Archive for Game Stories
Building off that awesome walk-off win over the Red Sox was a fun idea for a few hours. The Yankees had one of their worst offensive showings of the season on Friday night and dropped the series opener to the Royals by the score of 1-0. Let’s recap the loss:
- Big Mike: Considering he was fighting his command and leaving the ball up in the zone early on, Michael Pineda pitched very well on Friday. He only run he allowed came after the usually reliable Chase Headley whiffed on a hard-hit ground ball, allowing Alcides Escobar to hustle a single into a double and eventually score on Norichika Aoki’s single up the middle. Pineda held Kansas City to the one unearned run on three singles in seven innings, walking none and striking out four. He retired the final eleven men he faced. It was obvious Pineda was not on top of his game in the first few innings but he figured out how to pitch effectively anyway. Very nice to see.
- Shut Down: The Yankees grabbed their biggest win of the season on Thursday night and responded with three singles and a hit batsman on Friday. They did not have a runner reach third base all night and it wasn’t until Derek Jeter singled with one out in the ninth that they had a man reach base with fewer than two outs. The Yankees did put the tying man at second that inning — pinch-runner Antoan Richardson stole second — but Brett Gardner (swinging) and Carlos Beltran (looking) struck out to end the game. Thirteen of the final 14 men they sent to the plate made outs. James Shields was cruising and probably could have thrown ten innings if Ned Yost wasn’t so quick to go to his bullpen. The offense was completely overmatched.
- Leftovers: Dellin Betances struck out one in his perfect eighth inning, giving him 124 strikeouts in 82 innings. The franchise strikeout record for a reliever belongs to 1996 Mariano Rivera (130 in 107.2) … David Robertson struck out two in a perfect ninth. Between Pineda and the two relievers, the Yankees retired the final 17 men they faced … Jeter, Headley, and Gardner (double) had the three base hits. No one on either team drew a walk. Coincidentally, both clubs went 3-for-30 with eight strikeouts at the plate … Pineda has a 1.80 ERA and the Yankees have somehow lost six of his nine starts … the Bombers lost a game without allowing an earned run for the first time since May 1996.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some other stats, and ESPN has the updated standings. Depending on the outcome of the late games, the Yankees will end the night either four games (Tigers and Mariners lose) or five games (Tigers or Mariners win) back of the second wildcard spot. FanGraphs puts their postseason odds at 2.3% at this very moment. Brandon McCarthy and Danny Duffy will be the pitching matchup on Saturday afternoon.
Boy did that turn around in the hurry. The Yankees grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat on Thursday night, rallying in the ninth inning to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 walk-off win. That win was much, much needed.
Cap’d The Bed
The Chris Capuano magic is starting to wear off. The team’s 12th starter served up three homers — including two moonshots to David Ortiz — in 4.1 innings of work on Thursday night after allowing four homers total in his first 42.2 innings in pinstripes. Capuano has now surrendered 18 runs in 28 innings across his last five starts, which is no bueno. He did get off to a nice little start with the Yankees but he’s returning to Earth and pitching exactly how you’d expect a scrap heap finesse guy to pitch in Yankee Stadium.
The final damage on Thursday was four runs on six hits and one walk in those 4.1 innings. Capuano struck out two and did get eight of his 13 outs on the infield. Boston’s lefties were 3-for-5 with those three homers against him — Brock Holt hit a Yankee Stadium cheapie out to right, which may or may not have been catchable (I say not) — while their righties were 3-for-14 (.214) with three singles. The Yankees really don’t have much to lose by continuing to run Capuano out there at this point, but should Masahiro Tanaka‘s elbow hold up and allow him to actually pitch against this season, it’s pretty clear whose rotation spot he should take over.
Rally To Tie
Capuano put the Yankees in a 3-0 hole following the two homers to Ortiz, but the offense did rally to tie the game up in the third inning. The bottom of the order got the rally started as Ichiro Suzuki dunked a one-out single to left, then Jacoby Ellsbury drew a walk and Derek Jeter drove a two-run double over the head of center fielder Mookie Betts. Betts, who has 56 games worth of experience at center field in his career, was understandably playing Jeter very shallow, and the Cap’n simply muscled it out over his head.
Carlos Beltran singled in Jeter with two outs to tie the game at three, and after that the Yankees had three whole base-runners until the ninth inning. Stephen Drew drew a two-out walk in the fourth, Mark Teixeira beat out an infield single with one out in the fifth, and pinch-hitter Zelous Wheeler drew a leadoff walk in the seventh. Teixeira’s single was a jam shot that was perfectly placed against the shift out of pure luck, nothing more. That’s three base-runners in the span of five innings with none making it beyond first base.
Rally To Tie, Rally To Win
The bullpen in relief of Capuano was really good. Rich Hill struck out Ortiz, Esmil Rogers allowed a hit in 1.2 otherwise uneventful innings, Josh Outman got Holt to ground out to second, and Shawn Kelley retired all four men he faced. Kelley looked really sharp. Adam Warren had a messy ninth inning (plunked Allen Craig, bobbled a sacrifice bunt attempt) but escaped without allowing a run. Five relievers combined to allow just one hit in 4.2 scoreless innings, striking out four. They held up their end of the bargain.
For once, the offense held up its end of the bargain in the bottom of the ninth. Koji Uehara has been struggling hard of late, allowing runs in four of his last five outings (eight runs total), including two homers. Teixeira started the ninth by looking at a 2-0 fastball right down the middle — what the hell man!? — but he made up for it by slamming a hanging 2-2 splitter into the right field second deck for a game-tying solo homer. Two batters later, Chase Headley lifted a hanging full count splitter into the right field bleachers for a no-doubt walk-off blast. It was a bomb. Gone off the bat. Also his second walk-off hit with the Yankees. Remember his debut? It took a super-struggling Uehara, but a win is a win, and this was a cool win.
One night after going 4-for-4 with a dinger, Brian McCann went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. He did rip a line drive to left between the Teixeira and Headley homers in the ninth. He was the only starter who failed to reach base. Ellsbury and Drew drew walks while Jeter, Gardner, Teixeira, Headley, and Ichiro had hits. Teixeira was the only player on the team with multiple hits. Wheeler drew the walk off the bench when he pinch-hit for Drew against a lefty. The Yankees went 2-for-4 with runners in scoring position.
The nightly base-running blunder came in the seventh inning, when pinch-runner Antoan Richardson put his head down and ran to second on a steal attempt, not looking up to see Ichiro’s line drive go right to Betts in center. By time Richardson realized the ball had been caught, Betts was already throwing it to first to double him up. That’s not as bad as the base-running mistakes the last two nights, but it’s still pretty bad.
By the way, Richardson was the 56th different player to play for the Yankees this year, tying last season’s franchise record. Everyone currently on the active roster has played in a game, so if they’re going use a 57th player and break that record, they’ll have to call someone else up.
Once again, just so it doesn’t get overlooked: the bullpen was really great. Those guys gave the offense a chance to get back in the game. Couldn’t have done it without them.
Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
The place to go for the box score and video highlights is MLB.com. You can find some other game stats and FanGraphs and the up to the minute standings at ESPN. Depending on the outcome of the currently tied Tigers-Indians game, the Yankees will be either three games (Indians win) or four games (Tigers win) back of the second wildcard spot. FanGraphs has New York’s postseason odds at 4.7% at this very moment.
The Royals come to town next for a three-game weekend series. That is the Yankees’ last series against a non-AL East team this year. Big Mike Pineda and James Shields is the scheduled pitching matchup for Friday night’s series opener. Head over to RAB Tickets if you want to catch that or any of the other five games left on the homestand in person.
After a couple of rough losses these last five or six days, the Yankees rebounded with a sound 5-1 win over the Red Sox on Wednesday night. They pitched very well, they hit well, and they even played some nice defense too. Just don’t ask about the base-running. We’ll turn a blind eye to that. With the win, the Yankees clinched at least a tie of the season series against Boston for the eighth time in the last ten years.
I had plans tonight and missed the bulk of the game — I left right after that ridiculous double caught stealing in the first and got home in time to see Dellin Betances fan Mookie Betts in the eighth — so I can’t really talk about it in too much detail. Brian McCann had four hits including a two-run homer, and it would be really great if he finished the year strong so he can go into the offseason feeling good about himself. Brett Gardner singled in Jacoby Ellsbury for another run and Ellsbury sacrifice flied in Chase Headley to score another run. McCann singled in the fifth and final run in the seventh. Carlos Beltran was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
Hiroki Kuroda was fantastic, holding the Red Sox to one run on a double and three singles in seven innings of work. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter. Kuroda was on extra rest thanks to Monday’s off-day and he simply looks so much better whenever he gets an extra day or two. He now has a 3.30 ERA (3.32 FIP) in his last 17 starts and 109 innings dating back to June 1st. That is more or less the good version of 2012-13 Kuroda. He’s going out in style, assuming he is going out at all. Betances and David Robertson each allowed a base-runner in otherwise uneventful eighth and ninth innings to close out the win.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some additional stats, and ESPN has the updated standings. The Yankees are now four games back of the Tigers for the second wildcard spot with two other teams ahead of them. FanGraphs puts their postseason odds at 3.0% with 25 games remaining. Brandon Workman and ex-Red Sox Chris Capuano will be the pitching matchup in Thursday night’s series finale. RAB Tickets can get you in the door if you want to catch the game live.
So much for starting the homestand off on the right foot. The Red Sox clobbered the Yankees by the score of 9-4 in Tuesday night’s series opener, New York’s fourth loss in their last five games. The Yankees are now 24-29 against the AL East this year, including 9-20 in their last 29 intra-division games.
Shane Greene is one of the few reasons the Yankees can even pretend to still be in the race for the second wildcard spot. He’s been really good since coming up just before the All-Star break. But Greene got destroyed on Tuesday night, allowing six runs on six hits and three walks in only three innings of work. Five of the nine base-runners reached in two-strike counts, which gives you an idea of how much he was struggling. Batters had a .175 OBP in two-strike counts against Greene coming into the game.
There’s no real mystery about what happened here. Greene was simply catching way too much of plate and giving hitters plenty of pitches to hammer. The box score says 38 of his 67 pitches were strikes (57%), but that doesn’t say anything about the quality of his pitches, which were awful. Even a few of his outs were hard hit. What can you do? Greene picked an unfortunate time to have his worst start in the big leagues. Now he has to shake it off and get back to where he was before Tuesday. The Yankees are falling out of the playoff race but he’s still competing for a 2015 rotation spot.
Fifth Inning Fight
Aside from Martin Prado‘s solo homer in the third inning, the Bombers didn’t put up much of a fight against Joe Kelly in the first four innings. The homer was their only base-runner in those four innings, in fact. That all changed in the fifth thanks to a patented 2014 Yankees rally that could have been a whole lot bigger if they were able to get out of their own way.
Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, and Prado opened the inning with back-to-back-to-back singles — McCann bunted to third to beat the shift — but the end result was runners at second and third with one out and no runs scored. Beltran got a poor read on Prado’s hit over the left fielder’s head and was only able to advance to third. Prado, thinking it was an easy double, took a big turn around first only to see McCann standing at second. He was caught in a rundown for the first out. Beltran got a bad read but ultimately Prado has to know what the runners in front of him are doing.
Anyway, the Yankees ran themselves out of a bases loaded situation there but Chase Headley drew a walk following Prado’s single to re-load (?) the bases. Kelly then walked Francisco Cervelli to force in the team’s second run. Jacoby Ellsbury lined out to short for the second out and Derek Jeter grounded out weakly to short for the third out … until Joe Girardi challenged and it was overturned, scoring a run and re-loading the bases. Jeter hit the ball so weakly that he was able to beat it out. I’m not joking.
That set things up for Brett Gardner, the number three hitter du jour and the team’s best player pretty much all season. He saw five pitches from Kelly, all outside the zone, swung at one of them, and was called out on strikes. Strike three was such an awful call. Here’s the strike zone plot, courtesy of Brooks Baseball:
Terrible. The only actual strike in that at-bat was a strike because Gardner swung at it and missed (pitch four). YES showed an overhead angle and strike three was in the other batter’s box. Home plate ump Tim Timmons had a pretty crappy zone all night (strike zone plots) but that call took the cake. Gardner slammed his bat, slammed his helmet, and got himself ejected. That only compounded the problem. I know he was mad and rightfully so, but he’s way too important to get himself thrown out of a September game with his team fighting for a postseason spot. Four hits, two walks, two runs. 2014 Yankees.
Last Four Innings
After that self-stifled fifth inning rally, the game pretty much flew by. Esmil Rogers replaced Greene and served up a solo homer in the fourth, but otherwise he and three other relievers (Rich Hill, Adam Warren, David Huff) combined to retire 12 of 13 Red Sox batters from the fifth through eighth innings. Chaz Roe allowed two runs in the ninth. I’ve already seen enough of him to know whatever the Yankees gave the Marlins was too much. The bullpen more or less held up its end of the bargain until Roe showed up.
The offense never came, of course. It never does. The Yankees had runners on base in the sixth (one-out walk by Beltran), seventh (Prado reached on an error and Headley walked, both with no outs), and eighth (two-out walk by Teixeira) but couldn’t score. McCann banged into a double play to end the sixth, Cervelli banged into a double play to short-circuit the seventh, and Beltran flew out to end the eighth. McCann hit a garbage time solo homer off the shell of Koji Uehara in the ninth for no apparent reason.
The Yankees had seven hits as a team. Prado and McCann had two each while Jeter, Headley, and Beltran had one each. Two of the seven (Jeter and McCann) were infield singles and another (Beltran) was a ground ball with eyes. Really knocked it around on Tuesday. Teixeira, Beltran, Cervelli, and Headley (two) each drew walks. There’s your offense.
The Red Sox, meanwhile, managed to pick up 12 hits as a team even though five of the nine players in their starting lineup went hitless. Mookie Betts (three hits), Yoenis Cespedes (three hits), Daniel Nava (two hits), and Xander Bogaerts (four hits) did all the damage.
Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
The box score and video highlights are at MLB.com. FanGraphs has some other stats and the updated standings are at ESPN. The Yankees are now five games back of the second wild-card spot and FanGraphs puts their postseason odds at 4.7%. They were only 3.5 games out of a playoff spot after 136 games last year, before they committed $500M+ to free agents.
The Yankees and Red Sox will continue the series Wednesday, when Hiroki Kuroda and Anthony Ranaudo square off. RAB Tickets can get you in the door if you want to catch that game or any of the other seven games left on the homestand. There are only 16 home games left this season, you know.
Remember when the Yankees won five straight games a week ago? They’ve followed that up by losing two of three to a wildcard competitor in the Tigers and two of three to a struggling Blue Jays team that played themselves out of the race this month. The Yankees have had a knack for following up winning streaks with a bunch of losses this year, and they did it again this week. Let’s recap Sunday’s 4-3 loss:
- Three Runs: Four pitches into the game, the Yankees had more hits (two) and runs (one) than they did Saturday. Brett Gardner lined J.A. Happ’s second pitch over the right field wall for a leadoff homer — his fifth leadoff homer this year, sixth of his career — and Derek Jeter grounded his fourth pitch back up the middle for a single. A leadoff single (Martin Prado) and two two-out singles (Chase Headley and Frankie Cervelli) created the team’s second run in the fourth inning, then Gardner created the third run with a triple. The errant throw from the outfield sailed into the dugout, allowing him to score. The Yankees had was appeared to be a comfortable-ish 3-0 lead.
- Four Batters: Brandon McCarthy was cruising along for the first five innings of the game, then it all fell apart in the span of four batters from the sixth through seventh innings. McCarthy held the Blue Jays to two singles and walk before Melky Cabrera, Jose Bautista, and Edwin Encarnacion all launched no-doubt solo homers to tie the game at three. An Adam Lind fly out was sandwiched between the Bautista and Encarnacion homers. It’s very easy to second guess the decision to let McCarthy start the seventh, but he made basically two bad pitches — the Melky homer wasn’t even a bad pitch, he figuratively hit the glove — all afternoon and his pitch count was at like 80. Going to Dellin Betances for multiple innings was obvious only in hindsight.
- Game Over: McCarthy walked the next batter after the Encarnacion homer, ending his afternoon. Pinch-runner Steve Tolleson then stole second and scored on Munenori Kawasaki’s (really?!) single to right off Betances, giving Toronto the 4-3 lead. The Yankees actually had runners in scoring position in the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth innings, but went a combined 0-for-5 with a strikeout and did not hit a ball out of the infield in those situations. The game ended on Jeter’s soft line drive to second with pinch-runner Ichiro Suzuki — Jacoby Ellsbury pinch-doubled with one out — standing at third.
- Leftovers: Gardner was a single shy of the cycle when he grounded out to first in the ninth. A single likely would have tied the game with Ichiro at second … McCarthy allowed three homers in the span of four batters after allowing three homers in his first 64 innings as a Yankee … Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran went a combined 0-for-8 with five strikeouts as the four-five hitters … Gardner (three), Prado, Headley, and Cervelli (two each) all had multiple hits … Betances struck out four in his two innings, giving him 120 on the year. Only 1996 Mariano Rivera (130) and 1978 Goose Gossage (122) have more among full-time relievers in franchise history, and both of those guys threw more than 100 innings. Dellin’s at 80.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Orioles are beating the snot out of the Twins, so the Yankees will be nine games back in the division in short order. Depending on the outcome of the day’s other games, the Yankees will be either 3.5 (Tigers and Royals lose) or 4.5 (Tigers and/or Royals win) games back of the second wildcard spot. FanGraphs has New York’s postseason odds at a generous 9.6%. The Yankees are off on Monday and will open a three-game series against the Red Sox on Tuesday. Shane Greene and Joe Kelly is the scheduled pitching matchup for the opener. Head over to RAB Tickets if you want to catch the game. There are only 17 regular season home games left in the season.
For the fourth time in four attempts this season, the Yankees failed to improve their record to eight games over .500. They just can’t get over that hump. Drew Hutchison (seven innings) and Aaron Sanchez (two innings) one-hit the Yankees and took Saturday afternoon’s game 2-0. Let’s recap the loss:
- One Hit: The Yankees put five men on base all afternoon but just one came via a hit. That was Mark Teixeira‘s two-out double in the fourth inning. They actually loaded the bases with two outs that inning thanks to the double and two hit batsmen (Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann), but Martin Prado flew out harmlessly to end the threat. Beltran walked in the sixth and Stephen Drew walked in the seventh. That’s it. That was the offense. If fairly certain Teixeira’s double was the only hard-hit ball of the afternoon too. Hutchison and Sanchez shut them right down.
- Big Mike: Michael Pineda only made one really terrible pitch on Saturday, and that was the 0-2 hanging slider Jose Bautista hit off the facing of the second deck for a two-run homer in the first inning. They handled Bautista with sliders all day, but that one was left up and he didn’t miss it. Otherwise Pineda did not allow any other runs the rest of the afternoon and held the Blue Jays to just those two runs on seven hits and no walks in six innings. He struck out three and did leave two runners on base in the seventh — Shawn Kelley bailed him out beautifully — but that’s it. Pineda was very good yet again.
- Leftovers: Kelley escaped that second and third, no outs jam in the seventh with a strikeout, a ground ball, and a fly ball. Great job by him … David Huff threw a scoreless ninth with an unintentional intentional walk to Bautista mixed in … the Yankees were held to one hit for the first time since, coincidentally, the Blue Jays did it to them in Rogers Centre in September 2009. That game was all Roy Halladay though.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some additional stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Tigers are playing a doubleheader today, so depending on the outcome of that (plus the Mariners game), the Yankees can finish the day anywhere from 2.5 to 4.5 games back of the second wildcard spot. FanGraphs has their postseason odds at 12.4% at this very moment in time. Brandon McCarthy and J.A. Happ will be the pitching matchup in Sunday afternoon’s finale.
That was a good way to rebound from Thursday’s rough walk-off loss. After being shut down for the first six innings on Friday, the Yankees rallied late to walk away with a 6-3 win over the Blue Jays in the series opener. Let’s recap:
- Five-Run Seventh: The Yankees managed four base-runners against Mark Buehrle in the first six innings, though they started to square him up better in the sixth and that carried over into the seventh. Brian McCann opened the inning with a double to right, then Carlos Beltran walked, then Brett Gardner doubled to almost the exact same spot as McCann. The relay man tried to throw Beltran out at third for whatever reason, and the throw sailed wide and into the stands, allowing the second run to score to make it 2-1 Yankees. Dioner Navarro’s attempted snap throw sailed in left field later in the inning to allow Gardner to score the team’s third run, then Jacoby Ellsbury swatted a two-run homer to make it 5-1. The Yankees have been able to put together some big innings of late. It’s nice to see.
- Cap’d Off: When I looked at the box score, I was surprised to see Chris Capuano allowed eight hits and three runs (two earned) in 6.1 innings. It seemed like he pitched a lot better than that. A Jose Bautista solo homer and some really bad defense led to those runs. (Derek Jeter short-hopped a throw to first and McCann couldn’t handle a short-hop throw from Gardner.) Otherwise Capuano was solid. Not great, not terrible, but good enough to give the Yankees a chance to win, which is what he’s done since joining the team a few weeks ago. Given the news of Masahiro Tanaka‘s setback, the club will have to continue to rely on Capuano, and he’s given them no reason to think he won’t be up to the task.
- Late Innings: The Blue Jays answered the five-run inning with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the seventh, thanks mostly to the poor defense. Adam Warren faced Bautista as the tying run and then Edwin Encarnacion as the go-ahead run in that inning, but he escaped with a hit-by-pitch (hey, better than another homer) and a fly out. He got two quick outs in the eighth, Josh Outman came on to allow a single to the lefty hitting Munenori Kawasaki in his Yankees debut, then David Robertson retired all four batters he faced for the four-out save. He is 35-for-38 in save chances now. The seventh and eighth innings are always iffy whenever Dellin Betances isn’t available, but Joe Girardi & Co. got through them successfully on Friday.
- Leftovers: Chase Headley plated an insurance run with a long solo homer in the ninth … Ellsbury and Martin Prado had two hits apiece while Mark Teixeira and Beltran were the only starters without hits. Beltran did draw two walks … the Yankees had six extra-base hits for the first time in 22 games and only the ninth time this season … they scored 6+ runs for the fourth time in the last six games after doing it four times in their previous 25 games … there were two challenges on the same play in the ninth inning. The Jays challenged that Ellsbury had been tagged out at home on a fielder’s choice, and the play was overturned. Joe Girardi then challenged that Navarro was blocking the plate, but it was deemed he was not.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Orioles won, so the Yankees remain seven games back in the AL East. Assuming the Tigers hold on to their big lead over the White Sox, the Yankees will remain three games back of the second wildcard spot regardless of the what the Mariners do in the late game. FanGraphs puts their postseason odds at 10.8%. Michael Pineda and Drew Hutchison will square off in the second game of this series on Saturday afternoon.
The Yankees are playing their best baseball of the season right now. The rotation is giving them a quality outing just about every day, and the offense is finally starting to consistently score runs. Scoring 16 runs in 14.2 innings against Chris Sale, James Shields, and David Price these last few days is something that would have never happened earlier this year.
This afternoon’s rubber game against the Tigers gives the Yankees a chance to climb to within two games of the second wildcard spot (the Mariners are off today) with 30 games left to play. They also have a chance to draw closer to Detroit in the wildcard race. Passing one team is tough enough. Having to jump two is very difficult, which is why these head-to-head games are so important. Here is the Tigers lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- SS Derek Jeter
- 2B Martin Prado
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- DH Carlos Beltran
- C Brian McCann
- 3B Chase Headley
- LF Brett Gardner
- RF Zelous Wheeler
RHP Hiroki Kuroda
It is nice and sunny in Detroit this afternoon. Cool, too. Temperatures are in the low-70s. These games are starting to have playoff level intensity and the weather is appropriate. First pitch is scheduled for 1:08pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally, depending on where you live.
Now that is how you rebound from a loss. The Yankees have had a knack for following winning streaks with extended losing stretches this year, but they brushed Tuesday’s loss aside and pounded David Price and the Tigers on Wednesday, winning the middle game of the series 8-4. They’ve now won six of their last seven games and eight of their last eleven overall.
Nine Straight Hits
The third inning of this game was just ridiculous. The Yankees started the inning with nine (nine!) consecutive base hits against Price, and those nine hits featured a little of everything. Doubles into the corner, garden variety singles to the outfield, ground ball singles with eyes, infield singles, you name it. All nine of the hits came against Price too. It’s not like they got five hits off him and the rest off some random scrub reliever.
I think the easiest way to recap this is with the play-by-play, so here:
The doubles by Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira were opposite field shots into the right field corner. I thought Teixeira’s would slice foul off the bat and Beltran’s would sneak over the wall for a homer. Wrong on both counts. Ain’t mad about it. Those nine straight hits gave the Yankees six runs and loaded the bases with no outs before Price was pulled. At one point they were 8-for-8 with runners in scoring position in the inning. In the inning!
According to YES Network broadcast, the MLB record for consecutive base hits is 12 by both the 1920 Cardinals and 1930 Dodgers, though those rallies both spanned multiple innings with outs recorded on the bases mixed in. The record for most consecutive hits in a single inning is eleven by the 2010 Rockies. The last AL team with nine straight hits was the 1996 Tigers. The 1992 Blue Jays hold the AL record with ten straight hits. So yeah, this was something else.
Two sacrifice flies followed the nine hits and the pitching change, giving the Yankees an 8-0 lead through three innings. Price had not allowed nine hits in any of his last 14 starts, amazingly. The eight runs is a new single-inning high for the Bombers this year — they scored seven runs in an inning a few times — and, most importantly, it gave Shane Greene plenty of breathing room. Most fun inning of the year? Most fun inning of the year.
Second Time Around
The huge inning and those nine straight hits are going to grab all the headlines and rightfully so, but man, Greene was awesome once again. This was the first time a team got to see him twice as a starter, which is always a big test for a young pitcher. Greene aced that test by holding the Tigers to two runs on five hits and one walk in seven innings. He struck eight out and recorded 16 of his 21 outs on the infield. If the Detroit batters were comfortable in the box because they had already seen him once before, it did not show. Dude was sharp.
Greene has now made nine starts for the Yankees since joining the rotation just before he All-Star break — he crossed the 50-inning rookie eligibility threshold in this start, by the way — and in those nine starts he has a 3.11 ERA (3.15 FIP) with a 3.79 K/BB ratio in 55 innings. Remember, he had a 4.61 ERA (3.41 FIP) with a 2.19 K/BB in 66.1 Triple-A innings before being called up. There were legitimate questions about exactly how much he would be able to help the team. Greene has been outstanding so far and his lively sinker/slider mix suggests his success is more sustainable than, say, Chase Whitley‘s. (No offense to Whitley.) This guy’s been awesome.
Because these are the 2014 Yankees, the team did not have a base-runner following the nine straight hits until Martin Prado picked up a two-out in the sixth inning. A parade of Tigers relievers retired a) eleven straight Yankees from the third through sixth, and b) 20 of the final 25 Yankees batters to end the game. Hey, when you drop eight runs in an inning, you’re allowed to take it easy the rest of the game.
Everyone in the starting lineup had at least one hit, obviously. That kinda has to happen to do the whole nine straight hits thing. Jacoby Ellsbury, Prado, Brian McCann, and Chase Headley all had two hits apiece. Derek Jeter, Prado, and Headley drew the walks. Ellsbury even stole two bases. The Yankees went 8-for-14 (.571) with runners in scoring position. Is that good? That seems good.
Adam Warren pitched the eighth inning and Dellin Betances pitched the ninth after Greene was done. They both allowed a garbage time run on two hits. Betances pitched because he actually needed the work, which is weird because he’s had to work a lot this year. He had four straight days off before Wednesday’s game and the rust showed. Better to shake it off in a game like than than a close one.
I don’t mean to laugh at him, but Frankie Cervelli took a foul ball right to the biscuits in the fifth inning. Direct hit. It was rough. I couldn’t help but laugh when Ken Singleton said “nope, didn’t hit him in the collarbone” during the slow motion replay. Poor Frankie.
And finally, the Yankees have now beat up on Price, James Shields, and Chris Sale in the span of four days. Baseball, man.
Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
For the box score and video highlights, check out MLB.com. You can find some other stats at FanGraphs and the updated standings at ESPN. Both the Orioles and Mariners lost, so the Yankees are now six games back in the AL East and 2.5 games back of the second wildcard spot. FanGraphs puts their postseason odds at 10.6%.
The Yankees and Tigers will wrap up this three-game series on Thursday afternoon. Hiroki Kuroda and Kyle Lobstein are the scheduled pitching matchup for the rubber game. Apparently the Tigers decided to push Justin Verlander back and give him an extra day of rest as he comes back from his sore shoulder.
I guess the Yankees just don’t like being eight games over .500, huh? The team’s latest attempt to reach that point fell short on Tuesday night. They lost 5-2 to the Tigers after a one hour and eight minute rain delay.
For the first time as a Yankee, Brandon McCarthy got hit pretty hard on Tuesday night. He was in trouble all night, allowing five runs and 13 base-runners in 6.1 innings. I’m not quite sure why he was sent back out to start the seventh — McCarthy surrendered the fifth run that inning — but it really didn’t matter in the end. It saved the bullpen an out, I guess. McCarthy threw 85 pitches and, by my unofficial count, 44 were from the stretch. So yeah, he was in trouble all night.
The Tigers scored their first run on a bases loaded walk of all things. McCarthy had walked two batters in only two of his first eight starts with New York, but he walked two and hit a batter in the second inning of this game. It was obvious he was off from the get-go. Just one of those nights, I guess. Detroit scored another run on a Miguel Cabrera double and a J.D. Martinez single in the third, then they did some real damage in the sixth with a single (Victor Martinez), a double (J.D. Martinez), a run-scoring single (Nick Castellanos), and a run-scoring double play (Alex Avila). A double (Rajai Davis) and a single (Torii Hunter) created the fifth run in the seventh. Ugly outing. What can you do.
Rick Porcello was really sharp just about all night. The Yankees scored their two runs on Jacoby Ellsbury solo homers, believe it or not. Otherwise the team only had one other base-runner make it as far as third base, and that was when they had runners on the corners with two outs in the fourth. Stephen Drew popped out to end the threat. Porcello faced 31 batters, threw 18 first pitch strikes, and allowed ten balls to be hit out of the infield.
Joe Nathan retired the side in order in the ninth, so 15 of the final 19 batters the Yankees sent to the plate made outs. The four exceptions were Ellsbury’s two homers, Derek Jeter‘s infield single, and Carlos Beltran‘s traditional single to center. The bottom four hitters in the order went 1-for-14 with an infield single (Ichiro Suzuki) and overall the Yankees went hitless in all of three at-bats with runners in scoring position. They saw nine total pitches in those at-bats. Just a blah night for the offense. Porcello was good and they couldn’t put anything together. Baseball.
Esmil Rogers retired five of six men he faced with three strikeouts and a hit batsman. He was the only reliever used. The Yankees have been able to get their key late-inning relievers some nice rest these last two or three days. Those guys have been worked really hard these last few weeks.
The Yankees actually had nine hits on the night, including three by Ellsbury and two each by Jeter and Beltran. They didn’t draw any walks because the Yankees don’t do that anymore. This was the offense’s tenth walk-less game of the year. They had 13 total from 2009-11. I miss offense.
Mark Teixeira saved Chase Headley two errors in the first two innings with scoops at first base. The second one saved some runs, which really wouldn’t have mattered in the end, but Tex flashed some leather in this game and that’s cool.
Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
MLB.com is the place to go for the box score and video highlights. FanGraphs has some other stats and ESPN has to updated standings. The Orioles beat the Rays, so the Yankees are seven back in the AL East. Depending on the outcome of the late game, the Yankees will be either three (Mariners lose, Tigers take over second wildcard spot) or 3.5 (Mariners win) games back of the second wildcard spot. FanGraphs has their postseason odds at a robust 14.8%. I have absolutely no idea how they picked up 2.0% since last night despite losing. Weird.
Same two teams on Wednesday night, in the middle game of this three-game series. Shane Greene and David Price will be the pitching matchup. Pretty sick of seeing Price at this point. This will be their fifth meeting of the year even though the guy got traded out of the division at the deadline.