Game 151: Rest

Ramiro's back in action today. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

Now that we’re so late in the season and the Yankees have a playoff spot all but wrapped up, it’s time to start resting the regulars. Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, and Mark Teixeira get the afternoon off while Robinson Cano gets off the turf and spends the day as DH. Given their recent workloads, I wouldn’t be surprised if Rafael Soriano and David Robertson were on today’s no pitch list. Expect more of this in the coming days. Here’s the lineup….

Brett Gardner, CF
Eduardo Nunez, 2B
Robinson Cano, DH
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Nick Swisher, RF
Eric Chavez, 1B
Russell Martin, C
Chris Dickerson, LF
Ramiro Pena, SS

Freddy Garcia, SP

The game starts at 1:07pmET and can be seen on YES. If you’re interested, the Rays and Red Sox will be playing at 1:35pm ET, and that game will be on TBS. Enjoy.

Mo makes history as Yanks come back for win

Toronto's win expectancy peaked at 96.4% after Jose Bautista walked to lead off the fifth.

This one looked pretty bad early on. Like, really bad. Will the score be so out of hand that Dellin Betances and/or Andrew Brackman actually get to pitch bad. And yet, a few innings later, there was Mariano Rivera on the mound, nailing down the 601st save of his career. Hooray for come from behind wins…

  • You typically can’t have a comeback win without awful pitching, so Bartolo Colon jumped on the grenade Saturday afternoon. The big fella lasted just four innings, exiting the game after allowing six runs on seven hits and a walk. He threw only 67 pitches, and his Game Score of 25 was the 11th worst by a Yankees pitcher this season. Colon now has a 7.98 ERA in 23.2 IP against Toronto this season, but a 3.06 ERA in 132.1 IP against everyone else. Good thing the Jays aren’t going to the postseason, eh?
  • The Yankees were down four-zip heading into the fourth, and that’s when they started to chip away. Curtis Granderson scored the team’s first run when Adam Loewen dropped a fly ball in lefty, and the inning would have been bigger if it wasn’t for Robinson Cano‘s stupid baserunning. With men on second and third with one out, Nick Swisher clubbed a deep fly ball that Colby Rasmus managed to run down for the second out. Either Cano wasn’t paying attention or he forgot how many outs there were or something else, but he kept running and passed Mark Teixeira (the lead baserunner) on the bases to end the inning. It’s the second time on the road trip that Robbie make a huge baserunning blunder, and Tex called him out on it after the game.
  • After Colon gave two runs back in the bottom of the inning, the Yankees went to work. Teixeira (who had a pair of hits back up the middle, not his usually pull happy stuff) drove in Grandy, then two batters later Alex Rodriguez ripped a line drive three-run homer over the left field wall to make it 6-5. Alex singled in his first at-bat, and both hits came on inside fastballs. Pretty good sign following the thumb injury. Granderson completed the comeback in the seventh, when he whacked a two-run homer to center on the 12th pitch of a monster at-bat. Curtis was a triple shy of the cycle, and it all started with a first inning bunt single. As they say, sometimes a little bunt hit can help end a slump.
  • All the runs were great, but they wouldn’t have meant anything if it wasn’t for five stellar innings from the bullpen. Scott Proctor took over in the fifth and immediately walked leadoff man Jose Bautista, but that was it. Adam Lind grounded into a double play as the next batter, and the bullpen retired the final 14 batters they faced. Aaron Laffey threw the sixth, Hector Noesi the seventh, Rafael Soriano the eighth (struck out the side for the second straight day), and of course Mo handled the ninth. As you already know, he tied Trevor Hoffman for the most career saves in baseball history. It doesn’t get any better than that, just a stellar job by the relief corps. All five of ’em.
  • The Rays beat the Red  Sox, so the lead in the division increased to 4.5 games while wildcard lead remained at 7.5. The magic number to clinch a playoff spot is just five. Here’s the box score, here’s the advanced stats, and here’s the standings.

The rubber game of this series will be played Sunday afternoon, when Freddy Garcia starts against Brandon Morrow at 1:07pm ET. It was supposed to be Dustin McGowan for Toronto, but he had to start Friday after Brett Cecil cut his finger cleaning a blender.

Open Thread: 601

(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darren Calabrese)

Mariano Rivera made history this afternoon, recording his 601st career save to tie Trevor Hoffman for the most in the baseball history. Every save he picks up from here on out will just add to the history, but like I’ve said before, Mo didn’t need the saves record to validate his position as the greatest reliever of all-time.

After the game, commenter Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat did some research and dug up the winning pitcher for each of Mo’s milestone saves…

1Andy Pettitte
100 – Orlando Hernandez
200 – Sterling Hitchcock
300Javy Vazquez
400 – Jaret Wright
479Phil Coke (passed Lee Smith for second place on the all-time saves list)
500Chien-Ming Wang
600A.J. Burnett
601 – Aaron Laffey

I’ll add one more to the list, number 225. That was another El Duque win, and it moved Mo past Dave Righetti for the most saves in team history. Who’s  going to be number 602? I honestly hope it’s not Freddy Garcia, he’s starting tomorrow and I want to see Mo get the record at home. So let’s hope for a blowout win on Sunday and then a save situation sometime next week.

Anyways, here is tonight’s open thread. There’s a ton of college football on, plus MLB Network will be airing a game (teams depend on where you live). You can talk about that, Mo’s awesomeness, or anything else you want. Have at it.

Hughes’ next start pushed back due to back spasms

Via Marc Carig, Phil Hughes‘ next start has been pushed back due to back spasms. He was scheduled to pitch Monday against the Twins, but A.J. Burnett will now make that start on five day’s rest. Hughes thinks he’ll be ready to go for Tuesday, but even if he’s not, the Yankees have plenty of pitching options for that day. As always with September injuries, take as much time as you need now so it’s not a problem later.

Cool Standings ranks the top collapses

I don’t want to jinx anything (you don’t believe in that stuff, do you?), but I thought this was pretty neat: Cool Standings put together a list of the biggest collapses in baseball history based on the team’s peak playoff chances. For example, the 2007 Mets had 99.5% chance to make the postseason on Sept. 13th, but we all know what happened there. Amazingly enough, that’s only the third biggest collapse in history. The 1995 Angels had a 99.9% chance (!!!) to make the postseason in August 24th, but they finished the season on a 12-23 skid and one game back of the Mariners. I imagine the internet would have exploded back then.


Rays @ Red Sox Game Thread

The Rays and Red Sox are playing this afternoon, a game that is very relevant to the Yankees. Unfortunately, if you’re in New York, you won’t be able to watch because the Mets and Braves will be on FOX. I know a ton of you folks are outside the Tri-State though, so here’s a thread to talk about the game. Game starts at 4pm, and it’ll be Niemann vs. Lester.

Update: The game is on FOX Sports Deportes in New York. It’s channel 125 for me on Time Warner in NYC. The broadcast is in Spanish, obviously.