Game Thread: Rangers vs Yankees, 6/16/2011 (1:05PM EST on YES)

The Bombers look to continue to their offensive onslaught during today’s matinee matchup against the Texas Rangers. Since being swept by the Red Sox last week, the Yanks have gone 5-1 with the lone loss coming against the Tribe’s Carlos Carrasco. Some noteworthy storylines to keep in mind today are:

  • According to ESB, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson joined two other legendary Yankee tandems (Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in 1927, Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris in 1961) after each mashed 20 or more homeruns in just 66 games. Not to shabby boys!
  • Russell Martin, Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter each lead their respective positions in Allstar popularity voting. Mark Teixeira trails only Adrian Gonzalez while Curtis Granderson trails only Jose Bautista in their spots. Honorable mention has to go Jorge Posada, who is third in voting for DH. Hehe, don’t hate.
  • The team remains Derek Jeter-less (day three of his DL stint – recovering from a calve strain). Per Michael Kay on Nunez’s defense in contrast to Jeter’s, “Say what you want about Jeter. When the ball is hit to him, he’ll catch it. He may not make the play up the middle, but he will catch balls hit right to him.” Yep.
  • Cory Wade was signed to a big league deal and is officially a member of the Yankee bullpen. Who needs Rafael Soriano or Joba Chamberlain anyway, right? Right?
  • Brian Gordon will be making his pinstripe debut this afternoon. Hector Noesi will presumably head back to the bullpen. Meanwhile, Ivan Nova has probably earned himself another start or two. Meh. 
  • Pants Lendleton Lance Pendleton was demoted to make room on the roster.  We hardly knew ye…
  • Eduardo Núñez enjoyed his 24th birthday yesterday by hitting his second homerun of the season. Said Nunez, “I’m so happy. It’s my birthday and I hit a home run.” So much happiness…
  • Ramiro Peña also mashed his first homerun of the season last night. Said Pena, “I got a good pitch to hit and thank God, I got it. …It was a good day. When I hit it, I knew I hit that one good.” With that, Pena has officially earned the nickname, “The Dirty Peña.” You’ve heard it here first, folks.
  • After several days of lingering back pain, Martin has made his return to the lineup.  Nice!
  • Alex Rodriguez is not in the lineup today after DHing yesterday (status unknown).  Brett Gardner is also out of the lineup for the second consecutive game in favor of Andruw Jones.
  • And last but not probably least, the good news is whatever Cervelli has been lacking in offensive or defensive ability, he more than makes up in PAR (+4.4 Passion above Replacement). “You’ve got to play baseball,” Cervelli explained. “Home plate is my house. You’ve got to take everything.” *Fist Pump*

Here’s today’s open thread. Props go out to you if you’ve managed to find a way to follow the game despite that small inconvenience otherwise known as work. Have at it!

Today’s lineup:

1. Nick Swisher RF
2. Curtis Granderson CF
3. Mark Teixeira 1B
4. Robinson Cano 2B
5. Andruw Jones LF
6. Jorge Posada DH
7. Russell Martin C
8. Eduardo Nunez SS
9. Ramiro Pena 3B

And on the bump:

Brian Gordon RHP

105 thoughts on “Game Thread: Rangers vs Yankees, 6/16/2011 (1:05PM EST on YES)

    • There was also widespread speed use, and umpires that made up their own strikezones. Haha.

      Gehrig and Ruth actually had 20 HRs by this point in 2 seperate years. So Teixeira and Granderson are the 3rd pair, but it’s the 4th time it’s been done. In one of those years Ruth had 29 HRs by this point.

      • Everyone remembers that Ruth set the record with 60 HRs in 1927, but that was the fourth time he set the single-season HR record. When he hit 29 that was a record. He then annihilated his own record by hitting 54. Then he hit 59. And THEN he hit 60.

        In one of his books Ron Luciano (remember him?) predicted that no base ump would ever overrule a home-plate ump on a check-swing call.

        Talking about speed, do you think the amphetamines ban has anything to do with the Yankees hitting so poorly late in games?

        • The amazing thing is Ruth’s 60 HR season isn’t even his best career season. Ty Cobb really disliked Ruth for making home runs such an importance, he thought the art of hitting was more important, even saying he could home runs if he wanted too. Ruth once said if he only tried to hit singles he could hit .400 every year.

          I highly doubt the ban on speed is affecting the Yankees late in games now. That ban was put in place years ago, not last season. Up until this year the Yankees were pretty much just the opposite of this years team. They would take pitches and run a starter out early, even when pitching well, and they they would pile up runs against the bullpen.

          • I can see Cobb’s point. I don’t agree–that is, I think if I had a choice, I’d rather watch live-ball era games than dead-ball, but stealing bases, hitting ’em where they ain’t, moving runners around, intimidating fielders so you can take extra bases, those are exciting skills that are fun to watch. They’re not as valuable as hitting home runs, but there isn’t something inherently wrong with a game where home runs are limited to the point where those skills are the most valuable. Maybe if I grew up watching dead ball, I’d hate Babe Ruth, too.

            On the other hand, I’m such a cranky curmudgeon I’d probably be pining for the old days before fielders wore gloves.

          • Cobb was just an A hole. He disliked Ruth for stealing his thunder and fame. The man once beat up a one legged fan in the stands, granted the man called him a nasty name, but still. Cobb was also a huge racist. He was one of the greatest hitters of all time, but he deserves the reputation he has.

    • He does have a very nice arm. He’s not just quick with the throw, but it’s really accurate. I think he’s throwing out some 35+% of baserunners this season. This team really needs him to be healthy, both for his bat and defense.

  1. I guess the Yankees have no intention of retiring Roger Clemens’ number.

    • Don’t you remember that Cano’s original number was 22? He changed to 24 so Roger could wear it when he came back for that half season.

      Why would they though? If you look at Roger’s Yankee career it wasn’t all that great, he has much better years with the Red Sox and Blue Jays. Roger collected a lot of his records with the Yankees, but he didn’t get most of his numbers with us. As a side note I was actually at the game when he moved into 2nd all time on the strikeout list here in Houston. Randy Johnson has since passed him, but it was a pretty special moment to witness.

      • They wouldn’t. He wouldn’t deserve it, and they wouldn’t want to be associated with it. It was just a joke that came into my mind when I saw Gordon with the 22.

        A few coworkers of mine and I decided to make a road trip to Fenway Park in 1986, where none of us had ever been. We bought tickets well in advance, and as luck would have it Clemens was pitching that day. He beat Mike Witt and the Angels 3-2.

        • I liked Clemens, I still do, and I really don’t care if they make steroids legal. But at this point he has embarresed himself beyond repair. Had he just admitted it at the start everything would be OK by now.

  2. It seems like the Yankees are running the bases horribly lately, but b-r has them middle of the pack in outs on base.

    • I agree with the Granderson steal attempt, and that was simply a great throw by teagarden. However Swisher was unacceptable, sliding past 3rd like that is just not defendable.

  3. Huge base running blunder by Swisher, you simply can’t give CJ Wilson outs like that.

  4. What is wrong with Cano? He just decided he didn’t want to get an out on that one? He should’ve had a fairly easy out at 2nd, to end the inning. He hasn’t looked as sharp on either side of the diamond this year as we are used to seeing.

    • For the cancer screening thing? There’s a guy in the YES booth talking about it.

      • The key moment in the game and the announcers can’t talk about it because this cancer guy is yapping.

        • Torre stopped talking about Cancer long ago. He’s been running his mouth about how good the Rangers are, how impressed he was with them beating us last year in the playoffs, and how they are such a good team.

      • WOW. So he chose to go into the Rangers booth, never let it be said the man can’t hold a grudge. Of course we all knew that once the book came out. I think he gets way too much credit for winning with the Yankees, and not nearly enough blame for losing. What he allowed to go on with Arod is disgraceful.

  5. Come on Nunez! Just giving the game away at this point on defense.

    Torre is actually cheering for the Rangers… “now if we can just get the ball into the seats folks”.

  6. The Yankees are going to give Noesi every chance to take over the role that Robertson use to fill. If he stays strong out of the pen, and Robertson shows he can handle setting up, I doubt the Yankees trade for a right handed bull pen arm. They’ll be in the market for a cheap lefty, which will be hard to find, but I think option A from the right side is clearly Noesi.

    I actually think at some point soon we are going to see Greg Smith come up and try to be that second lefty. He was signed with Corey Wade. He was a starter with the A’s and Rockies, but his stuff is made for getting out lefties. He actually came out of the pen for Scranton the other night and worked a scoreless 1.2 IP.

      • I hope they do. What can it hurt? He won’t get anything other than a league minimum minor league deal. He’s lost a lot on the fastball, and he has been horrible for the Angels in the minor leagues, but he comes with absolutely no risk. I’d sign him and see if he couldn’t be a LOOGY. If he can’t pass the physical, or he proves he has nothing left you walk away. No harm, no foul.

        • I think it would be a waste of time and pitches. Better to let someone throw those pitches who has a reasonable chances of getting something out of it. Kazmir’s been awful for years now, and I don’t see any splits that show he could make it even as a LOOGY.

          • Many would’ve said the same about Colon and Garcia at one time.

            I don’t expect Kazmir to rebound, but there really is no reason not to see what you get. You send him to Trenton and see what he does, if you don’t see anything you like you cut him. It’s not like he would be taking the ball away from Betances or Banuelos. This is a team whos had Kevin Millwood and Carlos Silva in the minors this year, we can afford to look at Kazmir.

          • I don’t think Colon or Garcia have come anywhere near being as bad as Kazmir has been. I’m all for for scrapheap scrounging, but I draw the line here.

            Which reminds me: whatever happened to Oliver Perez?

          • Well Colon wasn’t in baseball last year, and last we saw him he was throwing in the upper 80’s.

            Perez signed a minor league deal with the Nationals… talk about bad, him and Kazmir are in the same boat for me. Except that Perez has really never had that much success.

    • He should’ve been out of it well before Beltre. Nunez should’ve had at least one on the no play, and he could’ve had a double play.

      Gordon has pitched really well in this game, he’s shown a lot of poisse. If we lose it’s totally on the offense.

  7. WOW! Beltre took a Craig Biggio on that one. Eduardo’s error came back to bite us on there!

    … and Torre ends his time in the booth with “let’s hit some home runs the rest of the game, have a good one”.

  8. Elvis Andrus has so much range! The fact that he almost got to that ball was impressive, but that could be because Jeter would staring at it from the SS hole.

      • Honestly I think he’s the best defensive short stop in baseball. His glove alone is worth him being in the lineup everyday, and he has the speed to steal 40+ a year.

          • He’s no where near the defensive short stop that Andrus is. The Braves dumped him for Alex Gonzalez for a reason.

  9. I am glad Gordon had a nice start for a fill-in – 2 ER in 5 1/3 IP, Yanks are down only 2-1 – but can the Yankee bats wake up? Throw away another decent or better start why don’t they? It really is feast or famine with this team.

    Get the lead out Yankee offense! If they lose X to 1 today, 2-2 in the last 4 games is fucking dogshit when you’ve scored 26 runs (5.5 runs a game) in those games!!! You should be 3-1 if not 4-0.

    This team is pissing away their chance to win the division and chancing missing the postseason by a game with every wasted quality start because how many games where they don’t get quality starts are they winning from hereonin?

  10. Gordon has earned himself another start in my eyes. That was honestly more than you ever could’ve hoped for, especially for someone who has never started before.

    • Word. 5 1/3 IP 2 ER and it might’ve been just one ER had he not hit Beltre with the bases loaded. I have to say Beltre sure didn’t look like he made an attempt to get out of the way.

      I still wonder what other teams are thinking about the Yankees farm system when a dude who just joined the Yankees makes the start over everyone in their system. I hope it doesn’t contribute to the Yankees having to give up more than they thought they would, if they have to overpay for someone.

      • It really won’t affect anything in that regard. Teams rely on scouts who watch the players, public perception is much less important than what the people you pay to do that job tell you.

        Besides the only pitchers who were options to start were Phelps, Noesi, and Mitchell. No one really sees Noesi or Mitchell as anything but future relief arms anyway, and Phelps is having a great year but not as good as Gordon had in the same league.

        Besides from a roster stand point it makes sense. If you put Phelps on the 40 man and he does badly you can send him down but not take him off, if Gordon does badly you just DFA him and open that roster spot back up. Other teams understand that, and I fully believe most other teams, in the same spot, would’ve done the same thing.

        • I hear you re: scouts, but fact is Gordon got the call and he just joined the team, so his start is not exactly a ringing endorsement of the farm system. I don’t think public perception comes into play here. I’m talking more about other GMs perceptions.

          Let’s hope other GMs or at least one GM thinks whatever the Yankees have is good enough to give up something.

          Noesi and Mitchell are future relievers? We’ll see. I’d like to see them be future starters as the Yankees could have as many as three question marks after Sabathia and Burnett in their 2012 rotation assuming Sabathia doesn’t opt out or he does but signs a new contract.

          • It’s not like Gordon was signed for minor league depths though. He was signed strictly for this start. Texas has one of the best lineups in baseball, and making your debut in Yankee stadium is a pretty huge thing. You want someone with poise who isn’t going to be overwhelmed by the moment, Gordon showed he has just that. Phelps is no doubt a better longterm option, but I think Gordon proved he was better for this shot.

            By “public perception” I mean GM perception. No GM is going to make his trade decisions off of something like that, and keep his job for very long. They send scouts to all level of the minor leagues of a team when considering a trade, those reports then affect how they feel about players. I don’t feel signing a spot starter in anyway reflects positvely or negatively on on the farm system. We have a good system there is no doubting that, most of the best arms simply aren’t in Scranton, and the ones that are weren’t the best for this situation. I also believe the roster spot had a lot to do with the decision as well. Those 40 man spots are valuable, you can’t afford to waste one.

            No scouting reports I have seen project Noesi or Mitchell as anything more than relievers. They both play up in the pen quite a bit, and neither exactly has the polished stuff to go through major league lineups 3-4 times. I also believe that the Yankees love what Noesi offers out of the pen in short doses, and with Joba and Soriano out they need that going forward. If Noesi started today he would have to go back down, or stay in the rotation and you lose his value out of the pen.

  11. Apparently the Rangers are accusing the Yankees (Andruw Jones) of stealing signs in the last 2 games.

    • The YES guys mentioned this. Frankly, I don’t think it’s a big deal.

      • I guess if you got beat 12-4 back to back days you’d find an excuse too.

  12. My man Jorge comes through. Now he just has to not get caught off base.

  13. Awful bottom of the ninth inning managing by Girardi.

    Martin gets on to lead off the ninth, Girardi gives Texas an out by bunting Nunez when he should’ve had A-Rod pinch-hit for Nunez (Pena moves to 3B for extra innings if necessary.) Instead Girardi takes the bat out of A-Rod’s hand by bringing him up to the plate with 1B open. Pena is a Major Leaguer now, which means he is capable of putting the ball in play.

    • That’s not on the manager. The players have to do their jobs, simple as that. We had the bases loaded with 1 out and Granderson and Teixeira up. You sign up for that everytime you can get, if they don’t deliver that’s on them.

      With Martin’s speed Nunez probably has to hit a triple to score him, with the bunt all Swisher needed was a single. After that all Granderson needed was a sac fly.

      • Nah, you don’t give up an out in the bottom of the ninth after your hurting catcher gets on base to lead off the inning.

        Martin gets on, you bring up A-Rod to get a single to push Martin to 2B or 3B, a double to push Martin to 3B or win the game, a triple to win the game, or a homerun to win the game. That’s what he’s being paid a record amount of money to do. You move Pena to SS for extra innings if necessary, and you cross the bridge called Pena batting after A-Rod when you get to it.

        That sure beats giving up an out then A-Rod’s bat when you stupidly bring him up to pinch-hit for Pena with 1B open.

        Don’t blame Granderson and Teixiera for that inning. That was all on Girardi cuz is it two outs if Granderson makes an out or end of the inning if Teixiera makes an out and A-Rod bats for Nunez? We’ll never know.

          • Ok then you disagree with batting A-Rod in place of Nunez so he could be in position drive in the winning run or hit a walkoff homerun, cuz that’s what I called for, and I’m a fan.
            Girardi is an MLB manager who doesn’t know how to manage his star player. He gave up an out then gave up A-Rod’s bat in the bottom of the ninth inning with the game tied at two. You want to agree with that stupid move and the byproduct of it, so be it.

            I didn’t know the guy or two after A-Rod was the one who’s supposed to drive in the winning run instead of A-Rod. Last I checked, A-Rod has a higher BA and SLG than Swisher therefore has a better chance of driving in the winning run than Swisher.

    • yeah, I regretted the bunt, Alex walking, but when Swish walked, we had us in the poifect position.

      • You only need to one run to win the game, I can’t see blaming Joe on that one. Not every bunt is bad, somehow we’ve gotten to the point where no bunt is the right call. Yes, a lot of them aren’t always the best decision but I trust Swisher and Granderson much more than Nunez. There were more chances for him to make an out than there were for him to move the runner over without the bunt.

        You guys are entitled to your opinions but with the situation presented I agree with this one.

        • you’re right, Chris. There is a call for the sacrifice, and I guess that was it. If you looked ahead in the order, and Joe knew Alex would be walked. As you said, Swish with Russell on second with one out is better odds than Nunie not hitting into a dp.

          • As much as people try to paint him as stupid, Joe is anything but. In fact sometimes I think he over thinks things. In this situation though I believe he’s right on target. If Nunez does anything but gets a hit you likely end up with 1 out and Martin on first, Alex then has to hit a triple just to score him. If not you need a hit from Alex and Swisher. This way you only need the one hit, and the way it worked out we didn’t even need that, just solid contact would’ve got the job done.

        • Door #1: Martin gets on to lead off the inning, A-Rod pinch hits for Nunez, plays 3B, Pena moves to SS if the game goes to extra innings.

          Door #2: Martin gets on to lead off the inning, Nunez bunts him over to 2B, A-Rod pinch hits for Pena and is promptly put on 1B.

          I choose Door #1 every time. Girardi chose #2. He fucked up.
          You don’t take the bat out of A-Rod’s hands ever.

          Btw when did Gardner become a moron on the bases? ‘Gets doubled up at 1B. Since when was that ball clearly past Beltre?

          • I’m in door number 2 as well then. To me it simply makes sense when you consider all Swisher needs is a single, and all Granderson needs is a sac fly.

            In my opinion, and that’s all it is, I want the game to be able to end with one hit. It simplifies the game plan for the batter, instead of doing to much you just need a single. With no bunt you need at least 2 hits, first nunez, and then Alex. With the bunt you only need one hit.

          • Problem with Door #2 is it’s wildly assumptive.

            I’m merely saying give A-Rod your star player a chance to get a hit which could move Martin to 2B or 3B, or win the game.

            No matter. Gardner undid his baserunning fuckup in the ninth with a walkoff hit!!!!!

          • I don’t think either door is the wrong choice, and Alex is the man you want up to bat in those situations so I totally would’ve understood if he went that way. I just can’t fault him for either one honestly. I like having the game be able to end on one hit, that’s just the way I like to play. However that doesn’t make your way wrong.

            I personaly don’t blame Gardner for that DP, to me, that’s just great defense by Beltre. I can see wanting him to be conservative, but I never thought Adrian was coming up with that.

            Good conversation today duh. Great win! Glad to see the Rangers go home swept out of town!

          • yeah, your approach could work, Duh. But if Alex lined hard to short like he just did, your managerial status wouldn’t be so firm, either. They woulda said, dummy, why didn’t he take door #1?

            and waht’s with all these negative waves?

          • Negative? Cuz I don’t agree with you? C’mon man.

            What if A-Rod is given the chance to hit and he draws a walk or collects a hit? It’s definitely two men on and no outs.

            Walk: Martin to 2B
            Single: Martin to 2B or 3B
            Double: Martin to 3B or Yankees win
            Triple: Yankees win
            Homerun: Yankees win

            Other variables with A-Rod up:

            Martin advances to second on a steal, wild pitch, passed ball, hit by pitch, balk, or A-Rod reach on error.

            But you and T.O. Chris want to give up an out then A-Rod’s bat.

            Again, no matter, Yankees win WITH A HIT, NOT A SAC BUNT OR A HIT BY THE BATTER TWO SLOTS AWAY.

          • I think the point is either way can work, they are just two different styles of managing. I wouldn’t call either one wrong.

  14. I would never pitch Andrus away. With his speed, and lack of pop, I would pound him up and in all day long. If you want to go away with breaking stuff after that for the put away, that’s the only time I’d pitch on the outside half.

  15. Beltre tried to pop it out, but just a little too much pop to it, a little overswing.

    • Beltre seems to be like a more productive version of Andruw Jones. Both swing as hard as possible in hopes of hitting home runs almost every AB, but Beltre makes solid contact more often than Jones.

  16. Wow, great win. Being a day game I of course had to follow along via Gameday and sadly didn’t see any of it — although given the anguished reactions of many on Twitter to apparently botched baserunning plays, perhaps I was better off — but man, finishing the sweep off, especially of a team of Texas’ caliber, is freaking huge.

    • I can’t see the Gardner play as a botched base running play. Beltre was playing out of his head to grab that ball off the tip. Off the top of my head I can’t remember anymore baserunning gaffes.

    • Wilson is walking less batter this year than last, his K rates are about the same, but he seems to have become more consistent with location.

  17. Michael Kay just said the Yankees have been flawless in the field. He meant they have no errors, but I don’t think he chose his words properly.

    • Yeah Cano had a mistake on a play, that for him, should’ve been an out, and I would’ve given Nunez an error on his slip.

  18. Find a sweet one, Jorgie!

    oh, should have put a wammy on the 3-1 fastball in. shucks!

    • I guess back to back hits against a lefty is too much to ask for.

      Since I can’t hear it I’ll go ahead and say it. “If the Yankees are going to win, this one is going to involve pie!”
      – Michael Kay

      • He went with, “If the Yankees win this game, it’s gonna be of the pie variety.”

        • I know right. It’s 97 today, over 100 with the humidity.

          In general nothing much but having a lazy day watching the game, in a broader sense I’ve lived here for the last 10 years.

  19. Anyone else want to see Granderson up with the bases loaded and one out?

  20. With all this discussion of offense we have yet to give Cory Wade his props for an excellent young career as a Yankee. Comes into a tough spot and gives 2 solid innings.

    • True. Two good innings. It’s only 2 innings, but it’s better than 2 bad innings.

      • He had a good inning yesterday as well, it was in mop up, but 3 good innings to start himself out is always great.

    • Maybe the assist goes to Cano, they are 100% positive Cano faked being hit by that pitch. It did sound like bat, but I’m not going to complain.

  21. It looked to me in the overhead slomo shot that the pitch hit the back of Cano’s hand. Anyway, it’s covered by payback for Beltre’s intentional elbow hit.

    What a rally: a jam shot, a maybe-hit batsman, and another jam shot.

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