Tag Archives: Trevor Cahill

Crisp, Sizemore beat Yankees 6-4 in extras as Yanks lose first series at home since early June

Hurts, doesn't it? (Frank Franklin II/AP)

First we had an earthquake in New York City. Then all sorts of panic about a possible hurricane this weekend. And now, following their 6-4 victory last night, the A’s have won two games in a row and earned a series victory against the Yankees for the first time since 2007. I’ll let you decide which of these three is the truest sign of the apocalypse.

Kidding aside, this was a rather unfortunate game for the Yankees, as Trevor Cahill and his sinker finally figured them out, limiting the damage to two runs over six for his first-ever quality start against the Bombers. CC Sabathia was good too — ultimately going 7 1/3 innings and giving up three while striking out seven — but neither he nor the Yankee bullpen could retire Coco Crisp or Scott Sizemore, who combined to go 8 for 8 with a walk and all six of Oakland’s RBIs.

Truth be told, the Yankees didn’t even really lose to the Athletics in this one; they lost to Crisp — who hit two home runs in this game for only the second time in his career, and whose second jack broke a 3-all tie in the tenth to seal the win for Oakland — and Sizemore, who both had career games (this was Sizemore’s first-ever four-hit night), and were also once again stymied by Brian Fuentes and taken to school by flamethrowing rookie Fautino De Los Santos.

Speaking of De Los Santos, wow — that dude can throw a baseball. The average speed on his four-seamer was 97mph, and it took him all of 10 pitches to retire the Yankees in order in the bottom of the 9th, including two three-pitch strikeouts. Shades of 2007 Joba Chamberlain were dancing through my head.

Making this game that much more frustrating was the fact that the Yankees battled back to tie it twice. Derek Jeter drive Brett Gardner in in the third inning, while the first of Nick Swisher‘s two home runs on the night gave the Yankees a 2-1 edge that they kept through the seventh inning. Ordinarily you’d like the team’s chances with Sabathia on the mound that late in the game and a lead, but he coughed up a game-tying RBI double to (who else) Sizemore, one pitch after assuring Joe Girardi he could retire the righty. I have zero problem whatsoever with Sabathia staying in there, and if you replay that at-bat nine times out of ten he probably gets Sizemore, but he just got way too much of the plate on an 0-2 slider that probably should’ve been a curve buried in the dirt. A walk and a single later and David Robertson had let Sabathia’s inherited runner score, completing Sabathia’s line.

Mark Teixeira then gave us all hope that we might get to see the Yankees’ fourth walkoff of the season, tying it up with a solo shot off Grant Balfour in the eighth. Mariano Rivera set the A’s down in order in the ninth, but Rafael Soriano — so good since returning from the DL — put two runners on before surrendering the aforementioned three-run bomb to Crisp on a first-pitch slider right down the middle with two out.

Alas, despite yet another solo home run off A’s closer Andrew Bailey — this time courtesy of Swisher — the Yankees were once again in too deep a hole, having let the A’s (who average 3.88 runs per game) score six for the second consecutive game. This also marked the Yankees’ first series loss at home since that second straight ignominious sweep by the Red Sox back in early June, and just the fourth series they’ve lost at home all year (Kansas City, Boston, Boston, Oakland).

Colon tosses first Yankee complete-game shutout since May 2009 as Yanks beat A's 5-0

"When you're a boss you're a boss all the way..." (photo c/o Getty)

Bartolo Colon authored the first complete-game shutout by a Yankee pitcher since CC Sabathia did it against the Orioles on May 8, 2009, as the Yankees beat the Athletics 5-0 on Memorial Day. Some of my Twitter pals were teasing me as I’ve been rather obsessed with the fact that the Yankees not only hadn’t yet recorded a shutout in 2011 but were also the only team in MLB not to do so this season prior to this game, but as the complete game has become an increasingly rare feat — not to mention the fact that keeping a Major League Baseball team scoreless for nine innings is perhaps an even more difficult achievement– I can’t help but find it monumentally impressive.

And it becomes that much more impressive when you realize that this was only the Yankees’ third complete-game shutout since 2006 (the third being a Chien-Ming Wang start against the Rays on July 28, 2006). It’s funny; it’s not as if the Yankees have employed a series of hapless pitchers during that timeframe, and I’d imagine that the presence of the Greatest Closer of All Time has also cut several potential complete-game shutouts short. Or, as B-Ref astutely noted, “the dearth of individual shutouts during the latest Yankee dynasty is not really a reflection on the starting pitchers. Rather, it shows that they usually have a strong bullpen, and they’re always looking beyond today’s game towards the postseason.”

Anyway, Colon was downright dominant, only putting four men on base all game — all via base hits — while striking out six. The A’s didn’t get a man to third base until the ninth inning. Believe it or not, at .325 this was only Colon’s third-best game by WPA — though that’s of course due to the fact that he had more run support this time out — but it was probably his best start of the year in a season full of impressive outings. In fact, it was the best Yankee start of the season by Game Score, as Colon racked up an 85 (besting the 82 he recorded vs. the Orioles on May 18).

The Yankees got to Trevor Cahill early, plating three runs in the opening frame (including another Mark Teixeira bomb), but then went silently until grabbing another run on a sac fly in the 7th and another in the 9th. It wouldn’t matter anyway, as they’d have all they runs they’d need after the first, coasting on Colon’s superb right arm.

Yanks batter Cahill, A's to the tune of 11-5

Not to toot our own horns, but prior to tonight’s game both MJR and I had a feeling the Yankees would end up getting to Trevor Cahill, after Matt of Matt on Earth fame expressed some consternation over the team having to face the pitcher with the second-lowest ERA in the American League.

Matt: “I’m not sure which is more unsettling — Cahill tonight, or a pitcher we haven’t seen all year. Sigh.”

MJR: “The Yanks knocked Cahill around when we faced him in Oakland. Hopefully he hasn’t adjusted.”

Larry: “I’m not sold on Cahill. I can only imagine I’ll be eating those words after he no-hits the Yanks tonight, but the negative delta between his ERA and FIP is the widest in the American League, which suggests a pretty healthy dose of luck. Additionally, his road numbers are all far worse than his home numbers. Not saying he’s a bad pitcher by any stretch of the imagination, and if he possesses a changeup then God help the Yankees, but I don’t know that Cahill is quite the superstud he’s made out to be.”

What we didn’t expect, however, was that he’d give up eight earned runs — the most Cahill has surrendered all season — as the Yankees rolled to an 11-5 victory. The game started out ignominiously enough, as Dustin Moseley put the Yankees in a 3-0 hole before the team came to bat. However, the offense would have none of it, plating three runs of its own in the bottom half of the first. Two innings later Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano hit back-to-back home runs, and the Yankees wouldn’t look back.

In fact, the offensive nucleus of Cano, Tex and Nick Swisher — who have basically paced the offense for much of the season as stalwarts like Derek Jeter (more on him in a moment) and Alex Rodriguez stumble to the worst seasons of their careers — had three hits apiece, and Cano and Swisher each had three RBIs. Swish hit two doubles, and the red-hot Marcus Thames homered for the sixth time in his last six games.

Unfortunately Moseley wasn’t able to give the team length, lasting 4 1/3 innings while giving up four runs. Javier Vazquez finished off the remaining 4 2/3 innings and picked up the win in relief, although I’m not sure I’m ready to pronounce Home Run Javy cured just because he was able to shut down a light-hitting Athletics offense. He still managed to give up one earned run, though he did strike out six, so I suppose that’s progress.

Getting back to Jeter, after a 22-game stretch (July 20 through August 11) that saw him hit .315/.376/.435, Derek has vanished in the 17 games since, “hitting” .203/.282/.290, and that doesn’t include the 0-4 he took in this game. Eek. I don’t know how Mr. 2.1 WAR is going to be able to ask for $20 million a year with a straight face this offseason if he ends up turning in both a sub-100 OPS+ season for the first time in his career and his lowest-ever wOBA by far (even in his down year of 2008 he managed a .343 mark), both of which he is poised to do if he doesn’t turn things around in September.

The Rays beat Toronto so the Yankees and Tampa continue to remain tied for both first place in the AL East and the best record in baseball, at 81-50. Idle Boston is now 7 games out, which, awesome.

A-Rod's first two-home-run game of season backs another stellar effort from CC as Yanks top A's 6-1

CC Sabathia‘s pretty good at this whole pitching thing, huh?

Alex Rodriguez ain’t too shabby at hitting, either.

CC continued the string of flat-out dominating performances he began in June, hurling seven and two-thirds innings of one-run ball while scattering seven hits and striking out a season-high 10 en route to a 6-1 Yankee victory.

Perhaps more importantly, A-Rod hit two home runs in a game for the first time this season — though I’m still waiting for Alex and Mark Teixeira to go yard in the same game — including a huge grand slam in the third inning to break the game open and a solo shot to add to the Yankee lead in the sixth. Alex now has 597 career home runs — not to mention 21 career grand slams, moving him into a tie for second all-time with Manny Ramirez.

A’s starter and 2010 All-Star Trevor Cahill was touched up for six runs in six innings, and it was incredibly satisfying to see the Yankees actually get to a pitcher they’d never seen before.

We’ve all been waiting for A-Rod and Tex to start hitting, and if these last few weeks are any indication Yankee fans could be in for a real treat in the second half.