Yankees can’t answer Blue Jays a fourth time, lose series finale 5-4

Game 104: End of the Homestand
Sunday Night Open Thread


Source: FanGraphs

That was a dumb end to the homestand, but hey, I’m pretty sure we all would have signed up seven wins in ten games coming out of the All-Star break. Let’s recap Sunday afternoon’s 5-4 loss to the Blue Jays:

  • Rally to Tie, Part I: The Yankees made J.A. Happ look like Felix Hernandez or Miles Mikolas for the first four innings. He faced one over the minimum in those innings and retired 12 of the first 14 batters he faced before Chase Headley and Frankie Cervelli teamed up for back-to-back solo homers in the fifth. Headley’s was a bomb out to left, Cervelli’s a Yankee Stadium cheapie to right-center. They were the team’s 18th and 19th homers by right-handed hitters this year. Yep.
  • Mean Greene: Not the prettiest outing for Shane Greene, who did wiggle out of a second and third with no outs jam in the first inning while allowing only one run. He surrendered a solo homer to Juan Francisco, and, after the offense rallied to tie the game, a run-scoring double to Colby Rasmus in the sixth. Three runs on eight hits and two walks in 5.1 innings isn’t great but it’s hardly a disaster. Greene bent but he did not break.
  • Rally to Tie, Part II: In a refreshing role reversal, the other team’s infield defense led to a run in the sixth inning. Derek Jeter singled and Jacoby Ellsbury walked with one out before moving up on Carlos Beltran‘s ground out. Brian McCann plated the game tying run with a weak grounder. The second baseman short-hopped the throw to first and full-in first baseman Jose Bautista couldn’t handle the throw. McCann was safe and credit with an infield single, and Ellsbury scored the tie the game at three.
  • Wild Wild Wild: Dellin Betances pitched out of a David Huff created mess in the seventh inning — he inherited first and second with no outs — but his wildness hurt him in the eighth. He walked Rasmus to start the inning and let him get to third by throwing away a pickoff throw. A Munenori Kawasaki sac fly gave Toronto a 4-3 lead. Dr. Dellin in the seventh, Mr. Betances in the eighth.
  • Rally to Tie, Part III: For the third time in the game, the Yankees answered right back immediately after the Blue Jays scored. Brett Gardner led the eighth inning off with a single, moved to second on Jeter’s bunt, and scored on Beltran’s single to shallow left. Good ol’ manufactured run. I wish they would hit-and-run or just flat-out tell Gardner to run in those situations. Bunting is a waste of his speed.
  • No Shutdown Innings Allowed: The Yankees weren’t the only team to do the answering. Toronto scored the next-half inning each time the Bombers scored, including in the ninth. A single by Melky Cabrera, a run-saving diving stab by Headley to cut down the lead runner at second, a stolen base by Bautista, and a single by Dioner Navarro re-gave the Jays the lead off David Robertson. Just one shutdown inning would have been cool. There was no ninth inning rally for New York. Not even a base-runner.
  • Leftovers: The YES cameras caught Troy Tulowitzki at the game wearing an Arrested Development shirt (photo). He’s in New York to see a specialist about his hip injury … the usually reliable bullpen allowed two runs on two hits and two walks in 3.2 innings. Can’t expect zeroes every single day … every starter had exactly one hit except Ellsbury and Brendan Ryan. Ellsbury drew a walk though … Cervelli made two great plays at the plate. First to reel in Zelous Wheeler‘s off-line throw to tag Dan Johnson in the fourth, and again to hold onto McCann’s short-hop throw for the force out in the seventh.

For the box score and video highlights, go to MLB.com. FanGraphs has some other stats and ESPN has the updated standings. Depending on the outcome of the afternoon, the Yankees will be either three games back (Orioles lose) or four games back (Orioles win) of the top spot in the AL East. They’re one game back of Toronto for the second wildcard either way. The Yankees are off to Texas to play the last place Rangers now. David Phelps and Yu Darvish open the three-game series on Monday night.

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Game 104: End of the Homestand
Sunday Night Open Thread
  • JGYank

    Pen had a rare hiccup. Mostly from the error and SB not so much the pitching. 7-3 is nice, but the games against Toronto were the most important ones. Offense could of did better than score 4 runs but oh well. Only scored more than 4 twice in the last ten so that needs improvement but that’s nothing new. Defense looked better today but it should with headley and Ryan out there. Now on to kicking the rangers ass again.

  • trr

    7-3 is certainly a good home stand , and I think any of us would have taken it beforehand.
    But to lose the series to the B/J’s does not sit well. Either the roster must improve, or certain players must elevate their game…or both! I’m not conceding the division. I actually think TB is the best team, not the O’s. W can still win this, it’s all there, right in front of us, for the taking.

  • Cheddard Headley

    7-3 home stand is a huge disappointment. 8-2 was where they needed to be. I think they now have to go at least 4-2 on this trip to Texas and Boston to stay in it.

    The schedule in August gets much tougher so this was the time to go on a run and make up ground and they just didn’t get it done. And it would be nice if Cashman would lift a damn finger to improve the offense. We need a power bat in RF, not an Ichiro/Wheeler platoon.

    • trr

      (Any reasonable one of us would’ve been happy with 7-3)

    • Scott

      Cashman is working the phones trying to make a trade. He has been for 2 months. Read a newspaper, or a blog, for instance, like RAB.

      Just because he hasn’t landed a bat, doesn’t mean he isn’t trying. Teams are asking too much right now and he is trying to be smart by not giving away all of the Yanks higher ranking minor leaguers.

      Common sense, isn’t very common

  • Deep Thoughts

    Frustrating result, but I liked a lot of what I saw. Those constantly clamoring, “Play the kids!” got see some of that today with Greene, Betances, Warren, and Wheeler making some great plays and some not-so-great ones. It’s all part of the learning process. I loved the battling back multiple times. I loved seeing flashes of righty power and Beltran getting in the groove.

    If we could just get Pineda, Tanaka, and Teixeira back on the field. Just keep within striking distance.

    • Just Sayin’

      wheeler’s not a kid.
      vet minor league reject.

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    The only things the Yankees can control is how they play.

    7-3 is a good thing.

    • Scott

      +1

  • Argenys

    I blame Girardi, Huff into the 7th in a tied game with a rested bullpen? Warren out after 3 pitches? I figured it would be Warren, Betances, then Robertson… Nah too simple

    • Need Pitching & Hitting & Defense

      I don’t get it either, but Toronto didn’t score in the 7th.
      Betances gave up a run in the inning you wanted him to pitch and Robertson gave up a run in the inning you wanted him to pitch.

      I suppose maybe the 8th plays differently if Betances didn’t have to pitch in the 7th, but who knows?

      • mustang

        Different in what way that he doesn’t throw the ball away throwing it to first.

        I can’t believe the blame Girardi is getting I must of watched another game or something.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting & Defense

          Maybe he’d have better command coming fresh out of the bullpen warmups instead of from the dugout, and thus no leadoff walk, but he didn’t have good fastball command in the 7th either, so maybe not.

          • Argenys

            Bingo, he wouldn’t have 20 high stress pitches under his belt and an inning sitting down trying to hype himself up for better command which he lacked in the previous inning. Not saying what happened isn’t possible but would be less likely.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              And none of this has to do with Toronto manufacturing that last run in the ninth.

              • Argenys

                Understood, but under my hypothetical scenario that 9th inning run would’ve tied the game not given them the lead.

            • mustang

              Oh! Please you are so reaching just to find away to blame Girardi

              • Need Pitching & Hitting & Defense

                Girardi didn’t cause the loss.
                He did make a couple of questionable bullpen decisions.

                Saying Girardi cost them the game – wrong.

                Questioning some questionable decisions and pointing it the “may” have had an effect on the outcome – nothing wrong with that.
                Feel free to disagree, but it’s a valid point.

                • mustang

                  Agree.

    • Scott

      Yeah that had no bearing on the 9th inning. But way to get a jab in at Joe G.

      I thought he should have pulled Huff too but that didn’t cost the Yanks the game. Betances horrible throw on the pick off and the steal in the 9th cost the game.

      • Argenys

        I understand that’s how it played out. But its not crazy to think if Betances started that inning fresh things would’ve played out differently. And if it did Robertson would be pitching with a lead and not a tie. But yes, it could have easily still played out the same.

        I was just so confused as to why Huff was pitching in the 7th of a tied game with a rested bullpen.

    • Scott

      You could argue Joe maybe should have let Wheeler hit for himself instead of Ichiro. As we all keep saying and the stats back it up, Ichiro is better vs. Lefties. Joe brought him to face righty. Wheeler has 2 HRs vs. Ich’s 1 and I know Wheeler’s numbers vs. RHPs isn’t great but I still like my chances of Wheeler putting one in the seats instead of Ichiro.

  • Zoilo Delmonte

    Some good pitching on the farm today.
    Mitchell report: may have arrived with that 96-97 mph and breaking stuff. good job with Scranton today.
    Ban whale of a game with Trenton 4 inn, 70 pitch, no-hitter.
    Keep em’ coming!
    Now if we can get 96 mph nudnick Nuding to gel, we have something!

    • Topo Gio Gonzalez

      And they should sign Yasmani Tomas too…
      Tim Dierkes updated MLBTR’s 2015 Free Agent Power Rankings and Max Scherzer has retaken the top spot with Jon Lester moving up to second and Hanley Ramirez, last month’s top ranked free agent, falling to third. Also, two players have cracked the top ten for the first time: Yasmani Tomas and Melky Cabrera.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        What’s your plan to turn “force signing” on when 27 other teams had a scout there to watch this guy.

  • Just Sayin’

    If Yanks don’t use some of that $2 billion on this Cuban guy, I’m canceling my season tickets.
    And they need righty bats and outfielders!!!
    http://nypost.com/2014/07/26/c.....anks-host/

    • Scott

      He is a light hitting OFer. Not a power bat, and some scouts have said he will need time in the minors before getting to the big leagues.

      I’m not saying the Yanks shouldn’t get him but he isn’t the answer to the problem.

      • thurman munster

        Scottie,
        Sure he can’t be a bigger bat with some power?
        I’ve seen differing reports.
        Think I’d go for it.
        Just money. Makes top tier farm stronger.

      • Farewell Mo

        I’ve heard him described as Brett Gardner with a bit more power.
        If all that’s gonna cost me is money, sign me up right now.

        If he turns out to be an overpaid 4th outfielder, bid deal. Look how grossly overpaid many on their roster already are.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I’d be much more interested in him as a shortstop. Unless you tell me he’s got at least 20-25 HR potential, I don’t see the fit in this outfield.

      As I always said with Tanaka, when you have 28 of 30 teams potentially in on him, place your bets on the field, rather than your own team, when it comes to signing him.

      My eyes are on King Judge in RF soon enough. :)

      • Farewell Mo

        Let’s see Judge have some success above A ball before pencilling him into the starting lineup.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          I can say something with some assumed levity to it every now and then, you know.

          • W.B. Mason Williams

            Amateur baseball fan comment threads r seriuz bizniss

    • Preston

      I’m dubious on the claims of power. He’s 5’8″, guys who have put up power numbers at that height are rare, especially in modern times. Dustin Pedroia is the most powerful guy I can think of at that size. And his career ISO of .148 is more average than good, plus he has to swing from his heels every time to generate that much power, most guys don’t have the contact skills to swing like that and still be productive MLB players. Maybe I’m missing someone.

      • Eddie Gaedel

        Mel Ott
        Yogi Berra
        Jimmy Wynn
        Kirby Puckett
        Matt Stairs
        Joe Morgan
        Pudge Rodriquez……………..
        Who cares. I’m for stockpiling talent and seeing what sticks.
        Sign him. Chump change for Yanks.

      • RetroRob

        Cespedes is 5’9″, although most people don’t realize it. It’s not height that drives power, although athletes being athletes today, you’re more likely going to see players 6′ and above, yet that’s not what drives power.

      • Topo Gio Gonzalez

        Altuive’s 5-5 and has hit 7 in a season.
        And the Cuban can play the infield too, so that’s a plus.
        He’s played short through the years, so he’d be ahead of Rufsy on the learning curve.

  • mustang

    Betances throws the ball over first baseman.

    Robertson is sleeping with a runner at first and lets him get into scoring pos.
    THAT’S THE GAME BOYS!!!!

    Anything that Girardi could of done different doesn’t change those facts.

  • Kevin G.

    They were the team’s 18th and 19th homers by right-handed hitters this year. Yep.

    I miss you A-Rod.

  • Bill

    Sorry, but the big picture view doesn’t apply here. Face it, the Yanks handed their opposition the three losses this week. Monday night was kicked away, as was yesterday and you could argue today’s was a gift as well. Mental errors the last two days cost the team two winnable games. 9-1 wasn’t out of the question here. And if you count the game they threw away in Baltimore on the Friday before the break, the Yanks could very well be on an 11-2 run instead of a decent, but unsatisying 8-5. The Yanks beat themselves too often to be considered a playoff team. They need an influx of smarter, younger, more athletic players. Which we’ve been saying for the last 3-4 years. Maybe this year’s failure (which is inevitable) will convince the powers that be to go in a more productive direction.

  • Terry

    Crappy way to end the series. Robertson with a meltdown against the team they need to get past. Now in 3rd place!!!

    • Get Phelps Up

      “Meltdown”

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    These moments have been rate with DRob all season. There were squandered opportunities, but the team always came back. Beat our closer and I tip my hat to you.

    Now hopefully BGDP and Darvish don’t have to go an extra four innings tomorrow.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Rare

  • Yanks

    Wait, Tulo likes Arrested Development? Cashman, trade everything for him. Severino, Judge, Ref, Sanchez, Jags, Gardner, Tanaka, the rights to three World Series wins, and a signed picture of Derek Jeter smiling with a personalized message.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Seriously. I was delighted to see him wearing an AD shirt. Hell, I’m wearing one right now.

  • Farewell Mo

    You can live with losing but the last 2 games were given away because of crappy defense, errors and falling asleep on the field.

    This team isn’t good enough to give away runs or squander opportunities.

    • mustang

      THIS!!!!!

      more so then bad managing.

  • johnnyd

    Yanks just didn’t play a clean (or smart) game today. The base running gaffe by Wheeler stalled what could have been a big inning for them, and Robertson not paying attention to Bautista late was a back breaker. Not to mention the error on Betances. The Yankees simply don’t score enough to overcome those kinds of things.

    • mustang

      No your wrong its Girardi fault.

  • 461deep

    7-3 Good but 6 wins were against tanking poor hitting Reds & Rangers. As poster above says, things will get tougher now. Team has yet to show they can consistently beat above 500 teams which is a must for DIV or WC.
    Also, Betances will be tested more now as the late season pressure builds. Headley nice job so far. Solarte doing well in SD so change good for both in the short term. Carlos had some nice clutch hits this series. Should won 2-3 in Texas.

  • RetroRob

    I’ll take the overall home stand and 7-3 record, but one win out of the last two would have been fantastic.

    The offense, though, remains an issue. What did they average on this home stand? 3.8 runs a game? No good.

    Not unconvinced that a more seasons 1B’man would have reminded D-Rob about the threat of the steal. Not sure, but until they figure out how to have a decent back-up there, I’m going to blame everything on 1B! : -)

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Having McCann there is clearly a play towards, at least, having the best offensive team on the field there.

      Not unconvinced either, but he’s not the only one who should be looking out for the guy trying to steal in the ninth.

  • neaks

    Am I the only one who thinks “there’s always money in the banana stand” is Tulo’s way of saying “there’s always money if you trade me to the Yankees” ?