With an Angels loss to the Rangers tonight, the Rangers, Orioles, and Yankees are now all destined for the playoffs. Where these teams enter the postseason is still to be determined. Now, either the Yankees or Orioles will at least play a one game wildcard series against either the Rangers or Athletics. With just three games left, and the Orioles and Yankees tied at 92-67, the final series of the year becomes an intense three game set to avoid the wildcard disadvantages.… Click here to read the rest
This post almost turned into a frustrated rant. Phil Hughes was awful, allowing eight hits and five runs in just 4.2 innings of work. And the Yankee offense came out of the gate slow. The Blue Jays entered the sixth inning with a five to one lead and it looked like the Yankees were going to fall a game behind the Orioles. Then, the Bombers came back.
The Yankees plated one in the sixth and three in the seventh to tie the game. They took the lead for good in the eighth inning on an Eduardo Nunez sacrifice. The biggest offensive star of the game was Robinson Cano who went three for five with two doubles and a push bunt to the third base side while the Jays were shifting. (Mark Teixeira, were you watching?) Robbie scored two runs and knocked in another. The Yankees also got a big assist from the Toronto pitchers who threw two wild pitches that led to runs scoring, including the tying run in the seventh inning, a play that also featured some heads up base running from Alex Rodriguez.… Click here to read the rest
But then they woke up from their, as Michael Kay put it, “lumber slumber” (was this really the pun? Or did I mishear it? Or have a stroke when he said it that made me stop remembering things, like the guy in Memento?).
The sixth inning wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t one of those innings that you normally look back on and say “Hey, wasn’t this great? That was when things really got better.” But looking back on the game, it seemed like a turning point to me. Robinson Cano (finally playing like Robinson Cano) lead off with a double to center. Ho-hum. The Yankees have been doing that over and over again; no way they score here. Then, Nick Swisher dropped a single to right. Cano gets to third. Good little play there.
Then, Henderson Alvarez tossed a ball to the backstop, plating Cano. Good heads-up base running by both runners on the play, and the Yankees were back on the board.… Click here to read the rest
The Yankees refuse to make this easy. Rather than focus on who the Yankees should have beaten based on the match up (Ricky Romero, cough, cough) I want to emphasize the need to win big games, easy competition or not. The Yankees don’t want to find themselves in a sudden death playoff. The team hasn’t inspired confidence that they can handle that kind of game. Yet, they are on a collision course for such a game because they can’t find the killer instinct when they need it. Yesterday’s game called for the killer instinct. The Yankees didn’t have it. And they don’t have first place anymore either. Well done boys. Phil Hughes faces off against Henderson Alvarez today. Enjoy.… Click here to read the rest
So given a rather agitated state upon waking today, I did what I always do in these situations: hit up the rags for a good laugh or seven. And when you’re pining for Ramiro Pena, you are most definitely not letting me down. And yes, I mean that quite literally:
But Girardi has made it clear the Yankees consider Nuñez a shortstop, and a shortstop only, and made it even clearer on Saturday they don’t consider him a very good one.
That means no more days off for Jeter or Cano the rest of the way. No DH days. No opportunities for a breather between now and the start of the postseason a week from yesterday.
Suddenly, Ramiro Peña — smiling, pleasant, harmless little El Niño — seems like a guy the Yankees would really like to have around these days.
The injury to Mark Teixeira seriously weakened the Yankees’ attack against left-handed pitching. Guys like Andruw Jones needed to step up. Not only has not done so, he’s fallen into an open manhole cover. He has four hits in September. Four! In 29 at bats. That gives him a tidy little batting average of .137 for September. And that followed an August where he had only six hits in 37 at bats. That meant a .162 batting average for August and a lovely 10-66 over the two month span to give him a .151 batting average down the stretch. Only two of those hits were homers, one in August, one in September.
And it goes further back than that. Before yesterday’s two strikeouts in two at bats performance, his second half triple slash line looked like this: .146/.262/.262. Just typing that made the coffee curdle a little in the mouth this morning. How is a guy with that kind of prolonged ineptitude not DFAed?… Click here to read the rest