Bullpen blunders cost Yankees in loss

For 8.2 innings Monday night, the Yankees never trailed. In fact, the Yankees owned a 6-4 lead with one out left to get in the top of the ninth, but with one swing of the bat Colby Rasmus gave the Blue Jays their first lead of the night with a booming three run home run into the right-center field seats to turn that deficit into a 7-6 Blue Jays lead. The Yankees wouldn’t go down without a fight, however, forcing the game into extra innings on the strength of a Derek Jeter home run to lead off the bottom of the inning. But a throwing error on Derek Lowe would allow the go ahead run to get to third base with no outs in the eleventh, and eventually score on a groundball for what would become the winning run as the Yankees ultimately fell to Toronto 8-7.

  • Like I said, for 8.2 innings, this looked like a pretty good performance for the Yankees. The offense put six runs on the board on the strength of two home runs by Robinson Cano and a two run shot by Nick Swisher, and David Phelps had been darn good over 6.1 innings in his start. The bullpen was maybe playing with fire, but were generally limiting the damage in doing so, and obviously Soriano only needed to get one more out to close out the game. Obviously that didn’t happen, but it shouldn’t erase what happened earlier in the night either.
  • Speaking of Phelps, he really deserves his own bullet point. Working into the seventh, Phelps struck out seven batters while walking just one opponent and giving up five hits. He was, however, charged for four total runs, thanks to the inconvenient fact that two of those hits were home runs, resulting in a total of three runs allowed. If there’s a nit to be picked here, it’s that those home runs both came following innings in which the Yankees scored, but I guess that’s less important than the fact that Phelps never trailed in the game. Pretty good for a guy who’s spent the entire season being jerked around, huh?
  • Soriano is going to get most of the blame tomorrow, but it’s worth pointing out that neither Cody Eppley nor David Robertson were able to keep Toronto off the bases either. They did, however, manage to avoid the big hit, which Soriano did not.
  • The top of the order really delivered tonight, with the first three Yankee hitters accounting for four home runs and five of the Yankees’ seven RBI in the game. When Jeter homered in the ninth, it felt like they were going to pull the game out after all.
  • They did go on to lose, however, and did allowed the tying run to score in one of the most annoying ways possible. Yorvit Torrealba singled to lead off the 11th for the Blue Jays, and after a pinch runner came into the game, Derek Lowe got far too cute in throwing over to first base, especially since Eric Chavez had moved over to the position after Mark Teixeira left the game, and predictably, the ball skipped away from Chavez, allowing the runner to move to third. A strikeout of the next batter provided a brief glimmer of hope, but Toronto would then get what proved to be the winning run by virtue of a ground ball out. Just letting the runner have second base would have worked out better for Lowe.
  • Again, however, the Yankees refused to quit in the bottom of the 11th, and put the tying run on base thanks to a rare Ichiro Suzuki walk. The top of the order couldn’t come through this time, though, as Jeter bounced into a fielder’s choice and Swisher struck out on a call he clearly didn’t agree with to end the game, and put an end to a thoroughly depressing night.

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The Farm Report: 8/27/12

It was a pretty quiet day for the Yankees’ farm teams, with Tampa’s game cancelled and Charleston having the day off. That did not mean it was not an exciting day, however. Empire State pulled off an extra-inning victory that included a surprise guest (a skunk) roaming the field in the top of the twelfth. Watching the grounds crew try to figure out how to deal with the skunk was quite possibly one of the more entertaining things I have seen in a while. They managed to chase it off the field without incident. Trenton had a rough day, but Staten Island continued to put forth a strong end of their year, after struggling for most of the short-season.

Empire State beat Lehigh Valley 5-4 in 13 innings:
Lehigh Valley took a quick lead, as Cesar Hernandez singled in the first and stole second. Nate Schierholtz singled, putting runners on the corners and Jason Pridie lined a two-run single to right. Pete Orr doubled and scored on a single by Cody Overbeck, giving the IronPigs a 4-0 lead. The Yankees finally got on the board in the top of the fourth. Austin Romine hit his second homer of the year and Melky Mesa sent one over the wall in left center, cutting the Lehigh Valley lead in half. Kevin Russo started the fifth with a walk. He moved to third when Eduardo Nunez was safe on an error. Ronnier Mustelier singled in Russo and the Yankees trailed 4-3. Kosuke Fukudome drew a walk to open up the seventh. He was out at second on a grounder by Nunez, who stole second. Mustelier drew a walk and Romine singled, with Nunez getting thrown out at home. A single by Cole Garner plated Mustelier and the Yankees tied the game 4-4. The Yankees had a chance to take the lead in the eighth, as Ramiro Pena got hit by a pitch and Russo and Fukudome took walks. Unfortunately, Nunez hit into an inning-ending double play.

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Soriano Blows Third Save, Yankees Lose in Extras 8-7

Well, that was just an awful loss. Is it the end of the world? Of course not, but it’s not very pleasant watching the Yankees cough up a lead late in the game and losing in extra innings to a team that has nearly 75% of its roster on the waiting list for Tommy John surgery (Yes, that’s an exaggeration but not that much of one.) The Yankees were an out away from winning the game 6-4 when Colby Rasmus and his cornrows hit a three-run home run off Rafael Soriano in the top of the ninth to put the Continue reading Soriano Blows Third Save, Yankees Lose in Extras 8-7

Game 128: The Walking Wounded

For all of the (very justified) lamentations surrounding the injuries that have befallen the Yankees this year, thank whichever God(s) you may or may not worship that you are not a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays. Our neighbors to the North have lost some hundred and thirty-eight thousand games to injury thus far this year, and that number will only increase as the twenty-seven or so TJS victims on their roster rehab. Onto the line-ups: Toronto Blue Jays New York Yankees Rajai Davis, LF Derek Jeter, SS Colby Rasmus, CF Nick Swisher, DH Edwin Encarnacion, 1B Robinson Cano, 2B Continue reading Game 128: The Walking Wounded

Game 128: Oh, Canada!

The Yankees return home tonight after a rocky road trip, and they’ll be facing a familiar foe in the Toronto Blue Jays. Henderson Alvarez is on the bump for Toronto tonight, so expect a slow pace. Here are the lineups:

Blue Jays (56-70):

Rajai Davis LF
Colby Rasmus CF
Edwin Encarnacion 1B
Adam Lind DH
Yunel Escobar SS
Kelly Johnson 2B
Yorvit Torrealba C
Moises Sierra RF
Adeiny Hechavarria 3B

Henderson Alvarez RHP

Yankees (74-53):

Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Curtis Granderson CF
Eric Chavez 3B
Russell Martin C
Raul Ibanez LF
Ichiro Suzuki RF

David Phelps RHP

First pitch is at 7:05. Enjoy! Continue reading Game 128: Oh, Canada!

Red Sox v. Dodgers, Ichiro’s Hot Streak, and Granderson’s Defense

In just two hours, David Phelps and Ricky Romero will duel at Yankee Stadium. Meanwhile, the Rays will be in Texas for the next three games. That makes this a pretty big series if the Yankees plan to regain any significant lead on Tampa. Here are some links in anticipation of the 7:05 PM start on YES. At The Captain’s Blog, our own Williams Juliano compares how the outlook of both the Red Sox and the Dodgers have evolved since last year.  While one team looked to shed payroll and one earned the title of “Best Team Ever”, the roles have Continue reading Red Sox v. Dodgers, Ichiro’s Hot Streak, and Granderson’s Defense

Yankees re-acquire Steve Pearce, DFA Brandon Laird

Via Bryan Hoch, the Yankees have re-acquire 1B/OF Steve Pearce from the Houston Astros for cash considerations, bringing the former Pirate prospect back to the Yankees for his second tour of duty this season. Pearce hit .318/.419/.568 with 11 home runs and a .433 wOBA for the Yankees in Triple-A earlier this season before being traded to Baltimore. To make room on the 40 man roster, the Yankees have designated Brandon Laird for assignment. Laird was the Eastern League MVP back in 2010, but he’s struggled to produce at Triple-A, and had quickly fallen off of the prospect radar in the organization. He’ll probably clear waivers and remain in the organization, but he won’t be in line for any kind of September call up now.

There’s no word on who will be removed from the 25 man roster to make room for Pearce, and really, I don’t have any solid guesses as to who it might be. The only thing I can think of is that Andruw Jones may be the odd man out, as Pearce’s strength is hitting lefties, something that Jones has not done as well as he’s expected to this season. After a strong season in that regard last year earned him another tour of duty with the Bombers, Jones has hit just .218/.283/.449 (92 wRC+) against southpaws in 2012. Pearce, on the other hand, has a 120 wRC+ and a .275/.345/.490 slashline against lefties, so that’s a move that could make sense if someone isn’t about to hit the disabled list with a nagging injury or something.
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