Yankees, CC Sabathia or anything else that BFDeal has accused me of. BFDeal has got me pegged though. I’m an angst-ridden teen with no greater expression of words other than on their dick.

                      I still don’t know where you and I disagreed about anything, especially not what last night meant about CC Sabathia’s season but I guess my angsty teen brain is just an open book for BFDeal to read.

                      BFDeal stands for Big Fucking Deal, no? Good thing you’re not a teenager I guess.

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner

                      Seven hours. I counted wrong.

                      Seven and a half, now.

                      *winds Steve up again*

                • Jorge Steinbrenner

                  I was born, and lived in, New Jersey until I was 14, jackass.

                  I didn’t follow the NBA as a child, therefore I have zero emotional connection to the local teams other than thinking Deron Williams is a nice guy.

                  I followed the Marlins while down there because they were in a different league and rooting for an expansion team was about as different a baseball experience from being a Yankee fan as possible…..although it didn’t seem that different in the early 90’s.

                  I fully own up to being a bandwagon NFL fan. My favorite team is the 1986 Giants. That’s it.

                  You care way too much, my friend. You’re the one who seemingly aims to be on the dick and, even if it was my thing, I hate clingers.

                  • Steve

                    How do I care too much? You asked me if I thought you were a Marlins fan. I don’t even know where that came from.

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner

                      Slick.

                • Havok9120

                  The fact that you comment more about another commenter than you do anything actually relating to the team might have something to do with people not giving you the benefit of the doubt.

                  • jjyank

                    Seriously. Who is is who’s dick here?

                    • Steve

                      Well as Jorge pointed out (the second time after he figured out the whole counting thing) this all happened hours ago. Several posts have gone up since then. I wonder how you found out all this was going on and rode to the rescue? And considering you felt the need to jump into what is a several hours old argument about a terrible joke, I’d say you’re the one “stalking” me here.

                    • jjyank

                      Hah! It’s funny how little you know.

                    • Havok9120

                      Yes, because clearly no one here could possibly know each other outside the site.

                      It helps that you’ve personally attacked both of us in the past as well.

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner

                      And we now reach the “you all are friends and didn’t invite me!” stage of every time Steve has ever hung on someone’s balls on here.

                      *winds Steve up again*

                    • Steve

                      I’m so wound up. Please let me be your friend! I can make the spelling jokes. I really enjoyed TSJC too! Pleaseeee

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner

                      Let the record reflect that he replied in less than a minute.

                      It’d be so easy to just stop having this conversation you claim to not want to have by just not replying, but being a starfucker for regular commenters on a sports blog is too big a dream to give up, I guess.

                      *wind-up*

  • LarryM Fl

    I watched the game last night with much disappointment especially CC. I agree with Henry that CC should pitch backwards. Make his fastball appear faster with the breaking stuff first priority. Betances and Nuno were a sight for sore eyes. Nuno through three fastballs that topped out at 90/91/92, CC looked predominately below 90.

    The offense and defense will wake up. CC will realize the situation that even he speaks of when interviewed and be better going forward. How much better at least keep the ERA under 4. Give us a chance to win.

    ” We play today, We win today.”

  • Mike HC

    I think CC will gain a mph or two as the year goes on, and will be a serviceable rotation option all year (4.0 era). Which is what I thought before this start as well. One start is not going to change my opinion.

    … or maybe they can give him Tommy John just to strengthen that arm up … kidding, I think

  • Bronx Boy

    I saw a lot of goodness out there last night – much more upside than last year. In fact, I’d say this team has such expectations of itself, it overplayed. I’m sure things will settle down. If I sound like too much of apologist, how about this? Every team deserves to win its home opener. Next.

  • OB/GYN Kenobi, bushmaster

    Good thing CC had the spring training that he did (and the last 4 starts of last year) otherwise the Pollyanna around here wouldn’t have a leg to stand on.

    FotD™: this is CC Sabathia, for the rest of his contract

  • Joe R

    Is there video of Betances’ performance from last night? Dont see it on MLB.

    • Joe R

      BTW. I fully expect him to be manning down the 7th or 8th at some point this season. He has seem’d to finally put it together since moving to the bullpen.

      • OB/GYN Kenobi, bushmaster

        Depending on DRob’s performance as closer and/or availability for same, I wouldn’t be surprised if Dellin got a couple of save opportunities this year.

  • pinedamaybegreata (formerly Monterowasdinero)

    At least we have some big “upside” pitchers in the 3,4,5 spot in the rotation.

    We have seen the best of CC by far and probably Kuroda as well.

    • CS Yankee

      Your handle went from great to good to below replacement level.

      Beware or Solarte will get you DFA’d from this site.

      • Pinedamaybegreata (formerly Monterowasdinero)

        McCannacorn?

        • CS Yankee

          That’s good, but let’s stay positive; can’t have our All Star catcher making some easy fly-outs.

          McCannon, Teixasheath, Beltsaton, Pinedanator, Sorioverthefence, etc.

  • NePa Yankee

    When your cable goes out, you call the cable company. When you call the cable company, they put you on hold. When they put you on hold, you get bored. When you get bored, you try to play in the infield. When you try to play in the infield, you botch routine grounders. When you botch routine grounders, you are sent to the minors. When you are sent to the minors, a curse is placed on your team. When a curse is placed on your team, they lose to the Astros.
    Don’t lose to the Astros.

  • fred robbins

    This is the Yankee season in a nutshell. Yankee ownership and management could be the worst in all of baseball. Watch Grady Sizemore hit 290-300 and hit about 20 dingers for about a million bucks while we watch the great Ellsbury hit for nothing, and spend more time on the DL.

    CC is as washed up as a pitcher can be, yet Girardi will not do a thing and will play his favorites at the cost of games, as he has done throughout his Yankee career.

    There is really no difference between Phelps and CC at this point, other than Phelps has upside, being younger and less predictable.

    Yankees bid against themselves over A Rod and again with CC and now over spend by 100 million dollars for Elsbury.
    The only way to possibly get a better Yankee team on the field would be to have the fans suck it up and make Yankee stadium EMPTY for about a month… just stay home…

    Hal is about the dumbest owner on the planet and has a team with no future… other than the bright spots of Nuno and Betances.. wow– if only Girardi had the guts to replace CC with Nuno

    Yankees lose more games this year than last

    • CS Yankee

      Are you related to Baskin?

      Although there are maybe 10-12 things wrong with your logic (or rant), I’ll just try and address one…
      Hal is perhaps the best suited to own a team; well educated, grew up in the biz, unemotional and willing to make big investments when he feels like a good return will occur.

    • BFDeal

      Insert eye roll here….

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      The world’s oldest troll answers the bell again this morning.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Robbins

      I know it’s your offseason buddy, but find something better to do.

  • I’m One

    I saw 3 – 4 good take-aways from last night’s game:

    1) Teixiera got 2 hits. Has to be more than he’s had in the month of April in each of the last 3 years, right?
    2) Jeter got a typical “Jeterian” hit to RF
    3) CC settled down after the first 2 innings
    4) Dealin’ Dellin
    5) Vidal Nuno

    #teampollyanna

    • I’m One

      OK maybe 5 things. And that’s not even mentioning the “no injuries”.

    • CS Yankee

      Johnson also looked good at third, less maybe one play…Roberts just missed on a couple of AB’s.

      CC had to get like 9 outs in the first two innings though and beltran looked “Sheffield” bad in RF. Ells had too short of AB’s, IMO…Grit had some good AB’s.

      The bats awoken late yesterday, which should carry over to today…O’Neil’d