Yankee bats go silent for second night in a row, fall to Rays 5-1

Not Bart's night (photo c/o Getty)

Bartolo Colon had his worst start since May 23 against Toronto — and perhaps his worst start of the season — throwing 5 2/3 innings of five-run ball and allowing a season-high 14 baserunners, as the Yankees lost for the fourth time in their last five games, falling to the Rays 5-1. Colon — who’s obviously been superb this season — not only seemed to be missing his spots, but the Rays were also clearly ready for him, jumping all over his four-seamer, which got hammered to the tune of 1.3282 linear weights and only generated one swing-and-miss.

Adding insult to injury for the Yanks, on the complete opposite end of the spectrum the Rays’ Jeff Niemann threw perhaps his best game of the season (however, only third-best by game score), stifling the Yankees over 7 1/3 innings.

While there’s no shame in losing to a team as talented as the Rays, it’s been a bit frustrating just how much of a thorn the team has been in the Yankees’ side over the last season and a half.… Click here to read the rest

Bullpen blows gem by Burnett as Yanks fall to Royals in extras 4-3

Our butts are hurt too, A.J. (photo c/o The AP)

This about sums last night’s game up.

A.J. Burnett tossed seven innings of one-hit, one-run ball against the Royals on Wednesday night (the one hit being a solo home run by Eric Hosmer), and left the game with the Yankees up 2-1. Unfortunately neither Joba Chamberlain (due to having pitched thrice in four games) nor Rafael Soriano (shoulder inflammation) were available in this contest, leaving the Yankee bullpen a tad short. David Robertson couldn’t hold it down in the eighth, as one of his 8,000 walks finally came back to bite him in the form of a Wilson Betemit (argh) two-out game-tying single.

In fact, free passes were the theme of the night for the Yankee pitchers. Though the Royals only picked up four hits, the Yankees handed out a season-high 11(!) walks to Kansas City. Most critically, Buddy Carlyle walked the leadoff hitter in both the 10th and 11th innings, and both times the Royals wound up scoring.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees put eleven men on base but lose another CC start

Coming into this game, the Yankees were averaging 5.5 runs on 8.3 hits and 4 walks per game. Tuesday night the Yankees collected eight hits and three walks — more than enough offense to put some runs on the board — but managed only two runs, well below the efficiency they’ve shown this season.

That’s because they played a terrible game. Robinson Cano and Jorge Posada were both picked off between first and second in the same inning. Andruw Jones was gunned down at the plate on a shallow sac-fly. The team hit into one double play, and left six men on base. The Bombers managed only one hit with a runner in scoring position, and an impressive solo homer from Mark Teixeira.

Adding to the frustration, the Yankees managed to lose yet another CC Sabathia start. If victories in Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon starts are gifts to be accumulated so early in the season, then any start from CC is pretty much a must win right now because everyone believes Colon and Garcia will break down at some point, probably sooner rather than later.… Click here to read the rest

Negative storylines from the 2010 season

Last Wednesday we took a look at some of the positive storylines that emerged from the Yankees’ 2010 season. Unfortunately, with the good comes the bad, and while we’ll try to refrain from being too morose, any analysis of the Yankee season wouldn’t be complete without harping on some of the team’s shortcomings.

Negative storylines from 2010

After a hot start, Phil Hughes struggled a bit in his first full season in the rotation. While the overall takeaway from Phil Franchise’s first full year in the starting rotation should ultimately be colored in optimism, as discussed in the aforelinked post, Phil’s performance began to tail off pretty significantly after getting off to as hot a start as anyone in baseball. Through his first 11 starts, Phil pitched to a sterling 2.70 ERA (while holding batters to a .577 OPS), an outstanding mark any way you slice it, but a number particularly impressive in the battlezone known as the American League East.… Click here to read the rest

Rangers throttle Yankees for third straight game; 10-3 win puts Bombers on brink of elimination

Game 4 of the 2010 American League Championship Series was basically a microcosm of everything that went wrong for the Yankees at one point or another this season: A.J. Burnett had a lousy start (though was actually one out away from a surprisingly fantastic start), the offense excruciatingly squandered a seemingly earth-shattering number of opportunities to score runs and the bullpen threw gasoline on a fire, as the Rangers beat the Yankees 10-3 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead.

This was the fourth straight game in which the Rangers thoroughly outplayed the Yankees, and save for that miraculous eighth inning in Game 1, would’ve represented a decisive sweep by Texas. The Rangers have led in a ridiculous 30 of the 36 innings the two teams have played, and have run out to a four run-plus lead at one point or another in all four games. Texas has scored a whopping 30 runs, for an absurd 7.5 runs per game. This has been a postseason ass-whupping the likes of which the Yankees really haven’t seen since the 2002 ALDS against the Angels, who scored 7.8 runs per game in their four-game obliteration of the Bombers while hitting .376/.406/.624 (though Cleveland did hit .315/.417/.524 in the 2007 ALDS).… Click here to read the rest

Hughes as bad as Lewis is good as Rangers thump Yankees 7-2; knot ALCS at one game apiece

The Yankees’ starting pitcher sunk the team in a seemingly insurmountable hole early for the second straight game, only this time the Bombers were unable to rally back, falling to the Rangers 7-2 to knot the ALCS at one game apiece.

Phil Hughes just flat-out didn’t have it, getting blasted for seven runs on 10 hits and three walks in four-plus innings, the second straight start four-inning outing recorded by a Yankee starter. At one point the TBS crew mentioned that seven of the 10 hits Hughes gave up came with two strikes, which is just inexcusable. Hughes’ bugaboo all season was finishing hitters off, and his inability to do so came back with a vengeance in this contest. Additionally, I don’t know what’s going on with the Yankees’ starters, but a day after CC Sabathia turned in his worst outing of the season Hughes followed suit, turning in his worst outing of the season. So much for the Rangers being disadvantaged by scarcely having seen these guys this season.… Click here to read the rest

New York Stranded Baserunners return with a vengeance; thwart fantastic return outing by Pettitte in 4-3 extra-inning loss

Joe Girardi decided to rest both Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez for this one, and I can’t say I had a problem with the move. Having already won the series in Baltimore, getting some extra rest for Tex — who has remained in the lineup despite a big toe that has pretty much completely sapped his production (.211/.343/.246 in September) — and Alex seemed pretty defensible. It was also basically the equivalent of Girardi saying “While I’d like to win, I can deal with a loss here.”

Unfortunately for Girardi and the Yankees, they actually held a lead for much of this game and were poised to win, bringing Mariano Rivera in to protect a 3-2 lead in the ninth. Mo proceeded to blow a save for the second time in his last four appearances, giving up a game-tying leadoff home run to Luke Scott. Mariano was able to escape the inning without further damage and send the game to extras, but the Yankees couldn’t come through in this one.… Click here to read the rest

A-God

Coming off a stretch of some of their ugliest baseball in more than a decade, the Yankees — not to mention the fanbase — were hoping that the team could restore some semblance of normalcy against the Baltimore Orioles and starter Kevin Millwood, who they’d disposed of rather handily earlier this season.

Of course, Millwood was apparently having none of that, making Buck Showalter look like a genius — not to mention me eerily prophetic once again in my Series Preview (“I guess Buck is counting on the Yankees having one of their patented ‘we-should-really-be-beating-the-heck-out-of-[Insert Mediocre Starter]-but-instead-will-completely-forget-how-to-play-baseball’ games.”) — in tossing seven innings of one-run ball against New York. The one run came on a second-inning bomb off the bat of one Alex Rodriguez, who has rather quietly been on fire since returning from the DL earlier this month, hitting a beautiful .341/.391/.683 in September.

Now I’ve been able to look past a lot of the Yankees’ poor play of late primarily due to the level of pitching they’ve had to deal with.… Click here to read the rest

Dan Johnson beats Phil Hughes as Tampa leapfrogs the New York Stranded Baserunners and Compromised Lineup back into first

For the second time in his last two starts at Tropicana Field Phil Hughes was victimized by a two-out go-ahead home run while also surrendering all of his runs via the home run to the same batter. Last time around it was a Matt Joyce three-run bomb, this time a pair of go-ahead two-run home-runs by Dan Johnson that turned out to be the deciding factor in a 4-3 Rays win, the third straight 1-run game these teams have played.

This outing was essentially a microcosm of Phil Hughes‘ season. Hughes’ final line was probably about what one would’ve hoped for (6 2/3 IP, 4 ER), but the inability to keep the Rays — and specifically Dan Johnson — at bay was a killer. Hughes was incredible through the first four innings (April and May), retiring all 12 batters he faced including striking out the side in the third. Staked to a 1-0 lead — which really should have been greater, but more on that in a moment — Hughes gave up Dan Johnson‘s first go-ahead two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth (June/July), sending the Rays to a 2-1 lead.… Click here to read the rest