"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

From Dog Meat in the Dog House to Dog GONE Dinger

How best to follow-up Saturday’s disastrous loss? How about having a guy who hasn’t won a game since last August stick it up your ass? Well, that’s just what happened today, an otherwise gorgeous day in the Bronx. Justin Masterson, last seen around these parts working out of the Red Sox bullpen, is a big, broad-shouldered guy who throws a good sinker. He’s had some rough luck but was in good form today–struck out eight, got plenty of ground balls and made short work of the Yankees for six innings.

The Bombers didn’t have many chances. They put runners on second and third with one out in the fourth and didn’t do dick with it (Nick Swisher and Juan Miranda stuck out to end the inning). Meanwhile, AJ Burnett cruised, until two outs in the seventh when he hit a batter, Jeter made a throwing error, and a fly ball sailed over Nick Swisher’s glove in right for a triple. Swisher, who made a good catch and ran into the wall earlier in the game, came up slowly.

The Indians had a 3-0 lead and the Stadium was silent. But the Yanks rallied in the bottom of the inning. Swisher led-off with a single to center and moved to second on a force out by Miranda. Brett Gardner was next and he slapped a grounder past Masterson for base hit. Masterson didn’t miss fielding it by much, bad luck. Runners on first and third, one out. Francisco Cervelli pinch-hit for Chad Moeller in the nine hole and whiffed on a good sinker, down-and-in. Then Masterson got two strikes on Jeter and tried to bury a sinker in on his hands just like he did to Cervelli but the pitch didn’t snap and Jeter jumped all over it and banged a single to center. Everything happened fast. The line drive, the throw home, Gardner’s slide, the umpire’s call–safe!

That was it for Masterson, who was replaced by the lefty Tony Sipp. Curtis Granderson doubled to right, Jeter moved to third, and then Teixeira, batting right-handed, quickly fell behind 0-2. He took a couple of balls, fouled pitch off and then hit a bomb into the left field bleachers.

Exhale and cheer!

Burnett came back out and pitched a scoreless eighth, striking out the final two batters.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Insurance Truck showed up: Cano, single, Swisher, single, Miranda, double. Swisher dangled his right arm as he ran the bases like he was doing his best Jeffrey Leonard. Gardner flied out to shallow right, not deep enough to score Swisher but Cervelli drove a ball far enough to bring Swisher home (Swish has been incredibly hot, let’s hope he’s not too hurt).

Our man Mariano pitched the ninth. Struck out the first two batters and then broke a bat on a dribbler to mound. Mo jumped up with both feet like a frog, avoided the bat, landed, fielded the ball, smiled and then threw to first for the out.

Ball game, smiles: Relief.

Yanks 7, Indians 3.

[Photo Credit: AP Photo/Kathy Willens]

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1 cult of basebaal   ~  May 30, 2010 4:21 pm

Like I said in the game thread ...

22. cult of basebaal
May 30th, 2010 at 1:43 pm

It’s a 18 wheeler Score Truck today, it takes time to gas up …

2 cult of basebaal   ~  May 30, 2010 4:23 pm

Swisher led-off with a single to center and moved to second on a force out by Miranda

To be honest, this was a ball that was PERFECTLY placed down the line. At any time the Indians weren't guarding the line, it would have been an easy double.

3 ms october   ~  May 30, 2010 4:26 pm

this felt like a much needed win. i was outside and listening to the game. when it was 3-0 i turned on my ipod in disgust. came back inside just to see tex's hr. nicely done.

but yeah really hope swish is okay - he has been excellent.

4 cult of basebaal   ~  May 30, 2010 4:30 pm

Watching Ian Kennedy vs Buster Posey right now ... I still wish we had Ian, instead of say ... Javy Vazquez ...

5 cult of basebaal   ~  May 30, 2010 4:32 pm

Posey making Sabean look like a dumb, dumb man right now.

6 cult of basebaal   ~  May 30, 2010 4:34 pm

4/5 4 RBI for Posey so far since his call up.

"Hey, Sabean! How my ASS taste?!?!?"

7 cult of basebaal   ~  May 30, 2010 5:21 pm

[6] Make that 5/6

8 RIYank   ~  May 30, 2010 5:23 pm

[1] You were so right, cult.
Next time I'll have more faith. I was all wound up with the Alex Belth "How about not sucking?" thing.

I like the 'cage match' idea, by the way...

9 ms october   ~  May 30, 2010 5:52 pm

[8] yeah i certainly shouldn't have stopped listening to the game once it went 3-0.

the cage match should be fascinating.
going to work on any trick moves or just battle william straight up?

10 Diane Firstman   ~  May 30, 2010 6:15 pm

I was originally going to write this game up, and I was busy coming up with anagrams of Tony Sipp:

Pony Spit
Tiny Pops
Nippy Sot

and given the tenor and outcome of the game, my headline was either going to be:

I Sipp Your Milkshake


Yanks Find their Sippy Cups

Nice comeback, boys!

11 cult of basebaal   ~  May 30, 2010 7:00 pm

I Sipp Your Milkshake


12 cult of basebaal   ~  May 30, 2010 7:07 pm

Scherzer was taken out of Sunday’s game after striking out two batters in the fifth but also walking one and hitting another. The 14 strikeouts fall two short of Mickey Lolich’s team record set in 1969.

The *other* reason we stuck with The American Idle, we didn't have THIS coming up ...

13 Just Fair   ~  May 30, 2010 7:17 pm

I went out for my first weeding adventure at 3-0. What a great surprise to come in and see the recap. Whoo and hoo.

14 OldYanksFan   ~  May 30, 2010 8:10 pm

h/t to Steve at WasWatching:
(bold is mine)
David Huff Fan Club (The Official Fan Page) I'd like to thank the Yankees team doctors and our training for making sure i was ok. I'd also like to thank the NY Yankees security staff for taking care of my family, they were amazing. finally, to A Rod for contacting me on his way to the hospital, one class act. Everything is good.

15 RIYank   ~  May 30, 2010 8:40 pm

[9] Oh, I wouldn't have a prayer straight up. I will use every technicality and rhetorical trick at my disposal.

[14] Good for A-Rod. I'm not surprised... although I can imagine him saying exactly the wrong thing and then wondering why everyone was rolling their eyes.

16 jjmerlock   ~  May 31, 2010 5:30 am

As I mentioned in another thread, you hoped that the schedule was setting up to help the Yankees hang on until Posada's return, which - particularly with Johnson going from bad start to unavailable - makes the lineup a markedly more potent beast, but the Yanks haven't given us a lot of confidence in that scenario, even in taking two of the first three of this stretch.

I also mentioned that I had been patiently waiting for Granderson's return, and, so far, pretty good...

But I won't deny that this team looks very sketchy, at the moment. The Yanks have had two big recent wins that were of the rabbit out of a hat variety: first, the Minnesota rain delayed game. Baker was - inexcusably - at 50 pitches through 5 innings. AJ had gone five scoreless at a much greater cost. The full day delay was a massive gift, and they cashed it in. Yesterday looked like another pull your hair out loss, and then there was a late inning, two out explosion.

I never saw the bullpen looking this God-awful coming into this season - didn't see that coming, at all.

But the main point of this post is to share some numbers - I had mentioned that the Rays had piled up their ridiculous start against somewhat suspect opposition, and had shown some numbers that backed that up. Head to head, I do think the Rays look better *right now* - but the numbers might be cause for any Rays-worshipers to take pause.

Two sets of numbers -

1) a look at the Yankees, Rays, and Red Sox' respective schedules so far, viewing opposing teams as home versions and road versions, combining last year's records pre-September (you get some sketchy games and lineups in September) with current records and

2) the same thing, but using only this year's records (for folks like William, who think that everything you need to know you know by fifty games in, and that the season is basically, you know, set in stone from here on in).

A glaring omission is that I haven't run these for the Blue Jays, who are ahead of the Red Sox in the standings (are the Blue Jays for real, or just pretenders?).

Anyway -

#1: Opponent Winning Percentage, mixing last year and current records:

Yankees' Opponents: .530

Rays' Opponents: .490

Red Sox' Opponents: .509

#2: Opponent Winning Percentage, current records only:

Yankees' Opponents: .522

Rays' Opponents: .453

Red Sox' Opponents: .506

Now, all of this may be an extra elaborate way of saying that the Yankees have played less games at home than the other two teams, but this is a statistical way of really examining who has faced what so far.

I can talk about some of the weird results so far that may be influencing the final numbers, and there are some strange records so far that may be completely unrepresentative, or may mean that certain teams are moving in one direction or another.

A few things that stand out: teams are simply completely different units at home versus on the road. The AL West is strong at home, and absolutely horrible so far on the road.

It is unbelievable how bad Baltimore is every year. When you look at the losses they pile up, it's almost shocking.

Things are also really ugly in Seattle.

Lastly, I don't know if this means much, at all, but that Rays' opponent winning percentage in the second set of numbers kind of jumps off the page.

Using current records, Rays' opponents (using my home/away splits methodology) have a combined .453 winning percentage? Yikes. If that means anything at all, they have played a lousy schedule thus far.

17 OldYanksFan   ~  May 31, 2010 8:32 am

Back a few years ago, how do you think the Sox would be doing 50 games into the season if Papi had a .726 OPS and Manny had a .831 OPS?

Would they have a .600 record with a +69 RS/RA difference?

Every year, at any time during the year, certain guys will be up, and certain guys will be down. However, having your 2 biggest bats slumping would hurt any team. My guess is Teix and ARod will play much better the rest of the season, and I expect to Win the Division.

18 seamus   ~  May 31, 2010 9:56 am

We have the second best record in baseball AFTER a slump. I'll take that any day 3.5 games out or not.

19 Raf   ~  May 31, 2010 10:37 am

26 runs in 3 games against the Indians, even though they're 2 of 3 so far, with that kind of production, more often than not you're going to win your fair share of games.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver