It’s amazing what a two-out, two-strike, two-run, walk-off home run will do for a team.
Shortly before 4 p.m., Yankee fans were ready to write this game off. Chien-Ming Wang had another terrible outing; Melky Cabrera had made a very costly play in the field; and Kyle Farnsworth had just pitched yet another ineffective eighth inning, giving up a run that I assumed would be the end of the Yankees.
But the loss just wasn’t meant to be. With two outs, A-Rod singled and moved to second on what would be a costly defensive indifference. Hideki Matsui singled him home, and up to the plate strode the red-hot Jason Giambi, battling a foot problem. Giambi fell behind 0-2, and then he launched one, high and deep and far into the upper deck. Watching the game, I thought the ball was foul. I shook my head and said, “Almost.” It was the same “Almost” I had said to myself when Brad Wilkerson tracked down Johnny Damon‘s blast in the bottom of the 8th.
But somehow, the ball stayed fair, and the crowd and the Yankees erupted. It was a come-from-behind win, a badly needed W that drew the Yankees even at 30-30. It marked a comeback from five down, and it showed that, yes, Jason Giambi is a force to be reckoned with, just as Jamal has told us all for the entire season.
As the adrenaline from that victory flowed, I couldn’t help but reflect on the problems in the game that were sure to be ignored. We saw Chien-Ming Wang struggle, Melky Cabrera make a bad play and Robinson Cano fail to get down a bunt.
Cano and Cabrera are simply playing below what anyone expected. Melky’s inexplicably dropped double play line drive led to five runs. Instead of being out of the inning, Chien-Ming Wang was out of the game. It seems to me to be another sign that Melky just isn’t quite what he’s supposed to be.
Cano’s bad play came late in the game when he failed to bunt Wilson Betemit to second. We could argue night and day whether the Yanks should be bunting in the eighth (short answer: They shouldn’t be), but Cano must get that bunt down. I know he’s been a middle-of-the-order hitter for a long time, but really, a Major Leaguer should be able to bunt now and then.
We’ll end with Wang. I am officially concerned. Wang is now winless since the start of May, and he’s been utterly terrible lately. He’s given up 26 earned runs in 37.2 innings, while allowing 39 hits and 20 walks while striking out 16. That is a 6.21 ERA, and Wang is, whether we want to admit it, scuffling. Something’s got to give, and I have to believe that perhaps Dave Eiland is to blame. Outside of Mike Mussina, he’s hardly done a good job this year with Kennedy and Hughes struggling and Wang looking lost on the mound.
But in the end, the Yanks won, and they won in grand style. For a day, we’ll forget these problems, and we’ll look forward to chasing the Red Sox, just 6.5 games ahead of the Yankees. But these problems linger; let’s not forget that either.
Site Notes: Just want to say thank you to everyone who dropped by on Thursday. We had a record-breaking day on RAB.
What a day. First a walk-off win, then the Yanks draft Gerrit Cole, then Manny and Youk get into a fight in the dugout, and then on top of all that, it was a pretty kick ass night in the system. Our annual draft day technical meltdown was cause by the enormous amounts of traffic coming to the site, which is a nice change from the shitty server induced meltdowns of years’ past. In case you missed any of the draft action, go here.
- Ben Broussard traded in one of those doubles for a homer.
- Eric Duncan picked up two hits, one a double.
- Jeff Marquez had his best start in AAA, but he didn’t strike anyone out over 7 innings. He had an 18-3 GB/FB ratio though.
- Austin Jackson & Jose Tabata each doubled in run some runs. Eladio Rodriguez had a pair of two-baggers.
- Al Aceves had his worse start of the year, giving up 5 runs in 6 IP.
- Bo Hall picked up the win with 2.2 hitless innings of relief.
- Mitch Hilligoss, Andres Perez and James Cooper each picked up a pair of hits.
- Ivan Nova got rocked, giving up 7 hits and 6 runs in 5 IP. He did strikeout 7 though.
- Charleston’s game is not quite done yet, but they’ve already drawn 13 walks as a team. Crazy.
- Abe Almonte reached base 3 times before being lifted. The River Dogs were winning big, so I’m guessing it was just to rest him up a bit.
- Justin Snyder laced a pair of doubles. Lots of doubles tonight, eh?
- Bradley Suttle, Jesus Montero, Austin Romine, Brandon Laird & Carmen Angelini all picked up a hit and either lots of RBI or lots of walks. The offense was just ridiculous tonight.
- Adam Olbrychowski pitched well for 3 innings, but Wilkins DeLaRosa came in and shobed it for 4 innings: 2 baserunners, 5 K, 5 groundballs.
Anyone hear Michael Kay during the game today say that Girardi should have the entire team on the field an hour early tomorrow to learn how to bunt? Hysterical. Regular DotF returns Saturday after I recover from the draft.
Update: Forgot to mention this link. Baby-Bombers.com is selling game used Staten Island Yankees’ jerseys, which is pretty cool. They have everyone imaginable, from Dellin Betances to Eric Duncan to Darrell Rasner to Eric Wordekemper to Mike Gillespie to David Parrish to Steve Karsay to Dan McCutchen to Jose Contreras, you name it, they have it. Cool stuff.
With their 6th round pick, the Yanks’ picked Brett Marshall, RHP, Sterling HS (Tx.)
(can’t find a pic)
Scouting Report: The first “signability” guy the Yanks grabbed, Marshall works at 91-94 with his fastball and has a knockout slider when right. Struggles to the throw trikes because he’s inconsistent with his delivery. Only 6’0″, 185 lbs, but Baseball America rated him the 87th best prospect in the entire draft class. Here’s his draft video.
My Take: Love it. Time to start flexing those financial muscles.
Outlook: If they sign him (committed to Rice), it’ll probably go down to the wire, so he may not get into any games this season. More than likely he’d head to Instructional League where they can work on his delivery.
They’re done picking for the day. Rock Solid haul with some intriguing prep position players and two stud high school arms. Back at it tomorrow.
With their 5th round pick, the Yanks’ selected Chris Smith, LF, Centennial HS (Ca.)
(not finding a picture with a name like that)
Scouting Report: Can’t find anything on him. Baseball America rated him the 105th best prospect in the state of California though. Here’s his scouting video.
My Take: Dunno enough to say. Maybe he’s a tooled up uber-athlete like Austin Jackson. Seems like a little bit of an overdraft.
Outlook: Rookie level GCL I guess.
Looks like they’re going one more round. Those cooky front office execs.
Update: This boy can hit. His line this year: .708-.744-1.361-2.105.
With their 4th round pick, the Yanks’ choose Corban Joseph, SS, Franklin HS (Tn.)
Scouting Report: Hits for power and average to all fields, but he’s an offense first shortstop and will likely have to change positions. He’s got a big wiry frame, so there’s plenty of room to add strength. Fast, but not a burner. Here’s his scouting video.
My Take: I’m intrigued. If the kid can hit then the kid can hit. Like I said for the Adams’ pick, the Yanks need middle infielders.
Outlook: Not sure how his signability looks, but if they lock him up he’ll head to the Rookie level GCL.
With their third round pick, the Yanks selected David Adams, 2B, Virginia
Scouting Report: He’s a grinder, gritty, hard-nosed, all that stuff. Decent pop (10-15 homers a year), but he excels at making contact. Not fast for a middle infielder but he can still steal some bags. Great makeup, kind of guy who just gets the job done. Here’s his scouting video.
My Take: I like the pick, good value in this round. The Yanks desperately need some middle infielders.
Outlook: I’m guessing he’ll head to Staten Island later in the month. Shouldn’t be tough to sign.
With their second round pick, the Yanks’ selected Scott Bittle, RHP, Mississippi
My Take: I like the pick. Should move very fast as a power reliever. The cutter should eat wood bats alive.
Outlook: If the Yanks choose to be aggressive with him, they’ll send him to High-A Tampa for the rest of the year. Otherwise he’ll torment the NY-Penn League with Staten Island.
With their second pick, the Yanks selected Jeremy Bleich, LHP, Stanford
Scouting Report: Neither BA nor Keith Law nor MLB have a report on the guy, so we’re out of luck. Here’s his video.
My Take: Don’t like the pick, it’s an overdraft. Can’t even find the kid on BA’s top 200 list.
Outlook: Bah. Staten Island I guess.
The site’s a bit overloaded right now, apparently walkoffs and draft broadcasts don’t mix well. Please be patient if the site loads slow, don’t hit refresh over and over, it only makes it worse. Use this thread until the next post is up.
Update: Got a scouting report: 88-91 with movement, good change and curve. Missed a good chunk of the season with an elbow strain.
With their first round pick, the Yanks selected Gerrit Cole, RHP, Orange Lutheran HS
Scouting Report: Big fastball, 96-97 consistently and touching triple digits, and there’s some projection left. His two seamer comes in a little slower, at 93-94. Sharp breaking ball that’s somewhere between a slider and curve, but it needs improvement. Decent changeup that fades. Not the prettiest delivery, but he’s got time to work on it. Here’s his scouting video, and another clip from ESPN:
My Take: I love the pick. He was the best player on the board, and the Boras factor certainly helped. Best high school righty to come out of SoCal since Phil Hughes said Baseball America. All of the concern about his makeup didn’t pop up until people found out he signed with Boras, so I’m going to reserve judgment on that until I learn more.
Outlook: Signing the kid will probably go right down to the August 15th deadline, so he might not get more than a handful of innings in the Rookie level GCL, if any at all.
The site’s a bit overloaded right now, apparently day games and draft broadcasts don’t mix well. Please be patient if the site loads slow, don’t hit refresh over and over, it only makes it worse. Use this thread until the Yanks pick again.