Yankees recall joys of winning; 4-1 over Rangers

After “enjoying” the cold spacious confines of Comerica, the Yanks were definitely in need of a win. Fortunately, last night provided just such an occasion. Let’s break it down.

Offense:
It’s only appropriate to quote a cliché Sterling-ism. “The Grandyman can, ohh, the Grandyman can!” Curtis smashed two booming homeruns. The first shot was deposited in the top of the first. Jeter singled and Curtis Granderson promptly gave the Yanks a 2-0 lead. Matt Harrison was as advertised; he struggled early in the game (he’d eventually settle down and retire 10 in a row), and boy, did Grandy make him pay.

The top of the second was interesting to say the least. Harrison played right into the Yankee MO as he started the inning off with consecutive walks to Jorge Posada and Russell Martin. For whatever reason, Brett Gardner (much to everyone’s chagrin), laid down the requisite bunt. Elvis Andrus made the grab, tossed it Adrian Beltre, and before you knew it, Posada was tagged out running to third. To Joe Girardi: Tell your players to STOP F&^%$#@& BUNTING! Fortunately, the Yanks managed to score a third run on a botched throw to first after a squibbed Jeter infield hit. The one minor gripe here was that neither Mark Teixeira nor Alex Rodriguez couldn’t get a hit to clear the bases.

During the top of the seventh, Michael Kay was just finishing his spiel about the Yankees’ dependency on the long ball when Granderson decided to launch his second blast into the stratosphere providing an additional insurance run. I guess we’ll all just have to settle for the most ideal kind of hit a little longer; although in all fairness, I do want to se the team’s OBP tick upwards (don’t worry, it will!).

Kay did have one interesting tidbit though. Evidently, heading into last night’s game, Posada was 0-20 from the right side of the plate. Small sample size is certainly playing a factor here. However, that type of split is also about what one would expect given the nature of Posada’s production thus far (primarily all or nothing type hits!). Also, I’m assuming he’s probably seen quite a few more righty pitchers than lefties, so there’s that.

Defense:
It was generally pleasing. I saw some very slick fielding from all the infielders. A-Rod showcased his hand-cannon (illegal in several states). Teixeira made a great diving catch. Cano made some excellent grabs and executed a sweet double play. Even The Captain jumped into the mix and did his patented jumpy-swirly-throw-the-guy-out-while-in-mid-air thing. The one blip occurred in the eighth when Mark Teixeira bobbled a ball down the first base line. After Tex tossed the ball to Nova, he was unable to tag out Mitch Mooreland and also managed to miss the bag.

Pitching:
Even though Grandy earned the YES “Player of the Game award,” Ivan Nova definitely deserved his share of the spotlight. During the pregame, David Cone commented that approximately 50% of Nova’s first pitches of an at bat are out of the strike zone. Thankfully, Nova wasted no time last night in getting ahead in the counts as he made short work of his opponents.

18 of his 22 outs were either infield hits or strikeouts. The curveball was in full force and it really offered a nice compliment to his sinking fastball which also had a lot of movement.  For good measure, he also threw a few changeups into the mix. 

Yesterday also represented the third game in a row in which Nova went at least six innings; it was also the longest individual outing of his career. Over his past three starts, Nova has gone 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in 20 innings of work and has held opponents to a .183 batting average. I’ll take that all day long.

Rafael Soriano joined the party in the eighth. After making Chris Davis look silly with the strikeout, he allowed the gratuitous run on a Julio Borbon single. That’s all the Rangers would muster though; Mariano Rivera entered the game in the ninth and did his thing (earning his twelfth save of the season in the process) – game over kids.

Overall, it was a good game and a good way to kick off the weekend. Tonight’s game is slated for 8:05PM EST on YES. Bartolo Colon (2-1, 3.00 ERA) looks to continue his incredible comeback story against pitching-piñata Derek Holland (3-1, 4.66 ERA).

8 thoughts on “Yankees recall joys of winning; 4-1 over Rangers

  1. bornwithpinstripes

    i was just looking at felix contract..58mil left plus whatever is left this year..about 64mil total…seattle just may trade this guy..they made a great move getting smoak, and if they think along those lines it is a gimme..they are going to be on the bottom with felix and his millions coming.. any opinions?

    • T.O. Chris

      Everyone has this weird notion that Seattle is some small market team, they have the resources to carry a decent payroll in 100+ million mark if they pay the right players. If Felix Hernandez isn’t one of those players who is?

      The other thing I keep reading is how can the Mariners think that they can win in the next 2 years with Felix. They don’t really have to, all they have to do is show that they want to acquire the right players and build towards the future. Felix has 3 after this season on his contract I believe and he has never shown anything close to wanting to leave Seattle. With Pineda now looking like a future number 1 potential starter, and Dustin Ackley being one of the best prospects in baseball he could very well love the potential they have going forward, and that could lead him to sign yet another contract with them.

      Felix isn’t even in his late 20′s yet, he has no real rush to win a championship, I’m sure he wants one but it isn’t as though he is at the end of a ringless career hoping for one last chance.

      Unless the Mariners get blown away in a deal they have no incentive to trade the man period, and honestly even though we have a great farm system I’m not so sure we are the best fit for them. With Montero the Mariners would be trading for a DH most likely, with Moak they have no first base slot open, and no one is trading for Montero with anything but slight hope he stays behind the plate. Because of that his value is weakened going to Seattle, therefore Banuelos is a must in the deal. After that Betances has many question marks, one being health and another whether or not he can continue to be a starter.

      If I’m the Mariners I take nothing less than Montero, Banuelos, Sanchez, Betances, and Heathcott. This way you get a DH, a future catcher, 2 future starters and a outfielder. If limits the risk os busts by increasing the talent pool.

      The other main problem with the Mariners trading Felix to the Yanks is that for Seattle to ever go deep into the playoffs they would have to get past a Felix Hernandez lead Yankee squad, and I’m sure the last thing they want is to lose a series with Felix on the bump for the opposite team.

      I want to keep the dream alive as much as anyone, but many Yankee fans seem to believe they need to trade Hernandez. If anything I believe they need to keep him, both for their future and for their ticket sales. How can you ask fans to believe in the team and come to the park if you just sold your best player to the evil empire?

      • bornwithpinstripes

        randy johnson, tino martines,,ken griffy arod..they have no problem letting guys walk

        • T.O. Chris

          These are not the same people who ran the team then, and in each and every one of those scenario’s the player no longer wanted to be in Seattle. In Randy’s case he was traded in his walk year. If they want to trade Felix, they will still get calls next year, and the year after as well.

  2. Professor Longnose

    Apropos of nothing, I think the early going has confirmed something I’ve always suspected. Usually in April, the Red Sox are doing well and the Yankees aren’t, causing Red Sox fans to start buying dancing shoes and bus tickets to the Yankees’ grave.

    But now, the Yankees are in first place and the Sox are in last place, and Yankee fans aren’t crowing; they’re grumbling about what the team is doing wrong.

    There really is a difference between Red Sox fans and Yankee fans, and not just in the usual circumstances.

  3. bornwithpinstripes

    joe brings up pena? why bring up another utility infielder..i like pena..but i don’t like pena and nunez together..not with posada swisher ..jeter jones..arod tex not hitting.we have a .370 hitter in AAA..what does he need to hit before he gets the call..around baseball there are kids starting and doing well..lets give him starts as DH vs lefties and pinch hit duties..whats the worst ..he hits .150 like posada.because posada gets 13.5 mil this last year,he needs to play..thats double punishment..pay him and play him..two negatives..lets hope swish sits today and makes a full recovery so there is no more excuses with him too..jeters hip..posada is traumatized being just a hitter/ dh/ he needs time to get over it..boy how weak..if he is that mentally fragile..that would be sickening ..he started in feb..where in may ,how long does it take after 30 years of playing baseball to just get up and hit..he has all game to go in the cage and swing..

    • T.O. Chris

      Montero needs to stay in Scranton for several reasons the biggest one being the fact that he needs to stay behind the plate. Everyone keeps bitching about Nunez and his errors and he needs to be sent down because he isn’t play enough, and with the same breathe begging for Montero to be the occasional DH and pinch hitter. It just doesn’t make sense.

      The other thing with Montero is that he has showed almost no ability to draw a walk, and while some may think that is worthless it very much isn’t. Without the ability to lay off of pitchers strikes, and balls you find yourself playing catchup, and believe me there is a huge difference in triple A pitching and major league pitching. If you can recognize the strikezone and lay off bad pitches at this level you’ll never get good ones to hit.

      Vazquez is someone who could be called up for the bench with power, but he is having a very similar problem to Montero in his lack of walks. There may come a point where his power threat is better than having both Nunez and Pena on the bench but for now having the speed, versatility, and defense those 2 provide is what the Yankees feel they need more than a backup power slugging firstbaseman.

      To call Posada mentally weak is really unfair and uncalled for… Jorge played the most mentally challenging position in baseball for his entire career. Nothing on the diamond takes more mental strength than catcher, from calling pitches, to calming down pitchers, dealing with umps, and maintaining a balance between defense and offenseive production. Part of the problem is Jorge is just getting old, in the post PED era productive 40 year old are hard to find, if not impossible. The other problem may very well be that he is use to having to do a lot on the field, and the pride and work he put in behind the plate kept him from dwelling too much on bad at bats.

      Let’s not forget Giambi had a very tough time with the DH spot, it’s just not that easy to ask someone who is use to playing everyday in the field to suddenly sit on the bench and watch his team play half the game while he sits.

      I also hardly find Swisher having a cold as an “excuse”, sounds more like a medical ailgment to me.

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