Yankees beat themselves with errors, drop nightcap to Red Sox

Source: FanGraphs

It really doesn’t matter how good your offense and pitching staff is when you commit five four (!) errors like the Yankees did Saturday night. Three of them directly led to runs for the Red Sox, allowing them to both come back from a three-run deficit and blow things open late. Such is life. Maybe this loss would sting more if not for the standings. Let’s recap…

  • Early Lead: The Yankees have been scoring a ton of first inning runs this past week and they did it again in this one, all courtesy of a three-run homer by Mark Teixeira. It’s just too bad they did next to nothing after that. Felix Doubront settled down nicely and allowed just one more run the rest of the way.
  • Philbert: Phil Hughes did not have his best stuff but he did a pretty good job gutting it out I thought. A few years (weeks?) ago this would have snowballed into something really ugly, not that five runs (three earned) in 5.1 innings is anything special. Obviously his defense didn’t help him any. Phil now gets a nice 7-10 day rest with the All-Star break after a first half that was solid overall.
  • Broken: Both Cory Wade and (especially) Boone Logan are running on fumes after such a heavy workload while David Robertson was on the shelf in May. Wade’s been brutal for six weeks now and Logan’s effectiveness has slipped as well. He needs the All-Star break in the worst way. Wade got knocked around big time in the seventh (three runs, two outs) and Boston blew the game open. He’ll be back in Triple-A tomorrow.
  • Leftovers: Have yourself a day Andruw Jones. He hit a solo homer — his third of the day — and made a great diving catch in the second … I fail to see the logic behind pinch-hitting Raul Ibanez ahead of Alex Rodriguez in the eighth, you gotta go with your best hitter in that spot regardless of the platoon matchup … Russell Martin ended his 0-for-30 skid with a page out of the Chris Stewart playbook, he hit it off the infielder’s glove … a day after scoring ten runs with zero homers, the Yankees scored all 11 runs on Saturday via the long ball.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees are still nine games up on the Sox in the loss column and have a chance to get it back to double-digits in the series finale on Sunday. Ivan Nova gets the ball against Jon Lester in ESPN night game, which also happens to be the final game before the All-Star break.

Williams homers in Tampa win

OF Tyler Austin has been placed on the DL following the pitch to his head earlier this week, which stinks. RHP Conor Mullee was placed on the 60-day DL and based on his Twitter feed, he got some bad news. He’s coming off Tommy John surgery and left a game earlier this week after one pitch. As for the good news, C Peter O’Brien was promoted to Short Season Staten Island.

Here are the abbreviated recaps…

  • Triple-A Empire State (loss): 2B Corban Joseph doubled, LF Ronnie Mustelier doubled and homered, DH Jack Cust singled and doubled, and RF Cole Garner doubled. RHP Ramon Ortiz allowed four runs (three earned) and RHP Chase Whitley really gave it up by allowing three runs and getting just four outs.
  • Double-A Trenton (win): 2B Jose Pirela and 3B Addison Maruszak both doubled while RF Zoilo Almonte and 1B Luke Murton both doubled and homered. Murton chipped in a single as well. CF Melky Mesa singled twice. RHP Brett Marshall allowed one run in four innings, an abbreviated start that gets him ready for the All-Star Game next week. RHP Kevin Perez was the highlight of the bullpen with two perfect innings.
  • High-A Tampa (win): CF Mason Williams had two hits, including his first homer at this level. LF Ramon Flores had a single and double, ditto 1B Kyle Roller and 3B Zach Wilson. C Gary Sanchez walked twice, DH Slade Heathcott once (plus a single for him). RHP Shane Greene struck out six and allowed just one run in six innings.
  • Low-A Charleston Game One (win): CF Ben Gamel drove in four runs and was a homer away from the cycle. 3B Dante Bichette Jr. had a pair of knocks, including his second homer of the season. Hard to believe he only has two. Nothing interesting happened on the mound.
  • Low-A Charleston Game Two (loss): They had just two hits as a team, singles by C Francisco Arcia and LF Cody Grice. RHP Brett Gerritse allowed one run and struck out five in five innings.
  • Short Season Staten Island (win): O’Brien doubled in his debut with the team while both LF Taylor Dugas and 3B Fu-Lin Kuo each drew three walks. Dugas is up to 17 walks against just six strikeouts in 15 games. RHP Corey Black allowed two unearned runs in two innings while LHP Tim Flight allowed the same two unearned runs across four innings.
  • Rookie GCL Yankees (loss): Only three hits as a team, singles from CF Mikeson Oliberto, 1B Bubba Jones, and SS Austin Aune. RHP Joey Maher allowed one run in 4.2 IP.

Game 84: Get Greedy

(REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi)

The Yankees have met their minimum requirement. Realistically, they had to come into this four-game series and manage at least a split to make sure the Red Sox would gain no ground on them in the standings this weekend. Two games in, they already have their split. It’s time for the Bombers to get greedy and create even more separation with Boston. They’re already ten games up in the loss column, time to make it eleven. Here’s the lineup…

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

RHP Phil Hughes

Tonight’s game starts a little after 7pm ET and can be seen on FOX. Yuck. Try to enjoy anyway.

Yanks take early game behind Garcia, homers

Source: FanGraphs

I gotta say, that was a pretty solid win. The Yankees hit well, they pitched well, and they played defense well. What more could you ask? Let’s recap…

  • Back-to-Back: The Yankees have scored multiple first inning runs in four of their last five games, and on Saturday afternoon they did it courtesy of a three-run Nick Swisher homer –breaking an 0-for-17 skid — and a solo shot by Andruw Jones. Robinson Cano took a pitch off his right hand with two outs, which really caused the inning to snowball a bit on Franklin Morales. The Yankees don’t miss fastballs, it doesn’t matter how hard you throw, and Boston’s lefty put a few right in the happy zone.
  • Back-to-Back Part Two: Because one set of back-to-back homers wasn’t enough, Jones and Jayson Nix doubled up on solo shots in the fifth. Andruw’s was a little wall-scraper but Nix’s was a legit blast like the two first inning jacks. All four dingers came on Morales’ fastball and they collectively tripled his season total of dingers allowed.
  • Right Sweat Fred: How many innings out of Freddy Garcia would you have been happy with coming into the game? Five? That seems reasonable given the Fenway Park factor plus the fact that it was only his second start out of the bullpen. Freddy instead turned in 6.2 innings of one-run ball, going above and beyond all expectations. He struck out five (including at least one on his mystery pitch), walked two, and got lots of weak fly balls. It works for him. Unlike Hiroki Kuroda on Friday night, Garcia made the big early lead hold up. Major, major props to him. Star of the game.
  • Leftovers: Not only did Andruw hit two homers, he also made a great leaping catch at the wall and was able to double David Ortiz off first base in the sixth inning. It was a vintage 2005 game out of him … Alex Rodriguez and Swisher both got picked off first base in the third inning, killing a potentially huge rally. A-Rod was nabbed on a set play with the first baseman sneaking behind him, but outs on the bases remain the worst outs … Robinson Cano’s nine-game RBI streak came to end … Derek Jeter (three singles), Swisher (homer, single, two walks), and Jones (two homers) all had multiple hits … scoreless relief from Cody Eppley (four outs) and Chad Qualls (three outs) spared the big bullpen guns heading into tonight … the only real negative is that the Yankees allowed Justin Germano to throw 5.2 scoreless innings, so Boston’s bullpen is in good shape for the nightcap.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. The win guarantees that the Yankees will leave this series having lost zero ground to the Red Sox int he standings, so now it’s time to get greedy and pad that lead. These same two clubs play again tonight, when Phil Hughes gets the ball against Felix Doubront. That one starts a little after 7pm ET. See you then.

Game 83: Let’s Play Two

It’s actually 8.5 now. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

Because one Yankees-Red Sox isn’t grueling enough, the two teams will play a pair of games today. We’re looking at eight total hours of eight-pitch at-bats, pitching changes, balls on the Monstah … the stuff that makes these games so drawn out and intense in the first place. So find a comfy chair and settle in, this won’t be a typical Saturday of baseball. Here’s the lineup…

DH Derek Jeter
1B Mark Teixeira
3B Alex Rodriguez
2B Robinson Cano
RF Nick Swisher
LF Andruw Jones
SS Jayson Nix
CF Darnell McDonald
C  Chris Stewart

RHP Freddy Garcia

This afternoon’s game starts at 12:30pm ET and can be seen on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy.

Roster Notes: Cory Wade has officially been added as the 26th man for today. He must do back to Triple-A tomorrow per the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Yankees do not have any minor leaguers waiting at the team hotel for a potential between-game roster move, so it’s these 26 fellas and no one else.

Start Your Trade Engines: D’Backs could deal Justin Upton

Via Ken Rosenthal, the Diamondbacks will consider trade offers for Justin Upton should they fall further out of contention in the coming weeks. Arizona is 40-43 at the moment, six games back in the NL West and five back of a wildcard spot.

Upton, still only 24, is having a down year (92 wRC+) after placing fourth in the MVP voting last season. He’s battled thumb issues over the last few weeks but was not placed on the DL. I think it goes without saying that if Upton ever truly becomes available, the Yankees have to get involved. He’s so young and dynamic, capable of doing just about anything on the field. You’ll get speed, on-base ability, hard-to-find right-handed power, and a guy under contract through 2015 for just over $40M. No one in the farm system should be untouchable for a guy like Upton.

Yanks outlast Sox in wild Fenway affair

Source: FanGraphs

Eighteen runs, eleven pitchers, five lead changes, four hours. In other words, it was a typical Yankees-Red Sox game. I’m going to go ahead and assume that you’ve already seen — or at least know the outcome of — Friday’s game and will instead provide some thoughts rather than a traditional recap. Away we go…

  • Jumping on Josh Beckett early felt really good. During this week’s podcast I said I was hoping they would come out and put up a crooked number early, and the offense held up its end of the bargain. Too bad Hiroki Kuroda decided to have what was essentially his worst start of the season. He was getting hit awfully hard, even the outs. I was screaming at Joe Girardi to take him out in like, the second inning, but he managed to squeeze 17 outs from him and I’m sure that will be appreciated by the bullpen tomorrow.
  • Speaking of the bullpen, I thought Girardi did a fantastic job with the relievers. Boone Logan was in the game when he should have been, David Robertson was in the game when he should have been, and Rafael Soriano was in the game when he should have been. Each guy was brought into what was then the biggest spot of the game and they were the best man for the job.
  • That said, Logan needs the All-Star break more than anyone. He’s flat out gassed. This was his league-leading 42nd appearance in just 82 games. I’m sure we’ll see him in each of the next two days, however.
  • Critical Moment: Derek Jeter‘s play to get the lead runner at third in the seventh. The Yankees were up two, the Sox had two on with one out, and Jeter didn’t have a chance to turn two given the location of the ball. Very heady play to get the lead guy because if he hadn’t, it would have been based loaded with one out rather than two on with two outs. Just an enormous swing.
  • They got zero runs out of it, but I loved the double steal in the fifth. Alex Rodriguez effective stole third three times in the span of eight innings dating back to last game. I did not like playing the infield in or intentionally walking David Ortiz in the fourth, but naturally both worked so I’ll shut up.
  • Remember when Mark Teixeira couldn’t hit against the Red Sox last season? He hit .133/.264/.200 in 72 plate appearances across the 18 games last year, but this year he’s 5-for-14 (.357) with two doubles and two homers in three games against Beantown. Small sample, obviously, but much better. His go-ahead triple was a homer in basically every other park but who cares. Got the job done.
  • Big ups to Raul Ibanez and Eric Chavez for some clutch two-out, two-strike hits to tack on insurance runs in the seventh. Those are back-breakers for the other team and I love ’em.
  • Two outs on the bases are two too many. A-Rod was thrown out at home on the contact play — he had to hesitate a second to make sure the soft liner wasn’t caught — and Chavez was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double. Hate those outs on the bases, so frustrating. Especially in Fenway, no need to force anything in a park where routine fly balls to left are doubles.
  • The Yankees scored ten runs on 14 hits — four for extra-bases — and four walks plus a hit batsman. None of those hits was a homer. Ten runs in Fenway and none were dingers. It’s only the second time the Yankees won without a homer all season, joining the 14-inning game against the Nationals.

All in all, it was a very satisfying if not nail-biting win. MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd stats, and ESPN the updated the standings. The Yankees are eight games up on the Rays and nine up on the Red Sox and we’re not even at the All-Star break. That’s fantastic. I hope you’re ready for Saturday’s doubleheader, that’s going to be a doozy. First game starts at noon-30.