Game 152: Hangover Cure

The Yankees won in epic fashion last night, rallying from four runs down in the top of the 13th to win, finally, on an E-3 in the 14th. It was a spectacle of grit, determination; it was also a pretty badly played game. Lost in the euphoria, along with Nova’s genuinely bad outing–as William said–was the team’s inability to put away the A’s: Raul Ibanez’ crash into home plate, Melky Mesa’s trip around third, Derek Jeter’s failure with the bases loaded. It was not a well played game.

But all of that has been swept up in the good feelings that come with winning a remarkable game, and, honestly, all of that should be swept up for now.

So, let’s hope everyone isn’t too hungover, because Baltimore isn’t quitting–they won in extras last night also. Hiroki Kuroda is on the bump for the bombers, and it’s time to get back in the saddle. So pop some Alka-Seltzers and sit back. It’s baseball time in the Bronx.

Athletics (85-66)
S. Drew, SS
S. Smith, LF
Y. Cespedes, CF
B. Moss, 1B
J. Gomes, DH
J. Reddick, RF
J. Donaldson, 3B
G. Kottaras, C
C. Pennington, 2B

Yankees (88-63)
D. Jeter, DH
I. Suzuki, LF
A. Rodriguez, 3B
R. Cano, 2B
N. Swisher, 1B
C. Granderson, CF
R. Martin, C
R. Ibanez, RF
E. Nunez, SS Continue reading Game 152: Hangover Cure

Game Thread: A’s vs Yankees, Sunday September 23

Today’s game almost seems like a formality after yesterday’s marathon of come backs and tension. But that’s the beauty of baseball. They do this everyday. The Yankees used every pitcher they have yesterday, so the team needs Hiroki Kuroda to give them some length, desperately. The A’s will counter with A.J. Griffin. The Yankees have also quietly turned a page. They’ve won seven in a row and are 9-1 over their last ten. Unfortunately, Baltimore is right their with them, just a game behind. Enjoy.

Nova’s clunker lost in the euphoria

The outcome of yesterday’s marathon between the New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics glossed over a lot of stuff that happened in the game that was not ideal. There were questionable decisions by the manager. There were seventeen men left on base by the Yankees’ offense. There was less than stellar relief pitching. But most troublesome of them all was the start by Ivan Nova. After Nova’s promising (and surprising) success in his previous outing against the Tampa Bay Rays, Nova came into this game with the thought by many that perhaps he was going to fit into the playoff plans after all. Forget about that after yesterday’s debacle. You have to look pretty darn bad for Joe Girardi to pull you after two-plus innings when the bullpen is already gassed. Girardi did not like what he saw and neither did the rest of us.

What we all saw was an Ivan Nova that could not hold a lead if there was a moat around the infield. He gave up five hits, four of which were booming extra base hits–three doubles and a homer. Each inning he pitched, his strike percentage went down. He ended up throwing 58 pitches and only 33 of them were strikes. The frustrating part is that his stuff was there. The fastball was popping in there at a good rate. He struck out two batters and topped out at 95.1 MPH on the radar gun. But again, his command was fleeting and just like his pattern for the entire season, he would just make fatal mistakes and the A’s killed them every time.

There is nothing profound to say in this post and there are no real answers. Nova will have one more start before the season ends to see where he is. But for all intent and purposes, he pitched himself out of the playoff picture with that outing and will be lucky to even make a post season roster. That sounds overly dramatic. But his outing was that poor. At the beginning of the season, I thought Ivan Nova was much better than people thought. At this point, he is as bad as any starter in baseball. Continue reading Nova’s clunker lost in the euphoria

Have the Orioles been lucky or good?

One of the biggest surprises this season has been the reemergence of the long dormant Baltimore Orioles. Its a franchise that hasn’t been above .500 since their 98 win group in 1997, and hasn’t broken 70 wins since 2006. This year, they’re 86-62 and have been a thorn in the side of the 1st place Yankees for the past month. Unlike other sports, the 162 game baseball season is a great way of sorting out the men from the boys. That’s not to say there aren’t one year wonders, most years one or more teams will emerge that seem to Continue reading Have the Orioles been lucky or good?

Yankees come back four runs to win epic 14-inning marathon on walkoff E-3

The Yankees won an epic 14-inning marathon against the Oakland Athletics Saturday afternoon, as the bombers rallied from a 9-5 deficit in the top of the 13th inning to tie the score at 9 after a series of singles allowed Raul Ibanez to lace a two-run homer into the second deck in right field.  They wouldn’t win the game until the 14th, however, when–after a minor mishap involving Melky Mesa tripping around third base on what should have been a game-winning single by Alex Rodriguez–Eduardo Nunez smacked a grounder towards first, and Brandon Moss kicked it into right field, allowing Ichiro Suzuki to score.

It was a sloppy, badly pitched, badly fielded game filled with missed opportunities and disappointing failures. But it was also a Yankee epic, a come-from-behind victory that will give the team a huge lift as they fight with Baltimore for the AL East. This team has been accused for much of the year of lacking a fighting spirit, of missing that key component of great teams–the ability to battle back, to never believe that they’re out of a game. They hadn’t won very many come-from-behind games this season, and they hadn’t given off the impression that they believed that they could win that type of game.

That changed tonight, when, trailing by four runs after more than five hours of baseball, this team found it within themselves to push for more. There are a lot of things the Yankees (and the A’s) failed at tonight; but, through all of it, this Yankee team showed that they had the grit, the determination that they need to get the job done. Continue reading Yankees come back four runs to win epic 14-inning marathon on walkoff E-3

Yankees 10 A’s 9: Are You Kidding Me?

How crazy was today’s game? Well, it’s after 7:00 p.m and I am just writing the recap for a 1:00 p.m. game. How crazy was today’s game? Both starters were pulled after only two innings – well, 2.1 for Ivan Nova and 2.0 for Travis Blackley – and a total of 18 pitchers used. How crazy was today’s game? The teams combined for 19 runs and 31 hits. How crazy was today’s game? Both teams used nine pitchers each. How crazy was today’s game? Raul Ibanez, who came into the game in the fifth inning, finished 3-4 with two home runs and a Continue reading Yankees 10 A’s 9: Are You Kidding Me?

Game 151-Bullpen needs a blowout

There’s a theory making the rounds that the recent sruggles of David Robertson and last night’s blown save by Rafael Soriano is a product of an overworked bullpen that’s running out of gas down the stretch. I’m not so sure I buy that. If you watch the replay, the pitch Soriano gave up the game-tying HR on had plenty of life on it, he just caught too much of the plate and the hitter did a good job getting to a pitch below his knees. Also, let’s not forget Soriano wasn’t even the Closer for over a month to start Continue reading Game 151-Bullpen needs a blowout

Game 151: Streakin’

The Yankees are on a bit of a roll right now (“SHHHHHHH!!” says everyone), with important pieces falling into place at the right times almost every night. Yesterday, ace CC Sabathia turned in a brilliant performance, and Russell Martin saved the game by homering in the 10th inning to walk off. Ichiro Suzuki and Derek Jeter are reminding us of 2001, and Andy Pettitte can still throw a cutter.

So, what’s the problem?

Those pesky Orioles won’t lose. They’ve won five in a row, keeping pace as the Yankees have tried to break away.

The bombers get the A’s again today, and will send out Ivan Nova, who looked strong in his last start to face Travis Blackley, making his 13th start–he’s 4-3 with a 3.97 ERA in 12 starts so far.

Athletics (85-65)
S. Drew, SS
S. Smith, LF
Y. Cespedes, CF
B. Moss, 1B
C. Carter, DH
J. Reddick, RF
J. Donaldson, 3B
G. Kottaras, C
C. Pennington, 2B

Yankees (87-63)

D. Jeter, SS
I. Suzuki, CF
A. Rodriguez, DH
R. Cano, 2B
N. Swisher, RF
C. McGehee, 1B
J. Nix, 3B
A. Jones, LF
C. Stewart, C Continue reading Game 151: Streakin’