Same teams, different day, different cities, same result: Yanks lose to O’s in extra innings

It’s been a whirlwind 48 hours for the Yankees, who played deep into the night/morning on Tuesday, lost an extra innings day game in Wednesday, then traveled to Baltimore for a day game on Thursday. Although they started the season 9-1 against the Orioles, they finished the last eight games of the season series at 4-4. That’s pretty frustrating, especially against a terrible team.

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

One Foot In The Batter’s Box, The Other On The Plane

The game started out pretty well for the offense. The Yankees loaded the bases with no outs in the first, pushing three runs across thanks to an Eric Chavez infield single and a Derek Jeter two-run single back up the middle. Alfredo Simon was very wild, walking six guys in just four innings, and the Yankees scored another run in the third when Chavez singled in Mark Teixeira. With a 4-1 lead in the third inning, the offense got a head start on the flight to Southern California and went right to sleep.

After the Simon left the game, the Yankees put exactly two runners on base. Curtis Granderson got hit by a 3-2 pitch to lead off the seventh, and Alex Rodriguez drew a two-out walk in the tenth. That’s it, no hits and no runners past first base. Between this game and Wednesday’s extra innings loss, the Yankees picked up just four hits, three walks, and the one hit-by-pitch in a dozen innings against the Baltimore bullpen, striking out 14 times. This is the same bullpen that came into the game with a 7.42 K/9 (24th in MLB), 1.27 HR/9 (29th), 4.20 ERA (27th), and a 4.36 FIP (28th). You can’t win if you don’t score, and the Yankees didn’t score after the starter left the game two days in a row.

Eighth Inning Guy

Despite their offensive ineptitude and Ivan Nova‘s struggles (more on that a bit), the Yankees still maintained a 4-3 lead into the eighth inning. David Robertson had made two appearances in the span of about 13 hours the day before, so he was understandably unavailable. No big deal, big money setup guy Rafael Soriano was available and he came into to bridge the gap to Mariano Rivera. No problem, right? Wrong.

Mark Reynolds opened the inning with a single that turned into a double because Brett Gardner had a rare defensive miscue for the second day in a row. The ball bounced in front of him and he just missed it on the hop. Nolan Reimold flew out to right, but then Chris Davis singled to center. Granderson came up throwing and gunned Reynolds down at the plate, Frankie Cervelli‘s second home plate collision in as many innings (more on that in a bit). Davis advanced to second on the throw, but the lead was safe. At least until Robert Andino singled one batter later, allowing Davis to score.

The game was tied, and the inning ended when Andino stupidly got thrown out trying to steal third. Soriano faced five batters in the frame and retired just one on his own, Reimold on the fly ball. The second out came on the play at the plate, the third on Andino’s caught stealing. Rafi’s allowed at least one baserunner in his last eight outings and in ten of his last eleven, and there’s been a number of loud outs lately.

(Steve Ruark/Getty Images)

The Great Wall of Cervelli

The Orioles did eventually win the game, but they would have won it a whole lot sooner if it wasn’t for a pair of plays at the plate. The first came in the seventh inning, after Aaron Laffey walked leadoff man Nick Markakis and Cory Wade retired Adam Jones. Wade left a pitch up to Vlad Guerrero (who was raking all game) and he crushed it to dead center. Granderson made a nice play to cut the ball off before it hit the wall, and he fired to the infield. Robinson Cano fielded the ball as the cutoff man and made a perfect relay throw to the pltey. Markakis came in hard and laid Cervelli right out, but the Yankees backstop held onto the ball for the out. It was a pretty rough collision, Cervelli took a shoulder right to face, but he stayed in the rest of the game.

Because one collision wasn’t enough, there was the second play at the plate in the eighth inning thanks to Davis’ single off Soriano. The second collision with Reynolds wasn’t as hard as the first one, not even even close really, but it was still a great play by all involved, not just Cervelli. Neither Markakis or Reynolds even touched the plate, and after the game Frankie said he was a dizzy, but “that’s my house, man.”

Death By Bullpen

Nova was off pretty much all game, showing little ability to command his fastball and get it down in the zone. That’s why nine of the 14 non-strikeout outs he recorded were in the air. He just wasn’t right, and Vlad tagged him for a solo homer in the second and a double off the right-center field wall in the fourth. Nova did wiggle out of some jams and pitched into the sixth, but he was clearly not at his best. Once the bullpen got involved, things got really messy.

Boone Logan came in to face Davis with a runner on second in the sixth, and for some reason he threw the whiff machine just one slider in a seven-pitch at-bat. Davis turned a 3-2 fastball right around for a run-scoring double, ending Logan’s day. He’s now faced 102 lefty batters this season and has given up eleven extra base hits (six doubles, a triple, and four homers). Last year he gave up just one extra base hit (a triple) to the 91 same-side hitters he faced. Logan’s overall strikeout (10.2 K/9) and walk (2.4 uIBB/9) numbers are fantastic, but his job is to get lefties out and he’s been pretty bad at it this year (.261/.314/.478 (.478!!!) against).

Luis Ayala replaced Logan and did his job, getting the two men he faced to end the sixth without anymore runs scoring. The Laffey/Wade stuff happened in the seventh, Soriano happened in the eighth, and then Scott Proctor escaped certain doom in the ninth before coughing things up in the tenth. An infield single (Reimold), a walk (Davis), and a single (really a double under normal circumstances) past a diving Chavez down the left field line (Andino) ended the game. Pretty terrible effort by the pitching staff in this one.


There’s really nothing else left to recap, which I guess is good. It is worth mentioning that Nick Swisher was seen flexing his left (throwing) arm/hand basically all game after making a throw in the fourth, but he stayed in the game. Ken Singleton mentioned during that sometimes your arm will cramp up after a big throw, so hopefully that’s all it is.

The Rays were idle on Thursday, so the lead on the wildcard dropped half-a-game to nine games. The magic number for a playoff berth remained at 12 games. The Red Sox lost to the Blue Jays again, so the lead in the AL East remained at 2.5 (three in the loss column) with 20 games left for the Yankees and 19 for the Boston.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Box Score has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings.

Up Next

The Yankees are going going, back back, to Cali Cali. A three-game series against the Angels in Anaheim starts at 10pm ET on Friday night, when former Halos ace Bartolo Colon takes on current Halos ace Jered Weaver.

Staten Island shuts Brooklyn out in Game One

Twenty-fifth rounder Adam Smith was ranked as the eighth best prospect in the Texas Collegiate League by Baseball America (subs. req’d). There’s no real scouting report in the write-up, they just note that he was an infielder and a pitcher at Texas A&M, but the Yankees took¬† him (and paid him $157k) as a pitcher. Unsigned 33rd rounder Spencer O’Neil was ranked as the fifth best prospect in the West Coast League (subs. req’d), and the high school outfielder was said to have a “beautiful lefthanded swing” with “good feel for hitting and some power potential.” He’s off to Oregon.

Just a heads up if you plan on going to Friday’s Short Season Staten Island game (in Staten Island), it’s been moved up to 1:05pm ET to avoid the upcoming rainstorm. It was supposed to be a 7:05pm ET start.

Short Season Staten Island (2-0 win over Brooklyn) SI leads the first round series one game to none (best-of-three)
Mason Williams, CF: 1 for 4, 1 3B, 1 K – opened the game with leadoff triple and they couldn’t get him in, so at least we know RISPFAIL it preached throughout the minors [/sarcasm]
Cito Culver, SS: 1 for 4, 1 K
Ben Gamel, RF: 1 for 4, 1 R, 2 K, 1 SB
Tyler Austin, 3B: 2 for 4, 1 RBI, 1 SB – singled in Gamel for the second run in the eighth, though a throwing error helped get him into scoring position
Reymond Nunez, 1B: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 K
Casey Stevenson, 2B:  1 for 4, 1 K
Zach Wilson, DH: 0 for 4, 2 K – finished the regular season on a 14-for-32 (.438) tear (two doubles, three homers)
Cody Grice, LF: 1 for 4, 2 K
Nick McCoy, C: 1 for 4, 1 RBI, 1 K – the number nine hitter opened the scoring with an RBI single to plate Nunez
Matt Tracy, LHP: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 8-4 GB/FB – retired a dozen batters in a row at one point … Bryan Mitchell had been lined up to start the first game, but that was two rain outs ago
Phil Wetherell, RHP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HB, 1-1 GB/FB
Branden Pinder, RHP: 2 IP, zeroes, 4 K, 0-2 GB/FB – dominant, but I have to imagine Ben Paullus is tomorrow’s closer

Triple-A Scranton, Double-A Trenton, High-A Tampa, and Low-A Charleston all failed to qualify to the postseason. The Rookie GCL Yankees have already won their league title.

Open Thread: ‘We’re trying to win a ring around here’

Any of you folks watch Entourage? I don’t have HBO, haven’t for years, so I’ve never gotten in it. Same deal with The Wire, The Sopranos, all those HBO shows. I know, I know, I’m missing out. Trust me, I’ve heard it before. Anyway, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez (and Amar’e Stoudamire and Michael Strahan) made a cameo in last week’s Entourage, which you can watch above. Fair warning, the clips contains some foul language.

Once you’re done watching that, use this as your open thread. Light baseball schedule tonight, but the MLB Network will be carrying a game (teams depend on where you life). The NFL season also starts tonight, I’m sure of it this time, and you’ll be able to watch the Saints and Packers on NBC at 8:30pm ET. Use the thread to talk about whatever you want, go nuts.

Crasnick on Curtis Granderson

Curtis Granderson has been the Yankees best player since Day One of the season, and as the season winds down he’s getting mentioned in MVP races and all sorts of other neat stuff. Jerry Crasnick wrote a story about the Yankees’ center fielder over at ESPN today, and although it’s generally just a puff piece, Crasnick did write about Curtis’ role with the players’ union and as the Yankees’ team representative (he’s also the AL union rep).

“When things don’t necessarily go the way the 25 guys here think they should go, it’s my job to step up and represent us and talk about it,” said Grandy, referring to that little spat with the Orioles about not playing a doubleheader ahead of Hurricane Irene like every other east coast team in the league. “Why can’t we have a stance without getting flak for it?” It’s a fun and informative read, so make sure you check it out. Makes Curtis even easier to like.

Sherman: Betances will join Yankees in Anaheim

Via Joel Sherman, Dellin Betances will “definitely” join the Yankees in Anaheim as they begin their six-game west coast trip on Friday. It’s unclear if they’ll actually let him pitch at all during the remainder of the season, but they just want him to get a taste of the big league life. Betances is on the 40-man roster, so no other moves will be required. Manny Banuelos, Adam Warren, and David Phelps will join the team a little later in the month, but they won’t be added to the roster.

Game 142: The Game That Shouldn’t Be Played

The Yankees and Orioles weren’t supposed to be playing today. It was supposed to be an off day for both clubs, and the Yankees were supposed to use it to travel to the west coast for their six-game swing. Instead, here they are. Less than 24 hours after playing in the Bronx, and less than 48 hours after playing into the wee hours of the morning because of rain, the Yanks are making this one game stop in Baltimore because the Orioles were unwilling to play a doubleheader in advance of Hurricane Irene two weekends ago.

In case you’re wondering, Bartolo Colon has already been sent to Anaheim in advance of Friday’s start against the Angels. The rest of the team is in B’more though. Here’s the lineup…

Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, DH
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Eric Chavez, 3B
Frankie Cervelli, C
Brett Gardner, LF

Ivan Nova, SP

First pitch is scheduled for 1:05pm ET, and although it’s been raining all morning and is supposed to rain all night in Baltimore, there’s a big enough window for them to get the game in on time. Hooray for that. YES will have the broadcast. Enjoy.

Yankees, Rays will play doubleheader on September 21st

The makeup game between the Yankees and Rays for their August 14th rain out has been scheduled as part of a doubleheader for September 21st, the Yanks announced this morning. The two teams will be playing another makeup game on the 22nd (because of this mess), so instead of playing one game in a 48-hour span as the schedule originally called for, they’ll play three. The rest of the regular season is brutal: The Yankees will make a west coast trip tonight and play 15 games in the final 14 days of the season. Good thing they have such a huge lead on a playoff spot.