Yankees homer their way to 7-1 win over Pirates

Saturday Night Open Thread
DotF: Judge picks up three hits in River Dogs win

Source: FanGraphs

Now that’s more like it. The Bronx Bombers lived up to the nickname on Saturday afternoon, swatting five homeruns en route to a 7-1 win over the Pirates. They should do that more often. Let’s recap the win:

  • Five Scoreless: David Phelps threw some of the ugliest five scoreless innings you’ll ever see. He was in trouble all afternoon, allowing five hits, three walks, and a hit batsman, yet he did not allow a single run because Alfonso Soriano threw a runner out at the plate and some hard hit balls were hit right at people. Phelps navigated the 2-3-4 hitters with two on and no outs in the fifth thanks to a gift called strike three and two balls smashed right defenders. It was very ugly but it was effective. Phelps and the Yankees got away with one.
  • Dingers: The Yankees had six hits against Edinson Volquez in 6.1 innings, and four left the yard. Mark Teixeira hit a two-run Yankee Stadium cheapie in the first inning, then Zoilo Almonte, Brett Gardner, and Soriano clubbed legit blasts later in the game. Zoilo’s a moonshot into the right field bleachers. Pretty good chance it was the team’s longest homer of the year to date. Volquez was good in the middle innings (retired nine in a row at one point), but the Bombers got to him early and late in his outing. Brian McCann tacked on a two-run shot in the eighth against the bullpen. It was the Yankees’ second five-homer game of 2014 after doing it once all of last year.
  • Bullpen on Parade: Phelps struggled for five innings and did not allow a run, so, naturally, Dellin Betances gave up a solo homer on his first pitch of the game. Baseball is weird. Betances allowed just the homer in two innings, striking out only three. He’s slacking. Adam Warren threw an uneventful eighth against the middle of the lineup, then Matt Daley finished it up in the ninth. Nice and easy.
  • Leftovers: I don’t know why, but four of the first eight hitters the Yankees sent to the plate showed bunt. I know Pedro Alvarez stinks at third base, but it’s Edinson Volquez. Swing the bats … Soriano went 2-for-4 with a homer and a double. Including his double in the last game against the Mets, it looks like he’s about to go on one of his tears. He’s always been streaky … Derek Jeter had two singles and Brian Roberts had one. Every other hit was a homer or Soriano’s double … Yangervis Solarte went 0-for-4 and now has back-to-back 0-for-4s for only the second time in his brief MLB career … the Yankees have allowed one or less in three straight games for the first time since June 2012.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees and Pirates will wrap up this three-game series with two games on Sunday as part of a rare single admission doubleheader. Hiroki Kuroda will start the first game, Vidal Nuno the second. Charlie Morton and Gerrit Cole will be on the bump for Pittsburgh, though I’m not sure who is pitching which game. Check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch two games for the price of one on the final day of the homestand.

Saturday Night Open Thread
DotF: Judge picks up three hits in River Dogs win
  • nycsportzfan

    I just got done watching the game. A friend passed away and we had the funeral today. The Yanks took my mind away from the sad day today for awhile.

    Almonte has one sweet swing. Also, Betances is simply special. Huge shout out to Gardner for putting together what looks like a monster yr so far. And heres to hoping Jeets catches and passes Yaz before the yrs up. Be cool to see Cap(Yank) take over a redsox hitters record to kinda end his career.

    • Lukaszek

      I see great potential after that Zoilo homerun. You need legit power to hit it that deep in the bleachers

      • nycsportzfan

        Hes got good bat speed. On that HR, he got around on it so quickly, it jumped off his bat. If I remember correctly, last yrs HR he hit was pretty deep as well.

        • Lukasz

          He definitely is a very powerful man…wonder how well he can hit with more playing time

  • nycsportzfan

    I was just gonna ask if you thought Almontes HR was longest of the Yr for Yanks so far. It was just socked!

    Still not the coolest Yank HR though, as that belongs to Solarte and the fall to one knee laser shot.

  • nycsportzfan

    Tex season reminds me a bit of Giambi’s 2008 bounce back season. Has potential to be even better of course but just has some similar gratification.

  • Yangeddard Solarte

    I just thought BGDP came up big when he had to. Bend but don’t break. He now has a sparkling 3.33 ERA and that’s all you can ask from your #3. I think they’ll split the DH tomorrow and take 2/3 in the series. Zolio showed that he deserves to stay at MLB. And I agree, Mike, I was saying this in the game thread- SWING THE BATS! McCann shouldn’t be bunting when he just saw Teixera launch a HR.

    • nycsportzfan

      I never liked the idea of Phelps, Nuno, and Warren going to the pen to start the yr, because that was are starting depth, which kinda defeated the purpose. Now that we got Phelps stretched out, I think he should be able to put a stranglehold on at least one of the rotation spots, because hes smart. Hes got just enough a arsenal and the smarts to back it up. Brilliant pitching at times in this one. On one of his K’s to Alvarez(i think?), he got em looking with a tailing fastball that came back over to get the inside corner and I loved that call. Froze em.

      THen again, i’ve always had a ton of faith in Betances, which would of helped Joe keep at least one of the guys in the rotation if he had the same faith.. But Joe was in the right to be kinda skeptical about Dellin and make him earn the innings.

  • Greener

    I don’t understand the hatred for Phelps? While it wasn’t the prettiest of games, it was still 5 shutout innings and a win.

    I’m not sure if we watched the same game “thanks to a gift called strike three and two balls smashed right defenders” Hardly a gift, the strike zone was consistently small for most of the day.

    For a 5th starter I’d take a game like this every five days…

    • Yangeddard Solarte

      Well, that’s just the typical party line when it comes to a guy who wasn’t a top prospect. They’ll spin the narrative their way for a guy like Hughes but a workman like Phelps doesn’t get the same respect.

      I agree with you, Phelps has a 3.33 ERA. That’s better than all but one of out starters. And Phelps isn’t the #5 right now, he’s the #3. Thought he did a great job today without his best stuff.

      • Greener

        I vividly remember one of their former prospects (Hughes) who used to fold like a card table at the first sign of trouble. One of Phelps best traits is his gamesmanship and his grit. If today was another off day, I look forward to the games when he’s has his best stuff …

    • http://www.staggeringbeauty.com/ ALZ

      Because it very easily could have been 5 runs given up. Take Tanaka other day, he was in control for the game. This Phelps got through 5 innings, but noway was he in control. The results were great, but he isn’t going to continue to have the same results if he pitching every game like that.

    • nycsportzfan

      I don’t think anybody hated/hate phelps, do they?

    • Evan3457

      Because we watched the game. Phelps had no slider the whole game, and he was hanging on by his fingernails the whole way.

      100 pitches to get through 5 innings. That’s all.

      He was saved by:

      1) a K-CS DP
      2) a runner thrown out at home in the same inning AFTER the K-CS DP
      3) Two at’em balls with runners on base on the 5th hit by McCutchen and Alvarez.

      It’s great that he didn’t give up any runs, but in truth, the Yanks can’t afford 5 innings (or less) starts 3 days in 5 in the rotation. Phelps has to be better than this if he wants to stay in the rotation. The Pirates aren’t completely awful, but Phelps wasn’t facing Murderer’s Row out there today.

  • Dirk Diggler

    …And…Peter O’Brien leaves the yard AGAIN today.


    • Kevin G.

      Change the Eric Jagielo watch to the Peter O’Brien watch

      • Dalek Jeter

        So you’re saying you want O’Brien to either under-perform or get hurt for the rest of the season?


    • Lukasz

      The guys with the Irish last name! He seems really good

    • nycsportzfan

      The Judge had a monster game also.

      • lightSABR

        Here’s to Aaron Judge making the majors with the Yankees, and to many years of bad legal puns on his name.

        Court was in session tonight, boys.

        • nycsportzfan

          Here here!

  • http://www.staggeringbeauty.com/ ALZ

    Was a comfortable game, just felt like it was in the bag all day. They never really had any rallies though. Simply homers.

  • iheartpauloneill

    I remember when we used to complain about too much of our offense coming from home runs. Wow were we ever stupid.

  • Dr. Martin Van Nostrand

    That five-homer game in 2013 was one of those Angels maulings in August, no? Just a matter of whether it was the second game or the third game.

  • Chris

    I am on the Phelps train too. I will take 5 innings of “ugly” shutout ball over 7 sparkling innings of 3 run ball any day. Yes it outs more strain on the bullpen and over the course of the year it will catch up. Give the guy a break, he is pitching his heart out and showing that he can get out of the jams he puts himself in. Hughes always had a blowup inning an it looks like that is how the CC of today is headed as well. I am very happy with what Phelps has given us. I think that people just want to stick to their preseason assumptions and stay with them until they are right so they can say “I told you so”.

    • lightSABR

      I’m happy we have Phelps on the team, too. I’d be happier if our rotation hadn’t fallen apart and he were still in the bullpen, but anyway…

      The issue is process versus results. There’s a lot of luck in baseball. Phelps pitched badly and got lucky tonight. If he keeps pitching badly, he’s not always going to give you 5 innings of shutout ball.

  • cooolbreeez

    RE: Phelpsie

    Sometimes better to be lucky than good. I’d like to see more strikes out of him. Maybe next outing he has his command and gives up three runs in five innings. As long as we get the W I’m happy.

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    I was at the game tonight, in likely the best seat I will ever sit in (10 rows behind the “Y” in Yankees stenciled on the home dugout)

    Magnificent game. Phelps was horribly inefficient, but ultimately outpitched Volquez. Other than a forget-me-not HR, Betances was dynamite.

    Almonte’s HR was struck on the screws. Getting to see Jeter that close on the field was amazing.

    I love the Yankees.

  • fred robbins

    at this stage of the game, I think what you get with Phelps is no different than what you will get out of CC… Phelps needs some runs on the board, as does any pitcher really- but the most important thing for this staff now, is to go longer than 5 innings. I would hate to see Betances over used now-same with Warren…

    It would be great to see the bats keep going and if Soriano is going to go on a tear, this would be a great time to start…. love those hot streaks,

  • FLYER7

    The way the bullpen is made up with multiple guys who can pitch multiple innings starters going five or pitching into the sixth is more bearable than past years when there were too many matchup types and one inning guys…

    • trr

      Good point.