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.  …

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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.  …

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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.  …

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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.  

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Game 109 Recap: Yanks 6 Sox 4

Teix HR vs BOS

Courtesy of Getty Images

Last night was an ugly start to what should have been an advantageous series for the Yankees.  Against a Red Sox lineup that has struggled to produce all year and a rookie starter making his MLB debut, they went down relatively quietly in a 4-3 loss.  They had a rookie of their own in Shane Greene on the hill this afternoon in game 2 of the series, and while he was far from great he got enough run support early and bullpen support late for a much needed win.

Greene worked a 1-2-3 1st thanks to a favorable strike zone, but quickly got into trouble in the 2nd when Yoenis Cespedes singled in his first at-bat as a Red Sock and Yankee killer extraordinaire Mike Napoli clubbed a 2-run home run over the Green Monster to make it 2-0.  Greene would surrender a third run in that inning and then settled down somewhat.  He didn’t give up any more runs and did strike out the side in the 4th, but the Sox hitters worked him hard and he was yanked after only 4.2 innings and 96 pitches.…

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Game 107 Quick Recap: TEX 3 NYY 2

Gardner K vs TEX

“Son of a biscuit!! Fiddlesticks!!” Courtesy of Getty Images

How quickly things have gotten back to normal in Yankeeland, eh?  Last night’s series finale in Texas was straight out of page 1 of the “Stereotypical 2014 Yankee Loss” catalog.  The offense did a whole lot of nothing and had its runs generated by the 2 guys at the top of the order who are supposed to be the table setters, the starting pitching fell victim to 1 bad inning and ended up turning in an outing that wasn’t quite good enough to win and just bad enough to lose, and of course there was some bad infield defense that contributed to the aforementioned big inning.

Hiroki Kuroda got the start and pitched a pretty typical Kuroda start for this season.  His final line was 7 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 1 BB,4 K, and his inability to keep his stuff down in the zone led to him getting hit big in the 1st, when he gave up hits to 4 of the first 5 batters he faced and 5 in all that accounted for all 3 Texas runs.  …

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Game 105 Quick Recap: TEX 4 NYY 2

David Phelps

Courtesy of the AP

It wasn’t a West Coast game, but it was still too late for me last night.  I tapped out in my armchair sometime around 9:30.  If you’re like me (note: don’t be like me) and missed any or all of last night’s game, here’s what you missed.

Brett Gardner was the Yankee offense.  All of it.  He hit solo home runs off Yu Darvish in the 3rd and 5th innings and those were all the runs New York would get.  Darvish was much sharper than he was at The Stadium last week and he held the rest of the lineup scoreless over 7 innings while striking out 8 and walking 1.  They got some hits off him, just never when they really needed one.

David Phelps had a pretty solid start going through the first 4 innings and had a 2-run leading heading into the bottom of the 5th.  That was where the game ended.  With 2 outs and a runner on first, the heart of the Ranger order went single, single, double to tie the game.  …

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Game 104 Recap: Blue Jays 5 Yankees 4

Cervelli Tag vs TOR

Courtesy of Getty Images

The Yankees had their 4-game winning streak snapped yesterday afternoon.  They were looking to prevent their post-ASB series winning streak from ending today, but ended up giving up runs at inopportune times one time too many for their offense to come back and fell 5-4 to Toronto, who now has a winning streak at The Stadium going.

It was all about escaping early on for New York starter Shane Greene.  He worked around runners on second and third with no outs in the top of the 1st with only 1 run against him, erased a 1-out infield single in the 2nd with a well-timed double play ball, and needed Zelous Wheeler to nail Dan Johnson at the plate to make it out of the 4th scoreless.

J.A. Happ came into this game with a 6.27 ERA on the road this season, but you wouldn’t know it with the way he tamed the Yankee lineup.  They were taking a lot of bad swings against him, letting good pitches to hit go by, and straight up botching pitches down the pipe and popping them up through 4.  …

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Game 102 Quick Recap: NYY 6 TOR 4

Ichiro HR vs TOR

Courtesy of Getty Images

While the end results were good for the Yankees, the 4-game series with the Rangers was hardly an exercise in productive offense.  The Yankees scored 10 runs in 37 innings over the 4 games, the Rangers just 8.  Offense wasn’t the problem at all in tonight’s opener against the Blue Jays.  The runs were coming early and often from both sides and it was a big blow from a most unexpected source that was the deciding factor for the Bombers.

Hiroki Kuroda was not at his best tonight.  He put multiple runners on base in the 1st, 3rd, and 4th innings and had trouble getting his sinker to sink.  Where he struggled the most was against Jose Bautista.  Kuroda threw him a non-sinking 3-0 sinker in the top of the 1st with 2 men on and Bautista used his green light to smack it into the left field seats for a home run.  In the 3rd it was the slider that betrayed Kuroda, as he left one up and over the plate enough for Bautista to extend his arms and hit a solo shot to left.…

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