Yankees grab defeat from jaws of victory in TB

Well, the Yankees weren’t supposed to win on Monday night, so the baseball gods did the Rays a solid on Tuesday and helped them to a come from behind win. It’s only fair, I guess.

Sac fly, go-ahead run scores.


We’ll talk about Bartolo Colon‘s outing a bit, but we might as well start with the turning point of the game, Tampa’s two-run seventh inning. The Yankees were up 2-1 at the time and Colon started the frame with a strikeout, but Robinson Chirinos beat out an infield single to short ahead of Sean Rodriguez’s legitimate single to right. That took Bartolo out of the game, and that’s when things started to get weird.

Boone Logan came in to face the lefty Sam Fuld, which was kind odd because Sam Fuld is terrible and doesn’t need to be LOOGY’d. Joe Maddon predictably pinch-hit the right-hander Justin Ruggiano, who lifted a ball to center in an 0-2 count. It was a total can of corn, aside from that fact that it was in a dome. Curtis Granderson lost the ball in the roof and it dropped in for a hit about 15 feet in front of him. All the runners moved up and the bases were loaded with one out. The lefty swinging Reid Brignac was lifted for the righty Elliot Johnson, and frankly I expected them to squeeze to tie. They didn’t, and Johnson bounced the ball back to Logan.

Stupid roof.

Instead of a 1-2-3 inning-ending double play, the ball clipped off Logan’s glove and went behind him. The tying run scored and everyone was safe. It looked like Boone took his eye off the ball and was already thinking home, but I could be wrong. Logan finally got to face a lefty after that, and Johnny Damon lifted another harmless fly ball to center. This one was shallower and in no man’s land, forcing Granderson to catch it on a slide. That slowed him down just enough so that Rodriguez could trot home with the go-ahead run. Logan came in and did his job, getting two high pop-ups and a ground ball back to the mound, but the roof and some sloppy defense cost them the lead.

The Hammy’s Okay

Before those two singles in the seventh, Colon looked like vintage Bart. Both of his fastballs had their usual velocity and movement, and he did not appear to be favoring his hamstring at all. At the very least, he had the full recoil in his delivery when he threw his four-seamer, something we didn’t see last time out in Toronto. Colon was dotting the corners of the zone and struck out a season-high nine against just a pair of walks. His fastball velocity increased as the game went on, which is what we saw earlier in the year. It was a vintage Colon outing, he threw 70 of his 105 pitches for strikes (exactly two-thirds) and got 13 swings and misses. The Yankees lost the game, but it was very obvious that the pre-DL version of Bartolo had returned. That’s one big positive.

That was in BP, not the game. Unfortunately. Go Robbie.

The Post-Home Run Derby Swing Is Okay

Every year we hear about the Home Run Derby and how it sabotages perfectly good swings for the second half, but so far Home Run Derby Champ Robinson Cano has yet to show an ill effects. He had five hits during the four games in Toronto and singled in the opener against Tampa, but he hit his first post-Derby homerun in the third inning of this game, sending a 1-0 fastball over the wall in left-center for two runs. It was a oppo bomb, so he hasn’t gotten pull happy. Nope, no worries about his swing at all. Unfortunately, those were the only two runs the Yankees would score on the night.


Boy that Jeremy Hellickson kid, he’s some kinda of talent. That fastball-changeup combo is super legit, he had the entire team off balance all night. I wish Tampa would stop rolling out young arms like this year after year, it’s not fair. Do you know they haven’t had a starting pitching prospect flame out since Dewon Brazelton back in the day? I mean completely flame out, like provide basically zero value at the big league level. Wade Davis doesn’t count. That organization is the model player development machine.

Brett Gardner continues to be an offensive dynamo and continues to bat eighth. He singled twice in this game and stole a pair of bases, meaning he’s now swiped 14 straight without being caught. He’s also been successful in 23 of his last 27 attempts, and all of a sudden he leads the AL with 30 steals. That kinda came out of nowhere, no?

Mark Teixeira had two hits, believe it or not, and one was actually an extra base hit (a double). Derek Jeter took a big bat 0-for-4, and his groundout to end the seventh inning was one of the costliest plays in the game according to WPA. Gardner and Eduardo Nunez were on second and third, respectively, representing two big insurance runs. The Cap’n is just 15-for-82 with five walks and two hit-by pitches with runners in scoring position this year, a .183 batting average and .237 OBP.

Joel Peralta tried to get away with a quick pitch for strike three to Jorge Posada in the ninth, but the home plate ump wasn’t having any of it. It’s similar to the balk rule, a pitcher can not deliberately change his motion in an attempt to deceive the hitter. You don’t see quick pitches too often, so that was kinda fun, only because Peralta got called for it though.

The last four games these two teams have played have been decided by one run, and this was the first one the Yankees lost. It was also just the sixth time they’ve lost after having a lead through six innings this year (46-6). New York is just 12-13 in one run games, which sounds like it sound be meaningful, but it’s not. One run games are pretty fluky and don’t reflect the true talent of the team. I think it was Bill James who showed that a team’s record in games decided by three or more runs had a much stronger correlation to its overall record than games decided by one or two runs. Anyway, I’m rambling.

WPA Graph, Box Score & Standings

Sadface. MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the up-to-minute standings.

Up Next

Game three of this four-game series will be played Wednesday night. Freddy Garcia gets that start against David Price. Let’s put this one in the rear-view mirror and move on.

Soriano, Chavez made rehab debuts with Tampa

Update: The second Short Season Staten Island game is over and has been added to the post. I suggest checking it out, it was quite interesting.

Bradley Suttle and Terry Tiffee have been placed on the DL for Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton, respectively.

High-A Tampa (11-0 depantsing by Jupiter)
Rafael Soriano, RHP: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 2-0 GB/FB – he was scheduled for 20 pitches or so … gave up a solo homer to the league leader in homers, but don’t worry too much about the results, it’s his first rehab appearance
Eric Chavez, DH: 0 for 3, 1 BB, 1 K – played all nine innings
Abe Almonte, CF: 1 for 4, 1 3B, 3 K
Kyle Roller, 1B & J.R. Murphy, C: both 1 for 3
Everyone Else: combined 0 for 17, 5 K – Kelvin Castro committed a fielding error
Francisco Gil, RHP: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0-1 GB/FB – allowed one of Soriano’s inherited runners to score
Graham Stoneburner, RHP: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 7-2 GB/FB – yuck
Ronny Marte, RHP: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 2-1 GB/FB – allowed one of Stoneburner’s inherited runners to score

[Read more…]

Nova injures ankle in Triple-A

Via Donnie Collins, Ivan Nova left tonight’s start with Triple-A Scranton due to what appears to be a problem with his right leg. There was a comebacker to his left and he planted on it weird on the play. He limped off the field and slammed his glove in frustration. Nova had allowed three hits and throw 44 pitches in 1.1 IP up to that point. More to come as we get it.

Update (10:50 p.m.): During his postgame press conference, Yanks’ manager Joe Girardi said that Nova rolled his ankle on the play in the second. Right now, the Yanks do not know the severity of the injury or how much time Nova will miss. This injury leaves the Yanks with shorter depth in their rotation as Hector Noesi or Adam Warren would likely slot into the sixth starter spot while Nova recovers. It should have no impact on Nova’s status as a trade chip.

Game 94: Bartday

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Bartolo Colon‘s last two starts haven’t been all that good. Larry Rothschild claims Colon is apprehensive about his hamstring injury, which is fine, but he did pitch very well against the Mets in his first start back. Hopefully Bart’s not running out of gas, but that’s very possible considering he’s thrown more innings this year (90.2) than he did last year (0), the year before that (62.1), the year before that (39), and two years before that (59.1). Just pay attention to his fastball, if he’s pounding the zone with it, he’ll be fine. If he starts mixing in more sliders than usual, then something’s up. Here’s the starting nine…

Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Jorge Posada, DH
Russell Martin, C
Brett Gardner, LF
Eduardo Nunez, 3B

Bartolo Colon, SP

Tonight’s game starts a little after 7pm ET and can be seen on My9, not YES. Enjoy.

Rosterbation: In case you missed it, Sergio Mitre has been placed on the DL with a hat trick of ailments: shoulder tendinitis, rotator cuff inflammation, and a bacterial infection . Steve Garrison is up from Double-A Trenton. No word on Mr. Hat.

Mike Ashmore’s Q&A with Brian Cashman

Mike Ashmore ran into Brian Cashman at Waterfront Park in Trenton last night while he watched Dellin Betances‘ start, and the GM was kind enough to answer a few questions. They spoke mostly about the farm system, specifically the value in seeing what other teams are asking for in trades, surprise players (hint: it’s an Almonte), Jesus Montero‘s season, Manny Banuelos‘ season, and plenty more. When asked if any players were untouchable, Cash responded: “Realistically, there are guys that are untouchable for me. But I’ve got bosses, so.” That’s a little twist of the knife right there. Anyway, make sure you give it a read.

Yankees call up Steve Garrison; Mitre to the DL

Via Josh Norris and Mike Ashmore, the Yankees have called up left-hander Steve Garrison from Double-A Trenton. This is certainly unexpected. No word on the corresponding move as of yet, but someone has to be hurt (Boone Logan?), no? Garrison had a 4.90 FIP in 46 IP for Trenton this year, though he missed a bunch of time due to a groin injury. You can learn everything you need to know about him here.

Update: Via Ken Davidoff, Garrison is taking the place of Sergio Mitre, who has been placed on the disabled list with some kind of illness. Sounds like a case of good timing for Garrison, because Lance Pendleton, Kevin Whelan, J.C. Romero, and Randy Flores have all thrown quite a bit recently. They took the fresh arm.

Past Trade Review: Scott Brosius

(Jeff Zelevansky/Icon SMI)

Oh how I hated Kenny Rogers. I was still pretty young and didn’t really understand the ins and outs of baseball back then, so when the Yankees signed him after the 1995 season the extent of my thinking was “this is the guy that threw the perfect game last year, right? he’s awesome!” Rogers was most certainly not awesome, he was coming off his first All-Star Game berth in 1995 but had struggled to keep his K/BB ratio above 2.00 for most of his career. He was hittable, he walked a decent number of batters and he was a fly ball guy prone to the long ball, but hey, he was left-handed and threw a perfect game, which was good enough for 14-year-old Mike.

Rogers, then 31, was awful in his first year in New York. He walked 83 batters and struck out just 92 in 179 IP, posting a 4.68 ERA and an even uglier 4.83 FIP in 30 starts. Scheduled to start the fourth game in the playoffs, Rogers was instead called upon out of the bullpen in the 12th inning of Game Two to face the lefty Will Clark with runners on second and third with two outs. He promptly walked him on four pitches. Brian Boehringer came in and got out of the inning, then did the same three days later when Rogers couldn’t get out of the third inning in Game Four. Rogers gave up four runs in three innings in Game Four of the ALCS before he gave up five runs in two innings in his World Series Game Four starter. In four playoff appearances he’d allowed 21 baserunners and 11 runs in seven innings, and the Yankees won all four games. That still blows my mind. Boehringer, David Weathers, and Graeme Lloyd had picked up the slack.

The next year actually went worse for Rogers, who posted a 5.65 ERA with a 5.07 FIP in 22 starts and nine relief appearances, giving the Yankees 145 barely above replacement level innings. Joe Torre didn’t dare go near him in the ALDS against the Indians, in fact I can’t remember (and can’t find anything to confirm) if he was even on the playoff roster. I’m guessing it was a no. The Yankees had had enough, so they traded Rogers and some cash to the Athletics for a player to be named later on November 7th, 1997. Eleven days later, that player had a name, and it was Scott Brosius.

The Yankees were in need of a third baseman after letting 39-year-old Wade Boggs walk as a free agent, and Brosius seemed like nothing more than a stopgap. He had hit just .203/.259/.317 with 11 homers in 526 PA in 1997, though he did post a huge 1996 season: .304/.393/.516 with 22 jacks. Maybe the Yankees could catch lightning in a bottle with the 31-year-old. All it would cost them was a starter they didn’t want and $2.65M worth of salary.

Brosius came out of the gate hitless on Opening Day, but before you knew it he had six multi-hit games in the team’s first 18 contests, driving in a dozen runs from the eighth and ninth spots in the order. And he just kept hitting. A .396/.466/.593 effort in May pushed his season line to .333/.401/.462, and from June 1st on he produced a .284/.357/.476 batting line. Brosius was an RBI machine, hitting .373/.444/.588 with runners in scoring position and driving in 98 runs from the bottom third of the order. He was an All-Star and a force in the postseason, hitting .383/.400/.660 in 13 October games. He hit two homeruns in Game Three of the World Series, the second with one out in the eighth inning against Trevor Hoffman that turned a 3-2 deficit into a 5-3 lead.

The Yankees rewarded Brosius with a three-year contract worth over $15M after the season. The problem is that he never performed up to his 1998 level again. Brosius hit .247/.307/.414 in 1999, losing more than 120 OPS points off his previous year. His trademark clutchiness evaporated (.282/.326/.462 with RISP), and although the Yankees again won the World Series, it was no thanks to Brosius. He hit .250/.267/.477 in a dozen postseason games. Things got even worse in 2000, when Brosius hit .230/.299/.374 in the regular season, .237/.315/.427 with RISP, and .229/.304/.313 in 16 playoff games.

(Photo Credit: NY Daily News)

The 2001 season was the last on Brosius’ contract and ultimately the final one of his career. He had a nice little dead cat bounce during the regular season, hitting .287/.343/.446 even though he was limited to just 120 games. His playoff performance was awful, hilariously awful when you look back at it (.140/.155/.263 in 17 games), but the moment that pretty much defines Scott Brosius’ Yankee career came in Game Five of the World Series. The series was tied at two but the Yankees were down 2-0 in the ninth inning after getting manhandled by Miguel Batista of all people. Jorge Posada led off the ninth with a double, but Shane Spencer grounded out and Chuck Knoblauch struck out to bring Brosius to the plate with two outs. Byung-Hyung Kim’s slider hung, Brosius’ left arm went up. His two-run homer tied the game, the second straight night the Yankees rallied from down two in the ninth against Kim.

I’m sure Brosius and many others will say they remember him for the homer off Hoffman since the Yankees actually won that World Series, but it’s 2001 for me. The city was still reeling from the September 11th attacks, emotions were high, it seemed like an impossible situation … I’m never ever ever going to forget that. All told, the Yankees won four pennants and three World Titles with Brosius as their starting third baseman, during which time he hit .267/.331/.428 with 76 homers, the two most memorable of which came on baseball’s biggest stage.

As for Rogers, the Athletics got a 3.17 ERA and 3.95 FIP out of him in 1998, then kept him around for half of 1999 before flipping him to the Mets for Terrence Long and a minor leaguer. In terms of bWAR, Oakland acquired 8.6 wins worth of Rogers from the Yankees for what turned out to be 5.7 bWAR worth of Brosius. Since the Yankees re-signed him as a free agent after 1998, we can’t really count that 1999-2001 production as part of the trade, but who cares? The Yankees won this trade in every way imaginable but bWAR, and they’d do it again a million times out of a million.