Game 14: Rangers 5, Yankees 6

Things looked problematic in the top of the fifth. Yorvit Torrealba singled on a soft grounder to Derek Jeter, which was followed by a soft grounder to Sabathia from Julio Borbon.  What should have been a routine play turned into a bad throw by the Yankees’ hurler and the Rangers had runners on first and second with one out.  Sabathia battled back and got Ian Kinsler to fly out and Andrus to ground out to end the inning.  The Yankees finally started to put together some hits in the bottom of the fifth. Eric Chavez singled to right and Martin drove a two-run homer to left to knot the score at 3-3.

The Bombers did not hold onto the tie for long, however, as the Rangers came back quickly in the sixth.  Young singled and Beltre punished Sabathia again, this time with a double to center.  Young scored and the Rangers were back out ahead 4-3.

Jeter singled to start the bottom half of the sixth. Curtis Granderson followed with a two-run homer to right and the Yankees took their first lead of the night.  Ogando was able to stop any Yankee rally, however, as he sat Mark Teixeira, Cano and Nick Swisher down in order.  Sabathia got Borbon to strikeout to start the seventh inning and Joba Chamberlain came in to relieve him.  Joba walked Kinsler, who moved to second on a groundout by Andrus.  Young followed with a ground-rule double to right and the Rangers had the score tied, 5-5.

In the bottom the eighth, Teixeira worked a one out walk off Arthur Rhodes.  With two outs, Swisher singled to right and Chavez continued to show off his new pinstripes by belting a RBI single to center.  Teixeira crossed the plate and the Yankees had retaken the lead. Mariano Rivera came in for the top of the ninth and did what he always does, made baseball look easy and opposing batters look foolish, locking up the 6-5 victory and the series win.

Bronx Cheers:
Brett Gardner: Gardner went 0-2 with a strikeout and leaving one runner on base.  As Brien said during the game, Gardner looks overmatched every time he steps to the plate.

Jorge Posada: Jorge also struggled at the plate, going 0-2, but working a couple walks.

Joba Chamberlain: In his .2 innings of work, Joba gave up one run on a walk and a hit.  He struck out no one and ruined another win opportunity for Sabathia (which really just continues to prove the pointlessness of wins).

Curtain Calls:
Eric Chavez: Right now I cannot think of anyone I would want as a backup infielder, other than Chavez.  He has a solid glove at third and has done a lot with his bat when he has gotten a chance to play.  He went 2-4 with a RBI and a run.  His RBI, of course, turned out to be a game-winning single.  It is nice to see him making a comeback, especially in pinstripes!

Russell Martin: Now, Martin did have a throwing error and ended the Yankees rally in the eighth when he grounded out with the bases loaded, but overall he had a good day with the bat.  He went 2-3 with a two-run homer.

Rafael Soriano: Soriano almost blew the game on Saturday but turned around Sunday and pitched a scoreless inning of relief.  He gave up one hit and struck out a batter.

Mariano Rivera: Sometimes I think I don’t give Rivera enough credit.  He is so reliable it almost feels like a foregone conclusion that he pitched an inning of scoreless, hitless baseball in the ninth, which is exactly what he did, picking up his seventh save of the season.

In The On Deck Circle:
The Yankees will take a day off on Monday, as they head north for a series against the Toronto Blue Jays. A.J. Burnett will take the ball in his old home.  He is coming off what seemed to be a strong start against the Orioles.  Burnett looked almost untouchable until the seventh inning, when he was left in for a bit too long and ended up allowing four runs on seven hits.  Kyle Drabek will throw for the Blue Jays.  The young righty has had control issues through the young season, allowing eleven walks over 18.2 innings of work, but has been able to limit the damage.  No Yankee batter has more than three at bats against Drabek.  First pitch is at 7:07pm at Rogers Centre on Tuesday.

Tamar has written for IIATMS since July 2009, having started off writing game recaps before shifting to the minor leagues. Born in Connecticut and having lived all over the country and in South Korea, Tamar now finds herself "temporarily misplaced" in New Hampshire. Please send help.

7 thoughts on “Game 14: Rangers 5, Yankees 6

  1. Tom

    A lot has been made of Cashman's offseason but look at some of the additions (with the "it's early on" caveat)
    - Andruw Jones, still a good defensive outfielder who can play all 3 positions and is a righty bat to offset 2 lefties. (Compare this to the Thames/Winn solutions… ok at the plate only against lefties, but don't put them in the field)
    - Eric Chavez – Girardi can now genuinely rest ARod (or give him a day at DH every now and again) without an iffy fielder and a blackhole in the lineup. Even against lefties he'll at least put together a professional AB and is not a rest spot for the pitcher as seen tonight. (compared to the Russo/Pena solution of the past)
    - Russell Martin could be the steal of the offseason. He's made a couple of bad throws (though Cano should have saved that throw tonight), but SB's are no longer automatic and he's been impressive at the plate (especially as a #8 or 9 batter). I also like how he's shown an eagerness to throw behind runners which may help cut down the secondary leads which I think runners were taking for granted with Posada behind the plate the last few years
    - The Garcia/Colon/Millwood/Silva grab bag to find at least one serviceable pitcher looks like an OK solution… the problem is they now (at least short term) need to get 2 spots from the scrap heap. Still a cheap solution and provides flexibility to possibly find a trade deadline solution if needed.

    All that said unless Hughes comes back strong or Nova takes a giant step forward, it's still going to be a battle to get to the postseason even with their offense. At some point the bullpen will crack if they have to continue to throw this many innings

    • DavidJH

      That Chavez signing is looking better and better every time he gets a start. I can't believe no one else took a flyer on a guy who used to be a legit middle of the order presence in Oakland. Even if he was injured ALL the time.

  2. jay_robertson

    Until (and unless) Chavez turns into Nick Johnson, he's the steal of the off-season. With Martin a close second.

    The way they've been performing, even Martin would be a better lead-off hitter than Brett – I was (and still am) a fan, but he's looked clueless at the plate all season. On top of that, it appears to be affecting his fielding – he doesn't seem quite as quick or sharp. Altho playing in arctic temperatures and dodging hailstones would put anyone off their game.

    I'd even be up for letting Chavez take a few DH spots from Jorge – at least he got some walks last night, but he doesn't seem to be striking fear into pitchers that way someone like Ortiz does.

    • Chavez and Martin are making Cashman look like a genius right now, I hope they keep it up. I am always trying to be careful about what I say about Gardner because I have never been a fan of him, but I sure wish he would start proving me wrong… At least when Jorge hits the ball he is hitting it well. I think 5 of his 7 hits are homers (or there about), which I feel like has to mean he will figure it out eventually, right?

      It is definitely still early in the season, but with everyone either really hot or really cold it makes it easy to forget that sometimes. At least I find that I keep having to remind myself it is only April quite a bit…

  3. JeffG

    It struck me when the ESPN crew mentioned Rivera has "taken part in" all but one of the Yankee victories this season (7 saves, 1 win) (plus he pitched a scoreless inning the extra-inning loss to Minn.) What's the expected number of Rivera save opportunities/late inning decisions this season? So far it seems like a lot of mediocre starting pitching and power hitting on the part of the Yankees have led to a lot of opportunity for Rivera, can this keep up and for how long before Soriano is used to give Mo a breather?

    • jay_robertson

      Well, in a way, Soriano has already given Mo a "breather" – knowing he's there to pitch the 8th, Girardi isn't as likely to bring in Rivera for a 2 inning save. They showed Mo in the dugout, as Robertson was warming up last night – Mo looked pretty loose to me – he was goofing around like a kid.

      With Nova, Hughes, Colon, and Garcia in the rotation, there should be plenty of games sufficiently out of reach to give both So and Mo time off.

    • Tom

      Well with the off days he's been able to use him a lot early on, but that's going to change soon; I think after the 2 off days this week the Yanks have something like 15+ consecutive games.

      At some point he's going to need to break up the Joba/Soriano/Mo rotation and every once in a while he's going to have to let a starter work the 7th or Robertson and slide Joba into the 8th and maybe Soriano occasionally in the 9th. With Nova, Garcia and now Colon the 7-8-9 formula is not going to hold up over 162 games

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