Game 141 Recap: Royals 2 Yankees 0

Jeter Day

Literally the only highlight today. Courtesy of Getty Images

If this afternoon’s series finale performance was Derek Jeter‘s teammates’ way of giving him a retirement gift, they probably could have done a little better.  Shaky starting pitching, piss poor defense, and more lack of timely hitting were all on display as the Yankees fell to the Royals .

For the second straight start Shane Greene struggled with his fastball command.  He walked 2 and threw almost 30 pitches in the 1st inning and surrendered a run each in the 2nd and 3rd, although the aforementioned bad defense was mostly to blame for that.  Greene himself threw a ball away that allowed a run to score with 2 outs in the 2nd, and Carlos Beltran failed to catch a pretty routine Alex Gordon flyball to lead off the 3rd.  Gordon stole second and scored on an Eric Hosmer single when Beltran double-clutched his throw to the plate and Brian McCann bailed on it early to make a throw to second base.  …

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Game 139 Quick Recap: KC 1 NYY 0

This one was a pitchers’ duel for sure, and when that happens the Yankees usually come out on the losing end thanks to their pathetic offense.  That was the case last night as they dropped the series opener to the Royals 1-0.

Michael Pineda wasn’t as sharp or as nasty as he was on August 25th, but he was still very good.  The only run KC got against him came thanks to a Chase Headley error at third base.  His botch put Alcides Escobar at second base with 1 out in the 3rd and Norichika Aoki’s base hit up the middle brought him home.  That was all KC would get.  Pineda only allowed 1 more hit after that and finished 7 strong innings with 11 straight outs.

That 1 run was all the Royals would need, however, as James Shield was even better than Pineda.  The Yankee lineup had no answer for him.  The only real scoring chance they had was when Brett Gardner double and Carlos Beltran got hit by a pitch with 2 outs in the 4th.  …

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Koji Uehorror – Yankees walk it off in the ninth

The Yankees appeared to be heading to another frustrating loss and Koji Uehara trotted in from the bullpen to protect a 4-3 lead. Three batters later, Mark Teixeira had tied it with homer and after a Brian McCann (hard hit) line drive out, Chase Headley hit a bomb to the third deck to win the game in walk-off fashion. Headley was met at home to a frenzied celebration and a Gardner Gatorade bath.

Uehara is really struggling right now and his big out pitch, the split-fingered fastball, is just not sinking and when that pitch doesn’t work, it becomes a batting practice fastball. Living in Maine with the blackout rules, I had to watch the game on NESN and the post game show featured Dennis Eckersley savaging Uehara. Hey, the guy won them a World Series last year, lighten up!

The game to the ninth inning was pretty tough to watch. Stacey Gotsulias was hurling epithets all over Twitter and who could blame her.…

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Game 137 Recap: Yankees 5 Red Sox 1

Hirok vs BOS

Courtesy of Getty Images

Anthony Ranaudo has not been a good starting pitcher very early in his MLB career.  Dom pointed that out before last night’s game.  Hiroki Kuroda has been quietly good yet again this season, and has remained the constant in performance and health while the rest of his rotation brethren fell around him.  Both played up to their 2014 roles last night and the Yankees got a much needed win to even up the series against the Sawx.

Hirok had everything working right from the start.  He struck out the side in the 2nd and 5 in his first 3 innings.  The Sox only got 2 hits against him through 5, and one of those was immediately eliminated when Kuroda picked Daniel Nava off first for the first out of the 5th.  He had great command of his sinker in the strike zone and peppered it for strikes, and a filthy splitter that the Boston hitters couldn’t have touched with a canoe paddle.…

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Tough Night For Greene Comes At The Worst Time

Greene Pitch Plot 9-2-14

Courtesy of Texas Leaguers

That’s Shane Greene‘s pitch plot from last night.  It’s not a pretty one and it perfectly reflects the ugliness of his start.  6 hits, 2 home runs, 3 walks, and 6 earned runs allowed in less than 3 innings.  Fastball command has been what’s made Greene so tough since coming up in early July, but it was his undoing last night.  Lots of sinkers either dropping into the middle of the strike zone or completely out of it.  No movement on his 4-seamer.  That’s a hard way to get by against a Major League lineup and Greene found that out the hard way.

Here’s how bad he was last night in a nutshell.  He threw 67 pitches in his 2.2 innings, 30 of them were sinkers.  He didn’t get a swing and miss on any of them.  Didn’t get a swing and miss on any of his 6 4-seamers either.  Of the 8 outs he did manage to record, not a single one of them came on a groundball.  …

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Game 136 Quick Recap: BOS 9 NYY 4

Greene vs BOS

The face of frustration. And also one that kinda looks like Mcconaughey. Courtesy of Getty Images

Shane Greene has been arguably the shiniest of all the starting pitching diamonds the Yankees have pulled out of the rough as this season has progressed.  Not tonight though.  He was overdue for a stinker and that stinker happened to happen tonight.  Greene was absolutely atrocious and his poor outing all but ended tonight’s series opener against the Red Sox before it really got going.

It was all about fastball command for Greene.  One of the reasons he’s been so good since joining the rotation is his ability to mix his sinker and 4-seamer well and throw both for good pitcher’s strikes on a regular basis.  He couldn’t do that tonight and the Boston hitters teed off on him.  Yoenis Cespedes doubled in a run as the 4th batter of the game in the top of the 1st and Mike Napoli drove home a second with a sacrifice fly.  …

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Game 134 Quick Recap: TOR 2 NYY 0

That about sums it up today.  Nothing more needs to be said.  Personally, I’m glad I spent my day getting my oil changed and making moving runs to the new place.  Watching this play out on Gamecast would have been a million times more aggravating than trying to take apart sturdy kitchen table legs without the allen wrench that I needed.

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Game 133 Quick Recap: Yanks 6 Jays 3

Ellsbury HR vs TOR

Courtesy of the AP

Sorry this didn’t get posted last night.  I was out and about.  If you spent your Friday night the same way, here’s what you missed.

Chris Capuano has quietly turned into the left-handed Hiroki Kuroda since the Yankees traded for him, and he turned in another “good not great” start last night.  6.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 4 K.  He gave up his first run in the bottom of the 4th on a Jose Bautista home run (not the first pitcher to do that), and got burned by some bad defense when he was tiring in the 7th.  With 1 out, 1 run in, and a runner on second, Derek Jeter threw a routine ground ball into the ground for an error.  A Brett Gardner throwing error in the next at-bat, after Capuano had left the game, allowed that third run to score.  Still, 3 runs in 6+ from your 5th starter is plenty good.…

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Game 132 Recap: Tigers 3 Yankees 2

Kelley vs DET

“Stupid glove!!” Courtesy of Getty Images

I’m sure people will say that my quick post about the Yankees beating up on some of the AL’s best aces was a guaranteed jinx for their chances in this afternoon’s series finale against Detroit, and maybe it was.  But then this is why this team has been so maddening to follow and write about this season.  They look like world beaters against one of the best pitchers on the planet one day, they can’t scratch more than 2 across against a rookie and a collection of B-team relievers. That was a big body blow series loss.

I feel like I write the same basic thing about Hiroki Kuroda for every start he makes.  He was pretty good, not great, gave up a few runs on a few hits in a few bad innings and he was out after 6+.  That was the script again today.  2 Detroit singles and a sac fly got them their first run in the 2nd, and Rajai Davis put a good swing on a sinker on the outer half with 2 outs in the 5th to drive home the second run.  …

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