Game 119 Recap: Orioles 5 Yankees 3

For the early part of tonight’s game, the story was Michael Pineda.  He was back, he looked really good, and he was mowing down the Baltimore lineup.  Then the Yankee lineup did its usual disappearing act, Joe made a couple of questionable decisions, and the bullpen gagged away another late lead.

To call Pineda “really good” as I did above was an understatement for the first 4 innings.  Pineda was perfect.  12 up, 12 down, 45 pitches to do so, and 4 strikeouts.  He had everything working.  4-seamers and cutters in the low 90s, lotta early strikes, swing-and-miss slider.  He wasn’t going to his changeup much, but he didn’t really need it to be effective the first 2 times through the order.

The Yankees scored 3 runs in the game and had 6 hits as a team.  2 of the runs and half the hits came in the top of the 3rd, when Stephen Drew doubled with 1 out and Francisco Cervelli smoked a 2-run home run off Chris Tillman on a 3-2 curveball.  …

Read more

Game 118 Quick Recap: Orioles 11 Yankees 3

Yankee Loss vs BAL

Courtesy of the AP

Well that sucked.

What started out as a promising night slowly turned into a very ugly loss for the Yankees last night.  They had a run on the board within the first 2 batters of the game thanks to a Brett Gardner leadoff triple and a Derek Jeter RBI groundout, and they had 2 more in the 2nd after the Orioles botched what looked like a failed double steal about as badly as one team can and both Carlos Beltran and Chase Headley scampered around to score.  Then no more runs.  None.  Only 1 more hit after the 2nd inning.

The O’s did what you expect them to do against Chris Capuano.  4 runs in 6 innings, the go-ahead ones on a monster Chris Davis home run in the 5th.  From there they continued to make the long ball work for them as Nelson Cruz swatted a 2-run homer off Adam Warren in the 7th and Jonathan Schoop smacked a 3-run shot off Chase Whitley in the 8th to put the nail in the coffin.  …

Read more

Game 117 Recap: Indians 4 Yankees 1

Kuroda vs CLE

Courtesy of Getty Images

The combination of Mark Teixeira back in the lineup and Corey Kluber back in the dugout should have been cause for confidence in Yankeeland.  After getting shut out on Saturday afternoon, they needed a win today to secure the series in their favor, and with less than 50 games remaining each win becomes even more important in relation to the playoff races.  Once again the bats no-showed, however, and they head back onto the road to face Baltimore losers of 2 of 3.

Hiroki Kuroda got the ball today and in short, he was pretty bad.  He couldn’t bury his splitter or put his sinker where he wanted to with regularity and the Indians put 3 hits together for a run on him in the top of the 1st.  A Jason Kipnis double and a pair of sac plays plated a second run in the 3rd, and in the 5th he completely lost a sinker and hit a batter on a 1-2 pitch, loaded the bases with 2 outs, and left after walking in a run.  …

Read more

Game 116 Quick Recap: Indians 3 Yankees 0

ONeill Plaque

“Paul Oh-Neeiill! Clap, clap, clapclapclap!” Courtesy of Getty Images

It was Paul O’Neill Day at The Stadium this afternoon.  Before the game, the Yankees held a ceremony honoring him and unveiled his new plaque out in Monument Park.  Safe to say that was the high point and only Yankee-related highlight on the day.

Corey Kluber has been the unquestioned ace of the Cleveland staff this season and an absolute stud.  When the season ends he’s going to find himself near the top of a lot of Cy Young ballots and he showed why today.  He held the less-than-100% Yankee lineup scoreless over 6 innings and only allowed 4 hits, 1 for extra bases, while striking out 10.  About the only good thing the Yanks did against him was force him from the game after those 6 innings and 109 pitches.

Brandon McCarthy was very good again in his 6th start in pinstripes, pitching into the 7th and striking out 8 while not walking a single batter.  …

Read more

Game 114 Recap: Yankees 1 Tigers 0

Headley-Ichiro vs DET

Courtesy of Getty Images

One of the higher-ups at my company is from Detroit and so naturally is a Tigers fan.  We talked about this series on Monday afternoon and I half-jokingly told him that if the betting line was 10 total runs for the Yankees in the 4 games, I’d take the under.  They didn’t beat that by much, managing 11 in the 4-game set, but that 11 was enough to take 3 of 4 from the AL Central leaders thanks to outstanding starting pitching and that helped hold the Tiger offense to 6 runs in 39 innings.  Shane Greene got the start in this afternoon’s series finale and turned in one of the best starts of the year by a pitcher not named Tanaka.

Greene’s sinker/slider combo was as sharp as it’s been all season and he made a Miggy-less lineup look helpless in his 8(!!) shutout(!!!!) innings.  He was rarely in trouble, and when he was he worked out of it with well-executed pitches and well-timed double play balls.  …

Read more

Game 113 Recap: Yanks 5 Tigers 1

Headley HR vs DET

Insert obligatory “It’s Headley!” reference here. Courtesy of Getty Images

The Yankees were 1-1 against recent Cy Young Award winners in the first half of this series.  Last night they improved to 2-1 and set themselves up for an improbable series victory as Chris Capuano outdueled Justin Verlander and the offense provided some late insurance.

Capuano was positively brilliant in his 6.2 innings of work.  The only run he allowed came in the top of the 1st thanks to a Derek Jeter error, a wild pitch, and a Miguel Cabrera sacrifice fly.  After that it was smooth sailing for the veteran lefty thanks to his his changeup.  He stifled the Tiger lineup with it all night and limited them to 5 measly hits while striking out 8 and walking 1.

Verlander looked like his old self early, working the first run through the order perfectly.  It wasn’t until Jacoby Ellsbury singled to center with 2 outs in the 4th that the Yankees got their first base runner, but once they did that they did just enough against the new Verlander to take back the lead.  …

Read more

Game 112 Quick Recap: DET 4 NYY 3

Brian McCann, Hiroki Kuroda

Courtesy of the AP

The need for extra relief help is obvious when you look at the kind of length the Yankees have been getting from their rotation and got last night from Hiroki Kuroda.  But when it gets to extra innings and your last available option is Matt Daley, the writing’s kinda on the wall.  Daley gave up the game-losing dinger in the 12th to spoil a very winnable game.

I’m not sure how fair it is to reference the Yankees’ history against David Price when half their starting lineup was playing in the NL last year, but those new guys seemed to do just fine against him.  Brian McCann popped a solo HR off him in the 2nd and Martin Prado did the same in the 5th for 2 of the 3 New York runs.  Jacoby Ellsbury doubled in the third in the 3rd.

Hirok gave up a run in the 1st on a pair of singles and a sac fly, but was otherwise cruising early.  …

Read more

Game 111 Recap: Yankees 2 Tigers 1

McCarthy vs DET

Brandon McCarthy, staff ace. Courtesy of Getty Images

The pitching news has been coming fast and furious over the last 2 days.  Pineda close to returning, Tanaka resuming throwing, Phelps disabled listing, and the Tigers coming to town with the last 3 AL Cy Young Award winners lined up.  Mark Teixeira being a late scratch made things easier for Max Scherzer, who had been on a really strong run coming into tonight.  He was without his A-game tonight though, and the Yankees squeaked out enough runs to make an excellent team pitching effort stand up.

It was an uneven early going for both sides of the pitching matchup.  Brandon McCarthy needed 34 pitches to tip-toe around loaded bases in the top of the 2nd, which he did by striking out the side.  Scherzer put 2 men on with 2 outs in a scoreless 1st, walked the leadoff hitter in the 2nd, and had 3 straight singles to start the bottom of the 3rd turn into 2 runs against him on a Jacoby Ellsbury sac fly and a Brian McCann RBI single.  …

Read more

Game 110 Recap: NYY 8 BOS 7

Gardner HR vs BOS

Brett Gardner, 24/7 power threat. Courtesy of Getty Images

It was a hideous start to tonight’s game for the Bombers, the kind of start that immediately made you throw up your hands and say “here we go again.”  Only we didn’t go there again.  The offense fought back a couple times and took the lead late, and the bullpen stepped up to cover for a very short and very ineffective starting performance on the way to a satisfying win.

If you’ve watched enough David Phelps starts, you know it doesn’t take long to know when he doesn’t have it.  I knew tonight was one of those games about 8 pitches in.  He couldn’t hit the outside corner against righties, he left too many pitches over the plate to lefties, and got touched up for 3 runs in a 32-pitch 1st inning.  It was more of the same in the 2nd when Dustin Pedroia took him yard for a 2-run homer and that was all Joe needed to see.  

Read more