Game 162: The End.

There is a sense of finality to today’s action that I have not felt in … well … ever. Some of that is certainly due to the fact that this is only the second time since my adolescence that the team has failed to make the playoffs, and even more stems from the fact that this is the last stop of Derek Jeter‘s brilliant career. Beyond that, though, this season simply feels disconnected from the Yankees reality. Looking at today’s lineup, it is quite likely that only two of the nine players in the starting lineup will be with the team next season – and one of them will be playing a different position.

Suzuki, Headley, Drew, and Young are free agents at year’s end, and Cervelli has been bandied about as a trade candidate for what feels like forever. I would certainly welcome back all but Suzuki in at least a platoon or back-up role, but who knows how the market will look for Headley and Drew?…

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Game 161: Tanaka’s Last Start

The first start for Masahiro Tanaka off the DL was a positive one.  Both he and the Yankee coaching staff will be hoping for a repeat of that today in his final start of his rookie season.  Tanaka is scheduled for 70-80 pitches again, and if he comes through feeling good then the Yanks should feel good about sending him into the offseason and preparing for his return as the ace of next year’s staff.

The Captain is back in the lineup today as the DH.  Here’s the full 9-man starting lineup:

1) Ichiro- RF
2) Jeter- DH
3) Big Mac- C
4) It’s Headley- 1B
5) Young Chris- LF
6) Drew- SS
7) Pirela- 3B
8) B-Ry- 2B
9) Eury Perez- CF

First pitch is in about an hour.  Let’s go Yankees!

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Game 160: Capuano v. Wright

Six months ago, how many people would have thought that this game would have been all but meaningless? Or that the Red Sox would be trotting out seven rookies at this point in the season, including a 30-year-old knuckleballer (which is only one more than the Yankees tonight)? Or that the Yankees two best hitters in down the stretch would be a Mets cast-off and a guy that had a 97 wRC+ in his previous 800+ PA?

Ain’t baseball grand?

New York Yankees Boston Red Sox
Jose Pirela, 2B Mookie Betts, 2B
Eury Perez, CF Xander Bogaerts, SS
Francisco Cervelli, 1B Yoenis Cespedes, DH
Chris Young, LF Allen Craig, RF
John Ryan Murphy, C Garin Cecchini, 3B
Austin Romine, DH Rusney Castillo, CF
Brendan Ryan, SS Bryce Brentz, LF
Zelous Wheeler, 3B Ryan Lavarnway, 1B
Antoan Richardson, RF Dan Butler, C
Chris Capuano, SP Steven Wright, SP
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Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 9/26/14

So how’s everybody’s energy level today after last night’s theatrics.  Imagine if the game would have been delayed by rain to get to that ending?  I won’t be paying attention to the Yanks-Sox series at all this weekend.  It’s like the random 90-something seconds of dead air before you get to the last secret track on a great album.  Instead I’ll be celebrating the girlfriend’s birthday tonight and attending my last wedding of 2014 tomorrow.  Hope you all have some good plans for your weekends as well.  Now onto the links!

– On Monday, Mike Axisa of RAB broke down Masahiro Tanaka’s first start back from the DL and all the positive signs there were in the outing.

– On Tuesday, Daniel Burch of The Greedy Pinstripes mentioned a recent success story as a reason to be optimistic about the future of Tanaka’s elbow.

– SG of RLYW brought up the idea of J.J. Hardy as the next Yankee shortstop and what it might take to sign him in the offseason.…

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Some Quick Love For Hirok

Kuroda vs BAL II

Courtesy of Getty Images

Derek Jeter was the story last night and justifiably so.  Dude is a living Yankee legend and he went out in storybook fashion.  But it’s highly likely that last night was also the final game in a Yankee uniform for Hiroki Kuroda and that needs to be acknowledged.  I already got Axisa’d on this post yesterday, but I made a point to remember to write something on Kuroda this week and I’m sticking to that.

Hirok had his best start of the season and one of the best starts of his Yankee career last night.  It was a fitting way to go out for the man who, factoring in health, performance, consistency, and the fact that he was the only starter to pitch the full season, was the sneaky best starting pitcher on the staff this year.  Just like he was the sneaky best pitcher last year when CC was battling health and regression and Nova was riding his roller coaster of ups and downs.  …

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Yankeemetrics: Captain Clutch edition

Captain Clutch does it again. (Photo: John Munson/

Captain Clutch does it again. (Photo: John Munson/

We’re leading this one off with The Captain, Derek Jeter

Captain Clutch’s last stand
You could not have scripted a better sendoff for The Captain in his final game at Yankee Stadium. His life really is a Hollywood movie, no joke.

Derek Jeter played his first and only game at Yankee Stadium with the Yankees eliminated from the playoffs on Thursday night, and he made sure that it would be a historic one.

Jeter came to bat in the ninth inning with the score tied and Antoan Richardson on second base, and lined a single to right field that scored Richardson for the game-winning run. It was his seventh career walk-off hit and first since 2007. Since his rookie season in 1995, no other Yankee has more walk-off hits than Jeter.

Four of those seven walk-off hits came in the ninth inning with the score tied. In the last 75 years, the only Yankees with more such hits than Jeter’s four are Mickey Mantle (6) and Graig Nettles (6).…

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Game 159 Recap: Yankees 6 Orioles 5

Jeter vs BAL

Courtesy of Getty Images

Could it have ended any other way?  Absolutely CLASSIC finish last night at The Stadium, as Derek Jeter went out in style and drove in the game-winning run with a walk-off base hit in the bottom of the 9th to beat the O’s.  Goosebumps, cheers, tears, you had it all going if you saw this one.  What a moment, what a win.  Awesome.

And to think it all started pretty horribly.  With the game barely underway in the top of the 1st, Baltimore took a 2-0 lead on a pair of solo home runs by Nick Markakis and Alejandro De Aza.  5 minutes, 8 pitches, 2 runs.  Just like that Hiroki Kuroda was in an early hole.

Except he wasn’t.  Kuroda was lockdown nasty from those first 2 batters of the game on, allowing only 1 more hit and no walks through 8 innings.  That hit came in the top of the 3rd.  After that, Kuroda retired the final 16 batters he faced, 13 of them on the infield.  …

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Game 159: Everything Has to Come to an End Sometime

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Some Random Stuff On Shane Greene

Greene vs BAL

Courtesy of Getty Images

Whether you cared about the results or not, there’s no way to sugarcoat Shane Greene‘s start yesterday.  It wasn’t good.  Facing the Orioles for the second time in less than 2 weeks and the third time overall this season, Greene’s fastball command was not with him and the Baltimore hitters looked very comfortable in the box against him as they knocked him around and eventually out in a 6-run 4th inning.

The 3.2 innings pitched was the second-lowest total for Greene in a start since joining the Major League rotation and the second time this month that he failed to complete 4.  It was only the third time in 14 starts that Greene gave up more than 4 runs, and as sour a note as that is to end a season on, it’s also a reason to be optimistic about him going forward.

Greene will finish with a 3.78 ERA in 14 starts this year.  That’s 33 ER allowed in 78.2 innings pitched.  …

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