Game 144 Quick Recap: Yanks 5 Rays 4

Young HR vs TB

Courtesy of the AP

A more classic “if you turned this one off early, you missed out” game this could not have been.  This game was brutal for the first 8 innings.  But the Yankees kept plugging and turned a near no-hitter loss into a dramatic, improbable walk-off win in the span of 3 outs.

Let’s just skip right to the good part.  Bottom 8th, 1 out, Chris Young at the plate.  Tampa starter Alex Cobb had no-hit the Yanks up to that point, allowing only 2 walks the inning prior.  Young doubled into left-center off him to break up the no-no and end his night, and Joe went to the ailing Martin Prado to try to put a run on the board against reliever Brad Boxberger.  Prado put 2 on with a big 2-run home run on a hanging changeup to make it a 4-2 deficit.

Jake McGee came on for the save in the 9th and immediately hit Chase Headley (in the grill) to put the leadoff man on.  …

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Game 143 Recap: Yanks 8 Rays 5

Teix-McCann vs TB

Courtesy of Getty Images

A sputtering lineup can ill afford to lose 2 of its hottest hitters, yet that’s where the Yankees found themselves again last night heading into the middle game of their 3-game set against Tampa.  Then things got worse when Carlos Beltran was scratched before the start of the game.  Or did they?  With a lineup featuring Ichiro Suzuki in the 6-spot, the Yankees erased an early deficit and got the win they needed to keep their playoff hopes alive for another day.

The deficit came swiftly and without warning from the Ray lineup against starter Chris Capuano.  Ben Zobrist led of the game with a single after the crack Yankee infield failed to catch a foul pop up, and it quickly became apparent that Capuano had nothing.  He got 1 out, went walk-double-walk-single-single to the next 5 batters and his night was over.  Joe, not wanting the game to slip away that early, pulled the plug on Cap and went to his ‘pen and it was the right decision.  …

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Game 142 Recap: Rays 4 Yanks 3

Jeter K vs TB

Courtesy of Getty Images

If the Yankees were going to make even the most token of attempts to hang around in the Wild Card race, they were going to have to stop losing close games.  They opened a 3-game series against the Rays last night, and naturally they did exactly that, falling 4-3 thanks to some more self-inflicted offensive wounds.

Before we get to those, let’s talk about Hiroki Kuroda‘s night.  It started with a strikeout of the side in the top of the 1st and the appearance that he had his A-game going.  Then the top of the 2nd started and all that went out the window.  James Loney homered to lead off the inning to put the Rays out front.  In the 3rd they strung 4 singles together in a 5-batter span to put 2 more on the board and hit 3 straight with 1 out in the 4th to make it 4-0 and end Kuroda’s night.  Whatever command he had in the 1st disappeared after that inning.  …

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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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