Yankees take series opener with unnecessarily close 10-6 win over Indians

DotF: Austin, Williams go deep in Trenton's win
Update: Brian McCann leaves game with mild concussion


Source: FanGraphs

I think we can all agree the 2014 Yankees like to do things the hard way, yes? They beat the Indians by the score of 10-6 in Friday night’s series opener, but they really had to work for it, especially in the later innings. Whatever. At 61-54, the Yankees are seven games over .500 for the first time all season. Let’s recap:

  • Five-Run First: The Yankees scored five runs and sent ten men to the plate in the first inning, and exactly three of them hit the ball out of the infield. Some sloppy infield defense and three Trevor Bauer walks fueled the rally, which included run-scoring singles by Carlos Beltran, Stephen Drew, and Martin Prado. Chase Headley drew a bases loaded walk. Carlos Santana flat out muffed a catch on a throw from shortstop at first base, and Jason Kipnis threw away a ball when he flipped it to second trying to turn a double play. Brett Gardner, the team’s best player, made the first and last out of the inning. Go figure. I missed innings like that so much. Everything went right.
  • Can’t Spell Esmil Without Smile: One run in five innings from spot starter Esmil Rogers? I’m pretty sure we all would have signed up for that heading into the game. I know I would have. The right-hander used fastballs and sliders to hold the Tribe to four hits and a walk in those five innings, and at one point he retired ten of 12 batters. Rogers struck out three and got seven of his other 12 outs in the air, which is fine given the team’s outfield defense. At this point, I think the Yankees could pull anyone out of the stands, slap pinstripes on him, and get a winnable start. What a job the staff has done of late.
  • Blown Open: Five runs in the first, five runs in the sixth. The Indians intentionally walked Jacoby Ellsbury to load the bases for Beltran for whatever reason, and he unloaded on a John Axford hanging curveball for a grand slam. Ichiro Suzuki and Gardner drew walks earlier in the inning. The Yankees plated another run on another error later in the inning. They scored ten total runs thanks to a pair of five-run innings, and in those innings they hit a total of five balls out of the infield. Crazy.
  • No Easy Wins: It’s amazing how this team is allergic to easy wins. The five-run sixth gave them a nice and comfy 10-2 lead, right? Bring in Bryan Mitchell and let him bring it home, right? Nope. Shawn Kelley started the seventh, faced four batters, retired none, and left the bases loaded for Adam Warren. He served up a two-run double and a sac fly. The Indians answered the Yankees’ five-run sixth with a four-run seventh to make it 10-6. Sigh. Thankfully Warren, Rich Hill, and Dellin Betances navigated the eighth and ninth without much of a problem. Still sucks they even had to get into a game like this.
  • Leftovers: Derek Jeter‘s first inning infield single was the 3,430th hit of his career, tying him for Honus Wagner for sixth place on the all-time list. He won’t catch Tris Speaker (3,514) for fifth place, so he’ll eventually retire in sole possession of sixth place on the all-time hit list. Not bat at all … Brian McCann left the game with a mild concussion, and Frankie Cervelli joined Beltran as the only players with two hits. Gardner (double, walk), McCann (single, walk), Ellsbury (three walks), and Ichiro (single, walk) all reached base multiple times. Headley and Ellsbury were the only players without hits … the lineup had more walks (seven) than strikeouts (five) for the AL-leading 13th time this year.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some other stats, and ESPN has the updated standings. The Orioles won and the Blue Jays lost, so the Yankees moved into second place in the AL East and are still five back of Baltimore. They are a half-game back of the Royals for the second wildcard spot. FanGraphs has their postseason odds at 24.6%. The Yankees and Indians will play the second game of this series on Saturday afternoon (Brandon McCarthy vs. Corey Kluber), but first the team will unveil Paul O’Neill’s plaque in Monument Park. Head over to RAB Tickets if you want to catch the ceremony and the game live.

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DotF: Austin, Williams go deep in Trenton's win
Update: Brian McCann leaves game with mild concussion
  • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Dr. Martin van Nostrand

    Someone mentioned the “what if” on Beltran instead of Swisher circa 2010-2012.

    I have a one-track mind that all-too often thinks about “what ifs” from stuff that happened several years ago.

    Needless to say, I now hate this person.

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    I gave you people a nail biter and a semi-laugher.

    Now starting the “send W.B. Mason Williams to every game” fund.

    Through these two games, the closer I sit to home, the more we score.

    • http://www.google.com Tanuki Tanaka

      You could actually do it via kickstarter or something if you’re semi serious about it, and as goodies I guess you can offer digital photos of that specific Yankees game for every donation. (Or call it the Jeter watch, recording every Jeter at bat or something)

      I mean some guy actually got a few thousand dollars via kickstarter for making potato salad. This is actually less far-fetched.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I was about to mention the potato salad guy. You beat me to it.

      • Cool Yankees Dude

        That fund hit five digits if I’m not mistaken. Don’t forget about the guy who started a Kickstarter for a musician (forgetting who) to play a private show in his living room.

    • Deathstroke Heathcott

      Hmm, what would happen if you got a job as a home plate ump between tonight and tomorrow’s game? 50 runs maybe?

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        W.B. Enrico Palazzo.

      • W.B. Mason Williams

        I’ll do you one better. Put me in the lineup.

        I’ll only ask for the rookie minimum. You’re welcome.

  • bernbabybern

    Ret@rdi strikes again.

    8 run lead in the 7th, *finally* a chance to use a mop up guy, like the minor leaguer just bought up for long relief. Nope.

    Pure chance most of the time Mitchell (or anyone) does better than what happened.

    But it was a bad decision before the result.

    Betances in this game is such a waste, not to mention Kelly and Warren. I hope we don’t regret this tomorrow night.

    • BKamm

      Yes. How well put. Bad decision before the result. I notice Mike Axisa thought so too.

    • WhittakerWalt

      You’re complaining that Betances was used in the game, but also complaining that a scrub reliever was used earlier, which led to the lead getting much smaller? I’m not sure what you want. Did you want Betances used earlier, or was it OK for Joe to try squeezing some innings out of the unproven guys?

      • forensic

        Where did he complain about a ‘scrub’ reliever being used earlier? Unless I’m misunderstanding, all he complained about was that Mitchell wasn’t used once the lead got to eight runs. Unless you’re counting Kelley as a ‘scrub’ reliever, which I assume/hope you’re not, I’m not sure what you’re referring to with this comment.

        • WhittakerWalt

          I might have misunderstood. It’s possible I just assumed when the first word was “Ret@rdi” that the guy was making a stupid argument.

          • forensic

            Yeah, that’s not exactly the best way to introduce your comment if you want it to be taken seriously at all.

  • nycsportzfan

    Should of probably mentioned Ichiro’s sweet catch that saved 2runs and that he also swiped 2 bags tonight. Very nice all around game by Ichiro.

    • BKamm

      You just love that little spider monkey don’t you?

    • bernbabybern

      He seems to play much better when he ‘s not playing every day. Makes sense given his age.

  • http://www.google.com Tanuki Tanaka

    I like the shape of the graph.

    • Cool Yankees Dude

      It’s really a sight for sore eyes.

      • vicki

        that graph is laughing at you for spazzing out in the 9th.

    • Get Phelps Up

      This year has had a notable lack of graphs like that.

  • forensic

    Hate keeping Kelley in there for the 7th inning. Take him out, put Mitchell in, and worst case scenario you’re in no worse position than Kelley put you in, but at least you did it without also using up Kelley for likely another game. Best case scenario, he pitches the final 3 innings and no one else gets up, as opposed to this where everyone had to pitch or warm up (I’m assuming Robertson was warming by the end of the game).

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    They should have started Bryan Mitch…..wait, where’s Bryan? Did he make the trip over? Bryyyyyyyan?
    Get well, Officer McCann.

  • mattpat11

    Not to focus on the negative in an otherwise good game, but why has Joe gone back to using Huff as a lefty specialist? I thought we established a month ago that he’s no good at it and never has been

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Would you rather have Hill in there instead? Six of one, half dozen of the other.

    • vicki

      maybe we should check huff’s numbers v. lefties before we establish anything.

      • forensic

        Well, to be fair, he’s not that far off (though I don’t think Huff is being used as a LOOGY, but regardless…).
        Yes, Huff has been much better against lefties his year, but he was destroyed by them in 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013. Also, while they didn’t quite destroy him in 2011, he was still worse against lefties than righties. That’s his entire career.

        • vicki

          much, MUCH better this year. he’s added velo and horizontal movement to his four-seamer and developed his cutter, and he’s getting whiffs on both pitches. he could fall back to earth, but now he looks like a different pitcher. there’s a reason joe was using him, even before thornton was ditched.

  • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

    I put it at 50/50 that tomorrow is more than a plague ceremony.

  • Deathstroke Heathcott

    “Not bat at all” indeed. Keep the good vibes rolling.

  • mustang

    “What a job the staff has done of late.”

    Of late how about the whole year! FO, scouting, minor league development and so on.
    It’s amazing what this organzaton has done and is doing.

    • Pete22

      Amazing what you can do with almost 600 million a year in revenues. Might win more games than last years team.

      • mustang

        Yep they buy the championship every year I don’t see why they even bother to play the games.

    • Scout

      Perhaps the pitching coach deserves a little more credit.

  • McLovin

    Let the good times roll.

  • Get Phelps Up

    I have been on a vacation this whole week. Maybe the Yankees should give me some resources to continue it until the end of October.

  • mustang

    “At this point, I think the Yankees could pull anyone out of the stands, slap pinstripes on him, and get a winnable start.”

    BREAKING NEWS: The Yankees have change starters for tomorrow’s game to some guy name Forensic. I did find some numbers on him from the Cape Cod league . His ERA sucks, but his Sabermetric ERA estimators are great.

    BTW my sources are some guys i know from the MLB scouting dept. :)

    • forensic

      Yet again they pass over the in-house guys who’ve earned the opportunity for some dumbass who couldn’t even stick in another organization this year.
      I can’t wait till they finally get some new blood in the front office and the on-field management.

      • Deathstroke Heathcott

        Free Bryan Mitchell!

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Icwudt

  • UnKnown

    This team is super fun to watch again. Amazing what some offense can do for a team. Steamrolling right into the playoffs.

    • kikojones

      Don’t forget the defense. I forget which game it was but that Tex-Ryan-Drew-Headley infield was so much fun to watch. Headley’s been playing some Nettles-type 3B out there.

  • Pete22

    Seattle won again to keep pace. Thats the team that scares me because unlike KC and Toronto we don’t play them again. Of course, if we win the division they dont matter

  • Pete22

    Yankees have the 2nd best record in the AL in day games. Tomorrow is a day game. May the good times continue,

    • vicki

      i could make the joke that that’s because they can wrap it up in time to make the earlybird special or matlock or something; but the yanks have dominated in day games since the old people were young people.

      • W.B. Mason Williams

        Just keep telling them Country Kitchen Buffet delivers to the dugout.

  • kikojones

    The Indians intentionally walked Jacoby Ellsbury to load the bases for Beltran for whatever reason, and he unloaded on a John Axford hanging curveball for a grand slam.

    Prior to that at bat Beltran was 1-8 lifetime vs Axford.

    • Dalek Jeter

      Beltran since the All Star Break: .351/.410/.554 4HR 3 Doubles and 12 RBI. If the shoe is on the other foot most of the board would be crucifying Girardi for putting his reliever in that position. I’m not going to lie, I missed the game entirely, so for all I know Ells had stung the ball all night and Beltran had looked silly at the plate all game…but 1-8 is a tiny, tiny sample compared to how hot Beltran’s been in the second half and loading the bases for him seems to have been a dumb idea.

      • Get Phelps Up

        It’s almost like Beltran actually still knows how to hit and just needed to get healthy or something.

        • Dalek Jeter

          Who’da thunk it? Seriously though, going over that wall in Tampa back in April messed him up more than I think he’d admit.
          Before the collision(14 Games):
          .327/.368/.673 4HR 6 Doubles

          Collision to AS Break(47 Games):
          .183/.242/.322 5HR 10 Doubles

          Since AS Break(20 Games):
          .351/.410/.554 4HR 3 Doubles

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            We didn’t even have to give up a prospect for that July acquisition.

            • kikojones

              Ha! Good one.

      • Pete22

        He hung a curve, it happens. They wanted a DP to prevent the run from scoring. If they did not walk Ellsbuiry, Beltran still comes to the plate. I dont think its as dumb as u say

      • kikojones

        You make some solid points. Obviously Francona was faced with a decision between small lifetime sample size or hot bat and trusted the former.

  • Get Phelps Up

    We’re tied with one team for the best record in baseball since the ASB.
    And that team is the fucking Orioles.
    Seriously, that is so goddamn annoying.

    • Dalek Jeter

      My hate for Buck Showalter, Andrew Jones, and Manny Machado grows stronger by the day.

      • forensic

        Even Adam Jones too…

        • Dalek Jeter

          Listen here, west coast, it’s 1:30am here. I should have been asleep hours ago.

          • forensic

            lol, you really want to get angry? Go look at their pitching staff since the ASB. Just two guys with ERA’s over 3, one of whom has only thrown 3 innings. Oh, and look at what Delmon Young and Caleb Joseph have done since then too. Sickening….

            • vicki

              psssh. as a team they have a 76 wrc+, .283 woba, since the break.

              • forensic

                Yeah, because nearly everyone other than Young and Joseph have been terrible, but a 2.84 team ERA can help cover up for that a bit.
                It has been extremely enjoyable seeing Nelson Cruz crash back to earth the last almost three months though.

                • Pete22

                  Yeah, but Davis, Machado and Hardy hit 4 HR tonight. If they get hot its trouble. Also, they faced some real good pitching since the ASB which depressed some of their numbers

      • Get Phelps Up

        My ideal situation has us going into the last four home games of the season tied with them and then we sweep the seiries and clinch the division.

        • Get Phelps Up

          Kinda like how we clinched the division in 2009.

        • Dalek Jeter

          That sounds fantastic.

          • mustang

            The look on Showalter’s face would be priceless

          • Get Phelps Up

            Game 1: blowout win
            Game 2: Zach Britton blown save
            Game 3: Basically a repeat of the game where Adam Jones dropped a fly ball and Machado hit into a triple play
            Game 4: Yankees get a comfy lead early, but really blow it open in the 7th/8th inning.

      • mustang

        Agree, they are quickly catching up to the Sox. Can’t believe how good they are playing i thought that West Coast trip would be the death of them. Hopefully the Cardinals can show up the next 2 games and the Yanks can sweep. Yanks down 3 going into Camden Yards for 3 would so much fun.

    • Pete22

      They have had a brutal schedule as well with a long WC trip, pretty much everyone expected them to struggle to play 500 ball. Should be a good series next week followed by Tampa Bay who can be tough depending on how the rotation lines up.

  • argenys

    Happy for the win ????. But why not get Brian Mitchell after the grand slam? I know it’s hindsight but made complete sense at the time and could’ve done what it’s purpose was which was to save the bullpen.

  • mustang

    This Is Your Brain This Is Your Brain on Brian Mitchell

    • mustang

      Get the picture

      • mustang

        Ok pic of fried eggs failed

        • ropeadope1

          Looks fine to me. Sunny side up.

          • ropeadope1

            With a sprinkling of pepper.
            —–
            (left click to enlarge)

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    Sat next to a guy that is friends with Lonnie Chisenhall tonight. Really nice guy, played at the same school as him and, get this, Kyle Roller.

    Apparently everyone from Raleigh, NC knows each other.

    • Pete22

      The baseball community down there is pretty tuned into each other.

      Indians could have used Lonnies bat in the lineup, Gomes too, and Bourne, and Cabrera

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      KYLE ROLLER?!?! I hope you never wash the hand you used to shake his with.

  • forensic

    Ok, I’m getting to watch the game now and I just have to ask. How is that a hit in the first inning for Jeter??? He’s out by 2-3 steps if Santana knows how to catch the damn ball. Official scoring is such a mess in baseball today.

  • YakaTanaka

    Their 4 run win was “unnecessarily close,” but I’m betting their 3 run loss today will be called “much further apart than the score indicates.”

    You have to at least try to see your own biases with this stuff…