Some fun ninth inning facts

A Yankees’ reliever blew a save last night, and this caused a completely predictable gnashing of teeth and wailing for the return of Mariano Rivera. Now, I don’t want to take anything away from Mo, by any means, but now, some 13 hours later, let’s all take a deep breath and internalize a few key facts, okay?

  • David Robertson is a good reliever. Before last night, Robertson had gone 27 consecutive innings without allowing a run and 98 (!) consecutive appearances without allowing a home run. I think we can allow one home run per every 100 appearances or so without running the guy out of town on a rail.
  • There was nothing unusual about Robertson’s outing last night, other than the home run. Of all the strange things people seemed to be misremembering last night, the D-Rob that didn’t allow very many baserunners or ever walk anyone was probably the strangest.
  • Mariano Rivera has, in fact, blown a save before. Shocking, I know, but it did really happen, I swear. In fact, he blew a save already this season, against the same team that beat Robertson last night. This happened just over a month ago, so it’s totally understandable that no one remembers it.
  • For further perspective, Mo blew five saves over the course of 2011. In 49 chances, that translated to a save conversion rate of 89.8%, the highest in the majors. Oh, wait, that was Jose Valverde, who converted 49 of 49 saves. Mo’s number doesn’t actually differentiate him from the pack much at all, as he has essentially the same numbers as Heath Bell and Drew Storen.

The moral of the story is: blown saves happen. Can we at least give Robertson a week or two before we declare that he’s been tamed by Ninth Inning Magic and that the Yankees are hopelessly doomed as a result? Continue reading Some fun ninth inning facts

Robertson blows save in 9th, Yanks fall 4-1 to Rays

This game story really only needs to talk about two innings. In the first, the Yankees got an RBI double from Robinson Cano to take a 1-0 lead. There the score stayed until the 9th inning. With that 1-0 lead, David Robertson took the mound in the 9th and things did not go well. After his first six pitches of the inning, he had given up singles to Sean Rodriguez (one pitch) and pinch hitter Brandon Allen (one pitch) and walked Ben Zobrist (four pitches). It’s worth noting that on the Allen single, Nick Swisher tried to throw all the Continue reading Robertson blows save in 9th, Yanks fall 4-1 to Rays

Robertson can’t hold lead, Rays come back in final inning

The story of the day tomorrow will be David Robertson‘s disastrous ninth inning, but it really should be about a pretty bad game across the board in many respects. Yes, Robertson comes away as the obvious goat after failing to hold onto a 1-0 lead in the ninth inning, but the Yankees’ offense had their chances to give him a larger cushion to work with, but again just couldn’t put runs on the board when they needed them.

The night started well enough for the Yankees when Robinson Cano launched a two out double to the left field wall to score Derek Jeter in the bottom of the first, but that was the end of the scoring all the way until the ninth inning, as the two pitching staffs settled in quickly, albeit in very different fashion. For the Rays, Jeff Niemann lasted seven full innings, allowing six hits and one walk (with two of those hits coming in the first inning) while striking out five. The Yankees, on the other hand, made a team effort of shutting out the Rays through the first eight innings.

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The Farm Report: 5/9/12 – Betances has best start yet

Empire State pulled off a nice victory against Columbus behind a stellar performance from Dellin Betances. Charleston had the day off, while Trenton and Tampa both came up short. Tampa has now lost five straight games.

Empire State beat Columbus 2-1:
Cord Phelps put the Clippers on the board quickly, hitting a solo homer in the first at bat of the game. Dellin Betances recovered and got the next three batters in order. Brett Gardner, making another rehab appearance, started the bottom of the first with a triple to left. He scored on a sac fly form Kevin Russo, tying the game 1-1. Steve Pearce knocked a solo homer to left, giving the Yankees a 2-1 lead. Brett Gardner went 1-2 with two walks, a triple and a run scored. It looks like he should be back in the Bronx shortly. Ronnier Mustelier went 2-4 with a double. Betances was the big story of the night, however, as he went eight innings and allowed just one run on two hits and two walks. He struck out seven. Kevin Whelan got the save, as he threw a scoreless, hitless ninth, picking up two Ks.

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Game 30: Movin’ on up

The Yankees will attempt to gain another game on the Rays and continue to continue moving up the A.L. East leader board when the two teams meet at the Stadium for the second of three games. Rookie David Phelps will make his second career start for the Yankees, while the Rays will send Jeff Niemann to the mound. The Yankees already took a victory in a game started by James Shields, and with David Price squaring off against C.C. Sabathia tomorrow night, this is a game you’d really like to see the Yankees put in their pockets. Lineups are as follows:

Rays (19-11):

Ben Zobrist RF
Carlos Pena 1B
B.J. Upton CF
Matt Joyce LF
Luke Scott DH
Will Rhymes 2B
Elliot Johnson SS
Sean Rodriguez 3B
Chris Gimenez C

Jeff Niemann RHP

Yankees (16-13:)

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Nick Swisher RF
Raul Ibanez DH
Russell Martin C
Dewayne Wise LF

David Phelps RHP

One brief news update, Mark Teixeira saw a doctor today for a persistent cough and has been diagnosed with bronchial inflammation. It doesn’t sound like it will cause him to miss any time, however. Tonight’s game is at 7:05 P.M., and can be seen on YES or ESPN nationally. Enjoy! Continue reading Game 30: Movin’ on up

May 9 Game Thread

After a nail-biting 5-3 victory last night that saw David Robertson work out of a 9th-inning jam, the Yankees go back to work tonight against the division-leading Tampa Bay Rays.  David Phelps will take the hill for the Yankees, making his second career start.  It may also be his last start for a little while, as Andy Pettitte will be making his season debut on Sunday, and seems likely to take Phelps’ rotation spot. Phelps will square off against towering righty Jeff Niemann, who is 2-3 with a 4.05 ERA on the season, and a 3.39 FIP.  Niemann is only Continue reading May 9 Game Thread

What A Relief! Robertson Walks Tight Rope in First Save of Season

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog; follow me on Twitter at@williamnyy23). Yankees fans have been spoiled. Since 1997, ninth inning leads have typically been a stress free prelude to victory. No sweaty palms. No heart palpitations. No watching the last out between your fingers. With Mariano Rivera in the game, Yankees’ fans were treated to a closer with one of the most unique combinations of excellence and efficiency. Now that he is injured, however, those last few outs may not come as often or as easily. In David Robertson’s first save attempt since Rivera’s injury, the right hander added two more Continue reading What A Relief! Robertson Walks Tight Rope in First Save of Season

Pineda update

Injured Yankees’ pitcher Michael Pineda talked to WFAN’s Sweeny Muri today, and divulged a few interesting nuggets. First, Pineda’s surgeon apparently told him that he would be “100%” come Spring Training, though he told him that before operating on Pineda’s labrum, so I reckon that doesn’t exactly qualify as a technical medical prognosis. Pineda apparently hadn’t yet found out what his rehab schedule would be, but did say that he felt “really good.” He also claimed that he didn’t begin feeling shoulder pain until his final start of Spring Training, when he “tried to throw hard.” He did go on Continue reading Pineda update