Game 159 Recap: Yankees 6 Orioles 5

Jeter vs BAL

Courtesy of Getty Images

Could it have ended any other way?  Absolutely CLASSIC finish last night at The Stadium, as Derek Jeter went out in style and drove in the game-winning run with a walk-off base hit in the bottom of the 9th to beat the O’s.  Goosebumps, cheers, tears, you had it all going if you saw this one.  What a moment, what a win.  Awesome.

And to think it all started pretty horribly.  With the game barely underway in the top of the 1st, Baltimore took a 2-0 lead on a pair of solo home runs by Nick Markakis and Alejandro De Aza.  5 minutes, 8 pitches, 2 runs.  Just like that Hiroki Kuroda was in an early hole.

Except he wasn’t.  Kuroda was lockdown nasty from those first 2 batters of the game on, allowing only 1 more hit and no walks through 8 innings.  That hit came in the top of the 3rd.  After that, Kuroda retired the final 16 batters he faced, 13 of them on the infield.  …

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Game 158 Recap: Orioles 9 Yanks 5

Greene vs BAL

Pitched more like Browne today. Courtesy of Getty Images

It’s official.  The Yankees will not be participating in the postseason for the second straight year.  In the lone afternoon game of this final home series, they inched ahead early only to have their starting pitching blow up soon after and give away the lead in quick fashion.

It was a misleading start for Shane Greene if you were following on Gameday like I was.  He retired the first 2 innings in order and struck out 2 in the 2nd, but he really didn’t have great command and he was missing some spots.  That started to show through in the 3rd when he loaded the bases with 2 2-out walks before escaping.  It came bursting through in the 4th when the Orioles’ first 2 hitters got on with singles, a Ryan Flaherty bases loaded double gave them 3 runs, and 3 straight 2-out hits (single, triple, bunt single) made it a 6-run inning and ended Greene’s day.  …

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Game 157 Recap: Orioles 5 Yankees 4

McCarthy vs BAL

Courtesy of the AP

Brandon McCarthy has been so good since joining the Yankees that you almost forget he had plenty of starts like last night’s before coming here.  He had them with such regularity for the D’backs that they traded him for 60 cents on the dollar.  That’s why he’s here in the first place.  It’s a tough way to end the year for him and it was a tough near-comeback loss for the Yankees to put them on the brink of official postseason elimination.

McCarthy’s problems came early and often.  He gave up a home run to Kelly Johnson to lead off the 2nd and surrendered another run in that inning on 3 singles.  Nick Markakis took him deep for a 2-run homer on a hanging curveball in the 4th, and Nelson Cruz completed the yardjob trifecta with a leadoff solo shot to left in the 5th.  McCarthy got tagged for 5 runs on 11 hits in 5.1 innings of work.  …

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Game 156 Recap: Yankees 5 Orioles 0

Pineda vs BAL

Courtesy of the AP

Michael Pineda.  That’s all you really need to know about last night’s game because that’s all the Yankees needed to win it.  JV lineup aside, Pineda was positively filthy last night and shut the Baltimore hitters down to lead his team to a 1-hit shutout victory.

It didn’t take long for Pineda to dial it in.  He retired the first 13 Orioles he faced into the 5th inning  and never had a runner reach second base through 7.  He had 1 strikeout in every inning from the second to the 5th and 2 each in the 6th and 7th to give him 8 on the night.  All 8 of then were swinging.  Pineda had everything working: a fastball with late life, a cutter with great movement and location, a slider with biting late action, and even some good changeups.  This was the dream the Yankees had in mind when they made the trade and it was a reality last night.  …

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Game 155 Recap: Yankees 5 Jays 2

Tanaka vs TOR

Great hair. Courtesy of Getty Images

A win this afternoon would have been nice.  It would have given the Yankees a 3-1 series victory in the 4-game weekend set against their division rival.  But in the grand scheme of things it didn’t matter.  What mattered was getting a look at Masahiro Tanaka and seeing how he pitched and how his elbow held up after over 2 months on the DL.  It was an abridged version of a typical Tanaka start, but it was enough to give a little hope at the end of a long, hopeless season.

It didn’t start out great.  The first 2 Jays hitters singled to start the game, and 1 run scored on an Edwin Encarnacion GIDP.  That got Tanaka back on track quickly and he struck out Dioner Navarro on 3 pitches to end the inning.  He gave up only 1 more hit in the next 4 innings and was mixing pitches well to get easy outs.  …

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Game 154 Quick Recap: TOR 6 NYY 3

Jeter-Teix vs TOR

Courtesy of Getty Images

I was in attendance at yesterday’s game.  I guess the Yankees didn’t get the message that they were supposed to keep the winning streak going with me there.  They couldn’t hold an early 1-run lead and got doubled up 6-3 by the Blue Jays.

Toronto actually got on the board first against starter Chris Capuano.  Jose Bautista singled and Edwin Encarnacion doubled him home for a 1-0 lead.  It was the first of many tough times the Yankee pitchers would have against those 2.  Capuano settled down after that and pitched the next 4 innings scoreless, giving his offense the chance to take the lead with 1 run in the 3rd (Jeter single, wild pitch, McCann single) and 1 in the 4th (3 singles in a 4-batter span, the ribbie hit by Francisco Cervelli).

The 2-1 lead only lasted until the 6th, when Capuano walked Bautista to lead off the inning, appeared to tire, and got into big trouble.  …

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Game 153 Quick Recap: NYY 5 TOR 3

Another game, another vintage 2-hit night for Jeter, and another Yankee win.  They took their second in a row against the Jays and their third overall.

It wasn’t a pleasant start for Hiroki Kuroda.  He gave up a double and a 2-run home run in the first 3 batters of the game to put the Yanks in a quick hole. He rebounded from there to turn in a pretty good start, however, tossing 6.2 innings of 3-run ball.  The other run was unearned, he struck out 7, and walked none.  Another textbook Hirok start.

The Yankee offense began chipping away at the deficit immediately, scoring a run in the bottom of the 1st on a Jacoby Ellsbury leadoff double and a Brian McCann RBI single.  They took the lead in the 3rd on a 2-run homer by Ellsbury, and got their insurance cushion in the 4th when Ellsbury grounded out with the bases loaded to score a run and Jose Reyes threw the ball away to score another.…

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Game 152 Recap: Yanks 3 Jays 2

Jeter HR vs TOR

#TBT. Courtesy of Getty Images

If there’s one thing that will put a small positive period on the end of this season, it would be a Derek Jeter final career homestand surge.  And I say that as someone who has completely and publicly turned on Jeter since I started blogging.  Fun fact, I’m going to Saturday’s game.  Going with my family and my girlfriend and my uncle, and I can already tell you there’s a 100% chance that I cry at some point during that game.  No matter what I may think of him now, nothing can change all the love I’ve had for him as a player and enjoyment I’ve had watching him as a fan.  If I get to see a vintage Jeter game like the one he had last night, I’ll have at least 1 fond memory of the 2014 Yankee season.

It was a pitchers’ duel early last night, as it tends to be with the abhorrent Yankee offense, and Shane Greene looked much better than he had in his last few outings.  …

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Game 151 Recap: Yanks 3 Rays 2

Gardner vs TB III

The home run pimp shot that should have been. Courtesy of Getty Images

The pathetic Yankee offense has gone from just plain bad to “so bad it’s funny” to “no seriously, this is just bad!” in the span of about 6 weeks.  They’ve almost jumped the shark at this point.  Not scoring with the bases loaded, almost getting no-hit every other week, and running themselves out of potential scoring chances every few days.  You couldn’t script stuff this bad.  It’s for that reason that I have to start this recap off in a snarky fashion and point out the incredible offensive explosion that was their 3-run night last night.  In typical Yankee fashion, it was just barely enough to win.

In all fairness, it probably should have been at least a 4 or 5-run night.  In the top of the 6th, a Derek Jeter single and a pair of walks to Brian McCann and Mark Teixeira loaded the bases with nobody out.  …

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