Game 79 Recap: Yankees 3 Angels 1

High Fives vs LAA

Courtesy of Getty Images

The Yankees were guaranteed a losing road trip when they dropped the second game of this series on Tuesday night.  It was all about saving face and not getting swept in the finale last night, and to their credit the Yanks were able to do enough to prevent that.  They matched the offensive output of their previous 3 games and got a solid all-around pitching performance to get the W.

It wasn’t exactly an offensive outburst for the lineup.  They got their first run in the top of the 3rd the hard way.  Didi Gregorious led off with a single, moved to second on a Stephen Drew sac bunt, third on a Brett Gardner groundout, and home on a Chase Headley ribbie single.  If you can’t mash ‘em, manufacture ‘em, I guess.  The second run came much easier in the 6th, as the heart of the order came up for a third time against Angels starter Matt Shoemaker and Garrett Jones smashed an 0-2 fastball into the right field seats for a solo home run.…

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Game 78 Quick Recap: LAA 2 NYY 1

Nova vs LAA

Courtesy of the AP

The Yankees really aren’t doing much lately, so there’s no point in spending too many words on last night’s game.  You only get 2 hits as a team, you lose.  Pretty simple.

The first of those 2 hits came in the top of the 2nd, when Mark Teixeira homered to lead off the innings against Andrew Heaney.  It was his 19th of the year and the only run the Yanks would get.  Brett Gardner had the other hit, a 2-out single, the next inning and that was it for the rest of the game.  The Yanks drew 2 walks over the final 6 innings against Heaney and the Angel relievers and never advanced a runner to second base.

To his credit, Ivan Nova was pretty solid in his second start back from Tommy John.  This one definitely had more of that post-TJS feel than his first start.  Nova had to work around 2 on/1 out in the 1st inning and bases loaded in the 2nd to keep Anaheim off the board.  …

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Game 77 Recap: Angels 4 Yankees 1

Sabathia vs LAA

Ooooooooh, the symbolism. Courtesy of the AP

The Yankees’ first trip out west roughly a month ago netted them 4 wins and 2 losses.  They started this latest one off with a 4-game split in Houston before making their way out to Cali for a 3-game set with the Angels.  The bats weren’t around very often in Texas and they didn’t make the trip out to LA either last night as the Yanks dropped the series opener.

The bar has been set impossibly low for CC Sabathia at this point.  Anything more than 5 innings pitched and less 4 earned runs allowed seems like a major victory.  Sabathia managed to do that last night and still ended up not really pitching that well.  He gave up a run in the bottom of the 1st on a 2-out RBI double by Albert Pujols.  No shame in that, nor is there shame in giving up a home run to Mike Trout, which CC did with 2 outs in the bottom of the 3rd.  …

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Game 76 Quick Recap: HOU 3 NYY 1

The Yankees did themselves a huge favor by coming back to win yesterday afternoon’s game.  They’ve blown more than a few games like that already this season and the failure to win those games is what has them in second place in the division.  The offense no-showing today made yesterday’s win all the more important and allowed them to leave Houston with their heads held at least at normal head-holding position after dropping the series finale to the Astros.

The Yanks jumped out to the early lead in the top of the 3rd, thanks in part to some bad pitching (Stephen Drew walk), worse pitching (wild pitch in the next at-bat), and clutch hitting (Brett Gardner RBI single).  That was all they would get off Houston starter Colin McHugh, however.  He held them to 1 measly hit over the next 5 innings and set the stage for his team’s comeback.

That comeback came slowly and methodically against a pretty solid Michael Pineda.  …

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Game 75 Quick Recap: NYY 9 HOU 6

Well that was an interesting way to win a game.  The Yankees looked like they were going to cruise to a second straight victory after going up 6-0 early.  But Masahiro Tanaka‘s struggles to throw the ball anywhere but the middle of the plate continued and the Astros came storming back before some late-game heroics by the offense pulled the Yanks back ahead for good.

The Yanks have been beasts in the 1st inning this year and they kept that trend going yesterday.  A leadoff double by Brett Gardner and back-to-back walks loaded the bases with nobody out.  After Mark Teixeira popped out to first, Brian McCann took a hanging 1-0 changeup from Houston starter Brett Oberholtzer and crushed it into the right field seats for a grand slam.  Oberholtzer left another change up to Chris Young with Gardner on first in the 2nd inning and Young hit it for a 2-run home run.  Just like that, 6 runs on the board before 6 outs were recorded.…

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Game 74 Quick Recap: NYY 3 HOU 2

Young HR vs HOU

Chris Young, righty masher. Courtesy of Getty Images

There was a large portion of the Yankee fanbase that wasn’t happy when they re-signed Chris Young early in the offseason, myself included.  But Young has been their best bench player by far this year and last night he was the sole reason they came back late and stole a close win to tie this 4-game series.

Early on it looked like the Yanks were headed for the wrong end of a second straight shutout.  They generated a mere 3 hits and 1 walk against Houston starter Vincent Velasquez (great name, BTW) over the first 6 innings and only had a baserunner reach second once (Brett Gardner‘s doubled in the top of the 3rd).  They weren’t swinging and missing as much as they were against Keuchel, but it was a pretty sad showing.

Thankfully Nathan Eovaldi gave them a good start to keep the game close.  Houston got to him in the bottom of the 3rd on a Hank Conger double and Carlos Correa single and in the 6th on a single, stolen base, and bloop hit by Evan Gattis, but other than that Evo was solid.  …

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Game 73 Recap: Astros 4 Yankees 0

Joe vs HOU III

Yankee manager Joe Girardi applauds Joe West for an excellent called strike 3 during last night’s game. Courtesy of Getty Images

The Yankees did end up 5-3 on their latest homestand, which is pretty damn good when you consider that 3-game stretch of butt kickings they took.  They were out in Texas to take on the Astros last night, and Joe decided it would be the perfect opportunity to rest a bunch of hot hitters and play his B-squad against Dallas Keuchel.  Almost impossible to think that that strategy wouldn’t work out.

The game got off to a very ominous start for the undermanned offense.  Leadoff hitter Chris Young (not a typo) singled to open things up, and the next 3 hitters (Headley, A-Rod, Teix) struck out in succession to end the frame.  That was bad enough on its own, but the strike 3 calls on Alex and Teix by home plate umpire Joe West were bogus.  So Keuchel had his A-game working and Joe West was going to make sure the game was another episode of The Joe West Show.  …

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Game 72 Recap: Yankees 10 Phillies 2

Nova vs PHI

The return of Super Nova. Courtesy of Getty Images

The Yankees had gotten WHOMPED heading into this afternoon’s series finale against the Philadelphia Fightin’ Amaros.  Like “34 runs allowed in the last 3 games” type of whomped.  And they had Ivan Nova returning to the mound to make his first Major League start in over a calendar year today, which didn’t spell good things for their chances of ending that trend.  Coming back from TJS is always a tricky process, and typically it’s a pitcher’s command rust that causes the biggest problems early on.  So of course Nova came out and threw 6+ shutout innings.  Of course he did.  That’s just how this season has gone for the Yankees and the offense showed up to support him in a big way to drive a blowout, wrong-side-of-the-sweep-saving win.

Cole Hamels was the Phillies’ starter, which spelled even worse things for the Yankees’ chances coming into the game.  But he was not at his best today and the lineup jumped on him early and often.  …

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Game 71 Recap: Phillies 11, Yankees 6

ny_g_sabathia_b1_400

Are you there Girardi? It’s me, Stacey. You guys lost again last night, but you know that because you were in the dugout watching the horror unfold right before your eyes.

I have something to say, and I am a little scared to say it, but I think it is something that you really need to hear.

Please stop pitching CC Sabathia every five days. He is killing this team and it is time to take him out of the rotation. Actually, the time to take him out of the rotation was probably a couple of weeks ago, but I get it, he’s your “ace” and you probably feel bad about having to call him into your office to give him the news. If you’re worried about doing it, your predecessor Joe Torre, had to do it a few times. Two big examples of former aces who had to be removed from the starting rotation are Mike Mussina and David Cone.…

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