"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Is It Still Raining? I Hadn’t Noticed.

Mark Buehlre and CC Sabathia entered last night’s game having had very different Augusts. Buehrle had posted a 6.21 ERA in six starts since his perfect game, while Sabathia had a 1.78 ERA over his previous four starts. In ten previous head-to-head meetings, Buehrle had never beaten Sabathia, who was 6-0 in those matchups. Early on it seemed those trends would continue. After CC worked a 1-2-3 first, Derek Jeter connected for a leadoff home run off Buehlre, who then gave up a pair of singles before getting Nick Swisher to ground out to strand both runners. CC then stranded a leadoff double in the second by striking out the side.

Johnny Damon doubled the Yankee lead by leading off the third with a solo shot, but for the second straight night, the Yankees couldn’t get the job done with runners on base, stranding two in the first, one in the second, two in scoring position in the third, erasing a lead-off single with a double play in a three-batter fourth. Robinson Cano ground out with two outs and the bases loaded in the fifth, then Buehrle worked his first legitimate 1-2-3 inning in the sixth.

CC Sabathia had struck out ten and still thrown just 88 pitches heading into the seventh, but was greeted by a Jermaine Dye double. He then issued his first walk of the game, a five-pitch pass to Carlos Quentin that drew Dave Eiland to the mound. Two pitches later, Alex Rios doubled home Dye to cut the Yankee lead in half and push the tying run to third. Alexei Ramirez got a hold of an 0-1 pitch, but put just enough of a hump in it to allow Cano to hop backwards and make the catch for the first out. Ramon Castro then hit a chopper toward third that Alex Rodriguez gloved and fired to Jose Molina, who tagged Quentin out at home. Jason Nix followed by hitting a hard hopper that stayed just fair over the bag and seemed headed for the left-field corner, but Rodriguez made a full-out stretch and gloved it, holding Nix to an infield single and lead-runner Rios at third. That loaded the bases for rookie Gordon Beckham. CC fell behind 3-1 before getting strike two with Beckham taking all the way. On the full count, Beckham laced a game-tying single to right, but with Castro running from second, Nick Swisher fired a strike to home in time for Molina to tag out his opposite number, ending the inning and keeping the score tied. (Tyler Kepner tweeted after the game that Swisher said he had been getting throwing tips from Dave Eiland and Phil Coke.)

That inning pushed CC to 113 pitches and ended his night. Buehrle was at 99, but Ozzie Guillen quit while he was ahead and went to the majors best set-up man in Matt Thornton in the seventh. Thornton set the top six men in the Yankee lineup down in order in the seventh and eighth, while Phil Hughes struck out Dye, Paul Konerko, and Jim Thome in between. Mariano Rivera then pitched in a perfect ninth, and Scott Linebrink worked around a one-out Jose Molina single in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings.

Though I would have preferred to have seen Hughes work an extra frame and Mo pitch the tenth, Joe Girardi kept the line moving, getting a 1-2-3 inning from Brian Bruney in the top of the tenth, after which, with Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez due up, Guillen turned to . . . minor league journeyman lefty Randy Williams?

To Williams’ credit, he struck out Tex, but Alex Rodriguez crushed the first pitch he saw to left center for . . . the first out.

Robinson Cano and Jose Molina celebrate the Yankees' 11th walkoff win of the year (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)It rained throughout the game, and the swirling winds stopped several would-be home runs short of the left field wall. Rodriguez absolutely crushed Williams’ pitch, but he hit it into the wind in death valley and it fell a step shy of the warning track to Alex’s obvious disbelief. Given a reprieve, Williams walked the next two hitters on eight pitches, bringing lefty Robinson Cano to the plate with two out and two on in the bottom of the tenth with the game tied 2-2. Fittingly, Cano ran the count to 2-2, then launched a no-doubter into the Yankee bullpen to win the game. Cano styled on the homer like fellow number-24 Manny Ramirez, watching it from home while Alfredo Aceves ran out into the rain to gather the ball like a kid in the empty wings of the old Stadium in the ’80s.

Helmet toss. Pie. Yankees win 5-2.

Categories:  Cliff Corcoran  Game Recap

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1 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 28, 2009 11:45 pm

Have I mentioned how much i hate the effing Blue Jays?

2 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 29, 2009 12:25 am

[1] Mattpatt11: a black cloud for every silver lining. Except not. Another day off the calendar without a change in the Yankees' lead.

3 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 29, 2009 12:34 am

I was letdown, because for some reason I thought the Red Sox were playing the competent Rangers and not the totally hapless Blue Jays. It seems like every time I turn the Red Sox on they're playing the Blue Jays.

4 OldYanksFan   ~  Aug 29, 2009 8:25 am

That was a good win... important not to lose 2 in a row and 2 of 3.

The Sox had played very poorly up to last week, but they are healthier now. We shouldn't expect them to riole over and die. The division is ours, but we have to Win it, and not should not count on the Sox to lose it. Too bad TB seems to be choking, I don't think Texas can catch the Sox unless they sweep their series together.

5 OldYanksFan   ~  Aug 29, 2009 8:40 am

By the way, is it mandatory that CC throw over 110 pitches in every game? I don't like this. He is strong like bull, but why push him? We need to start thinking of the PS, and really, an effective (or ineffectice) CC is the difference between winning or losing in October.

I really thought they would bring Phil (71 IP) into the SR for October and move Joba (130 IP) into the BP. Doesn't that make sense? As it is, Joba will throw more IP then we would like (especially if it is a long PS) and Phil doesn't look like he will get near his IP limit (170 IP?).

I try to believe the Yanks know what they are doing, but this mystifies me. There is still time to stretch Phil out... and for some reason Girardi seems to be saving Phil (for what?). I hope Cashman (are the decisions on how to use Phil/Joba ultimately his?) knows what he is doing.

Kazmir was making $6m this year, but due for $10m and $12m the next 2 years. That's over 15% and almost %20 of team payroll. They have Price and Longoria locked up (CHEAP) for 6 years, but there are other guys who are ultimately more important to them then the injury prone Kazmir.

It was a difficult but smart move... especially if they got any real talent in exchange.

6 Sliced Bread   ~  Aug 29, 2009 9:23 am

I love Robbie, and (despite the barometric pressure that kept ARod's shot in the park) called his home run (I swear) after he switched bats, just felt it was coming -- but I didn't like how he pimped it Manny stylee. Whatever. Kids these days and all that.

7 monkeypants   ~  Aug 29, 2009 9:23 am

[5] I think that they should keep pushing CC, maybe even more. I am not one bit convinced that "100" is a magic number for pitches--especially for a pitcher who in today's context is a workhorse--so I am not convinced that 110 pitches is "pushing" him in any meaningful way. Plus, I would rather pitches 101 through 110 go to CC in the seventh inning, than to Phil Coke or Brian Bruney or Damaso Marte, etc.

8 monkeypants   ~  Aug 29, 2009 9:25 am

[5] I try to believe the Yanks know what they are doing, but this mystifies me...

I am increasingly of the view that they have no frigging idea what they are doing with Hughes and Chamberlain. At best, the organization appears divided.

9 Sliced Bread   ~  Aug 29, 2009 9:36 am

[5] mystifying is a good word for it. The Joba Map is all over the place. After the last revision we were steaming toward Indonesia, but now we're doubling back to Delaware?

The only positives I can find in the neglect of Hughes is that:
he's being preserved for SOMETHING (presumably many many innings in October)
and his under-use has him pitching like an animal released from a cage that's too small for him. He's insanely good, and fun to watch

10 monkeypants   ~  Aug 29, 2009 9:38 am

[7] As an addendum...on Thursday, AJ was cruising along with one hiccup, finished the six down 3-2, but with 105 pitches. Hm, Let's see. 105 > 100, so the starter has to be pulled. 7th inning ≠ 8th or 9 inning, so it has to be a less trusted reliever. The result? 6-2 in a matter of a few pitches.

11 The Hawk   ~  Aug 29, 2009 9:41 am

Cano had a great swing and great result. His showboating kind of soured the moment for me - for him, not the team cause a walk-off is a walk-off.

As far as Hughes and Chamberlain go, it just seems silly now. Chamberlain's performance doesn't really merit preserving him for the post-season. Hughes they seem to value more the less they use him. It seems like the system will be perfected when he doesn't pitch at all; he can just be on display like a priceless antique.

It does seem like he sensible thing would have been to switch them a couple weeks ago. Hell, they could still do that. But ... they won't.

12 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 29, 2009 9:54 am

On a walkoff I don't think there is any need to worry about showboating. Besides, I don't think what he did was outrageous. If a batter wants to take a look and celebrate, I have no problem with it. After all, just watch an old clip of the Babe. He not only would admire his clout but then tip his cap as he rounded the bases.

13 monkeypants   ~  Aug 29, 2009 9:56 am

[12] Funny image passed through my head: the Babe with dreadlocks.

14 Sliced Bread   ~  Aug 29, 2009 9:58 am

[12] there's a fine line between hamming it up with a tip of the cap, or pump of the fist -- and posing like a jackass. To me, Robbie crossed to the wrong side of that line. I love the kid, but I'd say something to him about it, which he could, of course, ignore.

15 Sliced Bread   ~  Aug 29, 2009 10:01 am

[13] Jim Rice would not approve.

16 RIYank   ~  Aug 29, 2009 10:09 am

[15] Precisely.
I don't really care about the whole styling aspect of baseball. If it causes some opposing pitchers to throw fastballs at Robinson's butt, then I'll be unhappy, but otherwise I'm perfectly happy to let each guy choose his own style.

17 monkeypants   ~  Aug 29, 2009 10:17 am

[16] I'm bothered inasmuch as I think it is unsportsmanlike. While I would never want to see the league try to legislate sportsmanlike behavior (and in baseball, how could they do that? What would be the penalty? Could the umpires be trusted to enforce it?), I would like to think that the players could take it upon themselves to curb such behavior.

18 jjmerlock   ~  Aug 29, 2009 10:18 am

[12] I do agree that there's a difference between showboating on a walkoff and showboating in the middle of the game. The walkoff is, after all, a dramatic moment unto itself.

As I posted last night, there's more about Robbie that's been reminding me of Manny for a long time. The absurd plate coverage, the beautiful swing, the ability to matchup against *any* pitcher at any speed. Of course, he's not nearly as consistent as Manny was, doesn't have as much power (that's why he's mini-Manny), hasn't reached the level of being utterly impossible to pitch to - gotta get that kid some PEDs!

19 RIYank   ~  Aug 29, 2009 10:23 am

I guess if a batter looked at the pitcher, pointed at him, and said something, that would be very tacky. Standing there for a few seconds or doing a slow trot, to me that seems like a matter of individual style. And if a player is kind of childish, that doesn't bother me a lot. Yes, Robinson Cano is somewhat immature. I can definitely live with that.

20 Sliced Bread   ~  Aug 29, 2009 10:23 am

[16] yeah, not everybody has to be like Willie or Donnie who were my baseball role models. And to be fair to Robbie, his momentary pose was also a big sigh of relief for him having struggled with runners on. I wouldn't make too big a deal about it (unless I already have), I just prefer my players to go about their business in a more modest and humble way. Willie, Donnie, Bernie. Those are the kinda players I admire most.

21 The Hawk   ~  Aug 29, 2009 10:41 am

[16] Ha, I do not see Cano's act last night as a sigh of relief - there was nothing that humble about it.

I don't think it's a big deal either, I just don't like it. To each his or her own. Fwiw, I don't really think a comparison to Ruth is apt here; different social norms for different times. I think the most appealing move there is to just put your head down and round the bases - there's plenty of celebration to be had at home plate.

I think A Rod's home run shenanigans are about the most I can take. He sometimes admires them, but usually gets moving pretty quickly.

22 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 29, 2009 11:18 am

[20] Bernie was quiet, but he wasn't above styling every now and then. My favorite was the way he'd do a spin when popping out of a slide across home plate.

23 Rich   ~  Aug 29, 2009 11:24 am

Eiland finally fixed someone? Sweet.

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