Yanks almost shut out again, fall 4-1 to Indians

Game 117: End of the Homestand
Sunday Night Open Thread


Source: FanGraphs

Well that was one giant letdown of a weekend. The Yankees started their seven-game homestand with four wins in five games before falling flat these last two days and finishing it at 4-3. Blah. Sunday afternoon’s loss to the Indians came by the score of 4-1. Let’s recap:

  • August Wall: Hiroki Kuroda appears to be hitting his annual August wall a week or two early. He ran out of gas after 80-ish pitches for the second straight start, but he was left in to throw 97 pitches and that was long enough to load the bases and walk in a run in the fifth inning. The Indians scored their first run on two bloops and a ground ball single, and their second on a double and a sac fly (with a bunt mixed in), but Kuroda wasn’t fooling anyone all afternoon. Two runs on five hits and four walks in 4.2 innings is pretty gross. Joe Girardi has to start treating him as an 80-pitch pitcher going forward. If that means only four or five innings, so be it. Might as well put that eight-man bullpen to use.
  • LMAOffense: Three singles, no walks, a double that was nothing more than a single that took a weird carom off the sidewall and away from the outfielder, and a garbage time (two outs in the ninth!) solo homer. That was the Yankees’ offense for the afternoon. They had two runners reach second base (none reach third base) before Jacoby Ellsbury‘s homer, and at one point they made 15 straight outs. The Yankees went 19 innings without a run before the homer. The at-bats were barely competitive on Sunday. Take a pitch or two, roll over and ground out or pop-up weakly. The offense really small-timed it this weekend.
  • Leftovers: Congrats to Bryan Mitchell for making his MLB debut. He struck out two in two scoreless innings to wrap up the afternoon … David Huff and Shawn Kelley combined to allow Cleveland’s fourth run on an infield single, a bunt, and a two-strike, two-out single … Ellsbury (single, stolen base, homer), Mark Teixeira (single), Stephen Drew (single), and Ichiro Suzuki (double) were the only offense … the Yankees were one out away from being shut out in back-to-back games for the first time since May of 1999 against the Chuck Finley-led Angels.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some nerdier stats, and ESPN the updated standings. At this very moment, the Yankees are 6.5 games back in the AL East and two games back of the second wildcard spot, pending the results of the day’s other games. Bud Norris and Chris Capuano will be the pitching matchup in Monday night’s series opener against the Orioles. Needless to say, that’s a huge series.

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Game 117: End of the Homestand
Sunday Night Open Thread
  • Since_77

    Four weeks until the NFL season starts. That’s what you have to look forward to because this team is going nowhere.

    • Deathstroke Heathcott

      Thank you for telling me what to look forward to.

  • Terry Noack

    Just an overall bad performance this weekend. Kuroda needs a skip in the rotation. He is faltering and Girardi left him in way to long, but he only made it to the 5th inning. Please hope that Pineda can take his spot in the rotation! Offense was terrible again!

  • Bill Smith

    Can someone please tell Forensic his anti Latino comments will not be tolerated here any longer.

    • Rick

      Huh? Where did he make said comments?

    • BKamm

      Never saw any comments by him like that.

      • forensic

        He and the other guy with almost the same name seem to be fishing (even phishing…) for something. We’ll see how long it lasts. Hopefully Mike is paying some attention.

        • spongeworthy1

          Can’t recall the specifics, but there was mention a few days back of someone with an “egg” avatar being up to no good. And of all the people to harass, you have to be one of the least likeliest ever. Strange happenings on the blog today.

          • forensic

            I guess I’ll take that as a compliment. ;-)

            It’s actually been a few days of the same sort of stuff too, not even just today.

            • spongeworthy1

              Did not realize. I was incapacitated from around midgame yesterday until this afternoon (hadn’t seen any of the threads and still haven’t). Plus a few new issues today.
              —–
              And yes, definitely a compliment.

  • YankeeBill

    Time to back up the truck. Forget about this week with the Orioles, it’s meaningless. Pineda should pitch on Wednesday and Rogers should take Kuroda’s spot on the weekend. Get him out of here. For that matter, unload Suzuki as well. Put Drew on that same truck. Bring up Refsnyder and see what he brings to the table. I think we’ve seen enough.

    • Deathstroke Heathcott

      2 games back of a wildcard spot in early August. I’m glad you’re not in charge of making decisions for the Yankees.

  • http://shhhorsie.com Cheval Anonyme

    LMAOffense… nice.

    • ScottinSJ

      Pretty appropriate. The exciting new trio hasn’t delivered much at all either. At least they can field, I guess.

  • Bill Smith

    YankeeBill, My name is Bill, too!! And we Should not give up on the season with almost a Third of it left.

    • ScottinSJ

      I don’t think anyone’s giving up. Just saying this team is not very good. And it’s getting to the point where they can’t afford to lose series going forward. We’ll know plenty a week from now.

  • Yanks

    I just want to see Mitchell start a game.

  • Big Game Thames

    Pretty amazing how this will be two completely lost years, for almost $500M million dollars. And after last year, this past off-season, they haven’t improved one iota.

    • Rick

      This is their “rebuild.” The patchwork job has permitted them to contend while they’ve restocked the farm system. The farm is as deep as it’s been in a long time. There is reason for optimism going forward. Seasons like the past two are why you never take prolonged playoff streaks for granted.

      • GregD

        I agree…….getting in the playoffs every year is not a given…….and it doesn’t matter how much money you spend…..George bought a new toy every off season in the 80s and we got to the playoffs once…….

  • forensic

    Two runs on five hits and four walks in 4.2 innings is pretty gross.

    But, Bob Lorenz just told me he pitched well enough to win.

  • Tar

    It’s those damn Lohud people’s fault!!!!!!!

    • ScottinSJ

      Yep. We suck. We’re idiot misfits.

      • just_add_bacon7

        No child wants to play with a Charlie-In-The-Box, so I had to come here.

    • MikhelB

      Yup, LIGHT THE TORCHES!!!

      xD

  • Deathstroke Heathcott

    What a yucky game. But going into this homestand, I thought a minimum of 4-3 was necessary to keep hopes reasonably alive and they’ve achieved that. But what a terrible way to get to that 4-3 record.

  • oldguy

    After the Tiger series, this is obviously a huge regression. I think they will be up to the challenge against the O’s…its time for them to start losing. On the other hand, I’m a bit senile.

  • stevho77

    In the sprit of Pauli – would love to see someone in that dugout scream, throw a helmet, something fer chrissakes! Its like – oh well, we just lost to another mediocre right hander, sorry. i feel bad for all the people who paid good money in the last 2 days and brought their kids to see the Yankees, and got… ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Sad.

    • Bill Smith

      I really feel sorry for the corporate fans and the Briefcases they bring.

      • Giuseppe Franco

        Those kinds of antics tend to play well for the TV cameras but don’t actually help them score more runs.

        • Giuseppe Franco

          Oops….sorry, that reply was meant for stevho77.

  • Bigdan

    This team is almost too boring to write about. They’ve played almost exactly .500 ball for what, four months now? It makes absolutely no difference if Roberts is at 2b or Headley is at third–this team simply cannot hit. And it makes almost no difference who’s on the mound because almost every pitcher is a Cy Young winner to a bad offense. All season it’s been the same. The starting pitching (with the replacements) is surprisingly good, the bullpen is great, the defense (infield) is almost completely irrelevant, and the offense keeps pulling the whole ship down. As I pointed out at the deadline, it was fanciful to think adding three below average hitters would make a difference.

    The key here has always been not to screw up the future. Cashman has generally done a good job of that except for the problematic Prado/Solarte/Headley exchange. But that’s not a fatal error. Or I least I hope it’s not. Because the Prado acquisition has the potential to cause the Yanks to pass on an asset like Drob. We shall see. Prado, more than any of the other newbies, better produce, at 20 times the price of Solarte.

    The challenge remains once again trying to find an impact bat this off season. Boy could the Yanks use another Abreu out there.

    • Pete22

      Nobody really cares about the future, at least not at the expense of the current season. The future is for small market teams who need to appease their fan base, and sometimes it takes them 20 years to get the prospects needed to make a run. There is a real chance to grab a playoff spot this year and that’s where the focus should be, and once they are in anything can happen.

      The challenge really was to find an impact bat at the trading deadline. Maybe they have done so, its too early to say and we cant weight the last 2 games too much. I think we will know more next week after facing Baltimore and Tampa what this team has in them.

      The Tigers was a good test and outcome. They kind of let down against the Indians the past 2 days though. It happens, you just can not react day to day in baseball. One day you score 10 and look like bombers, the next 2 you can’t hit. Sometimes its about the oppositions pitching . Fortunately, most of the good pitching is no longer in the East.

      • Giuseppe Franco

        Gotta disagree there. I care more about the future than this season.

        They need to move on from the Jeter Era and implement some of those MiLB youngsters we’ve been talking about all season.

        • Bolek

          As long as this “implementation” is of only the good ones.

          I once read that in the 1930s, Yankee scouts were given three categories for rating prospects: minor leaguer, major leaguer, and Yankee. I agree that it’s possible that Solarte–cited elsewhere in this thread as someone mishandled by the NYY–was “major leaguer,” but surely not “Yankee.” Dickerson, whom we saw today, probably major leaguer–but not “Yankee.” Betances? Looking like “Yankee,” but let’s wait a bit.

          I can’t recall when the Yankees were all eager beaver to bring up young talent at the expense of seasoned, still-performing talent (Raschi, Lopat, Slaughter, Mize–all the way to Ichiro, Ibanez, Headley. They trust them. They got themselves 27 WS ttles that way. A nice mix of youth and experience is the best: if the youth are “Yankee.” If not, use ‘em as trade bait.

  • blake

    This series doesn’t totally negate what they did against Detroit but it really takes some of the effect away from it.

    Sometimes facing a good pitcher can get you into a funk beyond the one game you face them and I almost think that’s what happened here……they got totally shut down yesterday and it just carried over to today.

    They have to forget it and jump back on the horse fast because it’s too late in the season to slump…..go to Baltimore and take 2 of 3 and they are on track again

    • Pete22

      What did they do against Detroit really. They didn’t score much and their pitching did well against a depleted lineup without Jackson (traded), a healthy Miggie (a shadow of himself and no Hunter for most of the series.

  • MikhelB

    It was to be expected, this team is a 0.500 team (more or less), so after a good streak you can expect a bad string of games to end up a bit over 0.500 again.

    Ooh they win 5 out of 6? expect them to lose 4 out of the next 5 so they end up 6-5.

    • Rick

      So then we can hopefully look forward to the same regression from the Royals

  • RetroRob

    The weekend started great on Friday and hit bummer status late Sunday. Hmmm, kind of like all weekends!

  • RetroRob

    Good to see Mitchell finally make his debut. It feels like he already has between ST appearances and bouncing back and forth on the MLB roster a couple of times. I have higher hopes for him than Dellin. Not that I expect him to be the lights-out reliever of Betances, but higher in that I hope he can remain in the rotation.

  • Bigdan

    Well the Padres scored 8 runs today. Solarte played 3b (after playing LF yesterday) batted second (where’s he’s been since the trade), got on base three times and scored two runs.

    • Gregory Eckes

      You wanted him gone too, I bet.

      • Bigdan

        No that’s not true at all. He’s been my boy since March. I’ve written about him quite a bit. But I didn’t think he’d even make the team out of ST. I said, back in late March, that his time was next year because I thought he be a perfect fit for the 2015 team with Arod at 3b and while a new 2b and SS were being broken in. He surprised me this year almost as much as he surprised everybody else.

        Solarte is a real cautionary tale for this franchise. They have a real difficult time breaking in young position players and I think Girardi is primarily at fault for that. Solarte gave the Yanks every reason this year to give him a chance. But when he slumped, the Yanks benched him, increased the pressure on him until he was finally traded for the “established veteran(s), Headley and Prado. The Yanks will always choose the established vets over players like Solarte and Pirela and Almonte even it means playing sub .700 OPS guys like Soriano, Ichiro, Johnson, Roberts, Headley and Prado. Young players have to be carefully nurtured. I bet he’s relaxed now, batting second and having fun being a major leaguer.

        Things won’t really get better around here and they’ll never be anything like another Core Four until the Yanks figure out how to integrate young players into their lineup.

        • Rick

          “… [T]hey’ll never be anything like another Core Four …” … You could have left it at that. There will never be anything like another Core Four.

          • Stratocaster

            Agreed. That group was once in a lifetime. We aren’t seeing anything like that again.

        • Gregory Eckes

          Does the name David Adams mean anything to you?

          • Bigdan

            I think that was under duress, but that is a good example. You are right, I think he was given a fair tryout, and he failed and the Yanks moved on. I think the Yanks gave Nuno a fair tryout too and appropriately moved on. They’ve given young pitchers many more chances to succeed, and fail, than they have position players. Perhaps that’s just the nature of the beast but they’ve reaped the benefits of that this year with Phelps, Greene, Betances, Warren, Whitley et. al.

            It just doesn’t happen with position players. Adams was the exception, not the rule. Bill James 40 years ago said there’s nothing you can really learn about a player entering a new level until they get 200 regular ABs. When it came to Solarte, he got more than that, and proved he belonged in the major leagues. And they still let him go.

        • Pete22

          I seem to remember you were a bit down on him at the end and looking more for Wheeler to do something than getting Solo more AB’s. Might have misremebered

          I thought they gave u p too early on Solarte and said so many times. That platoon nonsense with KJ had me baffled, and the acceptance by so many of Joe doing this was strrange. Sure, he was a streak hitter but they jumped on a 1 week slump and turned it into a 6 week slump by limiting his AB to the weak side.

          That said, looking mainly to this season,and considering Arod is coming back, and they have prospects for 2B, Solarte was expendable and Headley was a good return if he can find the magic he once had with the bat. His IF defense at 3B has been awesome and probably worth 2 games thus far to go along with some key hits.

          Furthermore, if you look at the numbers, vets up to the age of 35 tend to outperform those 25 and under players. The numbers don’t lie. Look at the Red Sox kids.

          Wish I had a crystal ball like you, but they play the games since nobody else has one. Some remarkable things can happen in the final third of the season. Teams can vastly outplay their first 2/3 of a season. Look at the Orioles now, best team in baseball for over a month, although they could just as easily go into a tailspin tomorrow (lost today).

          • Bigdan

            You are right Pete. I was down on him a bit. I wanted him sent down to minors to get away from the big league club when things got bad and that’s what they did. He hit about .600 and was rightfully promoted. But he’s was benched again almost immediately and put into that ridiculous platoon. I declared the trade for Headley immediately to be problematic because of it’s rental aspect and the value Solarte could have provided to the Yanks over the next several years. I also immediately declared the Prado trade problematic because of the huge cost differential between Prado and Solarte for what seems to be similar utility. (Although I blessed the Drew acquisition and I still believe it’s a good risk as an audition).

            As I said above, young players have to be nurtured. Sometimes they have to take a step back and go back to AAA, like Solarte did. And even Mantle back in the day. There is no specific formula for the proper age mix of a team. It all depends. But it’s clear the Yanks rely on too many players past prime and don’t do a good job of integrating young position players. With so many players in their lineup OPSing under .700 this was the year to make that happen. And they failed. By effectively swapping out Solarte and Prado they’ve gotten older again and much more expensive.

            As far as crystal balls go, we had this conversation what about 6 weeks ago? You were telling me about how teams can perform better in the second half. I maintained it’s far more likely teams will perform similarly in the second half to the first half. I’ll go a step further. It’s far more likely teams will perform similarly in the final third of the season to the first 2/3rds than experience any significant improvement. I think I told you months ago the Yanks winning pct. with this team is capped at about .520. I’ll stick with that (currently .521).

        • http://yankees.lhblogs.com/ Need Pitching & Hitting

          Giving guys like Solarte, Pirela, or Almonte more playing time is going to do nothing towards developing anything like another Core Four (not that they’re realistically likely to do that again anyways).

          • Bigdan

            I was really talking about a mindset. If you remember, Bernie got a whole lotta chances to fail before he got himself in the lineup regularly.

            Solarte, Pirela and Almonte are all unlikely to be starters, even best case. But they could be valuable role players and platoon players. Look at Oakland now. The Yankees under Stengel built the greatest dynasty in baseball history on the backs of lots of role players and just a couple of superstars.

            Moreover, players like those are cheap. In the world of Hal, the budget rules. Cheap players provide the team the ability to invest scarce resources on expensive impact players, which the Yanks also need.

    • forensic

      Less than 18 hours ago you said you’d just wait and see how it went for the rest of the season, and next season, and the season after that.

      That really lasted long.

      • Bigdan

        No, you are wrong. I told someone else to wait. I specifically said I would be occasionally checking in on Mr. Solarte so some folks could continue to add up their precious WAR. Those were almost my exact words.

        But you are missing the real point here. It’s not about Solarte. The problem is much bigger than that. Solarte is just the most recent example.

        • Rick

          What has Hal not so secretly told us about the issue if we were listening closely?

        • forensic

          I got a suggestion. Why don’t we just wait this out and see just see
          how my “hard on” does the rest of this season. And next season. And
          the season after that. An so on. And so on.

          Guess you didn’t like your own suggestion.

          • Deathstroke Heathcott

            He wants people looking at his hard on every day. Don’t you?

          • Bigdan

            “we” meant he and I — duh!

            why don’t you read further down the page where I said I will be occasionally checking in on Solarte in the future.

            man, I should get paid for this. herding cats.

            • forensic

              And “he” has held up his part of the bargain. You clearly had to intent to.

          • Stratocaster

            Maybe next season we can do a “Bigdan’s Hard-on Watch” instead of the usual prospect watch?

    • will wipperdink

      his stats for august are not impressive, look them up

  • Gregory Eckes

    So how can we blame Girardi for this one? Oh wait, we can’t.

    • Rolling Doughnut

      The offense was terrible, true enough. But I thought he left Kuroda in too long.

      • Gregory Eckes

        Probably, but they need length somehow.

  • MB923

    I am still Shocked it’s been 15 years since the Yankees were shutout back to back games. Seems something like that happened numerous times last year and even this year

    Only team this century it has not happened to yet. Thanks Jacoby.

    • Bunuelo

      I could swear that the Yankees were shutout in back to back games at least ten times last year

      Maybe not, but it really feels that way, doesn’t it?

      • Deep Thoughts

        If it feels that way, you might consider avoiding the Game Threads.

  • Giuseppe Franco

    I see Bigdan has quickly made himself a lot of new friends here at RAB.

    • Bigdan

      As Henry Clay once said. “I’d rather be right than president.”

  • Stoneburner

    All you need to know about bigdan is that he actually wrote that Aaron Judge and Luis Severino would be only “throw-ins” to trades. It is good to see that here at RAB his influence is diminished. He was given too much deference at lohud by the likes of Pat M. and others.

    • Bigdan

      Wrong again. What I said is that you can’t execute a trade for a impact major leaguer with a single A prospect as your primary piece, no matter how good a prospect they appear to be right now. A trade for player like Price or Samardzija requires a high value prospect (Top 20 or so) who has had some success at AA or higher and/or young veterans who can help a team right now.

      And of course, as per usual, I was right and you are now wrong.

      And by the way, I declared Severino the top Yankee pitching prospect back in May, before anyone else made such a pronouncement. And write this down now. If he’s healthy, he will be in ST next year with a chance to win a spot in the rotation in April.

      • forensic

        Addison Russell was the primary piece in the trade for Samardzija and Hammel and at the time he had played all of 13 games in AA. I’m sure those 13 games are what convinced the Cubs to make the deal and there’s no way they would’ve done it without those 13 games.

        • Bigdan

          What was he rated as a prospect at the time?

          • forensic

            Anywhere between #7 and #14, but your comment explicitly stated a “prospect (Top 20 or so) who has had some success at AA or higher”.

            • Bigdan

              I believe to be a Top 20 or so prospect you should have had some success at AA or higher. That’s one of the problems I have with ratings overall and the Prospect Industry. But the point remains the same. Russell was a high value prospect who could support a trade for an impact major leaguer and Severino and Judge clearly were not. In fact, it was made pretty clear to Cashman by the Cubs that the Yanks didn’t have that type of prospect, a point I made months ago.

              I’d say right now, Severino, because he’s in AA and has had some success, is approaching the high value status. Judge is not there yet.

              I hope that clarifies things for you.

              • Billy Bats Eppler

                The market changes. The price of big league starting pitching is different now than what it was 5 years ago and what it will be 5 years down the line.

      • Barret

        You just said they had to have had success in AA or above even if they were Top 20. Please, stick to what you say instead of consistently backtracking.

        • Bigdan

          Simple minds can’t fathom nuance.

      • Stoneburner

        Wrong again. You said that nothing below AA matters, and that they would just be “throw-ins.” You jumped on the Severino bandwagon (as usual you are behind the times, like with Refsnyder, when it was last year you needed to jump on that wagon). Book it, you said they would only be “throw-ins.” You change your story so many times.

        • Bigdan

          Boy you sound familiar. I think you need to stop reading me too. Not good for your blood pressure.

          • Stoneburner

            I would also like to call you out further (remember, you deserve this call out with your pompous predictions). You said the Yankees’ achilles would be the bullpen, and then proceeded to whine about Adam Warren not being in the rotation. Instead, the pen and the rotation have been stalwarts, and you neglected the offensive shortcomings when you proclaimed bullpen would be the undoing to the team back in April. This is another bad job.

            • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

              How can I put my trust in you? It seems that Bigdan is never wrong, at least according to a source that posts regularly here in the last couple of weeks.

    • will wipperdink

      his influence ?
      did cashman read his comments for direction in running the club ?
      if not then his “influence” was meaningless

    • Tar

      Why can’t you make a post without attacking somebody? Are you that angry of a person? Every damn post of yours….. for years now, is all about how someone else is wrong….basically you suck. Don’t start that nonsense again here at RAB. You have knowledge of the minors, how about sharing in a civil manner…..

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

    This one definitely has be stinging more than yesterday’s game did. Not only dropping 2.5 back of KC but also possibly dropping behind BOTH the M’s and Jays before the day ends as well. The number of teams is always more important than the margin itself.

    It’s also just the continuation of a recent theme of the Yankees being absolutely terrible at “putting away” home stands. They start off strong and then disintegrate by the end of it. Both on the last one and this one, would we have signed up for 7-3 and 4-3 at the outset? Likely, yes. By the end of it? No. Those were no longer the expectations. Dropping both those games to the Jays, and both games to the Tribe; freaking awful.

  • Frankie Cerveddardi

    We didn’t see the game and thank God we didn’t. Someone’s gotta be fired tomorrow, Mike. There was no reason this ballclub should have lost to Cleveland after beating the Tigers 3 out of 4. None. And I think that effectively ends the season. These other clubs like the KC Royals, Baltimore O’s, Seattle M’s continue to take care of business and we’re losing series to the Rangers and Indians.

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

    The Yankees have lost 11 of their last 15 home games played on weekend days, so if it seems like they have been awful of late in these games, it’s because they have been. And given that most of these games are day games at Yankee Stadium, it sure is an easy way to leave everyone in a sour mood for the rest of the day.

  • YankeeBill

    The series with Baltimore is relatively meaningless at this point. The Orioles are a far better offensive club and the pitching staffs are probably about even. Even if the Yanks took two, they’d still be five back with not a lot of games to play. This is where Baltimore makes the statement that the Yanks can take September off. Good for Buck and best of luck to the O’s in the postseason.