Martin, Yanks walk off with Subway Series sweep


Source: FanGraphs

Sometimes a sweep is more than a sweep. When it’s the Red Sox or Rays or another contender, sweeps mean a little better than they usually do. When it’s the Mets? Forget it. The best. The Yankees securing bragging rights to the city with a come from behind walk-off win over the Amazin’s on Sunday, sweeping the three games to conclude an excellent homestand. The Yankees have won three in a row, six of seven, eight of ten, and 13 of 17. That’s pretty awesome. Let’s recap…

  • Botched: Andy Pettitte has been magnificent since un-retiring, but he had his first real disaster inning on Sunday. Scott Hairston started the second with a double, Vinny Rottino continued it with a ground ball single, then Robinson Cano extended it by botching a potential inning-ending double play. The Yankees instead got zero outs on the play. Pettitte then walked Omar Quintanilla — he hit a homer once, gotta pitch him like he’s Barry Bonds now — and allowed a two-run double down the right field line to Jordany Valdespin. The botched double play ball hurt, but Andy didn’t exactly help himself by leaving some pitches out over the plate.
  • Rally Killer: A three-run deficit that early in the game isn’t the end of the world, especially since Jon Niese was willing to give it back by putting the first two men on base in the bottom half. Of course, Nick Swisher snuffed out the rally with an ill-advised bunt attempt that resulted in a force out at third. The Yankees went on to score zero runs in the inning. It’s hard enough to beat the other team, but having to overcome your own stupidity is damn near impossible.
  • The Lead: Niese was mowing the Yankees down until the seventh, when Russell Martin hit a cheap two-run homer — hit the top of the wall, bounced straight up, and a fan grabbed it. Derek Jeter started the eighth inning rally with a infield double — yep, infield double — then Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, and Alex Rodriguez followed up with consecutive singles. A-Rod‘s go-ahead single was a bloop into the triangle, the exact kind of RISPBABIP luck they haven’t been getting in recent weeks. After about six innings of frustration, the Yankees had the lead.
  • Blown Save: That one-run lead lasted all of two batters. Rafael Soriano came out of the bullpen to allow back-to-back rockets to Lucas Duda and Ike Davis, putting the go-ahead run on second with no outs. A one-out single put men on the corners, at which point Joe Girardi pulled his backup backup closer in favor of Boone Logan. The matchup lefty escaped the jam with a strikeout and a ground ball. After the big comeback, the blow save was a big letdown.
  • The Russ Bus: That said, the Mets’ bullpen is so bad that a win seemed inevitable once they went to the bottom of the ninth tied. Sure enough, Jon Rauch hung a slider to Martin to lead off the inning, resulting in a non-cheapie homer to left field for the team’s first walk-off homer since September 2010. The game was over, the sweep was complete. Pretty great ending to a great series.
  • Leftovers: Martin is now hitting .319/.418/.681 since the start of the Royals’ series before the West Coast trip and is up to a 117 wRC+ for the season … the top five hitters in the order went a combined 9-for-19 and A-Rod was the only guy without multiple hits … the Yankees ground into three double plays and seven in the series … big ups to Clay Rapada and Cory Wade for two scoreless innings between Pettitte and Soriano … don’t forget Jayson Nix’s play to cut down the lead runner at third in the ninth, it was huge at the time … Pettitte finished with eight strikeouts in six innings, raising his season strikeout rate to 8.64 K/9 (24.7 K%).

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the advanced stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Rays swept the Marlins, so they remain tied atop the AL East with New York in the loss column. The Yankees are off to Atlanta for a three-game set with the Braves, starting Monday evening when Ivan Nova gets the ball against Randall Delgado.

Sunday Night Open Thread

Definitely a fan of the three-game sweep, but a three-game sweep of the Mets is always a little extra special. Things didn’t look so good for most of the game really, but the Yankees got some fortunate bounces and some bloops finally blooped before Russell Martin hit the team’s first walk-off homer since September 2010. That’s six wins in seven games and 13 in 17 games. Pretty awesome.

Anyway, here’s your open thread for the night. The ESPN Sunday Night Game is the Tigers at the Reds (Smyly vs. Bailey), and that’s all you’ve got as far as the major sports are concerned. Feel free to talk about whatever you like here, go nuts.

Game 59: Bragging Rights

(AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

The Yankees have already won the series and while that is always the goal — two out of every three is a 108-win pace — it’s time to get greedy and finish off the sweep. There are bragging rights are on the line and in this age of the internet, bragging rights are worth more than ever. Here’s the lineup…

DH Derek Jeter
CF Curtis Granderson
1B Mark Teixeira
3B Alex Rodriguez
2B Robinson Cano
RF Nick Swisher
LF Andruw Jones
Russell Martin
SS Jayson Nix

LHP Andy Pettitte

Today’s game starts a little after 1pm ET and can be seen on both YES and WPIX locally as well as TBS nationally. Enjoy.

Freddy Garcia Update: Garcia is back with the team after going home to Venezuela following his grandfather’s death. He’s been activated off the bereavement list and Ryota Igarashi has been sent back to Triple-A.

Hiroki Kuroda Update: Kuroda (foot) threw his regular between starts bullpen this afternoon. He’s expected to be good to go for his next start, but we won’t know for sure until Joe Girardi speaks after the game.

Tex’s late homer helps Yanks to win over Mets


Source: FanGraphs

Another day, another win for the Yankees. They again rode their starting pitcher and some timely homers to a 4-2 win over the Mets to clinch the Bronx-end of the 2012 Subway Series. It was their fifth win in the last six games, their seventh win in the last nine games, and their 12th win in the last 16 games. That’ll do just fine. Let’s recap.

  • Teixeicution: I don’t expect much from Mark Teixeira when he has two strikes against a changeup pitcher … mean the “changeup, strike three” meme practically created himself. Tex found himself in a 2-2 count against changeup specialist Dillon Gee with the Yankees down a run in the sixth, but Gee didn’t go to the changeup. He hung a breaking ball and Teixeira hung it on a line out to right field for a homer, turning a one-run deficit into a one-run lead. T’was unexpected.
  • WonderPhil: Phil Hughes has made 23 starts since coming off the DL last July, and he’s now allowed two runs (earned or unearned) or less in 14 of them. His 6.1 inning effort against the Mets wasn’t nearly as pretty as his complete game victory over the Tigers, but he limited the damage to two solo homers (more on that in a bit) while striking out six and recording 12 of his 19 outs on the infield. The homers continue to be a problem, but Hughes has now pitched to a 3.50 ERA with a 3.64 K/BB ratio in his last seven starts. That’s pretty damn good. Keep it up, Phil.
  • Other Runs: Alex Rodriguez singled in Derek Jeter for a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning, but — stop me if you’ve heard this before — they were unable to convert a bases loaded, one-out situation into any more runs because Raul Ibanez grounded into a double play. The Yankees didn’t pick up another hit until Teixeira’s homer in the sixth. Curtis Granderson‘s solo homer in the eighth plated an important insurance run.
  • Bullpen: Gotta hand it to the mix-and-match setup crew, they took care of business in the middle innings. Boone Logan retired the lone lefty he faced (thanks to a great grab by Granderson), Cory Wade finished off the seventh and retired David Wright in a one-run game to open the eight, then Clay Rapada retired his two lefties to hand the ball off the Rafael Soriano for the Wetteland-esque save. Wade allowed a bloop single, but otherwise the setup trio retired five of the six men they faced. Bravo, fellas.
  • Leftover: Hughes allowed the obligatory homer (Omar Quintanilla?!) and is now two starts shy of a) Dennis Rasmussen’s team record of 14 consecutive starts with a homer allowed (1986), and b) Bert Blyleven’s all-time record of 14 consecutive starts with a homer allowed to start a season (1987) … the top six hitters in the lineup each had exactly one hit while the bottom three each went 0-for-3 with a strikeout … the homers by Tex and Grandy were the club’s only extra-base hits of the night.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. The Rays annihilated the Marlins, so they remain tied atop the AL East in the loss column with New York. Andy Pettitte gets the ball in search of the sweep on Sunday afternoon. Fellow southpaw Jon Niese is on the bump for the Amazin’s. If you want to catch the series finale, check out RAB Tickets.

Game 58: Win It For Brett

Needs more Gardner. (REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)

The Yankees got some more bad news about Brett Gardner and his sprained right elbow today as his latest minor league rehab game resulted in more pain. He’s headed to the doctor on Monday and Joe Girardi said he doesn’t expect him back until after the All-Star break. Gardner is no superstar but his presence has been missed, specifically his speed in the lineup and his defense in the outfield. Win this game for him Yankees, win it for him and clinch the series win over the Mets. Here’s the lineup…

SS Derek Jeter
CF Curtis Granderson
DH Alex Rodriguez
2B Robinson Cano
1B Mark Teixeira
LF Raul Ibanez
RF Nick Swisher
3B Eric Chavez
Russell Martin

RHP Phil Hughes

Tonight’s game is scheduled to start at 7:15pm ET and can be seen on FOX. Enjoy.

David Robertson Update: Robertson (oblique) will make his first minor league rehab appearance with Triple-A Empire State tomorrow. He could return in time for next weekend’s series in Washington.

Cano & Kuroda lead Yanks to big win over Mets


Source: FanGraphs

One day after failing to complete a sweep of the Rays, the Yankees got right back on the horse and blew out the Mets in the first game of the 2012 Subway Series. The win was their fourth in the last five games, the sixth in the last eight games, and 11th in the last 15 games. Let’s recap…

  • Cano-han: Robinson Cano put any thoughts of back-to-back no-hitters for Johan Santana to bed pretty quickly. He jumped all over the first pitch he saw for a two-run homers in the second, then followed it up with another first pitch, two-run dinger the very next inning. Alex Rodriguez (walk and single) was on base for both. Those are only Cano’s second and third homers off a southpaw this season, but he has plenty of time to hit a few more.
  • Back-to-Back-to-Back: A pair of two-run homers from Robbie wasn’t enough. Nick Swisher and Andruw Jones followed up Cano’s third inning blast with solo shots of their own for New York’s first set of back-to-back-to-back homers since last August. Coincidentally enough, it was those same three players in that same order that time as well. Pretty neat. The four dingers made it six-zip Yankees before Johan was able to get his ninth out.
  • My Kuroda: Of course, it didn’t matter how many runs the offense piled on because Hiroki Kuroda gave the Mets nothing. He took a no-hitter into the sixth and it would have been a perfect game had Derek Jeter not booted a routine grounder in the fourth. Kuroda struck out seven and got 18 of his 21 outs on the infield because he was unpredictable — threw at least 14 four-seamers, sinkers, sliders, and splitters with some curves mixed in (Brooks) — and only threw three of his 91 pitches from the stretch. Three! The only reason Kuroda was unable to go the distance was because he took a comebacker off his left foot in the seventh, but thankfully x-rays were negative. Following an rocky start to the season, he’s now allowed two earned runs or less in seven of his last nine starts. Well done, Hiroki-san.
  • Leftovers: Ryota Igarashi made his Yankees debut in the ninth and became the 113th player to play for both modern New York teams, though he ruined the one-hit shutout by allowing an RBI double to Lucas Duda … believe it or not, the Yankees got two consecutive hits with runners in scoring position (2-for-6 overall) to widen the lead in the seventh … everyone in the starting lineup had a hit except for Jeter and Curtis Granderson, the guys who are supposed to set the table … the four through nine hitters went a combined 9-for-17 with four homers, two doubles, and four walks … Granderson was replaced by Dewayne Wise in the eighth inning of the blowout after playing every inning of every game this season.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees and Rays are tied in the loss column atop the AL East, though the Bombers have a sizable advantage in run differential (+37 to +16). Phil Hughes and Dillon Gee will square off in game two of this three-game set, a Saturday night game that will be broadcast on FOX. If you want to head up to Bronx to catch the game, check out RAB Tickets.

Game 57: Subway Series

(REUTERS/Gary Cameron)

I’m not sure how often this has happened or even if it has ever happened before, but the Yankees open the 2012 edition of the Subway Series with fewer wins than the Mets. They come into tonight’s game with a 31-25 record while the Amazin’s are 32-26. Of course, winning percentage (.554 vs. .552) and run differential (+29 vs. -8) still favor the Bombers. Johan Santana is coming off his 134-pitch no-hitter and has had a full week to recuperate, plus he’s thrown back-to-back complete game shutouts. Let’s hope his scoreless streak ends soon. Here’s the lineup…

SS Derek Jeter
CF Curtis Granderson
1B Mark Teixeira
3B Alex Rodriguez
2B Robinson Cano
RF Nick Swisher
DH Andruw Jones
LF Raul Ibanezagainst the lefty? whyyy
Russell Martin

RHP Hiroki Kuroda

Tonight’s game starts a little after 7pm ET and can be seen on both My9 and SNY locally as well as MLB Network nationally. Enjoy.

Joba Chamberlain Update: Joba (elbow, ankle) threw 25 pitches off a full mound in the batting cage down in Tampa this afternoon. He’s also resumed running full sprints in the outfield. “Is that even a question?” he replied when asked if he’ll pitch this season. Just remarkable.

David Aardsma Update: Aardsma (elbow) threw 40 pitches in his third live batting practice session today and he could throw a simulated game as soon as early next week. Reinforcements … they are coming.