"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice


You don’t want to read a recap of this game.

I don’t want to write a recap of this game.

Indians started a 25-year-old command and control righty Tuesday night. A total non prospect with a recent violence-related arrest making his major league debut. So the S.O.B. goes out and faces the minimum the first two times through the Yankee order. The only Yankee baserunner in the first six innings against Josh Tomlin last night was Derek Jeter, who singled to start the fourth, then got caught stealing with two outs and Alex Rodriguez at the plate.

Rodriguez didn’t hit hit 600th home run. We can get that one out of the way. There was no big birthday milestone for the now-35-year-old third baseman. He did come to the plate representing the tying run in the ninth, but he tapped out to short on an 0-1 pitch. In his first three at-bats, he grounded out twice, then flew out to strand Nick Swisher at third in the seventh.

The fourth inning was the nadir. After Jeter got thrown out to end the top of the inning, CC Sabathia started the bottom of the frame by yielding a single to Asdrubal Cabrera and a double to Shin-Soo Choo to put runners on the corners. Austin Kearns followed with a hard grounder to third and Alex Rodriguez fired home to get Cabrera. The bottom of the first had ended when Brett Gardner threw out Choo at home on a single through the shortstop hole with Francisco Cervelli making a nice block of the plate. This time Cervelli had to reach into fair territory to get Rodriguez’s throw then reach to make the tag on Cabrera in foul territory. He did both successfully, but when his left arm hit the ground, the ball bounced out of his glove and Cabrera was ruled safe on Cervelli’s error.

Did I mention Cervelli was starting because Jorge Posada’s left knee is acting up on him? It’s an old injury; he has a cyst back there that causes him occasional pain, but, yeah.

After Shelley Duncan popped up, Jhonny Peralta hit into a would-be double play, but Kearns was called safe at second after Robinson Cano came off the bag too early on the pivot, and his relay throw was just a hair too late to get Peralta, so instead of ending the inning, the play loaded the bases with just one out. Matt LaPorta followed with a sac fly, and though Sabathia held the line there and both runs were earned, it mattered little with the Yankee bats unable to touch Tomlin.

The Indians scored two more runs in the sixth, which were Sabathia’s fault. The highlight there came when Joe Girardi ordered CC to intentionally walk the number-eight hitter, righty Jason Donald, to load the bases with two outs, and Sabathia responded by walking the number-nine hitter, right-handed swinging back-up catcher Chris Gimenez, to force in a fourth Cleveland run.

Even when the Yankees finally scored it was embarrassing. After Swisher was stranded in the seventh, Robinson Cano led off the eighth with a double. Indians manager Manny Acta the lifted the rookie Tomlin and brought in lefty Rafael Perez to face Curtis Granderson. Perez sent Cano to third via a wild pitch, but got Granderson to ground out to first. The play on Granderson’s grounder wasn’t easy for LaPorta, but Cano failed to come home on it. Girardi then sent up Marcus Thames to pinch-hit for Juan Miranda only to have Acta counter with righty Joe Smith, at which point Girardi counter-countered with . . . Colin Curtis? Yeah, I know he had that improbable pinch-hit homer the other day, but I’m reasonably confident that any strategy that ends in Colin Curtis has failed, even if Curtis succeeds. Indeed, Curtis got the run in with an even better-placed groundout to the right side, but that was all the Yankees got out of the inning.

In the ninth, Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter led off with singles against closer Chris Perez, but Nick Swisher struck out and Mark Teixeira popped out to Cabrera in shallow center on the first pitch he saw. That set up Rodriguez to get number 600 on a game-tying three-run shot, but, as I mentioned above, he meekly tapped out on two pitches.

Indians win 4-1.

You want bright side? here’s the extent of it: Jeter went 2-for-4 and the Yankees only needed seven pitches from their bullpen, all from Chan Ho Park. That’s it. Heck, we didn’t even get to see Carlos Santana play.


Categories:  Cliff Corcoran  Game Recap

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1 Alex Belth   ~  Jul 28, 2010 8:01 am

Yeah, and Miguel Cabrera hits into a double play with the game on the line for the Tigers against the Rays, AND those worthless Angels blow a game to the Red Sox. Yeah, in all, a lousy night. It's funny, but I've got no humor about it. Here it is, Yanks in first, best record and baseball, and on one night when everything isn't coming up roses and daffifils, I'm sore about it. LOL.

2 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 28, 2010 8:05 am

Does every team have this problem with URPs, or just the Yanks?


3 lroibal   ~  Jul 28, 2010 8:08 am

I'll add to the chorus. That was painful to watch.

4 seamus   ~  Jul 28, 2010 8:09 am

Just one bad game out of 162 i say. Breathe deep and note that today is another fine day.

5 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 28, 2010 8:16 am

[2] I mean, this is just ridiculous. Here's all the pitchers who have made their MLB debuts vs the Yanks since 2000, and if you throw out that guy the Royals promoted out of nowhere from AA, since 2000, pitchers in their MLB debuts vs the Yanks have a 1.72 ERA. NONE (except that guy on the Royals) has given up more than 3 earned runs against the Yanks.

Small sample (62.7 innings) but wow.

6 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 28, 2010 8:20 am

[1] I felt like that last night and still feel like that this morning. It's why no other sport compares to baseball from a fan perspective. The 162 game schedule is an endurance test...not only for players, but fans as well.

7 monkeypants   ~  Jul 28, 2010 8:24 am

6) but at least with baseball we don't have to dwell on a bad game for a week. By game time tonight all will be (mostly) forgotten, and especially when the boys start trouncing the Indians by the third inning!

8 monkeypants   ~  Jul 28, 2010 8:31 am

0) but I’m reasonably confident that any strategy that ends in Colin Curtis has failed

Cliff, that's a funny, funny line, in a dark sort of way.

But of course Curtis was just the cherry on top, for last night the Yankees had the 1B spot (though it could have been the DH, depending on the manager's decision...it doesn't really matter for the point at hand) batting eighth and occupied in succession by Miranda, Thames and Curtis.

Now, I like each of these players in their own right, but when that constitutes basically the entire bench, there is something wrong in Denmark. Of course, Girardi did get to give Teix the ol' half day off via the rotating, no real DH plan.

9 rbj   ~  Jul 28, 2010 8:45 am

And Mud Hens lost too. No fun in reading the sports this morning. Supposed to hit mid 90s as well.

10 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 28, 2010 9:20 am

[7] Not sure if I agree with that. Even if the Yankees trounce the Indians, I am still going to be thinking about the game lost to the Rays in the standings, at least until the Yankees get back it.

One reason I have sometimes "suffered" more as a result of regular season losses than post season defeats is because the regular season losses can linger for a very long time. Yesterday just felt like a game that the Yankees should win (Sabathia had some of his best stuff of the season, for example), so it will sit in the back of my mind with a handful of other bad losses from earlier in the season.

11 monkeypants   ~  Jul 28, 2010 9:25 am

10) well, we have a different approach to the regular season. Ebb and flow for me. As Sparky Anderson used to say, even the best teams lose a third of the time and the worst teams win a third of the time. I just won't get that hung up about a single game for very long. Also, I don't worry about gaining games or losing game a to a specific rival on a specific day...what matters for me are the relative standings over the long haul. So, last night's debacle will not haunt me any longer whether the Sox of Rays won or lost.

12 RagingTartabull   ~  Jul 28, 2010 9:37 am

last night sucked, it really did. But like I said before, it seems we've seen this movie so many times before where some rookie shuts down the Yankees with their ace going. We saw it in years they won the World Series, we saw it in years they lost in the first round. Again, it sucks but I refuse to get agita over it. But bad losses to the Angels or the Sox stuck in my craw way worse than last night does.

Go out and take 3 of 4 from Cleveland and I'm fine.

13 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Jul 28, 2010 10:37 am

Admittedly, it is not as much fun to read the sports pages, or watch the baseball recap shows when the Yankees lose as opposed to winning. But with the long season, putting any long term emotional capital into a "regular" regular season game loss is counterproductive. After all, even with the most rosy outlook for the season, the Yankees will lose about 60 times this year.

At this time last year, the prospect of post season play was not certain, yet the Yankees comfortably cruised into the playoffs, and easily won the World Series. Let this season play out, win or lose the arc of the season provides drama as a whole and moments of excitement. Just be grateful that we have this team to support, and can rightfully expect a high level of success every year. It must be tough to be a baseball fan in towns like Pittsburgh, KC, Toronto, Houston, Baltimore, etc.

The next two games are certainly uncertain. Which AJ will pitch tonight against Carmona? Tomorrow we get to have the relatively unknown pitcher opposing Cleveland with Moseley. Should make for interesting watching.

14 monkeypants   ~  Jul 28, 2010 10:42 am

13) Tomorrow we get to have the relatively unknown pitcher opposing Cleveland with Moseley.

What happened to the Sergio Mitre experience? I have to admit, I am trying not to follow (Un)Lucky's™ exploits too closely this year.

15 ms october   ~  Jul 28, 2010 10:47 am

[14] the sme is back to the pen and moseley is getting the start since serge was "not quite there yet." so basically it was unlucky that he was still trying to get himself together after injury.

16 monkeypants   ~  Jul 28, 2010 10:49 am

[15] Ah, thanks.

Of course, this only begs the question---what will he be like when he gets all the way back? I think last year gave us some insight into his fullest potential!

17 ms october   ~  Jul 28, 2010 10:54 am

[16] indeed it did; i am giddy with anticipation.

18 ms october   ~  Jul 28, 2010 11:00 am

trade deadline seems awful quite to me.
hopefully the yanks can get a real dh, which would basically by default strengthen the bench (if not now at least later through the waiver deadline) and probably a legitimate arm in the pen - then chop and gaudin can gtfo and joba can go to aaa and possibly be salvaged.
if andy really will be back soon, i don't think they need to waste talent on trading for a starter unless there really is some salary dump out there.

i am not a consistent follower of mil, can nova, sanchez, or someone else come up from the mil and be a legitimate pen arm at the end of the season and potentially for the playoffs?

19 monkeypants   ~  Jul 28, 2010 11:19 am

18) I think Albie can be a legitimate pen arm if given the chance. But he has the dreaded options, so he is the first to go down. Maybe when the (hopefully) inevitable elimination of some or all of Park/Gaudin/Mitre/Mosely happens, he'll get another call up.

20 monkeypants   ~  Jul 28, 2010 11:21 am

18) I'm with you on the DH thing, of course. As for Joba to AAA, I think that I read someplace that he cannot be sent down after August 7 without having to pass through waivers. Maybe I am wrong, or what I read was wrong. Still, I really, really doubt they will put him in the minors, unfortunately.

21 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 28, 2010 11:24 am

[13] Mosely really isn't that unknown. Besides, the effect doesn't work for the Yankees. A ran some numbers and the Yankees really are unique in their struggles against debuting pitchers. The charts are too cumbersome, put you can click on my name if you are interested.

22 ms october   ~  Jul 28, 2010 11:29 am

[19] yeah, almost forgot about him, but i too think albie *could* be worthwhile.

23 The Hawk   ~  Jul 28, 2010 11:38 am

I hadn't given it much thought, but Joba to AAA is so appealing to me, so logical, that it can never, ever possibly happen.

24 JohnnyC   ~  Jul 28, 2010 11:53 am

[21] Any guess why this is unique to the Yankees? Bad advance scouting? Bad minor league scouting? Batting coach not good at reviewing video? Hitters stupid? This seems to refute Jim Kaat's oft-repeated contention that young pitchers shake in their boots when facing the big, bad Yankees first time out of the box (usually referencing his first game at the Stadium facing Whitey Ford).

25 monkeypants   ~  Jul 28, 2010 12:05 pm

[21, 24] The numbers don't lie, but still we are only talking about a dozen or so games stretched over about ten seasons...in other words, small sample sizes. I'd be interested to look at what sorts of lineups the Yankees trotted out against these kids, though I don't have the time or patience to do it today.

Still, looking at the first game, May 21, 2000 against Paul Rigdon (the fortieth game of that season): the Yankees started Knoblauch (.673 OPS on that day), Ledee (.684), Leyritz (.507), Brosius (.628), and Soriano (.548). Torre PH for Knoblauch with...Wilson Delgado (.640). Heck, even Tino was OPSing under .800.

So basically, the "Yankees" that the youngster faced were, well, not your typical Yankees.

Now, some of these guys truly sucked, some were simply slumping. But it's not *that* surprising that a debutant had success against a lineup with only about half MLB level hitters.

26 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Jul 28, 2010 12:27 pm

[21] You're right that Moseley is known in Cleveland, he has faced the Indians about 21 innings in his career, with a 3-0 record and a 4.35 era. He has not faced the majority of the current Cleveland hitters, with only Peralta, Hafner, Astro Cabrera, and Marte having ABs against him. Both Hafner and Peralta have one HR lifetime v. Moseley.

We'll see if that is an advantage or not.

27 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 28, 2010 12:36 pm

[24] [25] Sample size is obviously a factor, but I think it is become somewhat of a self fulfilling prophecy (i.e., mental). In other words, not having the scouting reports might not be as much of a problem as knowing you don't have the scouting reports.

I also think we need to look at things from the other end. There could be something to the opposing pitchers getting really pumped up AND focused to face the Yankees.

[26] By "known", I was really referring to the availability of film and scouting reports, and not really direct experience by those in the Indians lineup.

28 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jul 28, 2010 12:37 pm

[25] Indeed, what do the 2010 Yankees have in common with the 2000 Yankees? Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada, one of whom wasn't in the lineup last night? There's nothing meaningful behind this trend other than our frustration.

29 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Jul 28, 2010 12:39 pm

[27] Doesn't every player from single A on up have a scouting report and film available?

30 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 28, 2010 12:44 pm

[28] It's easy to say there is nothing meaningful, but I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss. There is a mental aspect to the game, so if the Yankees buy into it, then it could manifest in the results.

[29] I don't know...I wouldn't think so, at least not to the same extent as those who have pitched in the majors. Besides, I think what hitters want to see is how pitchers try to get out major league hitters. Watching a major league quality pitcher blow away minor league hitters probably isn't very telling.

31 monkeypants   ~  Jul 28, 2010 1:03 pm

[28] One *could* argue, however, that the fact the trend has continued over many years and changing personnel suggests that the cause is structural or organizational (i.e., bad job at scouting).

I'm not saying I believe that. Rather, I think there a lot of small sample size Mitre-like luck involved, as well as specific contingent factors on any given night (is it a surprise in retrospect that the team did poorly against Jake Peavy's first star? Or in a game where many of the starters are out of the lineup or playing poorly?).

32 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jul 28, 2010 1:11 pm

[30] Maybe, but who are "the Yankees?" That's my point. In last night's lineup, Jeter, Rodriguez, and Cano were the only players who were regulars on the 2008 team, never mind 2000.

33 Raf   ~  Jul 28, 2010 3:24 pm

[30] I dunno, outside of a scouting report, I would think that most of these guys have BTDT with regards to pitchers and their stuff. This isn't the first time they faced a pitcher like Tomlin, or a pitcher that has had his type of stuff, or the combination of pitches that he threw.

34 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 28, 2010 3:42 pm

Don't look now friends, but our friend william just got a (somewhat nice) mention by Mr. Rob Neyer on this very subject.

I do have to say, looking at the BB and K numbers again (small sample caveat aside) does make me wonder if there wasn't a bit of "luck" involved. Thinking about it more, you'd think that a veteran lineup might be a little eager against a rookie, and so maybe there are a lot of early groundouts?

Or I might just be remembering that it seemed like A-Rod would ground out on the first pitch every at bat last night.

35 Raf   ~  Jul 28, 2010 3:53 pm

[34] Nice!

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