Swept in Oakland: A’s walk-off with another win

Source: FanGraphs

For the first time in history, a) the Athletics swept the Yankees in a four-game series in Oakland, and b) the Yankees lost four straight one-run games to the same team. It’s also the first time New York has been swept in a four-game series by anyone since the Blue Jays did the honors in 2003. What a stupid series overall. Let’s recap…

  • Early Lead: The Yankees jumped all over Bartolo Colon for three runs in the third — Alex Rodriguez‘s two-run double was the big blow — and tacked on a fourth via Curtis Granderson‘s solo homer an inning later. Bart was pounding the zone with fastballs but the Yankees did a real nice job of fighting off the good ones and hammering the mistakes. The problem is they didn’t bother to score any more runs after Granderson went deep.
  • Chipping Away: CC Sabathia looked mighty good early on, but the Athletics started chipping away with solo homers (Brandon Inge and Kurt Suzuki?!?) in the fifth. Oakland’s third run scored when shortstop for the day Jayson Nix couldn’t get a double play ball out of his glove and Inge beat out the relay. Sabathia struck out six in seven three-run innings that should have been two-run innings if not for Nix, at least theoretically.
  • Blownpen: Aside from a dinky single, David Robertson looked fantastic in his scoreless eighth. The A’s didn’t take one good swing. Rafael Soriano blew his second save in 26 chances when he fell behind Seth Smith and hung a 3-1 slider. The solo homer tied the game and sent things to extra innings. Sucks, but it happens. Really can’t blame Soriano for the loss.
  • Extras: David Phelps retired all five men he faced on 19 pitches before Joe Girardi inexplicably lifted him for matchup reasons. That’s right up there with intentionally walking Sean Rodriguez as one of his worst moves of the season. Completely illogical. Not only was he the best available reliever (either him or Boone Logan, it’s arguable but not worth it), but he was stretch out and capable of throwing like, five innings in relief. The matchup-ing worked until Cody Eppley got stuck facing a left-handed batter with the winning run in scoring position. This four specialists out of seven relievers stuff can’t last much longer.
  • Leftovers: The Yankees went 7-for-21 with one walk from the start of the game through Granderson’s homer, then just 4-for-27 with two walks (one intentional) thereafter … Josh Reddick lost a Mark Teixeira popup in the sun to leadoff the 12th, but they Yankees couldn’t get him in from second thanks in part to Raul Ibanez‘s futility against left-handers … every starter had a hit except for Nix while Granderson, Teixeira, and Robinson Cano had two apiece … Cano was also the only starter not to strike out … the Yankees have lost four straight for the first time this season, the last MLB team to do so.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the advanced stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Orioles won again, so the lead in the division is down to six.  The Yankees remain at least nine games up on everyone else. They’re off to Seattle for three games with the Mariners now, and Hiroki Kuroda will open the series against Kevin Millwood.

Trenton & Charleston win wild games

Triple-A Scranton (4-3 win over Gwinnett)
CF Chris Dickerson: 2-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 SB — 11 hits in his last 30 at-bats (.367) with three doubles, three triples, and a homer
LF Kevin Russo, RF Cole Garner & 1B Matt Antonelli: all 1-4 — Russo walked and drove in a run … Garner doubled and struck out … Antonelli drove in a run and committed an error on the pickoff play
2B Corban Joseph: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K — broke the tie with a solo homer in the top of the ninth
DH Jack Cust: 0-3, 2 BB
3B Brandon Laird: 1-5
C Frankie Cervelli: 0-4
SS Ramiro Pena: 2-3, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 BB, 1 CS — 16 hits in his last 41 at-bats (.390)
RHP Adam Warren: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 8/2 GB/FB — 64 of 100 pitches were strikes … two runs allowed in his last 18.2 IP
RHP Manny Delcarmen: 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GB/FB — 15 of 21 pitches were strikes
LHP Justin Thomas: 0.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 1/0 GB/FB — seven pitches, five strikes
RHP Ryota Igarashi: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 1/1 GB/FB — 19 of 34 pitches were strikes (56%) … 57/12 K/BB in 39 total minor league innings this year

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Sunday Night Open Thread

Soccer at Yankee Stadium. Now that’s just … weird. Chelsea FC and Paris Saint-Germain are playing a friendly in the Bronx tonight, the first of two soccer matches at the Stadium this year. Real Madrid and AC Milan will play another game there in early-August. Between the concerts and college football games and now soccer, the Steinbrenners have done a real nice job generating some cash with non-baseball events in the new building. At the end of the day, it’s all just a business.

Anyway, here is tonight’s open thread. The ESPN Sunday Night Game is in Anaheim for Rangers-Angels (Harrison vs. Haren), plus wooo Breaking Bad. Talk about whatever you like, enjoy the evening.

[Photo via friend of the blog @GatorLenny]

Game 95: Escape from Oakland

Yes, one win would be nice. (REUTERS/Robert Galbraith)

These last three games have been frustrating but not like the typical nightmare series the Yankees have in Anaheim. The Athletics are just playing well right now and the Yankees … aren’t. It was bound to happen at some point, you don’t play .735 ball — which New York did for nearly 50 games — all season. Here’s the batting order…

CF Curtis Granderson
1B Mark Teixeira
2B Robinson Cano
DH Alex Rodriguez
LF Raul Ibanez
3B Eric Chavez
SS Jayson Nix
RF Dewayne Wise
C  Chris Stewart

LHP CC Sabathia

This afternoon’s game starts a little after 4pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy.

Yankees tentatively scheduled to open 2013 at home against Red Sox

Via Gordon Edes, a draft of the 2013 schedule given to the 30 clubs shows that the Yankees will open next season at home with a three-game series against the Red Sox (April 2-4). Since this is just a draft, minor changes are likely and the official schedule will not be finalized until at least September.

Based on Boston’s tentative schedule, it looks like the AL East will be playing the NL West in interleague next year. That means the Dodgers might actually come to Yankee Stadium next season, something that has never happened in interleague play. It’s the only interleague combination not to occur yet — every other team has visited every other ballpark at some point. Given the historic significance of Yankees-Dodgers, baseball really should be ashamed of itself. Hopefully it gets corrected next season.

Two new designs added to the RAB Shop

It’s been a while since we’ve updated the RAB Shop, but we’ve got two new and simply designs for you. Both play off some rather popular Yankees-related Twitter hastags — #untuck for whenever Rafael Soriano nails down a win (and untucks his jersey) and #HIROK for whenever Hiroki Kuroda is generally awesome. That’s more often than not, obviously.

Click the image above for a larger view of both designs, but like I said they’re very clean and simple, and both come courtesy of RAB graphics guru Tyler Wilkinson. These aren’t just limited to t-shirts either; you can get coffee mugs, onesies, messenger bags, hats, all sorts of neat stuff in a variety of colors, styles, and sizes. Check out our shop with this link or at all times via the nav bar above. The link is right below the street sign in the banner.

Heyman: Yankees have checked in on Denard Span

Via Jon Heyman, the Yankees have checked in with the Twins about the availability of Denard Span. Minnesota is unsurprisingly “asking for a ton.” The Yankees will be without Brett Gardner for the rest of the season and Nick Swisher recently went down with a left hip flexor, so the outfield is thin. Heyman reiterated that New York looked into both Shane Victorino and Justin Upton, which is old news.

Span, 28, is a very similar player to Gardner. He’s a left-handed swinger, doesn’t have any power (career .102 ISO), draws walks (career 9.8 BB%), and is a true center fielder with above average defense. Gardner will steal about twice as many bases and is probably better with the glove, but Span will put the ball in play more often (career 12.2 K%). He’s also signed very reasonably — the Twins owe him just $11.25M through 2014 with a $9M club option for 2015. Span would be a great replacement for Gardner this year but replacing Nick Swisher next year? Eh, they’d be lucky to get ten combined homers out of two outfield spots.