Robertson melts down, sends Yanks to 7-4 loss to Astros

DotF: Severino returns in Trenton's loss
Failure to beat up on bad teams has hurt Yanks in the standings

So much for starting the homestand off on the right foot after those two wins in Tampa, huh? A rare David Robertson meltdown led to a 7-4 Astros win in Tuesday night’s series opener. The Yankees are now 1-3 against Houston this year.

(Mike Stobe/Getty)
(Mike Stobe/Getty)

From 0-2 to 2-0
As usual, the Yankees traded zeroes with [insert opponent here] for the first three innings of Tuesday’s game. They should just start every game in the fourth or fifth inning with the score 0-0 the rest of the season. It would save so much time. Mark Teixeira (strikeout) and Carlos Beltran (fly out) were quickly retired in the bottom of the fourth, but Martin Prado followed with a first pitch single and Brian McCann followed that with a two-run homer into the second deck in right. Brett Oberholtzer hung an 0-2 breaking ball right out over the plate. It was a cookie. Those were two of the five men the Yankees put on base in the first five innings.

Birthday Boy
For his 36th birthday, Chris Capuano have himself a no decision. His bullpen tried to give him a loss. Adam Warren, specifically. Capuano did what he’s done since he arrived in New York, specifically using his array of changeups and curveballs and other soft stuff to keep the Astros completely off balance through four innings, striking out six in the process. Houston had a base-runner in each of those four innings but only one (Gregorio Petit’s ground rule double in the third) made it as far as second base.

Capuano gave up a run in the fifth inning on Petit’s double and Robbie Grossman’s soft single to right, which kinda sucked because a) there were two outs and bases empty before the mini-rally, and b) McCann had just given the Yankees a 2-0 run in the previous half-inning. But, one run in five innings of work isn’t bad by any stretch. You’d take that from your … 11th? 12th? I’ve lost count at this point … starter every time out. Dexter Fowler’s leadoff stand-up triple in the sixth is when things started to fall apart.

(Mike Stobe/Getty)
(Mike Stobe/Getty)

Jason Castro drove in Fowler with a simple ground out to tie the game, which, I mean, fine. Hard to strand a guy after a leadoff triple. But then Matt Dominguez singled. Then Jon Singleton singled. Then Joe Girardi came out of the dugout to get Capuano with his pitch count at a season-high 103, opting to go with struggling Warren. Warren got the second out of the inning on a weak ground ball that hit him, but he hung a slider to pinch-hitter Marwin Gonzalez, who pulled it to right for a two-run single. Ichiro Suzuki completely misplayed the ball but there wouldn’t have been a play at the plate anyway.

Warren stranded the runner and got the third out, but the damage had been done. The 2-1 lead was suddenly a 4-2 deficit, and all four runs were charged to Capuano. His final pitching line — 5.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 8 K — looks worse than he pitched, if you know what I mean. Some shoddy bullpen work could gave given him a lead and did bloat his ERA. On his birthday, no less. Jerks.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Rally To Tie
You gotta hand it to them, as soon as the Astros had that big three-run top of the sixth to take the lead, the Yankees answered right back to tie the game in the bottom half. Jacoby Ellsbury started things off with a first pitch single — he’s a much better leadoff hitter than number three hitter, no? — and he took second on a stolen base/balk. He got a great jump and had the base stolen, but Oberholtzer balked, so it didn’t matter. Sucks if you own Ellsbury in fantasy, but it accomplished the same thing.

Teixeira struck out and Beltran walked, putting the tying run on base with one out. Astros manager Bo Porter opted to stick with the left-handed Oberholtzer against the right-handed Prado, who took five straight pitches to work the count full. One of the strikes was way off the plate should have been called a ball, but it’s a good thing it wasn’t. Prado yanked Oberholtzer’s 94th and final pitch of the night into the left field corner for a game-tying two-run double. It nearly hopped over the wall for a ground-rule double, which would have cost the Yankees a run. Thankfully it stayed in play and the game was tied.

The Yankees didn’t get Prado in from second with one out because that’s what they do. Just be happy they got the two runs. Ellsbury led off the bottom of the eighth with an infield single before stealing second and getting to third on a throwing error. The throw literally hit his leg as he slid into second and bounced into the outfield. Unfortunately, Beltran grounded right to shortstop with the infield in and Ellsbury was thrown out at home on the contact play. What can you do? This team can’t score runs and a speedy runner like Ellsbury could have forced a young infielder like Gonzalez to rush his throw, but alas. Wasted opportunity.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Meltdown
Robertson picked a really, really bad time to have his first terrible outing in about two and a half months. The score was still knotted up at four when he took over in the ninth inning, and he did get a quick first pitch out to start the inning, but things unraveled from there. Robertson walked Grossman on five pitches — he stole second, though that really didn’t matter given the outcome — then walked Jose Altuve after being ahead in the count 0-2. The Astros had men on first and second with one out.

In between the Altuve at-bat and the Chris Carter at-bat that followed, Robertson threw seven straight balls. The Astros turned Carter lose 3-0, Robertson grooved a fastball right down the middle, and Carter hit it a mile to left field for a three-run homer. No-doubter, gone on contact. The game was over because the offense sure as hell wasn’t scoring three runs in the ninth to tie. If you rank the players on the roster 1-25 based on how much of a problem they are, Robertson would be … 25th? Maybe 24th behind Dellin Betances? He’s been awesome this year but stunk in this game.

Leftovers
Ellsbury and Prado both went 3-for-4 while the rest of the lineup went 3-for-27 (.111). McCann homered, Teixeira singled, and Ichiro singled. Ichiro actually slipped when he took his stride and put his front foot down, but he still got the barrel on the ball on found a hole for a base hit. The guy’s bat control is ridiculous. Beltran drew the only walk. Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter both went 0-for-4 as the one-two hitters.

Between the Warren and Robertson calamities, Shawn Kelley and Betances retired six of seven batters faced with two strikeouts apiece. Betances allowed a dinky little ground ball single through the shift. Rich Hill came on to replace Robertson in the ninth, allowed the two lefties he faced to reach base (single and walk) and struck out the two righties. Of course.

I’m not normally one to complain about the strike zone (it is what it is), but Paul Emmel seemed to have a particularly big zone, especially the outside corner to righties. The PitchFX data confirms it. It completely changed Chase Headley‘s at-bat with Prado at second in the seventh, turning what should have been ball four in a 3-1 count into a 3-2 count. Changed everything. Headley struck out on the next pitch.

And finally, Jeter did the Ice Bucket Challenge before the game on Tuesday. The video is above. I’m sure there’s a perfectly good reason for doing it on the carpet in the middle of the clubhouse. Anyway, the hug with Masahiro Tanaka is the best part.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
For the box score and video highlights, go to MLB.com. You can find some more game stats at FanGraphs and the updated standings at ESPN. The Orioles won, so the Yankees are now 8.5 games back in the AL East. They’re in second place too. This division was there for the taking if someone wanted to go on an extended run, and Baltimore took advantage. The Mariners won as well, meaning the Yankees are now four games back of the second wildcard spot. FanGraphs has their postseason odds at 6.6%.


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
Same two teams on Wednesday night, when Michael Pineda and Scott Feldman meet in the middle game of this three-game series. Hoping to see some big things out of Big Mike. If you want to catch that game or any of the other four games left on homestand, RAB Tickets can get you in the door.

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DotF: Severino returns in Trenton's loss
Failure to beat up on bad teams has hurt Yanks in the standings
  • W.B. Mason Williams

    D-Rob, behind Betances and Greene, deserves to be forgiven for making a bad mistake more than anyone else on the team. Shake it off and keep being an elite closer.

    Not a great outing by Capuano, but what do you expect from scrap heap filler?

    Shame to lose to the Astros, but they’re better hitters than we are.

    • Kevin Wrong

      Drob didnt even make a bad mistake there – Thats exactly what McCann called for on 3-0 to carter – the mistake was that umpire being allowed to work a MLB game

      • W.B. Mason Williams

        Fine. Whatever. It was the battery’s fault. You work with the card’s you’re dealt. Grooving one right there was stupid, umpire or not.

  • Bunuelo

    The umpire looked like he was on drugs

    • UnKnown

      I know he gave the Yanks way too many calls. It wasn’t fair. I want the game to be fair. Wah Wah Wah

      • Kevin Wrong

        Lmao he hosed the yankees all night long – he gave them nothing all game – what game were u watching

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    They scored the runs. The bullpen blew it. Walking Altuve to pitch to Carter worked early in the game. He made them pay, and then some, later.

    Can’t be too angry at DRob. We haven’t even had a WWWDRW yet. He’s been awesome. This will happen every now and then. Unfortunately, there’s precious little room for error right now.

    It’s still Yankee baseball. I’ll stick around.

    • Cuso

      Kinda stinks that we qualify 4 as “the runs” in this day and age. Can’t dispute it, of course. But it’s clear that the caliber pitching they face is irrelevant to whether they have the ability to score more. Unless it’s an early blowout, 4 is and will be the acceptable and anticipated watershed mark.

      • W.B. Mason Williams

        It might just be me, but between the lineup and the new stadium food there’s been quite a shift in emphasis from “runs” to “the runs”.

        I’ll show myself out.

        • Pete22

          Yankees should do what the Mets did, and make sure the opposition got some salmonella tainted burgers

      • forensic

        Yup, it’s pretty depressing.

  • JUNEBUG®?

    Was I the only one who knew Carter had a green light on a 3-0 pitch? Should’ve walked him and gave someone out of the pen a chance to get out of it.

    • W.B. Mason Williams

      Started to get a sinking feeling in my stomach after 2-0. But it is what it is.

      You don’t pull your most established and indisputably elite bullpen piece to stick someone else in there with Warren and Dellin already used. I’d take a wild D-Rob over a sharp Kelley or Hill etc. any day of the week.

      The man earned the “Houdini” nickname for a reason.

      But that’s just my thinking.

    • mattpat11

      That someone would have been Rich Hill.

  • will wipperdink

    my brother thinks they should let DROB go

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Should I be insisting this rhyme?

      • W.B. Mason Williams

        “Let Robertson walk! Let Robertson walk!
        Let him stomp, let him shout, let him stamp, let him balk!
        He’ll throw fastballs and curveballs and sideballs and schmurveballs.
        An elephant’s faithful 100%….wait what?”

    • will wipperdink

      after they make him a QO

  • Giuseppe Franco

    I accepted long ago that this was not going to be a playoff team so games like this really don’t bother me.

    I’m sure Robertson will have a few more haters after this performance but it’s imperative that they extend him in the offseason.

    Guys like him don’t grow on trees.

    • W.B. Mason Williams

      Letting Robertson go will unequivocally make the bullpen weaker for next season, barring some ridiculous spending and trades.

      • Giuseppe Franco

        No question. The Yanks have had good success developing relievers in recent years and most relievers are replaceable.

        But not the elite ones, and make no mistake, Robertson is elite.

      • Pete22

        I don’t think the Yankees will want to spend 10 million for a closer with Arod back on the books. They have a closer in Betances. Just need to find a cheaper set up guy, and that guy is probably in-house

        • W.B. Mason Williams

          The money is one thing, and you’re right it’s definitely going to be a consideration.

          Is an acceptable replacement in-house? Probably yes.

          Is an equivalent replacement in-house? Almost certainly no. I’m incredibly excited about Lindgren, but he’s probably not going to turn into D-Rob, and even more unlikely Betances.

          Sucks that A-Rod is going to affect holding on to homegrown, elite pieces. Gah.

        • Deep Thoughts

          Have you perhaps noticed recently that the bullpen’s collective arm is falling off right about now? You would have to be incredibly optimistic, reckless, or deluded to expect to replace Robertson’s high-leverage innings internally with comparable quality and consistency. Robertson’s been consistent for several consecutive seasons and it’s not like he’s entering his decline years. Others have already pointed out all the money coming off the books this off-season and next. They can afford him.

  • UnKnown

    So on RH batters the Stros got 6 calls and the Yanks got 8 calls.

    Yup totally the umps fault for giving the Yanks MORE calls than the Stros. LMAO

    • Pete22

      Only ones you can count on now are those in and outside. Brooks makes adjustments overnight for those high and low based on the individual batter profiles. Check tomorrow to see if any changes

      Astros pitchers got most of the outside strikes called to RHH, a couple were way out there.

      • UnKnown

        Yup one was way out there I will give you that. I think if any changes are made it will come out about even.

        Look unlike some crazies or actually one. I like to keep an even keel head. Emmel was bad tonight, real bad. It happens he is human. I wholeheartedly don’t think it changed the outcome. Yanks had more than enough chances to win and didn’t come through. But let’s say it did, just to play along. Really again it’s the Yanks fault for playing pretty crappy all year and now being boxed into a “must win” every night. Oh and probably tomorrow night the M’s or Tigers will lose because of the umps. Or last I’m sure a lunatic M’s fan thinks they lost because of an ump. It’s 162 games, think about that 162 games. The umpiring does not factor into what teams make the postseason. Sorry but it just doesn’t.

        If it makes someone feel better to scream bloody murder than by all means do it. AMERICA baby. And I have the right to laugh at that person and think they are foolish. No biggie.

        • Deathstroke Heathcott

          I’m not too mad about losing this one due to umpiring. The Yankees definitely didn’t help themselves out and it was just frustrating that the umpiring was a little slanted in the Stros favor in some crucial moments. Like I said earlier, the Yankees will probably be on the right end of that issue a fair amount of times too. But I have no idea why anyone would oppose some reform on that front. The status quo with umpiring isn’t great and it can definitely be improved. There’s no reason to just be content with poor umpiring in general.

  • mattpat11

    You know you have an atrocious team when the managerial strategy is
    “maybe they’ll throw one away” and its a defensible move.

    • W.B. Mason Williams

      If Joe Maddon did it it would become gospel. (kidding)

    • Giuseppe Franco

      I play in a local men’s baseball league and that strategy would actually work quite often.

      A lot of the guys are in their late 30s and early 40s so they don’t exactly have the range and skills they had when they were in high school.

  • Pete22

    Not sure D-Rob is healthy. Joe kind of got the pen up earlier than you would expect.

    Houston is a better team than we think. They have a better record than the Yankees after the ASB. Some of their bats can hurt you. Weakness is some spots in the pen and middle relief. If you can get one of the weaker starters and get to the pen early you can pile on some runs.

    • Kevin Wrong

      Drob is fine he just got screwed tonight

      • 461deep

        Believe auto won’t work out the way many think.. Why? View here is the calls will be so predictable after awhile that hitters will no longer need to worry if a ball will be called a strike and pitchers will lose the edge of to some degree of getting hitters to chase. Good hitters will love it. It is an imperfect game in an imperfect world. I like the game as it is.. Replay is not perfect either and some take too long. Framing is nice but do we have the umpires take on how it affects there calls. Carter hit
        one of the longest homers hit in this YS. actually D-Rob been giving up a few hard hit balls lately but most have been caught.
        Astros strike out too much but do connect enough to score a few runs. Pineda should K plenty today but needs to avoid a bad mistake.

        • Deep Thoughts

          Good hitters hitting? Yucky. That doesn’t sound like the 0-0 in the 4th inning snoozefest I paid to see. We’re not talking Kershaw vs. King Felix here. Most fans are ready for the game to adjust in the offense’s favor this time.

    • ScottinSJ

      It won’t be too many years before the Astros have a better team than the Yanks. Payroll discrepancy be damned. It could happen sooner than we think.

      • W.B. Mason Williams

        Potentially. A rebuild isn’t the golden guaranteed strategy that the MLB is trying to make it out to be. Shoving parity down the league’s throat doesn’t mean that they Yankees haven’t been competitive for 2 decades while relying mostly on their money.

        And the diminishing of that ability, while primarily due to their ageing roster, is at least in significant part due to rule changes favoring smaller market, smaller payroll teams and lifting them up to the juggernauts’ level.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        What a fan, this one.

        For all we know, it could be 20 years.

    • ScottinSJ

      Pete — why is it that when a Yankee player fails, it’s most likely due to injury? I like DRob a lot, but let’s not make excuses for a lousy outing.

      • Pete22

        I think this holds true for many players, not just Yankees. He had 0 command, and Joe warmed the pen up earlier than he might have. Not proof or anything, just think its possible, He has been shaky in recent appearances, Got some good results but faced the bottom of the order a few times and got lucky on some hard hit balls. I just feel he is not as sharp as he would be if healthy

        • forensic

          He didn’t warm up the pen earlier than usual in that kind of situation. He clearly had no command and if he gives up the lead then there’s no point in leaving him in there just for the sake of finishing the inning. They have 700 relievers out there and you get Robertson out and save him for the next time he’s needed rather than throwing unnecessary pitches.

    • forensic

      He had a bad night. It’s happens. It doesn’t mean he’s hurt.

  • dickylarue

    You can’t beat the Astros at home or for the season series you don’t deserve to be in the postseason. This team has no run in it.

  • Kevin Wrong

    DAMN McCann he started his toe tap again and crushed a homerun – how dare he not listen to me

  • TWTR

    Please bring Mitchell up. They need every quality arm they have.

  • TB

    A little suggestion to cashman and girardi – Warren is shot right now – His slider is spinning like a top – send him down and call up Mitchell to fill his role while we still have a chance

    • Kevin Wrong

      Its like they let me teach warren how to pitch the past month

  • TCF16

    Roberston’s following in Mo’s footsteps in being way worse in tie games than when he has the lead. Hey, at least he didn’t blow the save! And Warren didn’t let up a run! Sheeeeet.

    • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Dr. Martin van Nostrand

      Isn’t it funny how, in 2012 and 2013, it was DRob in closing situations that made us all nervous?

      This guy has been pitching high leverage, non-save innings since 2009. I doubt he suddenly lost his ability to pitch in non-save situations this year. Much like with Mo, this is so much more of a perception =/= reality situation. I don’t see why it would be logical to think DRob, against the same hitters, would’ve been any better if it was 5-4 than he was with it 4-4.

      One thing that does concern me is that it seems like guys have no trouble stealing against him. That did him in against Toronto a few weeks back, and it sure didn’t help him tonight.

  • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Dr. Martin van Nostrand

    I saw this tonight and I saw it again later in the final inning of the Rangers/Marlins game, and what is is the dumbfuck stupidity that exists with the notion of an “open base”. How often do we see it where someone doesn’t steal second because it will open up first base and take the bat out of the hitters’ hands? Well, look, IBB’ing the hitter to force the go-ahead run to 3rd base with one out isn’t an ideal situation, but you know what might be even less ideal? Grooving a 3-0 fastball to the best power hitter on the team (by a mile). I’d sooner just put Carter on, load the bases, and re-assess the situation from there. That situation has a better chance of at least not turning into a clusterfuck, than grooving a 3-0 fastball.

    Rangers/Marlins? Well, first and second, two outs, a 3-3 game, and Giancarlo Stanton at the plate. Now, is there any rational person out there who thinks it’s a better idea to face Giancarlo Stanton than Casey McGeeheeheeheehee? If the situation was 2nd and 3rd, would Ronnie Washington not have put the four fingers up to walk him? Because it’s the same kind of dumbfuck stupidity I just mentioned above. Just because the open base isn’t first base doesn’t mean there isn’t an open base.

    Carter hit a game-deciding three-run home run.

    Stanton laced a walk-off single to right field.

    Both teams that lost got their due fate for dumbass strategy.

  • dkidd

    did jeter challenge kevin connolly? as in e from entourage? it would depress me to learn they are buddies

    • Deathstroke Heathcott

      Also, I thought Hannah Davis was his (ex?)-girlfriend?

    • Deathstroke Heathcott

      And yeah, Kevin Connolly is a little Napoleonic shithead from everything I’ve heard on him.

  • Trisha

    Mike, I know that a lot of people have gotten accustomed to “human error” being part of the game, etc., and all of the cliches that go along with that. But think of it this way. For us, this is a game. For players, this is their livelihood. Their “promotions” depend upon some bottom line that is pretty much decided by the umpires. If umpires get the calls right, then players will be evaluated correctly. If umpires get the calls wrong, then players will be penalized because they will not have the opportunity to show exactly what their talent is. I don’t think there is one of us here who would our bosses to make decisions about our careers based on faulty information. But it’s okay for umpires to do that day in and day out?

    I want things done correctly, and the technology is there. To me, it is lazy thinking and a laissez-faire attitude that says it’s okay for umpires to get it wrong. It’s also intellectually dishonest to make unequivocal pronouncements about a game when the umpiring has been bad.

    We’ve taken baby steps with instant replay. I look forward to the day that some kind of electronic technology is employed behind the dish. Then I can have no qualms about discussing the purported inadequacies of a team per game.

    • TB

      Well said Trisha – a big ditto on that

    • W.B. Mason Williams

      I’m sure the umpires’ union would be up in arms.

      that is probably the biggest reason. masqueraded as “tradition”.

      Didn’t stop them doing away with home plate collisions.

    • Kevin Wrong

      Right on Trish

  • ScottinSJ

    Next year will be very interesting. Anyone think they will be competitive with A-Rod, an even older, more brittle Tex, CC, and Beltran, and another year of a declining McCann as regulars?

    Pineda hasn’t proved he can stay healthy. Tanaka is still a large question mark. I don’t know when Nova’s due back; then again, apart from an excellent half season, he’s been less than stellar.

    I think we need to buckle up and be prepared for further disappointment.

    • forensic

      I, for one, will at least be excited to see A-Rod out there again. It feels like it’s been forever. It’ll also be nice to see Tanaka out there again, though I’m not sure I really like their plan of not getting the surgery done and over with now.
      I’m not sure how competitive they’ll be in the end though.

      • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Dr. Martin van Nostrand

        But, then again, didn’t Adam Wainwright pitch for several years with just that injury? As easy as it is to think “ok, partial tear? get the surgery done”, there were three doctors who all advised rest and rehab, and also some of the TJS recipients (terrible choice of word) already had it once before; Jarrod Parker immediately comes to mind there. It’s not a proven once-and-done surgery anymore.

        If rest and rehab suited Tanaka well, then lovely. With most SP’ers these days, they’re ticking time bombs for major arm surgery anyway.

        • forensic

          I understand the risks and the doctors all agreed, so go for it. But, it’s basically a guarantee that he will need the surgery at some point anyway, it’s just a matter of time. My thinking is that if that’s the case, just get it done now since I don’t really see them as top notch competitors this year or next, so take that time for the recovery rather than run into it further down the road when maybe it torpedoes a better Yankees team than this.

    • Deep Thoughts

      Just so we’re clear, in August 2014, you’re advocating preparation for possible disappointment on the horizon from March-October 2015? OK, got it.

      Should we look forward to many more such PSAs until then or could you just refer everyone back to this post instead?

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      So glad you’re here to cheer the team on.

  • dkidd

    my first reaction to that video was “who let tanaka lift that heavy bucket???”

    • forensic

      heh, exactly what I said in the game thread when someone posted the video. That right arm is way too valuable to let him do that.

      • dkidd

        and what about cc’s knees??? and derek’s ankle??? and the chance someone slips on the wet carpet???

        sad but that’s where i went

        • W.B. Mason Williams

          Somewhere, Nick Johnson’s spine creaks.

  • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Dr. Martin van Nostrand

    fwiw, underrated moment because it seems like a defense for DRob when he was admittedly terrible, but that 2-2 pitch to Altuve in the 9th? Yeah, I’m not sure where that pitch missed. Who knows what happens with Carter if DRob gets the call there. I don’t want to whine too much about umps because this stuff does even out (or so we tell ourselves because we don’t track this stuff 1-162), but tonight definitely wasn’t going the Yankees’ way there. May have derailed the 6th inning, and it may have also finished greasing the wheels for the Astros 9th inning.

    • TB

      Trust me it doesn’t even out – when people say that I laugh – Umpires miss 20 percent of strikes call on average – Think about what 20 percent means to the average game based on total pitches and tell me how u could come to a conclusion it evens out — It never evens out -

      • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Dr. Martin van Nostrand

        “(or so we tell ourselves because we don’t track this stuff 1-162)”

        maybe I was putting a caveat in there because I realize how much of a “makes us feel better” thing that really is.

        • Kevin Wrong

          Okay thats cool – i can understand that

      • ScottinSJ

        If your avatar weren’t so damn hot, I would really take you to task.

        What would you do about all of the iffy human calls in basketball and hockey — fouls and penalties and the like? Why don’t we review every play in football? Maybe the refs spot the ball incorrectly many times?

        You can take this thing to ridiculous levels.

        • TB

          This isn’t basketball and hockey

          • ScottinSJ

            So perfection is only demanded in baseball? Other wonderful games can stay wonderfully human.

            • Deathstroke Heathcott

              How about you make the calls as perfect as you feasibly and realistically can? Much like football and basketball try to do. It just so happens that you can make the calls more perfect in baseball than you can in football and basketball where there are more judgment calls but that’s no reason not to pursue it.

        • TB

          You don’t need to review balls and strikes – we have the technology to call them properly without it

    • Deathstroke Heathcott

      I’m just saying, let’s not just dismiss people who suggest ways to make this better. Whether it’s holding umps to a higher standard from the league office, changing up how they recruit and train umps in the first place, or even electronically tracking balls and strikes, let’s keep everything on the table and acknowledge that it can and should be made better.

      • forensic

        Yup, I’m all for improving them, but not a fan of the robot ump movement. I prefer to keep even that human element in the game. It’s not talked about much but it’s kind of ironic that replay had led to some of these umpiring issues (not specifically with Emmel, but with others) as they have eight extra umps in the majors because they have to keep guys in NY on a rotation for reviews. That’s eight extra guys who maybe shouldn’t be in the majors but are anyway.

    • villapalomares

      Joe Sheehan has been arguing for automated umpiring for some time. Here’s his latest and I agree with him.

      https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!topic/sheehannewsletter/5JzVW_lO7sE

      • TWTR

        I’m pro-robot.

        • Trisha

          All the way.

        • Deathstroke Heathcott

          I, for one, welcome our new robot umpires.

          • W.B. Mason Williams

            ietc

      • Trisha

        Can’t read it unless you’re a member of that group.

        • villapalomares

          Sorry about that. Here’s the whole article:

          The Joe Sheehan Newsletter

          Vol. 6, No. 54

          August 19, 2014

          Framing research has been the most prominent area of sabermetric discovery this decade. Beginning with Mike Fast’s initial work, which built upon that of Dan Turkenkopf, and moving on through additional research this year by Harry Pavlidis and Dan Brooks, statheads have been able to quantify a catcher’s receiving ability. This research has been a considerable source of pride for the community, whose work so often runs counter to traditional wisdom. In this case, the research showed that this “framing” skill had a range of 50 to 60 runs a year — five to six wins — from top to bottom, and that the skill was consistent from season to season. The statistics supported the inside-baseball idea that catcher receiving was not just a skill, but a valuable one.

          Nothing I write in this piece should be read as a counter to that. The work by Fast, Pavlidis, Brooks and others is thorough, and while I resist the idea that the range of the ability can be as wide as it is, I cannot argue with the data as presented. Where I part ways with the consensus is in the conclusions I reach from the research.

          From the Official Rules of Baseball, Rule 2.00:

          A STRIKE is a legal pitch when so called by the umpire, which —

          (b) Is not struck at, if any part of the ball passes through any part of the strike zone;

          2.00, again:

          The STRIKE ZONE is that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter’s stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball.

          Smart people look at catcher-framing data and see a skill that should be publicized, evaluated, rewarded when appropriate and improved upon when necessary. I look at the catcher-framing data and see an indictment of home-plate umpiring, one so clear as to demand immediate change. What the framing data tells me is that umpires are not calling balls and strikes based on where a pitch crosses the plate, but based on what happens when it hits the catcher’s mitt. What I see in the catcher framing data is the most clear evidence yet that umpires are not enforcing critical clauses of Rule 2.00.

          I’d say that once a day, somewhere in America, a patronizing play-by-play announcer tells the fans watching at home that the pitch is a ball or a strike based on where it is when it crosses the plate, not when it hits the mitt. What we know now is that in too many cases, that’s false. The research into pitch framing makes it clear that pitches frequently become balls and strikes based on what happens after they’ve passed through the zone. Some catchers are exploiting a hole in the game engine to the tune of 30 to 40 runs a year, and others are being exploited to that same degree. That’s more than almost any fair-territory defensive players are worth in a season, good or bad.

          Is this what we want baseball to be? Set aside how nicely the traditional and the analytic line up in this area, and think about it. Should everything Andrelton Simmons or Manny Machado or Alex Gordon does in the field be equivalent to what a catcher can do by moving or not moving his mitt from here to here? From a spectator standpoint, is that good for the game? A fan can sit almost anywhere in the park and appreciate what great defenders do chasing down baseballs, turning double plays, gunning down baserunners. There might not be 50 people in a ballpark who can see what a catcher is doing to earn those 30 or 40 runs. Most framing analysis has been paired with GIFs or stop-frame replays side-by-side that allow for comparison of good and bad actions. It’s not clear to me — and I concede that mileage may vary on this — that it’s in the best interest of baseball for something essentially invisible to fans and, if we’re being honest, invisible to just about anyone in real time, to swing this many runs.

          I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this time with data on my side: on anything close, umpires are guessing. They’re just guessing. The human eye is simply not capable of performing the task at hand.

          Rule 1.05:

          Home base shall be marked by a five-sided slab of whitened rubber. It shall be a 17-inch square with two of the corners removed so that one edge is 17 inches long, two adjacent sides are 8 1/2 inches and the remaining two sides are 12 inches and set at an angle to make a point. …

          So you want to be a home-plate umpire? Discern the position of a 5 1/4″ sphere moving at 85-90 mph and almost never traveling in a straight line, as it passes through an imaginary box 17″ by 8.5″ by 24″ or so, 18 inches in front of your face. If the sphere does happen to cross the box, the ball will be in it for approximately six-thousandths of a second.

          Are you kidding me? Of course you’re guessing. To guess correctly, you’re leaning on the thing you can see best, which is the final position of the baseball and how much or how little the catcher moved to receive it. That’s not all you’re leaning on, of course. You’re leaning on the count, fudging your calls this way and that to keep the batter at the plate. You’re leaning on the fame of the pitcher. You’re forcing left-handed batters to cover three sections down the third-base line. Monday night, I was watching the Twins/Royals game, and Trevor May didn’t get the call on a 3-2 pitch. Bert Blyleven said that it was because May hadn’t shown good command to that point. “If you’re all over the place, you’re not going to get those calls,” he said. Now, I’ve gone over the rule book, and I do not see a clause that modifies the dimensions of the strike zone outlined in 2.00 based on previous pitches.

          It’s time to stop pretending that human eyes are the best available technology for the job. We have systems already in place that do a better job of calling a consistent, rulebook strike zone than human umpires could ever possibly do. Let them do the job. They don’t have to be perfect; they just have to correct for the biases that currently exist, and they have to not allow for swinging hundreds of runs a year based not on whether the pitch crossed the strike zone, but on what the catcher did after that happened.

          This is no small thing. An inch in the strike zone, Bill James wrote, is worth 30 feet in the outfield. The de facto strike zone is, along with higher velocity, the key factor in today’s stagnant, strikeout-laden version of baseball. Wide strikes and low strikes are changing the game, unbalancing it, with very little end in sight.

          The framing data is the way out of this mess. It demonstrates clearly that umpires are not calling balls and strikes according to the rules of the game, but rather based on the crutch of catcher actions. This isn’t out of laziness, out of a character flaw, out of a desire to bend the rules, but a concession to what has been true for decades: that human eyes cannot possibly track a baseball and render a decision on its position pursuant to the letter of Rule 2.00. Until recently, there wasn’t much that could be done. Now, with PitchF/X in place, indicting umpires every single day, we have both the data to make the case and the technology to do something better. An automated strike zone will be more fair to all the players, while putting an end to a condition in which virtually invisible movements are as valuable as the acrobatics of a Gold Glove shortstop.

          Commissioner Manfred, here’s your first task: put automated ball-and-strike calling in place in time for the 2016 season.

          • Trisha

            Absolutely excellent article, and spot on. Again, why anyone would willingly compromise the integrity of the game when the technology exists to make it otherwise is just beyond me.

            I have been harping on this for as long as I can remember. It feels good to see that I’m far from alone.

            “Commissioner Manfred, here’s your first task: put automated ball-and-strike calling in place
            in time for the 2016 season.”

            Amen!

    • Deep Thoughts

      Ouch. Two of those “balls” look like they could have easily been called strikes.

      • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Dr. Martin van Nostrand

        Even funnier to see that 0-2 pitch on the upper outside corner when you consider some of the pitches that were clearly out of the zone altogether to Prado and Headley in the 6th inning. Hard to pitch well with what DRob was throwing out there, but it’s impossible when getting squeezed that way.

  • ScottinSJ

    I took this from LoHud. No bitching or excuses from DRob. It’s ridiculous to blame his and the team’s failures on the umpires. I’ll leave it at that.

    “Trying to make a good pitch down and away,” Robertson said. “Instead I threw it right into his bat path and he put it 30 rows deep. It stinks when (the count is) 3-0 that happens, but if a make a good quality pitch, maybe I get a groundball double play. … When you’re not making quality pitches and you’re not throwing the ball where you want to, you’re not going to get outs. I struggled out there tonight, and I blew it for our team.”

    He did, and in a vacuum this game might be all about a good reliever having a bad night. But the Yankees offense came down to two big hits tonight: Brian McCann’s two-run homer and Martin Prado’s two-run double. Ultimately, it was more of the same. Another night when the Yankees had a chance to take control of the game, but when their pitching staff slipped up, there was no offense to pick up the slack. The Yankees were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

    A lot of really close pitches for Robertson in that ninth inning. The crowd here at Yankee Stadium seemed to groan with every ball believing so many of them could have been strikes. “That’s the game,” Robertson said. “Sometimes you get those (calls), sometimes you don’t. It changes from day to day with different umpires. I went and looked them. They’re close. I’m not going to say they’re dead giveaway strikes, though.”

    • Deathstroke Heathcott

      The “missed” calls for Robertson were only a thing relative to what the ump had called on Headley (as Mike pointed out in the recap) and maybe Prado or Ellsbury in the innings previous. He had called some generous calls on the outside corner and didn’t give them to Robertson. But in the end, DRob is right, he had his chance to make his pitches and didn’t make them. Just an off night and I can’t really take DRob to task for that, with how he’s pitched all year.

    • UnKnown

      Right on DROB. That’s the attitude of Champions.

  • stuart

    I wish texiera would talk less and hit more.. I like his K on a pitch at his collarbone in the 8th..
    he sucks.. headley stinks also. this team offensively is so impotent it is scary….4 runs is a near miracle….

    • ScottinSJ

      Are you referring to the fact that not one of our starters is hitting above .280, or the likelihood that not one player will drive in even 75 runs? I’m sure I could come up with a ton of other sad stats.

      • stuart

        not even close to 75rbi’s. 70 rbi’s would be a miracle….
        same old same old ;tex, mccan’t, beltran, suck.. beltran down to 235 or so at 250 about 2 weeks ago…stoy stys the same… ichiro is awful also for the 100th time…

        • forensic

          I know what everyone will say about RBI’s, but yeah, it is pretty pitiful that no one may even reach 75 this year.
          Now that I’ve said that, I feel the urge to go back and see when the last time was that they didn’t have anyone reach that.

          • forensic

            So, 1992 was the last non-shortened season that no one reached 100 RBI’s and 1990 was the last time no one reached 80 RBI’s.
            The last time no Yankee reached 75 RBI’s? 1968! Yup, the year of the pitcher. In other words, they haven’t done it in the entire expansion era with the lower mound. That kind of tells you just how bad this is.

  • EndlessMikeJr

    I think Brett Gardner has hurt Ellsbury as Ellsbury is a leadoff centerfielder and Giradi forced Ellsbury try to pull the ball more and hi for more power which has made Ellsbury strikeutmore and steal less.

  • kikojones

    Not gonna rag on D-Rob for blowing a save when he’s been stellar, and
    one of the few bright lights of the Yankees’ mediocre season. That would
    be the pinnacle of ungratefulness. But it doesn’t take away from the
    fact that with barely a glimmer of hope to reach the post-season, losing
    this late–and to a horrible team, at that–is far from optimal. Let’s
    hope this was an initial hiccup in what will turn out to be a very
    productive homestand.

  • stuart

    Drob has been pretty good but he has an over 3 ERA so not exactly MO like. 1 and 4 also…Walks are always his Achilles

    • blake

      If you look at Drobs game log he has given up 16 ERs this year and 8 of them were in two games……last night 3 and then earlier in the year he gave up 5 in one. You can’t pretend those 2 games didn’t happen…..it’s just that his stats are pretty skewed because of those 2 games…….

      • 86w183

        That’s the life of a closer… one or two lousy outings and the ERA skyrockets. It just makes it that much more impressive that in his 18 years as a full-time closer Mariano Rivera only once had an ERA over 3.00 (3.15 in ’07)

        • blake

          Yea….Mo rarely gave up that many runs in an outing. He would blow a save every now and then but he didn’t walk anybody and he rarely put enough runners on to give up 3 run homers…..not that it didn’t happen occasionally but usually if he blew a save it was of the 1 or 2 er allowed variety

          • 86w183

            He was just so great… we’re spoiled forever

  • UnKnown

    Still talking about the umps? Sheesh. Hopefully Walmart has a special on tissues tomorrow. People are going to have to restock. Excuses, excuses, excuses, whateves… haha

    Jeter even does the ice bucket challenge like a pro. The guy just does everything perfect. He is so awesome. Take 4 of 6 on this home stand and continue to kick the can down the road on this season. I’m still holding out hope that the Yanks go on a run and the teams that they are chasing play around .500.

    Maybe tomorrow everyone can get back to actually talking about the game of baseball. Prerequisite is of course understanding the sport.

    • blake

      It was cool ….I thought it was interesting too though that they chose to do it on the carpet in the clubhouse…..poor clubhouse guys.

      Jeter is one of the few guys with the swag to call MJ to do it

      • Yankee Fan 1

        Jason Zilo filmed it so clearly they got the ok to do it indoors for whatever reason. Jeet even screams with a swagger.

  • Pete22

    Its on the offense again. They have scored more than 4 runs only 7 times (in 29 games) since the ASB (think I said 4 earlier). They are 7-0 in those games. 4 runs only gives you a 50% chance of winning, less than that your odds are lower.

    Somehow they have to add another 1-2 runs per game or make plans for vacationing in October

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Sure seeing a whole lot of umpire-blaming on the overnights. If that last pitch was missed, you still have to get the next one over.

    • 86w183

      Good morning all —-

      Bad teams whine about umpiring…. to paraphrase an old adage it’s the last refuge of a scoundrel. Yes there were awful calls, Yes doesn’t show replays of awful calls Yanks pitchers get.

      I have been convinced this team will not make the post-season since the back-to-back losses to Cleveland. They just aren’t good enough to play at a high level for a sustained (three weeks) period of time. They win 7-of-8 and then lose five straight. Beat TB twice on the road and lose at home to an assemblage of crap.

      Somewhere Dandy Don Meredith is singing; “Turn out the lights, the party’s over……

      • blake

        Morning 86…..I think they just have a lot of problems and one (or more) ends up doing them in most nights……

        Last night you had an unusual mishap from Robertson but it’s not like it’s a guarantee that they would have scored another run to win the game anyway……is estimate 65-70% of their losses this year are because they can’t hit……and that’s with a rotation that’s lost like 4/5 of their original starters for most of the season.

        • 86w183

          Hey Blake —

          I blame the offense for this season, completely.

          You have a ton of players have their worst or one of their worst seasons ever all at once — Jeter, Beltran, Teixeira, McCann, Ichiro, Drew… and when he was here Soriano.

          • blake

            It’s really tough…..the Braves have had a terrible time scoring this year too but at least they have two .850+ OPS hitters in the middle of their lineup.

            The Yankees have ZERO .800 OPS hitters in their lineup…..Zero. It’s no wonder they can’t score…..

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I don’t hear the team blaming the umpires at all. I hear the fans on here doing so. Not the same.

    • Farewell Mo

      Yep.
      If that’s what you took away from the game, that’s kind pathetic.

  • YankeeBill

    This is what happens to mediocre teams. Your most reliable players fail as do the less reliable players. Not sure if Gardner was told to bunt in the 3rd after Ichiro’s hit, because an offense like this shouldn’t be giving away free outs. And can Capuano please throw a shut down inning after getting two runs? And can Carlos Beltran wait for a pitch he can drive instead of a low outside fastball with a man on third and less than two out? This is just a mediocre, early 1970s version of the Yankees. Although I honestly believe the offense in those days was better.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      These 60’s and early 70’s comparisons are getting silly. How talent was acquired was a very different animal back then.

  • runninonempty

    At this point, with what is witnessed every day by Yankee fans, I think the best thing management can do, is almost shut down Betances, maybe just use him once a week or so, maybe twice, and not even think about Tanaka, unless they need to see if his arm can handle pitching without needing surgery after a start or two. There is just no reason to burn out Betances. And if the Yankees have any kind of vision at all, they will bring up their best prospects and let them play.
    and just as an aside– early in the year, so many people went nuts about Infante, showing graphs and charts and WAR and all that crap, but there he is, playing a great second base, getting clutch hits and happily looking forward to the playoffs. He would have been a great signing, but also would have gotten screams for blocking Ref.

    • blake

      I wouldn’t shut Betances down yet but I certainly would cut back his work load a lot unless they show they can get back in this race for real…..I think they are already doing that some.

      I do think they want to get Tanaka back once the rehab protocol has ran it’s course just to get a feel if he’s going to be ok or not….if he’s gonna need surgery you’d rather know in September than March.

      Tanaka’s health will greatly affect their decsion making this winter…..if he’s ok then you can relax a little on the pitching front and focus on fixing this terrible offense best you can. If he needs surgery though then they almost have to sign Lester or Scherzer if they mean to contend in 2015.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Bring up who?

      Betances also really hasn’t shown the signs of wear the others have yet. Don’t run him into the ground, but I can’t see why you wouldn’t maintain him on a normal routine.

  • blake

    When Jeter gave the ice bucket challege thing I get his girlfriend and MJ but Kevin Connolly seems kinda random. Are they buddies or something?

  • runninonempty

    I wish all the beat writers that cover the Yankees would lose the term Bombers– Bronx Bummers would be much more appropriate. It just seems so out of place to hear and read that term bombers when people are referring to the Yankees.

  • MTU

    Who is responsible for pulling a switcheroo ?
    Turning our O into Seattle’s and ours into theirs.

    • blake

      Robinson Cano? Of course it was bad with Cano last year too but hard to ignore the impact he’s had in Seattle…..

      • MTU

        Hysterical Blake.
        The Yanks and Sux w two of the more craptatsic O’s in baseball.
        You can’t make this stuff up.

        • blake

          Cano has been worth 4.9 fWAR this year. Ellsbury, Beltran, and McCann combined have been worth 3.5 fWAR.

          • MTU

            I’ll take Jose Altuve.

            • blake

              I’ll take anybody who can OPS .800…..anybody

              • MTU

                You were supposed to have several of them when the season started.

                • blake

                  ellsbury has done it 1 time in his career….Beltran probably would have but he’s 37 years old so no guarantee….and McCann hasn’t done it since 2011 (though I thought he would).

                  • MTU

                    Your Mission should you decide to accept it is to find a middle of the order in the OS.

                    • blake

                      very difficult to do….you could sign Hanley I guess but he’s no sure answer….better than what they have yes but he’s 30 himself and has been wildly inconsistent over the last 4 or 5 years. It’s just hard to find impact bats in 2014…..there are about half as many .800 OPS hitters this year as there were in 2004……only a handful of .900 OPS guys and zero 1 OPS hitters in 2014. Thats another reason Cano was so valuable…..there aren’t many of him anymore.

                    • MTU

                      No one said it would be easy but that is why I selected you for the job.
                      Because you have what it takes.
                      Now get to work.

                    • blake

                      where is the Bourbon?

                    • MTU

                      We’ll celebrate afterwards.

              • nyyankfan7

                There are 46 guys in all of MLB with an OPS of .800 or better. There are 30 teams, do the math – the Yankees aren’t going to have 9 of them.

                And Brett Gardner’s is .792 and was over .800 till the last week of games so you have your guy right there.

                • blake

                  how many are on the playoff teams? Most playoffs teams have at least a couple and more high .700 guys…..the Yanks have zero. Yes offense is down overall in baseball…..as I said above there are like half as many .800 OPS hitters in mlb as there were 10 years ago…..it doesn’t change the fact that you need a middle to your lineup to succeed.

                  • LIYankeeFan

                    We need better middle hitters, nevertheless

                  • nyyankfan7

                    There are actually a lot less on playoff teams then you think:

                    http://www.fangraphs.com/leade.....ort=10%2cd

                    I count about 15 that are on teams that would make the playoffs as of today.

                    I’m not saying the Yankees middle of the order isn’t pathetic – because it is, trust me I cuss them on a nightly basis. I’m just trying to make the point that offense is not what it used to be. I think Gardner is having a career year that we will never see again and Tex has done as well as we could have hoped for aside from being hurt too damn much. McCann has been awful, so has Beltran and Ellsbury has done fine. His problem is that he is a leadoff hitter being asked to bat 3rd.

          • Chip

            Cano, FWIW, is already complaining about Seattle robbing him of his power.

      • JimK

        How good was Cano last year? Even with almost every regular out, Cano still managed to drive in over 100 runs; no one on this year’s lineup will come close.

        • blake

          When you have no real middle to your lineup then that helps pitchers in an intangible way IMO…..they really have nobody they need to pitch around….they can just go right after everybody.

          • JimK

            Blake, that is my point; the Y’s do not have a legitimate 3 or 4 hitter in their LU. IMO, the Y’s screwed themselves when they failed to renegotiate with Cano after either the 2011 or 2012 seasons and chose to exercise their team options instead.

      • Chip

        Everyone knew losing Cano would sting. But that’s not why the Yankees are where they are offensively. It’s not that complicated. Tex and Beltran weren’t healthy enough to be consistent offensive forces (I don’t think Tex ever will be again) and McCann has had the worst year of his career. They got nothing out of 2b/rf/3b for most of the season and very little out of SS.

        • blake

          the Yankees would be better with Cano in the lineup and replacement players for Ellsbury, Beltran, and MccCann says WAR…..a lot cheaper too. Do I totally buy that? I don’t know…..but they’d be better if Cano were on the team….I have no doubt about that.

          • Chip

            I don’t know about that – play it out. Yes, having a healthy Cano all season playing second and batting third would have helped, but then you’re probably looking at an OF/DH combo of Ichiro, Gardner, Soriano, Kelly Johnson

  • MTU

    And anyone ragging in any way on D-Rob for blowing 1 game w all he’s been should take a red card immediately.

  • MTU

    Face it. The Yankees really had no business getting this far with all the injuries.
    They actually overachieved considering.

    • JimK

      If you play the same level of BB for 2 consecutive years, when is it no longer considered over achieving?

      • blake

        I think last year they really did overachieve because their entire lineup more or less was hurt and Sabathia was too…..this year their whole rotation is hurt so they have overachieved on the pitching front but the lineup has been a huge dissappointment…..this lineup should have been able to score enough to win with the pitching they have gotten. I

        t’s a fair point though…..at some point it’s not overachieving anymore…..it’s who you are….old…injury prone….and declining and the injuries aren’t a fluke but a function of what your team is composed of.

        • MTU

          The middle of the order has been a disappointment but I wonder where would have been if MT and MP had kept right on trucking.

          • blake

            probably a game or two closer I’d imagine…..but he can’t hit either.

          • LIYankeeFan

            The middle of the order is, well, basically terrible. Tex, Beltran, and McCann/Prado. Not that great

        • LIYankeeFan

          I agree. With substitution pitchers for great ones like CC and Nova and Tanaka, the hitters should be hitting enough to help out the pitchers

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          The injuries have occurred across the age spectrum on this team. Tanaka is not old and frail. Nova is not old and frail. Hell, is CC really old and frail?

          • blake

            CC has a ton of miles on him…..Tanaka was a flukey thing…..but in general I think the point the poster was making has value……at what point is this just who the Yankees are?

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              Offensively-challenged? Yes. Injury prone? In some cases, not others, and certainly not with some at the start of the season.

              • LIYankeeFan

                At the start of the season we had 5 great starters and new “power hitters” in Beltran, Ellsbury, and McCann. Now we have 2 great starters, a reliever acting as a starter, a rookie, and a “suddenly kinda good” starter. As for McCann, just no. Ellsbury is ehh. And Beltran, well, no.

                • Mick

                  Ellsbury is the best leadoff man in the game batting 3rd for some reason.
                  He won’t be next year.

                  • LIYankeeFan

                    I remember Girardi saying in spring training that Ellsbury would be the leadoff man. And he’s batting 3rd. I agree with u though, because he was great batting lead off last year

                    • Mick

                      Look at the chaos he caused in the 8th inning leading off.
                      He’s 2nd to Altuve in stolen bases and it seems like he never runs anymore.

              • blake

                I agree that you can’t just paint it with a broad brush…but again at some point you aren’t overachieving anymore….you just aren’t very good.

                The rotation being injured was the big hurdle this year…..they have navigated that as best as they possibly could IMO and they still can’t win because the offense is so bad.

                • LIYankeeFan

                  Your last sentence summed up this season.

        • LIYankeeFan

          Last year the lineup had injuries. This year it is the rotation. If the rotation is having injuries, that doesn’t mean that the hitters should be hitting less. They are a huge disappointment this year, the whole team. I agree with you on that.

      • MTU

        Talk to me when the majority of the Team is healthy for most of the year and they do something like this.

        • Mick

          What’s that got to do with the anemic offense?

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Not the point. At all.

        Team is overachieving based on their Pythag, run differentials, etc., as well as despite a ridiculous run of injuries.

        What they did last year is almost irrelevant considering the turnover in personnel.

        Oh no, our favorite team might miss the playoffs two consecutive years. That’s never happened to anyone before.

        • LIYankeeFan

          Us spoiled Yankee fans expect to make the playoffs every year.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            Except when they don’t. I can understand someone who came of age in the mid-90’s feeling that way, but I don’t think any of the breakfast club guys meet that criteria. :)

            Even if this is the first time around for some younger fans, it’s still the norm for most franchises. It’s going to happen. Disagree with why, that’s fine, but playoffs aren’t an automatic for anyone.

            • LIYankeeFan

              Especially these last few years.

            • blake

              yes but again they don’t operate that way….if you’re going to be all in every season…..never sell at the deadline…..never keep your draft picks…..and basically always play to win now….then it’s a much bigger deal if you don’t you know…..win now.

              I’ve said this forever but if the Yankees want to be like everyone else then they need to start operating like everyone else……then the down years or bridge years or whatever you want to call them would be more understandable because at least you’d feel like they were building towards something.

            • truefanforlife

              I’m one of those who was old enough to be a fan around 1994. I’m also realistic enough to see our run of playoff teams is really rare. I’m excited to see the kids develop even if we have to play meaningless baseball in July for a year or 2. Most my age don’t get that tho. P
              Huge payroll doesn’t mean u r on top every year. See Steinbrenner, George

        • blake

          Yea….I think the problem though is that most teams that miss the playoffs 2 years in a row have a plan to get better again…..they go through cycles of being good and being bad with the bad cycles aimed at getting good again.

          In pro sports sometimes being bad is better than being mediocre…..because there is a clearer path to getting good again. The Yankees currently are stuck in the terrible purgatory of medicocrity…..not bad enough to get protected draft picks and not good enough to actually contend…..and their payroll is sky high.

          The Yankees aren’t every other team….they don’t operate like every other team so their expectations of themselves and from their fans shouldn’t be like every other team

          • LIYankeeFan

            Our expectations are to make the playoffs every year. Sadly, that won’t always happen, even with a “sky high” payroll.

          • TCF16

            LOL. “Most teams that miss the playoffs have a plan to get better again” . They might have a plan, but it frequently doesn’t work. Don’t kid yourself – unless your truly working with a small budget, there’s absolutely no reason to “blow up a team”.

            • blake

              This is missing my point totally. Of course the plans that teams have don’t always work…..and of course most teams would rather be the Yankees and trying to win every season…..but most teams aren’t the Yankees so we shouldn’t expect the Yankees to be like everyone else because they don’t operate like everyone else.

              An example is the trading deadline last year…..pretty much every single other team would have sold in July of 2013…..the Yankees didn’t…..they dug in like general Custer and went down guns blazing. That might seem great on the surface but in reality it did nothing to help them for the future.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner

                And the sooner people can accept that the Yankees are still one of thirty teams in baseball, which still has to play 162 games, the happier they’ll be as fans since try won’t take 84 win seasons, or whatever, as being the ’62 Mets.

                There’s an overarching plan. That’s no secret. It’s just been diluted by factors both internal and external. Shit happens.

                Gotta run.

                • blake

                  They have to figure out who they want to be though….if they want to be more efficient and operate more like Boston then ok…..but they have to start doing the things that can make that way of business successful.

                  My point is that you can’t be “all in every season” and also be trying to get more efficient and cheaper…..those are 2 roads running in different directions.

                  I don’t even care which road they chose…..I just want them to pick one and get out of the middle lane.

          • Chip

            Blake –

            We’ve talked about this before, the Yankees had a plan 3 years ago to aim for $189 by bringing in short term deals. That plan blew up on them last year and so they instituted a new plan, bring in a new core of guys in their early 30s to augment the older players and at the same time not deal away major farm chips.

            You can’t expect to undo as much damage as they did in one season. Boston was able to do it because they found a team willing to take three brutal contracts off their hands so that they could hit a reset button on their long term commitments. To duplicate that, the Yankees would have needed to find a team willing to take CC and Tex off their hands.

            • LIYankeeFan

              Tex can’t hit, so who wants him? Definitely not Baltimore with all the booing.

            • blake

              agreed….I’m just saying that they can’t expect their fanbase to be happy about it. Project 189 really put them in a bind…..it’s not going to be easy to get out of…..

              but you can’t plan for something for 3 years…..ditch it last minute to try and contend…..lose all your draft picks…..inflate the payroll…..and then be surprised when your fans expect a good team on the field.

              • Chip

                What you are witnessing is as close to a full out rebuild as you’ll see with the Yankees. As with any rebuild it is going to take time. I think next year you’ll see better results as there will be some top position player prospects who will be ready to contribute and add to the team’s depth (meaning when Tex gets hurt there may be viable replacements for him). And it also means that you won’t necessarily have to play guys like Roberts, KJ or Ichiro.

                This season has let them see what kind of pitching depth they have within the organization which may be used to help them replace some veterans (like at SS for example).

                Just as an example, if the Yankees rolled out a 25 of:

                Ellsbury – CF
                Prado – RF
                Gardner – LF
                Beltran – DH
                Tex – 1b
                McCann – C
                Alex – 3b
                Desmond – SS
                Refsnyder – 2b
                Bench: Cervelli, Almonte, Ryan, Pirela

                Rotation: Tanaka, Lester, Pineda, Greene, Sabathia
                Pen: Whitley, Robertson, Betances, Kelley, Warren, Lindgren, Webb

                That’s probably the best team they’ve had in 3 years.

                And then you have guys like Gary Sanchez, Tyler Austin, Greg Bird, Taylor Dugas, Ramon Flores, Bryan Mitchell, Manny Banuelos, Jose Ramirez all in Scranton.

    • Austinmac

      The team has been relatively healthy on the offensive side. That is what has killed the playoff chances. With average run production, they would be very much in it. Instead, they are near the very bottom. They were not much over .500 with Tanaka.

      Somehow by next year, in addition to finding a SS, 3B, and 2B, they need to find players who can OPS over .800. Right now, considering age, the offense can be expected to decline further next year.

      • Trisha

        To which I say, darned good thing they didn’t extend a long-term contract to Cano! They’ve done some things right. :)

        Hi Austin!

    • Trisha

      :)

      Just popped by to say hi! I really like this place because you can put out posts that are thought-provoking (controversial?) and get intelligent discourse rather than high-school level one-liners. Of course lohud still has that representation here, but that is easily drowned out by intelligent discourse – whether it is agreement or disagreement. I got some nice feedback on the poor umpiring situation. This forum is definitely a step up, IMO.

    • Trisha

      :)

      Just popped by to say hi! I really like this place because you can put out posts that are thought-provoking (controversial?) and get intelligent discourse rather than high-school level one-liners. Of course lohud still has that representation here, but that is easily drowned out by intelligent discourse – whether it is agreement or disagreement. I got some nice feedback on the poor umpiring situation. This forum is definitely a step up, IMO.

  • LIYankeeFan

    I’m still angry at Ellsbury for that play

    • TB

      It was a go on contact play – that’s what he was supposed to do. GO ON CONTACT….Normally with 1 out and a man on 3rd managers order the contact play – with 0 outs they dont

      • LIYankeeFan

        I’m still angry though.

      • Mick

        It wasn’t necessary tho.

        • LIYankeeFan

          Thank you.

      • Mick

        Girardi’s image of this team is what he was as a player.

        • LIYankeeFan

          Girardi is wrong with all his little ways of doing things.

          • Mick

            Bring in Drew to play SS next year and our fielding will be great. That’s Joe’s 1st priority.

            • LIYankeeFan

              What about Drew’s .170 hitting? What about second base? What about third base? Joe doesn’t care.

    • blake

      it was a contact play….I mean the way the Yankees offense is I don’t have a problem with them taking a chance there. Of course Prado got a hit the next batter…..but that’s life with the 2014 Yankees.

      • LIYankeeFan

        If he stayed on third, then it would have been the tie breaking run.

        • blake

          falacy of the predetermined…..whatever Kay always says. If he had stayed at 3rd the earth would have probably opened and swallowed Prado whole preventing his base hit.

  • LIYankeeFan

    Who else thinks how it’s ridiculous hoe much pine tar Martin Prado uses? There are stains on his shoulders for it!!!

    • LIYankeeFan

      *how

    • 86w183

      Cano always has a stain on his shoulder too. Unless you are doing the laundry, why would you care?

      • LIYankeeFan

        Everyone was talking about pine tar and Pineda, and now we get Prado? Pretty ironic.

    • Austinmac

      Frankly, if he hits, he can roll in it before coming to bat.

      • LIYankeeFan

        True, true.

  • Chip

    That was a brutal loss. You can’t crap the bed against a team like the Astros if you’re fighting for your playoff life.

    • LIYankeeFan

      If the Astros can beat us 7-4, we are not making the wildcard. Or the division. Or anything.

  • Mick

    Why did Beltran DH? Rest time? Too much time on his feet? He had the day off Monday.
    This team needs Cervelli’s bat, not Ichiro’s.
    Send Ryan down and bring a 3rd catcher.

    • LIYankeeFan

      I absolutely see no reason for Ryan on the team. He plays like once a week and he can’t hit. I agree, but who would the 3rd catcher be?

      • Mick

        It doesn’t matter.
        In 11 days they can bring up all of them.
        By then they could be out of it.
        Do it now.
        Why is our only 300 hitter on the bench?

        • LIYankeeFan

          Joe Girardi has more trust in older guys than young guys and rookies. Everyone can agree with me on this.