Yankees blow two three-run leads, drop Subway Series opener 9-7

Update: Ichiro day-to-day with back tightness
Yanks pushing the limits of their pitching depth following Sabathia's injury

Another day, another loss. The Yankees dropped their third straight game on Monday night, blowing a pair of three-run leads to the Mets in the Subway Series opener. The final score was 9-7. The Yankees have lost eight of their last 12 games and 12 of their last 21 games. The descent into mediocrity is full speed ahead.

For naught. (Presswire)
For naught. (Presswire)

Roles Reversed
The Mets jumped out to a quick one-zip lead in the first inning by manufacturing a run: Eric Young Jr. singled, stole second base, moved to third on a ground out, and scored on a ground out. Good ol’ fashioned baseball. The Yankees took a more blunt and direct approach to answering that run in the second inning, scoring four on one swing with a grand slam. Everything that led up to the grand slam is what made it kinda fun.

To lead off the second inning, the ultra-slumping Brian McCann laced a single over the shift and into right field. Alfonso Soriano followed that up with a single to center (more on that in a bit) and then Yangervis Solarte dunked a single into shallow center to load the bases with no outs. McCann and Soriano played the role of table-setter that inning. After Kelly Johnson struck out and Brian Roberts lined out, leadoff hitter Brett Gardner played the role of cleanup hitter and swatted that grand slam into right field, just in front of the bleachers. They almost blew it, but Gardner picked them up.


Step Back
Six days after having his best start of the season (by far), Hiroki Kuroda reverted back to his hittable, not foolin’ anyone ways. The damage (four runs in six innings) could have been a lot worse if not for a weak Mets lineup and some hard-hit balls right at defenders. Kuroda’s biggest mistake was a 3-0 fastball to Curtis Granderson, who we know will jump all over a 3-0 fastball in the right situations. The Grandyman hit it out to right for a two-run homer (just like old times!) to knot the game up at four in the fifth inning.

Kuroda’s problem in this game seemed to be his fastball more than anything. His splitter was pretty good (though he didn’t throw many) and when he missed with his slider, he tended to miss down and out of the zone. The fastball was not pretty though, it was either right over the middle or way off the plate. Location location location. Was this a bump or the road back to being produce? Or was his last start against the Angels the exception in a mediocre season?

Retake The Lead
A half-inning after Granderson tied the game, the Yankees retook the lead by taking advantage of the Mets’ biggest weakness: they’re the Mets. With Bartolo Colon clearly tiring and making more mistake pitches, manager Terry Collins left him out there to allow a ground rule double (Soriano), a run-scoring single (Solarte), a run-scoring triple (Johnson), a fielder’s choice (Roberts, out at the plate), and a single (Gardner). After Colon was removed from the game, Gardner stole second and Roberts scored from third when Travis d’Arnaud threw the ball into center field. Just like that, the Yankees put three runs on the board.


Cause of Death: Bullpen
It seems like Joe Girardi is trying to figure out if Alfredo Aceves is anything more than a mop-up man. He brought Aceves in the late innings of a tie game against the Brewers, and in this game he used him as his seventh inning setup man because both Adam Warren and Dellin Betances were unavailable due to recent workloads. The result: three base-runners in five batters, including a two-run homer by Eric Young. He came into the game with seven homers in 1,399 career plate appearances.

Matt Thornton, who was on the mound when McCann threw out Daniel Murphy trying to steal second to end the seventh, retired Granderson leading off the eighth. Then he allowed a double to pinch-hitter Eric Campbell — the hard-hit grounder deflected off Solarte’s glove and Campbell hustled to second in his second MLB game — and the game-tying single to lefty hitting Lucas Duda. I’m starting to think the Yankees signed Thornton so we’d all appreciate Boone Logan a little more. I know I do.

Shawn Kelley was unavailable because his back still isn’t right, forcing Preston Claiborne into a tie game in the eighth inning. Naturally, Claiborne allowed the go-ahead two-run homer to Chris Young on his second pitch of the night. That gave the Mets the 9-7 lead and the score would not change after that. Girardi said he was planning to use David Robertson for four outs, but I guess five would have been just too much with the game on the line. He’s pitched twice in the last nine days, you know. Closers are for closin’.

Just like old times. (Getty)
Just like old times. (Getty)

The Yankees put together a little teaser of a rally in the ninth on a Derek Jeter walk and a Mark Teixeira pinch-hit single. It would have been a double had Teixeira not been dealing with a groin injury. McCann banged into an game-ending double play — Duda made a really nice play to turn the 3-6-3 twin-killing — so Teixeira’s inability to get to second really came back to hurt them.

The most consistent thing about this team is the bad defense. It hurts them every single game. Solarte booted that hard-hit ground ball in the eighth, and while it was far from routine, that’s a ball a big league third baseman has to keep on the infield. McCann also threw a ball into center field on Murphy’s stolen base attempted in the ninth, allowing him to advance to third. It didn’t come back to bite them, but still.

Solarte and Jeter led the offense with three hits apiece while Gardner had the grand slam plus a single. Jacoby Ellsbury‘s slump continued with an 0-for-5 plus two strikeouts. He has four hits in his last 32 at-bats (.125). Beltran went 0-for-3 before leaving the game with an elbow injury, though his replacements (John Ryan Murphy and Teixeira) went 1-for-1 with a walk. Soriano had two hits, Johnson and Roberts one each.

The other day we heard the Yankees were no longer shifting behind Kuroda because it makes him uncomfortable, but the Yankees shifted on Granderson early in this game. I didn’t notice if it was only him. Maybe it was a one-time thing because Granderson’s an extreme pull hitter? I guess I’ll have to pay more attention going forward.

And finally, the second inning single was Soriano’s 1,000th career hit in the AL. He is the seventh player in history with 1,000 hits in both leagues and the only player in history with 1,000 hits, 100 homers, and 100 steals in both leagues. Pretty neat.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
For the box score and video highlights, head over to MLB.com. For some extra nerdy stats, head over to FanGraphs. For the updates standings, head over to ESPN.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
Same two teams tomorrow night, when they’ll play the second of two games at Yankee Stadium before the series shifts over to Citi Field. Vidal Nuno and Zack Wheeler will be the pitching matchup. RAB Tickets can help get you in the door for that game or any game on this homestand.

Update: Ichiro day-to-day with back tightness
Yanks pushing the limits of their pitching depth following Sabathia's injury
  • forensic

    Horrible bullpen decisions and horrible production by all those relievers.

    They did shift on several other guys too. Duda I’m sure of, there was also a righty I remember seeing the shifts with, but I don’t remember which guy.

    • Poconos Adam

      Not a pretty sight right now, but seriously….if McCann’s liner gets past Duda in the 9th and the Yanks win, the majority of what follows on this thread isn’t being said…..

      ….it’s baseball, it’s a long year.

      Let’s let it play out before we fire everyone and declare the team dead.

    • Yanks5

      The Yankees do not comeback well when more than 2 runs down. When the Yankees get a lead going into the late innings their miserable bullpen cannot hold it. Their starting pitching, Tanaka aside, is in complete disarray or hurt. Sabbathia struggling, Kuroda mediocre at best, Phelps inconsistent. Getting nothing out of McCann, Beltran, Jeter at times, all this starting to become reality. If this doesn’t change soon this will be a .500 season at best.

  • BigBlueAL

    Bad teams find ways to lose winnable games and right now this is a bad team. The next 2 to 3 weeks could be real ugly considering the depleted rotation, overworked non-Robertson relievers and average lineup with guys banged up left and right to boot.

    • No 2013 again

      At least Robertson is rested and ready to go when we finally get a lead in the 9th!

      • Poconos Adam

        He may be involved in a Rip Van Winkle situation.

        I hope he gets to wake from his long rest this decade.

  • Tom

    No need to pull Kuroda after 6 innings and 95 pitches, especially when three of your top 4 bullpen arms were unavailable and you have a 3 run lead.

    I don’t get how trying to get two innings out of Aceves/Claiborne/Thornton is better than Kuroda, even if he was a bit off tonight. If you had a complete bullpen, I can see the quick hook, but given the options you have to let Kuroda at least start the 7th inning with the bottom of the order up, no?

    If he was ready to use Robertson for 4 outs, he probably only needed to get 1 inning out of the bottom of the barrel relievers had he stuck with Kuroda for at least one or two outs into the 7th.

  • No 2013 again

    One of these days Cashman will finally get fired for assembling one mediocre team after another.

    • TWTR

      He should be replaced (as well as almost everyone he has hired) not because he has FAILED™, but because this franchise would be well-served by a fresh set of eyes and a different approach. Everyone has a shelf-life, even if they are doing a great job.

      But he is here for the duration, it would seem.

      • Farewell Mo

        I don’t wanna start a debate about firing Cashman however I would think that it’s gonna be hard for him to survive the team ending up with a worse record this year despite spending $471 million this past offseason which is looking like a distinct possibility.

        • OldYanksFan

          What they ‘spent’ in the offseason is irrelevant.
          Their 2014 payroll is $197,230,609, the lowest since 2007.
          Many teams have increased their payrolls in that time.

          It is also obviously harder to ‘buy a team’ now than it was last decade.

          While this year’s team ain’t so hot, it’s very hard to go 18 years without a single rebuilding year.

          Having to WIN EVERY YEAR has it’s drawbacks.

          • rogue

            Great post.

            I’ll add that the Yankees continue to get clobbered in their own park. They are guests in their own home. If they can move the fences back in the offseason, it would benefit this team. The days of high walk/SLG players are over. YS is not for teams that want to win with more speed and fewer HRs.

            • forensic

              It is kind of interesting that it could be argued that three of their four biggest money expenditures leading into the season played against the theoretical advantage of their stadium. Tanaka has been amazing, but if someone wanted to pick at something they would talk about him being a little homer-prone and Ellsbury and Gardner, despite their handedness, aren’t guys who will take huge advantage of the stadium and might be better used in a large outfield for both their offensive and defensive games.

              That being said, I disagree with you about moving the fences out. I prefer the types of games these guys have to other realistic option of guys who are more like a Mark Reynolds (to use an extreme example). Also, I don’t know how feasible it is to move the fences back anyway. Off-hand, I can’t think of a stadium that has moved the fences back as it’s far more difficult than moving them in (given the seats, walkways, etc…).

          • Poconos Adam

            Excellent post. Final two lines are what wears us all out.

            It’s okay to rebuild once in a while.

          • Farewell Mo

            1. I didn’t say he should be fired, just that I think he won’t be back if they regress even further this year after the offseason spending spree

            2. The only reason the payroll isn’t $220 million is because they stepped in shit with the Arod suspension

            3. Rebuilding is fine however he should bear a big part of the blame for having to rebuild since its the failure of the farm system that has caused this rebuild in addition to some unwise long term contracts he gave out.

            • Poconos Adam

              #3. Yeah, I can’t argue that. The only issue I have with all the Cashman bashing is that our knowledge of what the ownership team does behind his back (they seem to have occasionally signed players, done extensions, etc. over his head).

              He deserves some heat though. Gawd I fear what that Beltran contract is going to look like in 2016 (as an example).

        • Jeff

          How about we start taking a long look at the job Rothschild isn’t doing. I know players play, but the coaching staff is being out coached night in night out. Giving all these days off is hurting guys right now Girardi needs to burn his binder

      • No 2013 again

        They need a different approach, they a different opinion. What he is doing is clearly not working despite having so much money available.

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

          The last time they spent a ton of money like this they won the World Series.

          • Steinbrenner’s Ghost


            • Looser trader droids FotD™


        • Winter

          The Yankees missed the playoffs for the second time in Cashman’s 16 year tenure last season. I wouldn’t call that “not working.”

          • TWTR

            Would that run have been possible if Jeter, Mo, Pettitte, Posada, and Bernie weren’t Yankees? He didn’t become the GM until all of them were established players.

            • Winter

              Sure, but he still had to build a team around them. You can’t be successful with just those four or five good players. Just because Cashman wasn’t around to draft them doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve credit for winning with them on his team. It may have made his job easier, but there are plenty of GMs who have a couple stars on their team but can’t put together the other pieces necessary to win.

              • TWTR

                I don’t think a failure to give Cashman credit by the people who matter (his bosses, the media) has been a problem.

                And not only did he inherit a uniquely productive core of players, he has also been the beneficiary of an enormous payroll for virtually his entire tenure, which has been able to erase mistakes made by him or his bosses.

                But again, my point isn’t to criticize Cashman. He has done some things well. It’s merely that it’s time for new approach, by new people from the outside, with a demonstrated track record of in-house development.

                Not that I think it has any chance of happening

                • Winter

                  I don’t mind replacing Cashman because it’s time for a new hand at the helm, but I think it’s absurd to suggest he should be fired because of lack of success.

                  • TWTR

                    As I said, he has done some things well.

        • TWTR

          Just taking the other side, why do the owners/Levine think it has worked? My guess is that they believe that he has basically been able to keep the franchise stable; iow, no extended lows, despite the dollar for dollar underperforance.

          That may point to the larger problem. The owners don’t want to purposefully take a step back (e.g., the Soriano trade, even though it was against their GM’s wishes) even if it means being better over a longer time horizon.

          • Winter

            There’s a value to stability. The current Yankees are the most consistently successful team since the 1920s-60s Yankees. They are currently riding the second longest streak of consecutive winning seasons in baseball history, and the bulk of those have been under Cashman. Teams that try to “rebuild” often fail — they become mired in mediocrity or worse. Why willingly choose to stop winning? The Yankees aren’t going to get the best deal for their dollars. They’re going to have to pay more for their wins, because that’s how it works at this end of the payroll spectrum. But why does it matter if the wins are more expensive, so long as they keep coming in?

            • TWTR

              Because the parity induced by successive CBAs has changed the economic landscape of MLB, penalizing the business models of financially successful large revenue teams while simultaneously enabling small revenue teams to keep their best young players longer, and by restricting what big revenue teams can spend on the draft and on amateur free agent signings.

              That requires a skillset that he has failed to demonstrate. Had he been successful at it, they could have regularly integrated important starting pitchers and position players on to the roster on at least a semi-regular basis. That may have made the massive financials outlays following the 2008 and 2013 seasons unnecessary.

              • Karla

                Great post. We’ll see more of this structural restriction on teams like the Yankees if (when!) international free agency is brought under comparable restrictions. It’s possible that Cashman, and his superiors, are not so much incompetent–they were pretty good until the structural restrictions–as they are obsolescent. Yesterday’s people, so to speak. Selig wanted–and has got–something closer to an NFL parity model, and, as in the NFL, it will take a damned good set of administrative operators to keep any one team successful consistently.

      • forensic

        This is pretty close to how I feel. I don’t necessarily think he’s terrible, but I do think it’s about time for some fresh blood and a new outlook.

        Really, I wanted it to happen this past offseason, but clearly it didn’t and it doesn’t seem that it’s going to happen anytime soon.

      • fred robbins

        that is a very valid point. And it is a point that needs to be explained by ownership. Why is the same formula continued when there are no results? It’s hard to find one pitcher Larry R has helped find a new release point or a way out of a problem and the same can be said for KLong… yet these people just seem to have their job locked up as their pitchers continue to have a higher and higher era and their batters continue to underwhelm with going the other way or producing with runners in scoring position. I just don’t get it. This is lamentable team

    • Winter

      Let’s look at the teams Cashman has assembled…

      1998: 114-48, 1st place, won WS — Great
      1999: 98-64, 1st place, lost WS — Very Good
      2000: 87-74, 1st place, won WS — Good
      2001: 95-65, 1st place, lost WS — Very Good
      2002: 103-58, 1st place, lost ALCS — Great
      2003: 101-61, 1st place, lost WS — Great
      2004: 101-61, 1st place, lost ALCS — Great
      2005: 95-65, 1st place, lost ALDS — Very Good
      2006: 97-65, 1st place, lost ALDS — Very Good
      2007: 94-68, 2nd place, lost ALDS — Good
      2008: 89-73, 3rd place, N/A — Mediocre
      2009: 103-59, 1st place, won WS — Great
      2010: 95-67, 2nd place, lost ALCS — Good
      2011: 97-65, 1st place, lost ALDS — Very Good
      2012: 95-67, 1st place, lost ALCS — Very Good
      2013: 85-77, 3rd place, N/A — Mediocre
      2014: ???

      I don’t know what team you’re following, but the Yankees have hardly fielded “one mediocre team after another.” What happens this year remains to be seen, but McCann, Beltran and Ellsbury are better than they’re playing right now. The rotation problems were pretty hard to foresee and shouldn’t be blamed on Cashman — heck, how many of us were complaining that the Yankees had too many starters during spring training?

      • forensic

        Well, to be fair, he didn’t really fully assemble all of those teams. The building blocks, dare I say ‘core’, of several (many?) of them were in place prior to him taking office.

        • Winter

          Sure. 4-5 players out of a 25 man roster were there already…

          • forensic

            It’s not just 4 or 5 players, and you know that. I’m not just talking about the guys who lasted for like 15 of those years. A good portion of the guys on those earlier rosters were already together and many of them stayed together for the next group of years.

            • Winter

              Take out 1998-2000. Heck, take out 1998-2003 or 1998-2005. My point still stands.

              • Need Pitching & Hitting

                I wonder, given the amazing core of players he inherited and the immense financial resources available to work with, what just an average GM would do in the span of Cashman’s reign as GM, especially post 3-peat (post 2001 really) where the team became more and more of Cashman’s team.
                They’ve certainly had a lot of success over the years, but I think that success is much more attributable to $$$ and the players Cashman inherited than any particular greatness of Cashman.

                Seems like last offseason would have been the ideal to make a change and take a fresh direction, especially considering the amount of reloading and roster turnover required.
                Now, even if a change is made at GM within the next several months, the team for the next few years is going to be largely a product of Cashman, with probably limited resources with which to fill many key holes (unless the Stein boys decide to substantially raise payroll).

          • Looser trader droids FotD™

            Preposterous. Yes it’s 4-5 out of 25 but it’s the starting C, SS, CF, closer, and LH SP.

        • Dr. Martin Van Nostrand

          kinda the same here. I’m no Cashman fan (although I try to be a bit more fair to him than the average non-Cashman fan) and he more-or-less inherited those late ’90s teams.

          Then again, whether he was fully hands-on or not (which he wasn’t at all prior to 2005-2006), he was still the “architect” of perennial 90+ win teams so, I mean, those teams got to the playoffs and anything can happen once you reach that juncture, really. Some of those teams not winning the World Series was about as fluky as when the 87-win team in 2000 did win the World Series. It all evens out in some respect, I suppose.

          I mean, after all, I think we all need to gain some perspective when we’re whining or complaining or saying “not entirely great things” with respect to having won just [#X] of World Series titles over [#Y] years.

      • willie w

        he didn’t assemble those early teams
        and is he responsible for the core four ?

      • Colin Tenpenny

        The rotation problems were pretty hard to foresee?

        • Winter

          How many of us were complaining about rotation depth in March? Most people were advocating trading away a starter.

          • Michahiro Pinaka

            They conveniently forget those posts.

      • Yankeefan91

        We actually won in 1999 vs the Braves

  • Yangeddard Solarte

    I think we’re cooked. Hiro Tanaka might be the only reason we don’t get swept again my the Mets.

    No Warren, no Delin, no Kelley, Robertson can only pitch the 9th and this was your result. Even with Hiroki giving up 4 runs they should have been able to hold that 3 run lead. Aceves was terrible, Thorton has one job and can’t do it, Preston should be DFA’d.

    Putrid effort again from the heart of the order. Teixera looks like he can barely walk so count on him being out a few more days. Beltran can’t hit, Ellsbury can’t hit, McCann was the worst FA signing since Kei Igawa. Solarte and Teixera are keeping this team afloat. Jeter, Soriano and Kelly contributed tonight and Gardy was huge. They really need to shift this lineup. Move Solarte up and McCann down to 8th or bench McCann for JRM.

  • Farewell Mo

    19-18, -13 run differential, Nova out for the year, CC pitching like shit and on the DL, Pineda on the DL after less than 20 innings and Kuroda picking up where he left off after last summer’s swoon with no decent pitching prospects in AA or AAA to replace them with other than a bunch of journeyman.

    This is feeling more and more like a .500 season with each passing day.

    • your mom

      .500 my ass, probably below that. It’s amazing we have a winning record with a negative run differential.

      • Farewell Mo

        It’s the devastation to the starting rotation which was perceived as a major strength that concerns me the most.

      • Dr. Martin Van Nostrand

        the glorification of run differential in 37 games of a season is the amazing thing around here.

        This is a mediocre team but that’s not because of their run differential, it’s because MLB is in a suffocating state of parity right now and one quick glance at the AL standings reveals that the Yankees are far from the only team hovering around .500 right now. It’s scary that this team, relative to their peers, might still be a top-4/5 team in the AL after 162 games. Detroit is in a class of their own in this league. After that, you could surely argue that Baltimore/Oakland/Texas/Boston/WHOEVER THE HELL are better than the Yankees, but then again some haynecked argument might just exist to say the Yankees are better than some or all of those teams as well.

        MLB is just pathetic right now with regard to this and it’s no wonder that it’s taken me record time to actually invest myself in this season. Usually by May 12th I’m long invested in baseball, but here we are and I STILL can’t say I am. I watch a game like tonight’s and barely budge an inch when Preston Claiborne serves up gopher balls. Well, that’s a mild lie (I slowly flipped a sharpie into a wide open space because I always have a sharpie in my hand) but the point remains. Baseball is just in a sorry state right now as far as the on-field product is concerned.

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

          Man, it’s as if the second wildcard increased parity by increasing mediocrity, thereby cheapening the majority of most teams’ games and making for subpar baseball! I mean, like, who could possibly have predicted that, except everybody not named Selig?

          • Dr. Martin Van Nostrand

            Dead fricken’ on, dude. The biggest losers in all of this are the morons (us) who pay money to watch this stuff for 162 games a year, not to mention other games involving other teams, too.

            Not to mention the cheapening effect on the playoff race. 2011 was great in part because of the organic incredible nature of two teams having the same record after 161 games. Artificial drama sucks.

            • forensic

              2011 was great in part because of the organic incredible nature of two teams having the same record after 161 games. Artificial drama sucks.

              2011 was great because of the first wild card spot. It wasn’t some ‘organic’ thing, without the wild card none of it would’ve mattered. You can’t really have it both ways, applauding what one wild card did while bashing what another did.

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

                You absolutely can. It’s called having one playoff spot too many. Believe it or not, adding that extra playoff throws off the balance in a big way. With only one playoff spot, the formula wasn’t perfect but it worked fairly well. There were some pretty consistently entertaining end of year races and you’d get a fair mix, more or less, of good and bad teams.

                You can absolutely say, with complete fairness and accuracy, that having two wildcards is much worse than having one.

                • Dr. Martin Van Nostrand

                  This, and the fact that the original wild card implementation was, at worst, a necessary evil. MLB split from two divisions to three divisions (I actually wouldn’t mind a return to two playoff teams personally but that’s not here nor there in this discussion). They were not going to have three playoff teams per league given the obvious illogical nature of that, thus the wild card was created to keep a proper balance. Very seldom were you going to see some schlock team as that wild card team; in some years, you would have 95+ win teams (even 100+ win teams) nab that wild card spot. Those were worthy playoff teams that got stuck behind even better teams from within their own division; the 98 win Red Sox in 2004 were just as deserving as the 90 win Angels to reach the playoffs, just as one example.

                  Between the parity that is engulfing the sport right now as well as that extra playoff spot, which really serves to foster more urgency from pseudo-contenders to strive for a best-of-one game to reach the playoffs, it does more to hurt the sport than help the sport. We were interested in, what, exactly, seeing if the mediocre-as-hell Cleveland Indians could win 10 straight games from the Astros, Twins, and White Sox to reach the AL Wild Card game? Did this seriously happen? Jeez. If 2011 rules existed in 2013, we would be talking about how the seemingly shoed-in Rays had seen their season spoiled against the also-ran Toronto Blue Jays on the season’s final weekend or how Texas had skidded badly in September to backslide out of the playoffs for a second straight season. You play that badly in September, you pretty well deserve missing the playoffs. Instead, it was that kind of stuff we were viewing as our “drama”. Both in real-time and in hindsight, it completely sucked.

                • forensic

                  I don’t love the 2nd wild card either, but it’s been two years and three of the four extra teams that have made the playoffs have been 90, 92, and 93 win teams. It’s not like the NBA and NHL where they’re letting .500 teams in there. And it’s increased the motivation for teams to try to win their divisions and improve late season records, not just settle for any playoff spot they can fall in to.

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

                    I get what you mean, but those teams SHOULD all be bubble teams, not consistent playoff teams – but the real problem is the overwhelming mediocrity of the league as a whole.

                    • forensic

                      I don’t disagree that it looks like a very mediocre league right now, but I’m not sure I can put all the blame on the 2nd wild card, there are numerous other things that can take parts of the blame. It’s also still just mid-May.

                    • Looser trader droids FotD™

                      I agree you can’t place the blame squarely on the second wildcard. However, the second wild card keeps meh/bubble teams believing they have a shot, so they’re not sellers at the deadline. That seems to have had a material effect on things.

      • Winter

        Run differential means nothing this early in the season.

        • Tom K

          Amazing how people nowadays are glued to run differential. It doesn’t really say much of anything until the ASB at the earliest.

  • Steinbrenner’s Ghost

    Give Cashman $204 million dollars and Yanks can’t be beat (certainly not by a team that had only hit 22 home runs in 36 games).

  • Lukaszek

    There’s no need to roll the barrel on Solarte, he had three hits and continues driving in runs day after day. He has passion for the game, he is my generation’s Luis Sojo. He’s third in Batting Average in the AL btw, which is kinda impressive considering it is mid-May already

    • trr

      uhhhh….do you know who Luis Sojo was?
      I don’t want to get too high on Solarte yet, but I think his potential could be much higher than a role player like Sojo

      • Looser trader droids FotD™

        Thank you.

  • Colin Tenpenny

    all that money spent…..for a 500 team…….zero team chemistry..unwatchable…..season built around question mark after question mark…how many winnable games do you have to lose? doesnt Joe realize that these blown games are the difference between first place and out of the playoffs?

    • Winter

      Yeah, you’re right. I’m sure Joe Girardi is intentionally losing these games because he doesn’t know they matter.

      • fred robbins

        If Girardi knows they matter- wtf is he doing watching game after game go from a win to a loss while Robertson sits on is ass in the pen.
        And Thorton? when o when will he realize this man was let go for a reason. He can not get anyone out. We might as well have Joba and Hughes back. at least they are young and our great pitching coach can keep them on track to keep making the same mistakes.
        This is a horribly coached team and Cashman continues to trade for old, unreliable players or I guess in some cases, younger unreliable players,

        I am really surprised by how bad McCann is and looks– Beltran looks like he should not even play anymore and Why not let Murphy catch? He is young and hungry and looks great.

        as I posted a few weeks ago, Tanaka will soon regret his signing. The only world series he will see on this team will be the one he is watching on TV. But he loves the big stage and at least he will have that.

        • Michahiro Pinaka

          Um, who is Cashman acquiring in trade?

    • Michahiro Pinaka

      How do you know what the team chemistry is like? Are you a clubhouse laundry boy? Just because you don’t see everyone growing beards doesn’t mean there’s no chemistry.

      • forensic

        I remember 2-3 weeks ago when everyone was lauding the apparent chemistry of the team. They must just be tired of each other by now.

        • Michahiro Pinaka

          Must have been the pine tar holding everyone together.

          • Looser trader droids FotD™

            Golf clap

  • Steinbrenner’s Ghost

    Up north, Tom Werner and John Henry have never hesitated to hold people accountable.

    Tito and Theo broke da Curse and won two titles, but that didn’t insulate them from accountability for the Popeye’s chicken collapse and Theo’s bad signings and trades.

    Hell, Werner and Henry actually attend games on a regular basis unlike the Yanks’ absentee ownership.

    During tonight’s broadcast Kay relayed Jeter’s account on how games used to be intense because of the Boss pushing them. It’s key that Jeter (of all the players) doesn’t feel that way anymore.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      They’d surely play much better if only Hank and Hal were watching.

      btw, at least Hank was apparently at the game tonight.

      And if the players need a bellicose owner to drive them, that’s much more of a player issue than an owner issue.

      • forensic

        And if the players need a bellicose owner to drive them, that’s much more of a player issue than an owner issue.

        Absolutely, but I’m gathering from this and the game thread that he’ll only be satisfied when Hank and Hal are in the clubhouse before and after games and standing out in the open in their box making gestures about how badly the team is playing and waving them all away.

    • Michahiro Pinaka

      And all this time I’ve heard complaints from Sox fans about their absentee ownership.

  • BigBlueAL

    I know its waaaaaay to early to think about 2015 but its gonna be another very interesting off-season considering the amount of money coming off the books in Jeter, Kuroda and Ichiro. Soriano will be gone, Robertson a FA. Arod nonsense back front and center. Gaping holes all over the roster.

    This team is far from a finished product and I fear it wont be a finished product until Dec/Jan. Not sure how much trading Cashman can do this season to get this team into the playoffs. Then again as mentioned above the state of the AL this season 86 wins could get a Wild Card berth.

    • forensic

      A-Rod’s money will basically just take over for almost all of the money coming off in Jeter, Kuroda, and Ichiro. They aren’t going to be able to do much in the offseason unless they decide to raise the payroll.

    • Looser trader droids FotD™

      I can’t believe I’m saying this but thank god for Solarte.

  • cooolbreeez

    If this team fails to make the playoffs that will be three non post seasons in the last six years. That’s indicative of a new era that is not getting it done with the consistency we were accustomed to. I don’t see Cashman surviving without a post season appearance. 50% failure rate is great for lots of teams but not the Yankees.

    And where are the quality starts going to come from after Tanaka? Hopefully we can stay near .500 until Pineda and CC return but their success is far from certain. Cashman’s gonna have to make a deal.

  • Matt DiBari

    We’ve officially hit that “no lead is safe” portion of the year.

    I also really hate the pinch runner that stands on first and waits for the game to end

    • forensic

      Brendan Ryan isn’t out there to be the kind of pinch runner who can steal a base for you. He’s out there because Tex looks barely ambulatory at this point.

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

    Man, it’s as if the second wildcard increased parity by increasing mediocrity, thereby cheapening the majority of most teams’ games and making for subpar baseball! I mean, like, who could possibly have predicted that, except everybody not named Selig?

    MLB sucks right now. Just in general quality of play by each team.

    • BigBlueAL

      I think the decreased offense in today’s game is what is leading to the parity. The Yankees and Red Sox for the past decade just wore down other teams with their offense. The Yankees would have mediocre pitching staffs and horrible defense and still win close to 100 games all because of their offense. They cant do that anymore.

      Not to mention the increased revenue for all teams which is allowing more teams to keep their best players and increase their payrolls compared to a decade ago.

      • forensic

        I agree about the offense. The lack of power, lack of fundamentals, and lack of balls in play and action (as a result of both walks and strikeouts) are hurting the game a bit, especially with respect to trying to gain a larger audience.

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

        Which is why for all of the demonization of the steroid era, in a very real way it saved baseball.

        • trr

          That’s a statement that many of us will never fully embrace, but baseball at that time was down because the fans were disillusioned by the player’s strike, not because of a perceived lack of offense. The artificial HR barrage created by better chemistry served to distract the fans from their short-lived digsust with the greed of both the players and the owners.

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

            That too.

  • Paisa

    Didn’t have a chance to watch the game but it seems like, “Girardi said he was planning to use David Robertson for four outs, but I guess five would have been just too much with the game on the line. He’s pitched twice in the last nine days, you know. Closers are for closin’,” was pretty much it.

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

    I suppose we should be proud of our dedication as MLB fans because the funny thing is as far as us being Yankee fans the mediocrity of the AL is why the Yankees aren’t 5-10 games back right now.

    In point of fact if we improve even a small amount, something that can be as simple as enough time passing, we have a very real shot of winning the division.

    • Paisa

      The deadline will define the possibilities this team has. That has been been true since the start of spring – whether all of us here would like to admit or not.

      • Improbable Island Guy on Another Computer

        I mean, a lot can happen. Pineda can come back and be dynamite, CC can suddenly pull it together (or Kuroda), a couple of players can start hitting…

        Or, thins can stay the same or get worse.

        Still, we’re not TOO far off.

        A deadline pickup would certainly be nice, though.

  • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

    I find it interesting that this latest skid has everyone pointing at Cashman instead of the players that aren’t performing.

    The bullpen is an ever-evolving entity. If that’s what everyone is blaming Cashman for, it’s kind of ridiculous.

    Based on what was available in the off-season, Cashman got everything he could. There wasn’t an option at 3rd or 2nd that jumps off the page. Players gotta play.

    Losing 60% of the rotation also has a lot of impact on the pen, as well.

    How is any of this “Cashman’s fault?”

    • forensic

      I don’t think most of us are blaming this all on Cashman or saying it’s all his fault. Someone commented on it and it just kind of became the topic of the night. It’s not like it’s out of left field either, the big news items of the night were four guys battling injuries, putting a focus on all of the facets of the roster construction.

      The players still get the blame here every night (and tonight Beltran and McCann were big parts of the talk, which again leads back to Cashman too).

      I am curious to see the responses you may get to saying that there were no options at 2nd base, though.

    • Sterling Stalin

      well, he’s the one who thought this was a passable infield, who signed Thornton and who signed a 37 year old Beltran. Hell, he gave Ryan 2 years and 4M

  • nsalem

    Before Beltran took his spill in Tampa Bay the meme around here was “what a great acquisition and he’s even better when you see him play every day” and the majority of commentators approved his acquisition back in December. The McCann signing was universally lauded. I challenge any of those calling for Cashman’s head to come up with any statements they made before the season to criticize the signings. I also don’t see anyone praising the organization right now for the Ellsbury and Tanaka signings. When the Yankees have a couple of bad weeks it’s amazing to see the true stupidity come out.

    • forensic

      I’ll never understand the point of comments like this, especially from commenters I consider to be knowledgeable, but anyway…

      I don’t remember that stuff about Beltran. I remember people realizing how bad he is defensively after seeing him on an everyday basis, and how some of us were upset about him making Cano look like he sprinted to first on every play. Also, though I know almost anything that Mike posts on here is immediately taken as gospel, Beltran hasn’t struggled since the wall flip. He was 0-3 in his first game back, the 16-1 demolition at the hands of the Rays, but after that he had 2 hits in each of the next 3 games, and a hit in each of the next two after that (with 4 of those 8 hits being XHH’s). Did he suddenly remember he flipped over a wall 6 days later?

      As for McCann, yeah, most people here loved it. Personally, I didn’t so much have a problem with the player as I did the contract (though I was concerned with some of the trends of the player). I thought it was terrible, but was trying to be convinced over time by popular opinion (not so much here, but in terms of the baseball universe, and hell, I even drafted him with what I thought was a value pick in a fantasy draft). I was concerned about his recent performance and especially how people passed it off as being fine because he’ll just move to 1B and be awesome there for the last few years of his contract. Despite all that, nobody could’ve predicted he’d be this impotent to this point in the season.

      Ellsbury’s been mostly awesome, but again, for me, it wasn’t about the player but instead about the contract. 1 1/2 months out of seven years doesn’t change the concern there. Tanaka, I made very clear from the start that I wanted them to go after him at almost any cost. So there’s no change there, other than wishing they could already buy him out of the opt-out already…

      • Nsalem

        I said what I said because I find it disturbing that people here refer to players as pieces of shit and trash 37 games into the season. After they are finished trashing the player they then turn to the front office for signing them in the first place. It’s frustrating to watch these games for everybody but if you look around the league there are many teams plagued with the same or worse issues that the Yankees are. I think its classless to write about players this way (although it does seem to be the norm in some circles) especially when it’s done on a per AB basis and the ones making the comments to me seem to know
        absolutely nothing about what they are watching. Tex is their hero now. 3 weeks ago they considered him a washed up turd and when he inevitably goes into a funk they will call his streak a dead cat bounce. It’s just very frustrating to read and I really should just learn to ignore some of the vile ignorance spewed out by the ad nauseam posters.
        As far as Beltran and McCann, I think we will have a better read on them after another 30 or 40 games. Maybe Beltran’s recent slump is true regression but there is also the possibility that it is injury related. It can be that the effect of the spill weren’t felt for a week or so. It would not be uncommon. Time will tell..

  • Frank

    Pointing the finger at Solarte under the “bad defense” tag is just wrong. The ball hit at him A) was an extremely hard hit ball with top spin which hit off the lip of the grass and which I’m willing to bet, most ML third baseman dont make, and B) it wasn’t the reason the Yanks lost. Bad defense is playing Jeter at SS 9 innings and praying the ball is hit directly at him, or fooling fans into believing Beltran is actually a RFr. Back off on Solarte. The kid is a good player and he’s one of the only positives on this very mediocre team which is going nowhere.

  • fred robbins

    You have to wonder if Cano is not having the time of his life. His Seattle Mariners are better than the Yankees- better pitching, better defense and a young, fun team to watch. Best move of his career and if he ever gets into the post season maybe he will do something other than sit on his ass with his feet up on the dugout spitting sunflower seeds while his team is being beaten to a pulp… laughing at the same time if I recall.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    So, even though pretty much every guy not named “David Robertson” who’d normally pitch with a lead was pretty unavailable, all the wrong bullpen buttons were pressed.

    I guess the correct solution, other than just letting DRob pitch to the extra guy, would have been for Joe to look into the stands and yell, “hey, anyone bring a glove?!?!”

    Too much of the rotation are glorified swingmen, with the vets not getting the job done. That’s why your bullpen looks the way it does. There’s also not much that can be done about it at the moment.

    Other than that, did you enjoy the play, Mrs. Lincoln?


    Was this a bump or the road back to being produce?

    I laughed at that line for a long time…but kuroda does not look like a head o lettuce to me

  • Bavarian Yankee

    just like last season: old guys break down, everything falls apart. Let’s hope they have a better plan B this time.
    I don’t get why Ichiro doesn’t get more playing time when both Soriano and Beltran barely have an OPS above .700 and an OBP below .300. Also wouldn’t hurt to give Murphy more playing time as long as McCann can’t do anything at the plate.
    And even if those 3 (Soriano, Beltran, McCann) don’t play you still have Jeter and Roberts in the lineup. Yikes. At least Solarte just won’t stop hitting.

  • Dr. Grenaldine

    This team is certainly not what the doctor ordered. In fact, the doctor is ordering clothespins for all of you to put on your nose – because this team STINKS right now…and I don’t see them getting much better.

    • trr

      It’s tough to be optimistic about the team right now. It’s not just the losses, it’s the bad losses, winnable games being allowed to slip away. I can’t help but remember how the Mets swept us at this time last year, and the team never seemed to fully recover from that. We can only hope that the team starts trending in a better direction, that the injury wheel stops spinning, and we start to see some better production out of the middle of the lineup. It all starts tonight….

  • Looser trader droids FotD™

    Almost 1/4 through the season. 85-88 wins as predicted is looking less likely, not more. And not because we’re going to win 89 or higher.

  • fred robbins

    Are there any trade options, or is this the team for the rest of the year or until the trade deadline?

    Who do they have that another team wants right now and that the Yankees can afford to give up? They could probably get a front line pitcher for JR Murphy but that would just be insane, right?

    Does anyone know if they can actually make a trade or do they have to buy their way out of this in some way– if that is even possible?

  • Adam

    Can someone please explain to me how Teixeira is suffering from “tired legs” or whatever the fuck they’re calling it? He’s been back from playing for less than a grand total of a month and he’s already fatigued? What??? He had all of Spring Training to get into playing shape and, as far as I’m concerned, his ass should’ve been on a treadmill/elipticall/stationary bike all offseason while he was recovering from a WRIST injury that had no bearing on his ability to be able to do cardio workouts whatsoever.

    This is already a huge problem that it’s May 13th and his legs are dead. I’ve never heard of a professional athlete complaining about their legs being tired before in my life. For all the dumb shit the media says and does, how has this guy not been getting roasted for this? He’s supposed to be a team leader. His team just lost two out of three and is struggling badly, while Tex has been one of the only consistent bright spots in the lineup and he pussies out of the lineup.

  • JLC 776

    My 79 win prediction for this team is starting to look bullish!

    • trr

      easy now…let’s all step back from the ledge

  • Mike

    I have faith in Kuroda. He will get better as the season goes along and will be clutch in November.