Yankees 6, Rays 2: The Zoilo Almonte Show

When I posted the lineups earlier today, I excitedly typed “ZOILO!!!!” near the bottom of the page because it was to be Zoilo Almonte‘s first start as a Yankee.

And why was I excited? Maybe it’s because the name Zoilo sounds like it could be the name of a comic book hero who likes to save damsels in distress, or maybe I just wanted to see someone else out there instead of Vernon Wells who has been flailing away at bad pitches and looking terrible at the plate.

Well, my excitement would be rewarded by Almonte who took advantage of his opportunity in the bright lights of the Bronx and finished the night 3-4 with two singles and a home run that landed in the Yankees’ bullpen.

The Yankees played a little small ball tonight and actually got their first four runs on a sac fly, a bunt ground out, a double play and an infield single. Their fifth run was courtesy of Almonte’s home run in the sixth inning which earned him a Yankee Stadium curtain call.

David Phelps started for the Yanks and threw a lot of pitches but he managed to make it into the sixth inning, having given up only two earned runs on eight hits with one walk and four strikeouts. Tampa scored their runs in the third and fourth innings. Ben Zobrist singled in a run in the third and Luke Scott also singled in a run in the next frame before Phelps worked into and out of a bases loaded jam with only one out. After that, Phelps and the bullpen – Boone Logan, Shawn Kelley, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera, who combined for 3.1 innings of scoreless, one-hit ball with four strikeouts – shut them down. Kelley, who has been a strikeout machine so far this season accounted for two of those four strikeouts.

Tampa’s starter Roberto Hernandez, gave up five runs on nine hits and now has given up five or more runs in five starts this season.

So the Yankees evened the series at one apiece with two more games to play. It was announced after the game that Ivan Nova will be starting Sunday’s game.

Some notes:

  • Lyle Overbay, who knocked in the Yankees’ sixth run of the night, now has 33 RBI this season.
  • Robinson Cano has 44.
  • The Yankees are now 30-5 in games in which they score the first run.

Continue reading Yankees 6, Rays 2: The Zoilo Almonte Show

Quick recap: Rays 8, Yankees 3

One of my favorite shows of the past 10 years was 30 Rock. In case you didn’t watch it or hear of it, though I’m not sure that’s even possible, it starred Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan and Alec Baldwin and itt took place behind the scenes of a late night comedy sketch show. Hey, just like the one Fey was head writer for in the late 1990 – early 2000s. Amazing.

Anyway, on 30 Rock, when things weren’t going quite the way she wanted them to go, Fey’s character Liz Lemon would say, “Blergh.”

Well, that was my reaction to tonight’s game.

The Rays were able to score their runs by actually getting hits – some of the extra bases variety. Not the Yankees, they scored theirs it was via a wild pitch, sac fly and a single.

Andy Pettitte wasn’t sharp and gave up five runs in 6.2 innings of work.

Evan Longoria did the most damage against the Yanks. He finished the night with a pair of home runs and when he hit the sac fly that scored Sean Rodriguez, he collected his 500th career RBI.

Matt Moore picked up his ninth win of the season and with this victory, the Rays are now just a game and half behind the Yankees for third place in the Division.
Continue reading Quick recap: Rays 8, Yankees 3

Limp Yankees lose the nightcap to the Dodgers

Chris Capuano returned from the disabled list to face the New York Yankees. Apparently the rest was good for him. Capuano entered the game with a 1.515 WHIP and a 5.50 ERA. He was giving up 10.1 hits per nine innings and 3.5 walks per nine. All the Yankees could manage against him were three singles and no walks in six scoreless innings and then managed only one more base runner via a hit by pitch against two relievers. Phil Hughes continued his home Mr. Hyde act and gave up ten hits and a hit by pitch in six innings of work and gave up five runs on the way to a final score of, 6-0. The tone of this one was set in the first inning and once that frame was over, the game was effectively over.

Hughes reached a 1-2 count on lead-off batter, Skip Schumaker, and then promptly left a fastball in the middle of the plate for a sharp single. Yasiel Puig then set down a perfect bunt for a base hit. Hughes again got to a two-strike count on Adrian Gonzalez and threw another fat fastball for another single that plated Schumaker. The conga line continued as Hanley Ramirez singled to a wide open second-base hole created by Robinson Cano playing Ramirez up the middle. Puig scored. Four straight hits to start the game by Hughes and two runs were already in. Andre Ethier flew out to Ichiro Suzuki for the first out but then Jerry Hairston, Jr. hit a seeing eye single to load the bases. Catcher, Tim Federowicz then hit into a double play to end the threat.

Hughes had given up two runs, but had gotten out of a bigger jam and that seemed to give the Yankees a chance against a weak-armed pitcher like Capuano. But again, the tone was set in the first inning. Brett Gardner looked at two straight 86 MPH fastballs right down the middle and then, of course, swung and missed at a sweeping slider out of the strike zone. Jayson Nix also looked at a meatball right over the plate before making an easy out. Cano then grounded out weakly to first.

It appeared that the Yankees had a plan to try to make Capuano work since he usually struggles with command. But that plan worked against them as they would wait through fastballs to get behind in the count and then either strike out (four times) or hit weak contact. It was one of those games where the Yankees could have played seventeen innings and never score a run. Naw, that could never happen. Wait.

The Yankees did have one chance in the fourth when the were still only down by a 3-o score. Jayson Nix led off the inning with a single. Robinson Cano then laced a ball into the right-center gap but Andre Ethier cut the ball off nicely and then threw a rainbow to second to just nab Cano trying to get a double. The replay appeared to show that Cano’s foot got the bag before he was tagged. But nevertheless, the out changed the inning and with a runner on third with one out, Vernon Wells and Thomas Neal made sure Nix died there with a pop up and a long out to center respectively.

Meanwhile, Hughes continued to throw bad pitches at the worst times. Two doubles led to a run in the third. A hit batsman, a stolen base, a single and a sacrifice fly led to two more runs in the fifth and the Yankees were going nowhere. Hughes would pitch one more inning and Adam Warren mopped up the last three innings. The only knock on Warren’s outing was a long, opposite field homer by phenom Puig.

Vernon Wells was again invisible in the double header. It is probably pointless to point out that after his zero for eight performance in today’s double-header, in Wells’ last 21 games, he has the grand slash line of: .103/.112/.127 and has been on base all of ten times in 89 plate appearances. He has walked once and has one extra base hit. To see his name in the lineup and at cleanup, no less, is a daily astound moment.

Zoilo Almonte did get his first Major League at-bat in the ninth as a pinch hitter. It was encouraging to see him hit a smash the opposite field, but the ball was hit right at the third baseman to put him out.

The Yankees did managed to split the double-header, but boy that was a limp second game.

It was nice to see you, Donnie Baseball. Continue reading Limp Yankees lose the nightcap to the Dodgers

Yankees 6, Angels 5, and panic attacks 500

Um…

You’ll have to excuse me if this recap is all over the place but that ninth inning made me have a legitimate panic attack. And I know I shouldn’t let baseball affect me this much but I cannot help it. In fact, my heart is still beating out of my chest.

So let’s talk about the good stuff in this game first, shall we?

How about the offense scoring six runs? That was nice to see and a little shocking to witness after the past four games when they could only muster two runs in each game and then stop scoring.

And that five run third inning was pretty cool. Travis Hafner got it started with a three-run shot to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead, something the Yankees hadn’t seen since about 1987. Just kidding. Like I said it has only been about four days or so. Then Lyle Overbay joined in on the fun with an RBI double and Jayson Nix hit an RBI single to put the Yankees up 5-0.

In the top of the eighth, Vernon Wells put the Yankees up 6-0 with a sacrifice fly. Surely, the Yankees couldn’t blow a six run lead going into the bottom of the ninth, could they?

Before I get to that, let’s talk about CC Sabathia. Jack Curry of the YES Network tweeted a pretty cool stat about Sabathia: “In the last 3 games he’s started while team was on losing streak of 5 or more games, he’s allowed 1 run in 25 1/3 IP.” Today, he gave up two runs but they weren’t until the ninth inning and that’s because he put two runners on base and David Robertson couldn’t get more than one out and Mariano Rivera had some troubles of his own.

After Robertson couldn’t get the second out of the inning, Joe Girardi called on Mariano Rivera to clean up the mess Sabathia and Robertson had gotten the Yankees into.

And after Rivera got the second out of the inning, the Angels hit three bloop singles to plate four runs. Yes, after leading 6-0 in the bottom of the ninth, Sabathia, Robertson and Rivera combined to put the tying and winning runs on base with Mike Trout coming up to bat.

After walking Trout to load the bases, Mo struck out Albert Pujols to end the game.

And exhale…

So the Yankees finally pick up a win, they’re finally coming home and we don’t have to deal with any west coast nonsense for a while. Hey, it’s three wins in one! Continue reading Yankees 6, Angels 5, and panic attacks 500

Quick recap: Oakland 6, Yankees 4

Here’s my reaction to CC Sabathia‘s pitching performance tonight:

sadpuppyeyes

Oh and here’s my reaction to the Yankees not being able to capitalize on their bases loaded, one out situation in the first inning against Bartolo Colon:

facepalm

One final reaction, to the tease of the eighth and ninth innings when the Yankees attempted to mount a comeback but ultimately fell short:

dawson-crying (1) Continue reading Quick recap: Oakland 6, Yankees 4

Chris Stewart and Brett Gardner help Yankees squeak past M’s, 2-1

Felix Hernandez showed up today in a big way for Mariners. Lucky for the Yankees, David Phelps also brought his A game. The King did precisely what he’s paid to do. He gave the Mariners seven innings of one run baseball, allowing just one run on five hits with two walks while striking out seven. Felix looked a little shaky in the beginning of the game. His pitch count was in the forties after just two innings. But he settled down and dominated the Yankees, as he always does. David Phelps matched Hernandez almost pitch for pitch. He gave the Yankees six innings of one run baseball, allowing three hits and three walks with six strikeouts. Continue reading Chris Stewart and Brett Gardner help Yankees squeak past M’s, 2-1

Game 61 Mariners 4 Yankees 1: What The … ?

Wells vs SEA

I don’t even know where to start with this one.  It’s not like we’ve never seen the Yankees lose a game when their offense didn’t show up and their starting pitcher had one bad inning.  But if there was a game where you could have bet money on that not happening and felt good about it, it was last night’s game.  I guess that’s why they play baseball on the field and not in my game thread previews, huh?

Let’s start with the offense, which was absolutely putrid after the 1st inning.  They turned a Brett Gardner leadoff double into a run on a pair of groundouts (not a good sign), and made Jeremy Bonderman work hard through 2 innings before disappearing completely.  After Vernon Wells got picked off second base with 0 outs in the 2nd, the Yankees didn’t get another hit off of Bonderman until the 5th and didn’t have anybody reach second base again until Kevin Youkilis doubled in the top of the 9th.  As a team they mustered just 4 hits and 2 walks and half of that output came in the first 2 innings.  Disgraceful.

Kuroda didn’t look super sharp through 3 innings but managed to keep runs off the board.  It all fell apart for him in the bottom of the 4th, however, and that was enough to give Seattle the win.  You’ll live with a 2-out double by Michael Morse.  What you can’t live with is back-to-back 2-out walks to the 7 and 8 hitters in the batting order and a 2-out, 2-run single by Brendan Ryan.  Kuroda struggled to locate his slider in the strike zone or his sinker down in the strike zone in the 4th inning and kudos to the Seattle lineup for taking advantage.  You just don’t expect to see it happen against crummy hitters like that.

So no offense against a pitcher making just his second MLB start in 3 years and the 1A starter in the rotation giving up a 2-out rally to the bottom of the opposing batting order.  Yeah, that’s not a good way to lose.

Game Notes:

– Gardner was on base twice at the top with his leadoff double and a walk.  Reid Brignac was the only other player to get on base twice.

– Brignac was also involved in the Wells pick-off in the 2nd on a failed bunt attempt.  I don’t know if that was his call or Joe’s, but anytime you’re bunting to move runners up for Chris Stewart you need to re-evaluate your decision.

– The 2-6 spots in the Yankee lineup (Cano, Teix, Hafner, Youkilis, Wells) were a combined 1-19 w/ 1 BB, 1 RBI, and 4 K.

Preston Claiborne‘s BB-less streak continues.  It’s now up to 18.1 after his 1.2 scoreless innings of relief last night.

(Photo courtesy of Getty Images) Continue reading Game 61 Mariners 4 Yankees 1: What The … ?