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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Quick Hit: Shut It Down

Nothing wrong with that.  It’s the right move at this point.  There’s nothing left to play for and there’s no need to risk further injury to any of these guys.  I can understand Ells and Teix wanting to get back out there for pride’s sake or to be a part of Jeter’s final games or whatever, but I’d prefer if they joined Beltran and started working on healing and getting ready for 2015.  It’s all over for 2014.  Time to shut it down.

Shut It Down

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Jeter Departure Marks End of An Era and Tradition

This week’s new cycle as far as the Yankees are concerned will be entirely Jeter-centric as we collectively reminisce ad-nauseum over the great career of the iconic Yankee Captain. Jeter’s impending retirement marks the end of an era, an era defined by unprecedented success built around a foundation of homegrown talent commonly referred to as the “Core Four,” of which Jeter is the last remaining member. With all of the attempts to recount the best Jeter moments currently circulating the media and the interwebs, I figured I would seek some perspective from someone who had the good fortune of seeing basically all of them.

If you’re a Yankee fan that goes to game or watches them on TV, you’ve probably heard the pinstriped faithful chanting the names of players until they acknowledge them, in what has come to be known as “Roll Call.” However, what you may not know is that there is a man behind the chant, a man who whips the unwashed masses that refer to themselves as the “Bleacher Creatures” and who can be aptly described as the de facto leader of this group of die hards.…

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Game 158 Recap: Orioles 9 Yanks 5

Greene vs BAL

Pitched more like Browne today. Courtesy of Getty Images

It’s official.  The Yankees will not be participating in the postseason for the second straight year.  In the lone afternoon game of this final home series, they inched ahead early only to have their starting pitching blow up soon after and give away the lead in quick fashion.

It was a misleading start for Shane Greene if you were following on Gameday like I was.  He retired the first 2 innings in order and struck out 2 in the 2nd, but he really didn’t have great command and he was missing some spots.  That started to show through in the 3rd when he loaded the bases with 2 2-out walks before escaping.  It came bursting through in the 4th when the Orioles’ first 2 hitters got on with singles, a Ryan Flaherty bases loaded double gave them 3 runs, and 3 straight 2-out hits (single, triple, bunt single) made it a 6-run inning and ended Greene’s day.  …

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Game 158: Norris v. Greene

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Quick Hit: Yanks Set New Team Strikeout Record

From the “Small Morale Victories” department, the Yankees did set a new team record in last night’s game as their playoff chances were whittled down to the smallest possible speck of existence.  The 11 combined strikeouts by the pitching staff gave them 1,319 on the year, breaking the previous team record that was set 2 seasons ago.

That 1,319 total is good for 4th most in MLB this season, and the 551 that have come from the bullpen is the most in MLB by over 30.  The Yanks have 3 relief pitchers in the top 20 in K rate this year: Dellin Betances at 4 (39.6%), David Robertson at 10 (37.0%), and Shawn Kelley at 20 (30.7%).  That’s really impressive.  But it’s not just the relievers.  They’ve gotten plenty of punchouts from their starters as well.  Masahiro Tanaka still boasts a 26.3% K rate, Shane Greene has struck out over 1 batter per inning, CC Sabathia was doing the same before he got hurt, and Brandon McCarthy, David Phelps, and Michael Pineda have all turned in some very good strikeout nights.…

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Game 157 Recap: Orioles 5 Yankees 4

McCarthy vs BAL

Courtesy of the AP

Brandon McCarthy has been so good since joining the Yankees that you almost forget he had plenty of starts like last night’s before coming here.  He had them with such regularity for the D’backs that they traded him for 60 cents on the dollar.  That’s why he’s here in the first place.  It’s a tough way to end the year for him and it was a tough near-comeback loss for the Yankees to put them on the brink of official postseason elimination.

McCarthy’s problems came early and often.  He gave up a home run to Kelly Johnson to lead off the 2nd and surrendered another run in that inning on 3 singles.  Nick Markakis took him deep for a 2-run homer on a hanging curveball in the 4th, and Nelson Cruz completed the yardjob trifecta with a leadoff solo shot to left in the 5th.  McCarthy got tagged for 5 runs on 11 hits in 5.1 innings of work.  …

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