Yankees snap four-game losing streak, hang on for 2-1 win over Athletics


The four-game losing streak is over and hey, the Yankees didn’t get swept. They escaped the series against the Athletics (and the homestand in general) with a tight 2-1 win on Thursday afternoon.



A Bloop And A Blast
The Yankees kinda sorta got screwed out of a run in the first inning when Jacoby Ellsbury‘s double hit off the very tippy top of the wall in right field. I’m not joking at all when I say it was three inches from being the cheapest homer in Yankee Stadium history. The umpires called it a homer on the field, but A’s manager Bob Melvin challenged the play and the it was rightfully overturned. Ellsbury was dangerously close to hitting his second homer in two days.

Derek Jeter was running on the play and it appeared he would have scored on the double, but the umpires send him back to third base. After looking at the replays, I don’t think he would have scored. Right fielder Stephen Vogt got the ball into the infield in a hurry, and Derek was basically right at third base when the throw got to the cutoff man. Still, second and third with one out isn’t bad. Then Mark Teixeira lined out to third and Carlos Beltran struck out, so no runs. Three inches from a two-run homer to no runs. Sigh.

Thankfully, the luck broke their way in the second inning. Brian McCann dunked a single into left that became a double when Brandon Moss misplayed the hop and let the ball get by him. It was McCann’s 12th hit to the opposite field this season. He had between 14-19 hits to the opposite field every year from 2011-13. The mega-slumping Alfonso Soriano managed to get wood on a hanging curveball as the next batter and blooped a single into shallow center to score McCann. Soriano had been hitless in his last previous 16 at-bats with nine strikeouts.

The bloop single knotted the game up at one, then Brett Gardner blasted a solo homer into the second deck leading off the third inning to give the Yankees the lead. It was one of his classic ambush homers. Every once in a while he loads up and guesses first pitch fastball, and when he guesses right, the ball tends to leave the park. Five of his 12 homers since the start of last year have come on the first pitch for that very reason. One almost homer, one actual homer. Progress!



Grind It Out
There’s a pretty good chance Masahiro Tanaka faced the best lineup he’s ever faced on Thursday afternoon. The Athletics came into the game leading baseball with 308 runs and ranking second with a 116 wRC+. They don’t make offenses like that in Japan, and John Jaso let Tanaka know what’s up when he hit his seventh pitch of the game out to right for a solo homer. Tanaka had not allowed a dinger in his previous five starts after giving up seven in his first six starts.

Ten straight Athletics made outs following Jaso’s homer, but in the fourth and fifth inning, they worked Tanaka very hard. Oakland didn’t score, but they forced him to throw 53 pitches in those two innings, ten of which were fouled off with two strikes. McCann and Tanaka had more than a few chats on the mound those two innings as they tried to figure out a plan of attack. Tanaka’s pitch count sat at 93 after five innings and he ended the afternoon at 104 pitches in six innings. He held the A’s to just the one run on five hits and a walk, but man, it was a grind. Those six innings tied a season-low for Tanaka, and he set a new season-low with four strikeouts. Even when he’s bad, he’s still pretty good.



Hold On To Your Butts
The bullpen has been pretty shaky of late, so, naturally, the Yankees never bothered to score any insurance runs. They stranded runners at second base in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. Dellin Betances got the call in the seventh and struck out one in a perfect inning, so he’s clearly been rattled by his weak outing the other day. I mean, only one strikeout? What else could it be? His strikeout rate is down to 15.17 K/9 and 45.7 K%. Slacker.

Adam Warren got the ball in the eighth and he immediately made things interesting by allowing back-to-back singles to start things off. Then he retired Josh Donaldson (strikeout), Brandon Moss (line out to right), and Yoenis Cespedes (strikeout). Defensive replacement Ichiro Suzuki made a great sliding catch to save the lead and take a base hit away from Moss. I thought it was ticketed for the gap off the bat. Warren hit 97 mph several times according to PitchFX as he cut through the 3-4-5 hitters of the highest scoring lineup in baseball in the eighth inning of a one-run game. Hell yeah.

The ninth inning went to David Robertson, of course, and he put a runner on base, of course. That was Stephen Vogt’s one-out single to center. Craig Gentry pinch-ran and stole second base — the throw was right on the money, he just out-ran the damn thing — then moved to third on Alberto Callaspo’s ground ball. That’s what the game log will say. In reality, it was a hard-hit grounder that Robertson luckily deflected to Teixeira at first with his foot. Robertson hustled over to cover first base, then he struck out Derek Norris to seal the win. He’s 13 for 15 in save chances so far.

Beltran went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts at the plate in his return to the lineup after missing close to a month with a bone spur in his elbow. He picked up right where he left off before the injury. (I kid, I kid.). Soriano went 2-for-3 with the bloop single and a sun-aided double. It was a routine fly ball that Coco Crisp lost in the sun and was unable to reel in. Soriano needs all the help he can get these days.

Following Gardner’s leadoff homer in the third inning, the Yankees had just three base-runners: Ellsbury walked in the sixth and singled in the eighth (stole second both times), and Soriano sun-doubled in the seventh. That’s all. Eighteen of the final 21 Yankees made outs and only five hit the ball out of the infield. Gardner, Jeter, Ellsbury (two), McCann, and Soriano (two) had the seven hits and Ellsbury the only walk.

Six of the Yankees’ last eight wins have come by two runs or less. When they lose, they tend to lose big. When they win, they hang on for dear life. That is … ominous. Two runs a game just isn’t going to cut it. The offense needs to wake the frig up already.

And finally, it’s pretty funny neither the YES nor MLB.com people get the YEAH JEETS! joke on the guy’s shirt in the video above.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
MLB.com is the place to go for the box score and video highlights. FanGraphs has some additional stats and ESPN has the updated standings.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The Yankees are off to Middle America for a wrap-around four-game weekend series with the Royals. Chase Whitley and Jeremy Guthrie will start the series opener on Friday night.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. kenthadley says:

    How do they fit Morales in this lineup? Beltran is a dh, Tex if healthy (big if) is 1b. I don’t see them spending 10mil or so just to insure Tex, and I don’t see Morales going anywhere he isn’t guaranteed to play everyday. could use his bat, but just don’t see how he fits. They need two starting pitchers as much as they need two bats.

    • Daniel says:

      I agree and all but I really can’t see Kendry Morales as someone being in a place to demand full time play. He just sat out 2 months because no one thought he was worth a draft pick.

  2. TWTR says:

    I thought that HR was a pop up.

    Tanaka really knows how to pitch: location, stuff, sequencing.

    • nycsportzfan says:

      Like I said after his last start, the guys having the best pitching season i’ve ever got to watch from a Yankee pitcher since being a fan(1990). Ron Guidry 1978 stuff, with less walks. Its nuts!

      • Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

        Okay, look up Guidry from 78′. He’s no 78′ Guidry. I think that ended up at like number 3 on best pitching seasons of all time.

  3. Charles says:

    DFAing Soriano is the only real way, him and Morales serve the same purpose, offensive minded players that you can play in the field to give guys a break.

    • TWTR says:

      Roberts is killing them as well.

      • hornblower says:

        Roberts should be like the last Pope and resign. He has made great money but it is time to make a dignified exit.

    • Daniel says:

      I still would rather DFA Johnson hands down. Roberts should be asked to learn a few positions or something to make up for the loss.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

        Either Johnson should go or they should make him the starting 2B.
        His current role really makes no sense.

        He’s been horrible as a backup 1B.
        Both Solarte and Roberts have been much stronger vs. RHP than LHP, so if they needed rest, it would make more sense against LHP. Johnson doesn’t have particularly big platoon splits, but Girardi has shown no inclination to be willing to use a lefty as a consistent platoon player against LHP.

        They really need a backup IF who can hit lefties reasonably well (and preferably be able to handle 1B).
        So that would leave a choice of either Johnson or Roberts as the primary 2B, with the other off the team.

        • TWTR says:

          I’ll vote for making Johnson the 2B. He hasn’t failed there with regular PT; Roberts has.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

            That would be my choice, especially since it’s a good bet Roberts is going to break at some point anyways.

    • nycsportzfan says:

      The thing is Soriano has always had long cold streaks in the past, and at some point goes on a rampage when the weather is at its hottest and at seasons end, the numbers are basically there. Its risky to not go with him for awhile longer. It would suck if he went somewhere else and hit 20hrs the rest of the yr. Alot of times bloops and strange hits can be just what a struggling player needs to snap outta the funk. Lets hope thats the case with Sori.

      • Daniel says:

        Yeah, with the exception of the April he had with the Nationals where he hit like 15 home runs, this is normal. I say stick with him. Not worth the risk of missing out on his offensive explosion if and when it comes.

        • nycsportzfan says:

          Especially with Beltran back in the lineup. Ells is scorching hot for the 2nd time this yr and with Belty back along with the ever improving McCann, a Soriano hot streak could make this offense potent in the near future.

          I was giddy over this offense’s potential all off season. I said when they were doing there thing early in the season we haden’t seen the best yet. With any luck(Beltran staying healthy), this offense could end up pretty potent, pretty quickly. I can even see Derek and Roberts taking it up a notch before said and done.

  4. Yangeddard Solarte says:

    Great win. This team is a better road team and those big ballparks out west will give us a chance to go on a run. I think they’ll get right back up near the top after this road trip. This is a good pitching staff that has just been victimized by a slumping offense and an overworked pen.

    • Daniel says:

      Part of the reason the bullpen is overworked is because the pitching staff isn’t all that good as a whole.

  5. JLC 776 says:

    Two runs again. Well done!

  6. mick taylor says:

    this is the typical cashman idiocy. yanks do not have enough hitting to make playoffs. to get a good hitter through a trade will be near impossible because most teams will be in the race come july 31, and yanks would need to mortgage future to get anyone. morales cost them nothing but money. he would help the lineup. if beltran elbow is so bad he cannot play the outfield, he needed to be operated on already. what is going to happen is he will not hit anywhere as he is capable of and wind up needing the operation anyway and tex will not make it through the year.cashman the idiot.

    • WhittakerWalt says:

      “typical cashman idiocy”

      Because, as we know, Brian Cashman has presided over nothing but losing teams since 1998.

      • willie w says:

        that others before him put together

      • fred robbins says:

        walt, walt, walt— since 2009, even though making the playoffs, they looked awful in the playoffs and very out matched against Detroit and others. He has had winning teams, but has locked the team into a group of long, bad contracts with aging players well past their primes and broken down. I don’t know what kind of lens you are seeing Cashman through unless you are a relative and he is helping you financially.
        He has destroyed this team in terms of its flexibility to trade, draft and everything else. Look at each position and you either see a broken down player or an over paid one who might also be broken down– not counting the few kids and Betances of course.

    • willie w says:

      cashman is a poor GM just like theo
      they both get credit for the work their predecessors did

      • WhittakerWalt says:

        Explain 2009 then.

        • Looser trader droids FotD™ says:

          One. Zillion. Dollars.
          That clear?

          • WhittakerWalt says:

            So other than the time he put together a fantastic team that crushed their competition and cruised to a World Series, he’s done nothing.
            Got it.

            • Mick taylor says:

              He only gets partial credit for 2009. The core four were a big part of that team. Thegms of cards and giants were way better with 100 million per year less

              • willie w says:

                don;t forget how the A’s GM makes smart trades and smart free agent signings and smart draft picks they kick the Yank’s A$$ in for a fraction of the payroll

                • Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

                  Yes, the A’s won two of three from the Yankees and are having a great year. This means they are kicking the Yankees’ ass.

                  Ask Billy Beane how his “smart trades” have worked out for him in terms of playoff appearances and World Series wins.

            • willie w says:

              he did it with lots of stupid signings that we will suffer for over the next few years !!!!!

      • Chris says:

        I am really not sure what some of you are expecting from Cashman. They added C RF CF and a #1 starter as well as signed Solarte. Pretty solid in my opinion. Start breaking it down: Due to performance or money owed they are not replacing the following positions- C,1b,RF,CF,LF,SS this year. All except SS is locked up for another 2 years minimum. They will be paying A-Rod somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 million the next few years. Even if they buy him out, is it smart to pay someone 15-20 million to fill 3b and pay out 40+ million at third base? No it is not. If we are going to roll the dice on Solarte, then they have 2 infield positions to improve. SS (ain’t happening this year) and 2nd or 3rd. What they really need to do is acquire starting pitching… and fast. Their bullpen is overworked and we don’t know when CC and Pineda will be back nor what they will give the team. This offense was bought in the offseason and they have not been producing to their career norms or their contract.

        • Looser trader droids FotD™ says:

          “Due to performance or money owed they are not replacing the following positions- C,1b,RF,CF,LF,SS this year.”

          Whose fault is that?

          • Chris says:

            Some of those signings should be complimented not chastised is my point. Are you saying that we should replace ALL of the players at those positions? Come on.

  7. Looser trader droids FotD™ says:

    Good thing we didn’t DFA Fonzie in the big overnight shake up.

  8. W.B. Mason Williams says:

    Sign Kendrys, play 5 infielders and leave the grass to Gritner and the Berry.

    Fortuna fortes adiuvat.

    (I also kid, but would like to see Morales in the lineup somehow)

  9. Cuso says:

    I don’t think Melvin challenged the HR call. I think those are reviewed on the standard that carried over from last year so managers don’t have to waste their challenges on that. Maybe in wrong , though

  10. nycsportzfan says:

    The Baseball America TOP100 done on May 14th has Ti’Quan Forbes ranked 55th and Andrew Suarez ranked 73. Sheffield is at 49th.

  11. nycsportzfan says:

    I’ve always had this weird thing where I wanted Jeter to stay under 100CS for his career. Just thought it’d be a nice touch to show just how underrated a base stealer he was for some reason.lol And it looks like hes gonna do it. What a underrated aspect to the Captains game. Hes got 349SB and will retire with less then 100caught stealing. He’ll prob get over the 350marker. Very few outside Yankee fans would realize he had that many base swipes in his career.

    • trr says:

      He is in fact the team’s all time leader in SB’s.

      There’s been some negativity about the Cap’n here lately, which I don’t really get. He is an all time great and possible first ballot HOFer. Of course he is not the player he once was, but every athlete who tries to extend his career into “extra innings” eventually loses to Father Time.

      Trust me, we’ll be telling our grandkids about him!

      • nycsportzfan says:

        If Derek Jeter isn’t a 1st ballot HOF’er, no one is. Hes got the 3000hits, the rings, the gold gloves, the rook of yr, the AS game MVP, the SB’s, Runs scored, and hes gonna finish his career well above 300BA. And its not like he was one dimensional hitter with no power. Hes swatted almost 260hr’s in his career.

        Not much he hasen’t done.

    • Looser trader droids FotD™ says:

      So he has a success rate of <80%, which is generally considered the breakeven for SB worthiness.

      Look, Jeter is an all time great Yankee and baseball player. But hanging the hat on his SB effectiveness isn't the way to make the argument.

  12. nycsportzfan says:

    If the lineup is anything other then this, i’d be surprised and annoyed tomorrow night. We can have all Lefty lineup against Jeremey Guthrie.

    1. Brett Gardner LF
    2. Derek Jeter SS
    3. Jacoby Ellsbury CF
    4. Carlos Beltran DH
    5. Mark Tiexera 1B
    6. Brian McCann C
    7. Yangervis Solarte 3B
    8. Brian Roberts 2B
    9. Ichiro Suzuki RF

  13. willie w says:

    don’t forget bernie williams is doing a concert this friday night !


  14. forensic says:

    Lucky win, but they need anything they can get at this point. Still pretty pitiful offense though, giving Pomeranz what was likely the best start of his career. I also still wonder what exactly the point of the Sizemore move was. It was even more pointless when they overreacted and rushed Beltran up even sooner. And boy was that a terrible strike zone today, for both teams.

    The state of offical scoring in baseball is absolutely horrible at this point. That Soriano ‘double’ is just absurd. It even hit his glove, so it’s not even on their usual dumb scale of not callin anything that doesn’t hit a glove an error.

    And finally, I’m so glad to be done with the A’s announcers for a little bit now. I really can’t stand listening to them at this point. They seem to be getting worse and worse.

    • Chris says:

      I am with you. I can barely get through a game with Fosse, he is the most biased announcer I have ever heard. My favorite comment of the day was regarding Ellsbury’s reviewed HR “it wasn’t even close”.

      • forensic says:

        Yup, but at least he took the mature route of not even being willing to say the umpire’s name for the next 5 innings because ‘we’ve already said it too much’…

        I also liked how they’d laugh and make jokes when horrible strike calls were made against the Yankees, but practically lose their shit when one happens against the A’s.

  15. 461deep says:

    last outs Nice win today as Brett, Ichiro & Tanaka ;did well. Pen bent but got strikeouts when needed. Tanaka rolling on even in a shorter outing. Batters need to swing at close pitches with 2 strikes. Thought plate was wider today. Get YES with TWC near Albany but all week my picture has been breaking up. Very annoying.

  16. 461deep says:

    lost my poat

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.