"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice
Category: Yankees

Tatters

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A plump 3-0 lead, Bradon McCarthy pitching well, 2 outs in the 6th inning. Sunday looking like a good day for the Yanks. Then Melky Cabrera hits a bomb, and Jose Bautista hits a shot (he’s homered in his last five games). Edwin Encarnacion joined the party with a solo blast of his own in the 7th, and a base hit off the otherwise stellar Dellin Betances resulted into a close play at the plate and when the smoke cleared the Jays went ahead, where they’d stay to beat the Yanks, 4-3.

Yanks got the tying run on second with one out in the 9th, and then had him 90 feet away with two out for Derek Jeter. But the captain didn’t have a headline in him, just another weak, harmless line out to second.

Couple of painful losses this weekend, Juice. Brutal.

[Picture by Hugo Pratt]

Do You Believe?

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…In these Yankees? Do they have a ’95 September run in them? Remember when it was Mattingly’s last month of baseball. Mebbe they’s kin do something likewise for DJ.

The most effective Mr. McCarthy’s on the mound today:

Brett Gardner CF
Derek Jeter DH
Martin Prado 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran RF
Chase Headley 3B
Francisco Cervelli C
Stephen Drew SS
Zelous Wheeler LF

Never mind the breaks:

[Picture by Bags]

Only the Lonely

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Michael Pineda made one mistake, hung one breaking ball, and Jose Bautista hit it, good for a 2-run homer. The Yankees managed one hit. That’s how it’s been and that’s how it went yesterday as the Blue Jays won, 2-0.

Onward.

[Photo Via: The Minimalisto]

I Can See Clearly Now

tumblr_nay41zRuJc1qbhl2oo1_1280 It’s the big fella, Pineda. Yo, we haven’t talked about it much but the one thing that stands out to me about Pineda is his swagger. He’s got great stuff, clearly, and some attitude to back it up. Yanks haven’t had a cocky dude like him as a starter for awhile.

The boys need him to be on today. Ellsbury’s out of the line-up.

Brett Gardner CF

Derek Jeter SS

Carlos Beltran DH

Mark Teixeira 1B

Brian McCann C

Martin Prado LF

Stephen Drew 2B

Chase Headley 3B

Ichiro Suzuki RF

Never mind nuthin’: Let’s Go Yank-ees!

 

[Picture by Bags]

Hangin’ Around

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Down 1-0 after 6, man, it looked like another one of those nights. But then the Yanks scored 5 runs, added another one late on a solo home run by Jacoby Ellsbury, as they beat the Jays 6-3.

Nice job by Chris Capuano who told reporters after the game, “I couldn’t be prouder to get a win as a Yankee. It feels really good.”

It ain’t over.

[Picture by Bags]

Lovely How I Let My Mind Float

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Yanks are on the edge of something exciting or something depressing.

They’ll play three this weekend in Toronto.

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Derek Jeter SS
Martin Prado 3B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Carlos Beltran DH
Brett Gardner LF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Stephen Drew 2B

Never mind the bollocks:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Photo Credit: Morgan Maassen via This Isn't Happiness]

No Horseplay, Please.

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My glass is always half full, but I had a bad feeling heading into this game. When the news first broke that Jusin Verlander was being pushed in favor of a kid making his major league debut, the prevailing thought was that the Yankees had caught a huge break by avoiding the former Cy Young winner. My first response? “Oh, no.”

I seem to remember seeing some statistics indicating that the Yankees don’t perform as poorly as we think they do against rookies, but my memory tells a different story. Even when the Yankees were regularly running roughshod over the American League, unknown pitchers were their Kryptonite, and so it was on Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park in Detroit.

Hiroki Kuroda, as usual, was good enough to win, even though he didn’t. He pitched seven strong innings, giving up just two runs while allowing only four singles and a walk, an effort the team would clearly have signed up for on Thursday morning.

The problem, of course, is that Detroit’s Kyle Lobstein was just as good — or more accurately, just as effective. He didn’t strike out a single hitter, and Yankee batters were able to hit several balls hard, but it never amounted to anything. He lasted six innings, yielded only four hits, a walk, and two runs (one earned).

As a result, the game zipped into the late innings tied at two, with each team desperate for a win to get closer to a playoff spot, and each team squandering opportunities. Dellin Betances took over for Kuroda in the eighth and eventually found himself facing the best hitter on the planet with two outs and the potential winning run on second base. Demonstrating his growing confidence and maturity, Betances didn’t give in to the temptation to prove his strength by overpowering Miguel Cabrera with a triple-digit fastball. Instead, he froze him with two consecutive 82 MPH curveballs. Cabrera let the first go by without a swing, then waved feebly at the second to strikeout and end the inning.

In the top of the ninth, facing Grizzly Chamberlain, the Yankees mounted a two-out rally. Mark Teixeira walked, Carlos Beltrán singled him to third, and Brian McCann came to the plate needing only a single to put his team in position to win. Joba elevated his second pitch, and McCann absolutely crushed it — but it hooked to the wrong side of the foul pole, leaving the Yankees only inches from what would’ve been a three-run lead. Joba pumped two more pitches past him and the inning was over.

Betances had thrown only 13 pitches in the eighth, so I hoped he’d come back for the ninth, but instead we were treated to Shawn “Horsehead” Kelley. The trouble started immediately. Victor Martínez led off with a double deep into the right field corner, then J.D. Martínez milked a seven-pitch walk and the Tigers had runners on first and second with none out. From there he dug his hole even deeper, working himself into a 3-2 count on Nick Castellanos before recovering with a perfect pitch on the outside corner for a called strike three. Next he toyed with pinch hitter Torii Hunter, overpowering him with 95-97 MPH fastballs and teasing him with marginal sliders before finally finishing him with the heater.

There was hope. As I saw the rest of the game in my mind’s eye, I imagined Kelley overpowering Alex Avila — perhaps striking him out on three pitches — and charging off the mound and into an energized Yankee dugout. His teammates would undoubtedly parlay that momentum into a tenth-inning rally, David Robertson would come in for the save, and the Yankees would escape from Detroit that much closer to the playoffs.

In the time that it took that daydream to wind its way through the corners of my optimistic brain, Avila strolled to the plate, took a hack at Kelley’s first pitch (an inviting slider rather than a crackling fastball), and rocketed it towards the wall in right center. Ichiro raced out towards the gap, but he wasn’t able to make the play (replays showed that perhaps he should’ve made the play), and the game was over.

Kelley was beaten with his second-best pitch, and he seemed to know it. He slammed his mitt to the turf in frustration, and when asked afterwards about how he felt, his answer was direct. “About as bad as I’ve felt walking off a mound in my career. Not good.”

Is this loss worse than any of the other bad losses we’ve suffered through this season? Probably not, but it stings a bit more simply because it reminds of who this team actually is. They simply aren’t going to win six of every seven games they play, but there’s still hope. Masahiro Tanaka is pitching simulated games, Michael Piñeda continues to dominate, Shane Greene has been great, Brandon McCarthy has been much better than anyone could’ve expected, and Hiroki Kuroda has now had three solid starts in a row.

Games like this are frustrating, but it’s not the end of the world. I promise.

What Can and Will Be

chrisheadsz

Afternoon Delight.

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Derek Jeter SS
Martin Prado 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran DH
Brian McCann C
Chase Headley 3B
Brett Gardner LF
Zelous Wheeler RF

Never mind the sunshine:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Photo Credit: Chris Heads]

Would Ya Believe?

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The Yanks made like the Gashouse Gorillas and put a beatin’ on David Price and the Tigers.

That’s baseball, Suzyn…

[Photo Credit: Credit Paul Sancya/Associated Press]

No Time to Slide

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David Price is all that stands in the way of the start of a new winning streak. Oh, and a bunch of OK hitters too. And Verlander tomorrow.

Never mind the funny stuff:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Picture by Bags]

Deep Sixed

All losses at this point are tough ones. Even the games that don’t hurt, hurt. But let’s be positive. Maybe the Yankees have stumbled on the recipe for October baseball. Let’s see if they can follow: Win five, lose one. Repeat until the end of the year.

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In this game, like real estate, location was everything. As in, the Tigers had men located on the bases for timely hits late in the game and the Yankees scattered nine hits in such a way that two Ellsbury bombs accounted for two measly runs. As in, Brandon McCarthy, who had only walked seven in eight starts for the Yanks, walked in the first run of the game on a 58-foot worm-killer.

I have fond feelings for McCarthy. Fond enough to stick with him as he let the game slip away in the sixth? Maybe. I definitely didn’t want to see him in the seventh, though. The final score was 5-2, but maybe there was a closer game in there somewhere.  

The Yankees squeezed three games out of four against the Tigers after the trade deadline. The series was a ray of hope quickly obscured by the shittiness of mid-August and forgotten just about the time they dropped their fourth game of five tries against the Astros. Now they face Price and Verlander (though that means something vastly different this year) and need to start a new streak.

Oh, the rollercoaster of the mediocre. But it was this way when they were good too. Then it was the best record in baseball  or an annoying Red Sox team that hadn’t had it’s will broken yet that was causing the turbulence late in the season. Maybe it’s only the really bad teams, like this year’s Red Sox, sorry defending World Champion Red Sox, whose will came broken in the box, that flatten out in the dead of August.

Thank these Yankees for playing just well enough to still matter as we creep towards September. They will need an excellent stretch, with very few games like this one, to extend this any further than that. And it needs to begin now. 

Drawing by J. Calafiore, Sinister Six #17, 2010, DC Comics

 

The Switch

elllmo

Serious business in Detroit for the Yanks this week: Porcello, Price, and Verlander.

One moment at a time.

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Derek Jeter DH
Brian McCann C
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran RF
Martin Prado 2B
Stephen Drew SS
Chase Headley 3B
Ichiro Suzuki LF

Never mind the growling:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Photo Credit: Andrew Sacks/New York Times]

You’re Allowed to Laugh

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That was fun. Strange and fun. But mostly fun last night and then more strange this morning when I looked up the following information:

1) At 8-1, the seven run margin of victory was the third largest of the year.

2) That eight run total was only the tenth time this year they’ve scored eight or more runs.

3) At 68-61, their current seven game bulge over .500 is the high water mark of the year.

Back to the fun bits. Michael Pineda, who defines for me the scouting term “big frame”, was excellent. Apart from the Red Sox incident (and you know, barely taking the mound in almost three full seasons) he’s been great every time out there. I was guilty of only seeing him pitch once or twice in Seattle and attributing much of his pre-trade success to Safeco. But his stuff will play in every park, if you know, he actually pitches in that park. And while I’m impressed with how few people he’s walked thus far, I think it we’d have to invent the three-pitch walk to give a free a pass to a Royal. They play only hack-a-thons.

The Yankees tagged James Shields, who has been good-not-great this year. I think Shields is a fine pitcher and I’m not too concerned about this most recent ass-kicking, but I can envision a Yankee press conference introducing him this winter and I fear that would be… sub-optimal. The imagined justification: we like Lester way better, but we only had to commit four or five years to Shields. The sooner the Yankees stop this penny-pinching crap and get back to trying to win every year, including the year we’re actually living in, the better. And if they’re going to pinch pennies in the rotation, just pinch the shit out them and re-sign McCarthy.

Speaking of Brandon McCarthy, he’s battling Martin Prado for my favorite acquisition of the trade deadline. McCarthy has the stellar performance and the fun internet presence. Prado has had big hits and weirdly, looks like he’s always worn a Yankee uniform. His power outage in Arizona made him a buy-low and, if it returns, he’s a borderline All-Star.

In closing, the Royals are in a position to end years of futility by making the Postseason. They might even win the division, thus skipping the Wild Card peril and ensuring themselves a home game in front of delirious fans. Among those fans will no doubt be some of the vile lot that abused Robinson Cano in the All-Star Game in 2012. There was a time when I would have liked the Yankees (or even the Mariners, new home of the abused) and the Tigers to give them a big shit-burger to eat. But I’m letting this go because a path of tallying offenses doesn’t lead anywhere I’d like to go.

The season looked lost when they showed their stink side to the Astros last week. But a winning streak cures all and that’s what’s underway. Keeping up the winning ways this road trip will be a challenge, so at least they are starting off laughing.

 

 

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Sleep

sunnyhighway James Shields faces Michael Pineda and the Yanks tonight for a make-up game in K.C.

Jacoby Ellsbury CF

Derek Jeter SS

Brian McCann C

Carlos Beltran DH

Stephen Drew 2B

Martn Prado LF

Chase Headley 1B

Ichiro Suzuki RF

Zelous Wheeler 3B

Contenders or Pretenders: which one of dese?

Never mind the layover: Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Photo Credit: Ralph Crane]

Damn Skippy

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I listened to the first couple of innings of the ball game on Friday night on the radio. I was on a Trailways bus headed upstate to visit my cousin and a few friends for the weekend. As the game started, we were stuck in traffic. Outside–I think we were near Newburgh–it began to ran. Game started like this for the White Sox: base hit, base hit, home run. The next two batters hit long outs–one to the warning track, the other one to the wall.

Welp, it’s gonna be one of those weekends, I figured.

But the Yanks rallied to beat the Sox, won again on Saturday, then yesterday, another comeback. I heard their rally, David Robertson give up a game-tying home run in the 9th and then Brian McCann’s game-ending, pinch-hit homer in extra innings, on the radio again. This time I was in the passenger seat of my buddy’s car. He met me upstate and we had lunch with a friend. Now we were taking a few short cuts to avoid traffic–which we did–and on a lovely, late August afternoon, we listened to John Sterling bring us home. This was no fun for my pal, I should note, as he’s a Red Sox fan, but he was in a good mood so he didn’t mind.

I was happy too and so were the Yanks.

Final Score: Yanks 7, White Sox 4. 

[Picture by Bags]

Faith

Joe Torre Joe Day was a Good day.  Here’s rooting for more goodness this afternoon when the Yanks have to contend with the formidable Chris Sale. Never mind the summer breeze: Let’s Go Yank-ees! [Photo Credit: AP via Lo Hud]

Thank You Sir, May We Have S’More?

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Lousy first inning, no problem. Late magic.

Here’s hoping fer s’more today!

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Picture by Bags]

Hanging On

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Our boys host the White Sox this weekend. No frills, baby, just wins.

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Martin Prado 2B
Brian McCann DH
Chase Headley 3B
Francisco Cervelli C
Zelous Wheeler RF

Never mind the darkness:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Picture by Bags]

Just Desserts

harlmet

Brandon McCarthy: stud. 

[Photo Credit: Danny Ghitis via MPD]

Shape Up

shopz

Yanks try not to suck this afternoon against the Astros.

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Martin Prado 2B
Chase Headley 3B
Francisco Cervelli C
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Zelous Wheeler DH

Never mind the crankiness:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Picture by Bags]

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