"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

The Negative Zone


When Mariano Rivera blew the game Thursday night, my foot slipped. When the 8-3 sure-fire-win on Friday night became another loss, my shoulder dipped. And when Mariano blew Sunday’s game, my ass flipped right over my head and I was lost in the Negative Zone. Not even winning Sunday could draw me out; I was adrift and doomed.


And I’m not coming back. Not this year.

CC Sabathia gave a decent effort when nothing short of his best would do. The Yankees didn’t hit Chris Tillman, who’s been good this year, but hardly Tom Seaver and the 4-2 loss is the latest nail in the coffin.

In the first inning Alex Rodriguez smacked a home run and things looked up for about a minute. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but CC Sabathia couldn’t hold the lead. Not even for an inning. Nick Markakis hit a lead-off double and scored two batters later.

The game stayed knotted at one, but the Yankees were never going to be the team that loosened the knot. Sabathia kept the ball in the park, but off-the-wall can still hurt you. A handful of doubles, productive outs and timely hits put the Yankees in a 4-1 hole after seven.

Tillman retired 13 in row at one point. He struck out three straight to napalm the seventh and then Lyle Overbay scraped the sky with solo homer to start the eighth, so Showalter brought in Tommy Hunter to strike out the next three. The Orioles struck out 12 Yankees in all.

Alex hit a blue dart to center to lead off the ninth. After two ground outs, Curtis Granderson hit a full-count fastball to the middle of the warning track in center. I can’t say what it looked like from your seats, but nobody here in the Negative Zone thought it had a chance.


Categories:  1: Featured  Game Recap  Jon DeRosa  Yankees

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1 muellerscrossing   ~  Sep 9, 2013 9:51 pm

"And I'm not coming back. Not this year."

With three weeks to go? My heart is breaking for you, man:


2 Jon DeRosa   ~  Sep 9, 2013 10:20 pm

[1] You have to care to be pessimistic. I'm not saying I don't like them, I'm saying I don't like their chances and feel depressed.

3 Jon DeRosa   ~  Sep 9, 2013 10:25 pm

Also, "not coming back" as in, not coming back from the Negative Zone, the place in the pictures where the FF is always getting trapped.

4 muellerscrossing   ~  Sep 9, 2013 10:42 pm

I get it. And I didn't mean to troll. It was just too good to pass up.

5 Jon DeRosa   ~  Sep 9, 2013 10:53 pm

[4] I understand you have to take the shots you get, but that's a false equivalency. however, if you are a Sox fan whose dislike of the 2011 team sprang up simultaneously, but independently, to their losing streak, I hope the 2013 team is truly a swell bunch of beards who never cause you to hate them :)

6 monkeypants   ~  Sep 10, 2013 7:22 am

[0] CC Sabathia gave a decent effort when nothing short of his best would do.

He certainly gutted through 7+ innings and 115 pitches, but at the end of the day his line was 7.1/4 R/3ER. The unearned run allowed him to drop his ERA from 4.86 to 4.82. Hmm...Phil Hughes' ERA as a starter this season is 4.86. The peripherals are close, too.

The sad reality is that Sabathia has turned into a slightly more durable, but vastly more expensive Phil Hughes. If that's the case, yesterday may have been pretty much his best.

7 Alex Belth   ~  Sep 10, 2013 7:50 am

6) I'm willing to allow Sabathia an off-season. Not ready to write him off yet.

8 BobbyB   ~  Sep 10, 2013 9:23 am

I'll give CC a one season pass, too. Unfortunately, we are seeing the end of the line. Mo is definitely leaving. No one should believe otherwise. Andy is leaving too, mutually. The captain looks like he'll never be able to play on the ankle again. I don't even expect him to even be a pinch hitter if he can't run to first base. A-Rod will get a year suspension. Hughes and Joba are going to be gone. The fans hate them both and it would be ridiculous to keep either of them. Where does that leave us? We're spending $189 million next year? Oy! Shades of the early 70's.

9 monkeypants   ~  Sep 10, 2013 9:25 am

[7] So am I. I'm just saying that *this year* he has pitched only a smidge better than the guy who has been banished to bullpen and, next, from the organization. Yesterday's effort *was* probably his best. Interesting trivia: of the top 12 pitching performances by a YAnkee this season using game scores, 7 belong to Kuroda, 2 for Nova, 1 for Pettitte, and 2 for Hughes...0 for CC. So one could argue that Hughes' best this season has been better than CC's (and of course Hughes' worst has been worse), while CC has been simply, consistently bad.

Let's hope it's an off year. Otherwise add him to the pile with A-Rod and Teix.

10 monkeypants   ~  Sep 10, 2013 9:27 am

[8] We're spending $189 million next year? Oy! Shades of the early 70's.

Except in the early 1970s, the team was not spending $189 million, or its equivalent then. They only started spending money when George and free agency arrived in earnest, and then they started winning. I'm not sure there's a good historical comparison to current team...maybe the mid- to late-1980s?

11 BobbyB   ~  Sep 10, 2013 9:41 am

[10] Good point. Results will be the same, however. No playoffs on the horizon. In the 80's the team actually had the best record for the decade but never finished in first place. Always the bridesmaid. I'm expecting fourth place or fifth for a while.

12 Start Spreading the News   ~  Sep 10, 2013 10:13 am

[11] Unfortunately, I doubt that would cause the Yanks to lower ticket prices.

13 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 10, 2013 10:31 am

At least Girardi is exhibiting some of the impotent rage the fans are experiencing this season. I would have liked to see him punch Buck in the face, just because.
I'm good with him coming back for three more years if he wants to.
I don't expect them to be great years, mind you. The infield contracts have to play out, regardless of what happens with Cano.
I just think Girardi would be a good guy to have around during for the final Jeter years, and the start of the transition years.
He's not perfect, but he's smart, and edgy so I like him.
After the next few stormy years blow over, the Yanks can go get a mild-mannered guy to run the clubhouse.

14 RIYank   ~  Sep 10, 2013 11:09 am

[9] I guess it seems odd to conclude that an *average* outing for CC is also "his best". Isn't that impossible? Unless they're all just about the same.

15 monkeypants   ~  Sep 10, 2013 1:39 pm

[14] Right: he has been consistently bad this season, whereas Hughes has been just about as bad though with more variation in the quality of his starts. (I'm exaggerating, but of course.) Interestingly, his GSc of 54 yesterday was his median score for the season. HIs average GSc this year is 50. So it was a very average start for the 2013 version of the team's ace, if not better than average.

16 RIYank   ~  Sep 10, 2013 3:19 pm

His best game scores this year are 69, 70, 72. So why do you say 54 is "his best"?
He's been a little more consistent than Hughes, I think, but not a whole lot.

17 monkeypants   ~  Sep 10, 2013 4:17 pm

[15] Well, I did say explicitly that I exaggerated. My larger point, which I thought was clear for all, is that after 30 starts we shouldn't expect more out of CC than we should from Phil. Yeah, it woulda been great if he went out and threw 7 innings of shut out or one run ball. But that's pretty much not been CC this year.

Hughes' average GSc is around 48, I think. HIs median is 52. But he has a few higher GSc than CC's best in three fewer starts. So it looks like Phil's best this year has been a little better than CC's, but he's had more atrocious starts. The biggest difference seems to be that Hughes gets pulled earlier when he stinks it up.

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