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The Sun Goes Down Alone

CC

So what are we to make of these Yankees? They race out to a first place lead in April and stay there long enough to make folks think about the playoffs even if there were more than 120 more games to play, then they suffer through the team’s worst run in twenty years, losing ten of eleven, before righting the ship with a three-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals. (And by the way, that was a fun series, wasn’t it? I’ll never get tired of the old clips of Brett and Nettles throwing haymakers; they’d each get ten-game suspensions today for behavior like that, but in the boys-will-we-boys era of 1977? Nothing at all.)

So as the Yankees headed out to the West Coast for four games against the hapless Athletics, there were hopes that the momentum would continue. For a while, that’s exactly what happened. The Bombers got on the board first when Brian McCann laced a homer into the right field seats with one out in the second, staking CC Sabathia to a 1-0 lead.

I don’t think anyone in the organization expected much from Sabathia this season, but still he’s somehow managed to fall short of those low expectations. Tonight, however, he wasn’t bad, not nearly as bad as the box score would indicate. The A’s put together something of a rally in the bottom of the third, and for a while it looked like the type of inning that’s been CC’s undoing over the last few years. With one out Josh Phegley hit a flair to right center, Mark Canha grounded a single up the middle, and Billy Burns blooped a ball in front of Carlos Beltrán in right. Three unimpressive singles had loaded the bases, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if the next hitter had blasted a grand slam. Instead, the old Sabathia showed up for a bit. He struck out Marcus Semien on a high fastball, then painted the inside corner with another fastball to get Ben Zobrist looking to end the threat. Hope?

The Yankee hitters took that momentum and turned it into another run in the top of the fourth. Alex Rodríguez blasted a ground ball through the teeth of the shift for a leadoff single and then moved to second when Mark Teixeira walked. When McCann followed that with a solid single to center, A-Rod came rumbling around third looking to score the Yanks’ second run, but he was called out after the umpire ruled he had missed the plate.

Here’s one thing I like about the instant replay system. A-Rod knew he had touched the dish with his left hand as he had slid by the plate, but he didn’t get angry at all. After being called out he simply turned to the dugout and motioned for Joe Girardi to challenge the play. A minute later his run was on the board. In the old days he would’ve jumped and screamed and nothing would’ve changed; I like this way better.

In the top of the fifth Brett Gardner started a one-out rally with a single to right, then took off on a 3-2 pitch to Chase Headley and coasted into third when the third baseman stroked a single to right center. A-Rod produced a professional at bat, lofting a sacrifice fly to right field to tie Barry Bonds on the all-time RBI list at 1,996 and give the Yanks a 3-0 lead.

There was nothing fancy about any of it, but the workmanlike efficiency was comforting. Sure, there had been some missed opportunities for more, but a three-run lead against this quadruple-A team seemed pretty comfortable. In fact, when a kid named Billy Burns hooked a ball about six inches over the wall and six inches from the left field foul pole for a homer that cut the Yankee lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth, I wasn’t the least concerned. (If you want to know the truth, it didn’t break my heart. I picked up Burns in my fantasy league a couple days ago. That home run might’ve hurt CC and the Yanks, but it helped keep my Oxford Commas comfortably in first place.)

It was the sixth inning when things fell apart. After giving up a ringing double to Zobrist on the first pitch of the frame, Sabathia dug deep again, getting Billy Butler to fly out and striking out Stephen Vogt. But for some reason he altered his delivery to Brett Lawrie, going to a slide step even though Zobrist was sitting firmly on third base with no place to go. The resulting pitch floated up a bit, and Lawrie pounded the mistake into the seats to tie the game. One bad pitch undid six innings of work.

Making things worse, Sabathia opened the seventh by yielding a single to Phegley and a walk to Canha, and that would be all. David Carpenter came in and made a mess of things (single, bases loaded walk, sacrifice fly for a 5-3 Oakland lead), but Sabathia wasn’t nearly as bad as the numbers make him look. In fact, if he could manage to pitch this well every time out the rest of the way, the Yankees would win the division. Sadly, it wasn’t good enough tonight.

The Yankees mounted a two-out rally in the bottom of the ninth against the ex-Yankee Clippard, scoring a run when Brett Gardner rocked a double to the wall to score Garret Jones, but when Burns hauled in Headley’s fly ball on the warning track in left center, the game was over. Athletics 5, Yankees 4.

[Photo Credit: Ben Margot/AP Photo]

Up All Night

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Sorry for the late game thread you guys. That’s my bad.

Never mind being tardy:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Ron Salas. 

Get Out of Town

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I don’t think Alex Rodriguez is going to stay healthy all year. But that constant worry aside, he’s been fun to watch, huh? Passing the greats on the RBI list, approaching 3,000 hits. I know I’m enjoying the hell out of it.

The other night, David Cone said he spoke with Rodriguez who told him how much of a relief it was not to play the field. We often hear hitters complain that they don’t like DH’ing because it takes them out of the game. But at Rodriguez’s age, he’s played the field enough. Standing on the hard infield in spikes is murder on your back., not to mention the mental focus playing the field takes. Now, Rodriguez’s job is to concentrate on getting a few good swings each game. Yes, he guesses. (Recently, he’s gone down to one knee, Reggie-Beltre-style, on some of his big hacks.)

I wonder how much he thinks about Edgar Martinez, the wonderful DH he played with early in his career.

Rodriguez slapped a 3-run home run yesterday which was enough to give Michael Pineda (nice bounce back start) and the bullpen all the runs they’d need as the Yanks completed a 3-game sweep of the Royals, 4-2.

Next stop, late night’s out west in Oakland and then Seattle.

Picture by Bags

Wednesday Matinee

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Dear Yankees,

Please do not let that chump Chris Young stifle you again. And how ’bout our pal Pineda righting himself while you’re at it?

Thank you,

Bronx Banter

Brett Gardner LF

Chase Headley 3B

Alex Rodriguez DH

Mark Teixeira 1B

Brian McCann C

Carlos Beltran RF

Stephen Drew 2B

Slade Heathcott CF

Didi Gregorius SS

Never mind those rain clouds:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags

Twice as Nice

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Adam Warren pitched his best game of the year, Mark Teixeira drove in the runs, and The Twin Towers closed things out as the Yanks beat the Royals, 5-1.

A tidy, satisfying win if there ever was one.

Picture by Bags

Going Back for Seconds

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It’s the Warren Report as the Yanks look to extend their winning streak to 2.

Brett Gardner LF

Chris Young CF

Alex Rodriguez DH

Mark Teixeira 1B

Chase Headley 3B

Carlos Beltran RF

Stephen Drew 2B

John Ryan Murphy C

Didi Gregorius SS

Never mind the moisture:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

True Indeed

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At long last, the Yanks win a game. And not only did they win it, well, they put a beatin’ on the Royals to the tune of 14-1.

The Yanks sored early and often, launching a trio of 3-run singers. Nathan Eovaldi was terrific, and a couple of youngters–Mr. Heathcott and Mr. Lindren–pitched in to make this a happy, worry-free afternoon of baseball for the home town team.

Wunnerful, wunnerful.

[Photo Credit: Chris Heads]

Mind The Gap

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The Yanks turn to none other than Nathan Eovaldi to put an end to this losing nonsense.

Feel better?

Right.

Brett Gardner LF

Chase Headley 3B

Alex Rodriguez DH

Mark Teixeira 1B

Brian McCann C

Garrett Jones RF

Stephen Drew 2B

Didi Gregorius SS

Slade Heathcott CF

Never mind no negative thinking:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Image Via Markmcevoy]

Down Bring Me Down

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Goodness.

At least the best team in the league isn’t coming into town. Oh–wait.

Picture by Bags

I’m A Blunt Getting Smoked And I Can’t Wake Up

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Yanks playing like they’re under the influence these past few weeks.

Tonight gives celebrating Bernie Williams, one of our favorites. Check out this nifty appreciation by our man C.C.

Brett Gardner LF

Chase Headley 3B

Alex Rodriguez DH

Mark Teixeira 1B

Brian McCann C

Garrett Jones RF

Chris Young CF

Didi Gregorius SS

Jose Pirela 2B

Never mind the losing:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags

Beat Down

Buster Keaton - College (1927) sad athlete

Well, goddamn, this thing seems to have a life of its own, doesn’t it? The Yanks didn’t just lose today, they were embarrassed, 15-4. I mean, good grief, already, when you’re going bad everything you touch turns to shit.

Give it Away, Give it Away, Give it Away Now

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When your team is on a losing streak none of the calls go their way, the bloops don’t fall, and line drives don’t hit off the wall then drop onto the warning track, they skip off the top of the wall into the stands. The walks and errors bury them and even when they do catch something of break, like when a touchy home plate umpire ejects the oppositions’ best player early in the game, it doesn’t help. Nothing does. Mustaches, no mustaches. You’re screwed.

Adam Warren pitched well tonight and started the 7th inning with the game tied at 2. Then Chase Headley boots a ground ball, Warren walks a batter, gets ahead of the next guy then walks him to load the damn bases. His night was over and Warren walked off the mound with an aftertaste that will no doubt last until his next start. The Nat’s scored a run and the Yanks couldn’t match them. Alex Rodriguez was called out on strikes by the same schmuck home plate up to end the game. How it was called a strike I still can’t figure, though balls were called strikes all night so I suppose Alex should have prepared to swing at horseshit in order to stay alive.

Final Score: Nats 3, Yanks 2.

This two-game series in Washington wasn’t going to be easy for the Yanks but adman, they could have won both games–especially last night, man. Instead, the losing continues. Tomorrow gives another off-day, then its back home for the weekend.

Let’s hope a return to the Bronx peps them up.

Losing is Not a Good Look

hatsbags

Brett Gardner LF

Carlos Beltran RF

Mark Teixeira 1B

Brian McCann C

Chase Headley 3B

Stephen Drew 2B

Chris Young CF

Didi Gregorius SS

Never mind the losing streak:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags 

And The Ken L Ration Award Goes To…

KenL

Tasked with holding a 6-2 lead in the 5th inning, Nathan Eovaldi faltered and earned the Ken L Ration Award for the night. His performance was a dog.

He didn’t blow the lead entirely, leaving the game with a 6-5 lead but the damage was done. The Nats tied the score and it remained tied until the bottom of the 10th inning when Andrew Miller gave up his first runs of the season–a two-run home run by Ryan Zimmerman off the right filed foul pole.

Dem things happen, of course, but after a bad week, this loss was regrettable.

Final Score: Nats 8, Yanks 6. 

But that wasn’t the worst of it as Jacoby Ellsbury is headed to the 15-day DL. 

Can I get a “Harumph”?

National Attention

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After a lousy week, the Yanks have a tough couple of games down in D.C.

I’ll settle for a split.

Jacoby Ellsbury CF

Brett Gardner LF

Chris Young RF

Mark Teixeira 1B

Brian McCann C

Chase Headley 3B

Jose Pirela 2B

Stephen Drew SS

It’s Eovaldi vs. Gio Gonzalez.

Never mind the monuments:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags

Get Well Soon

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Drag.

[Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac]

Tough Week

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Well, crud. The Yanks got their asses handed to them today in Kansas City and end a long week (3-5) on a tough note.

They’ve got a couple off-days this week. Two-game series vs. the Nats starting Tuesday.

Clear your heads, boys. Time to turn this back around.

Sunday Gravy

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It’s a hot Sunday afternoon here in the Bronx. I can only imagine it’ll be hot out in Kansas City, too.

Chris Capuano, just called up from the minors, makes the start.

Never mind those ribs:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags

Dr. Feelgood

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Chase Headley got a 3-2 change up and slapped at it like it was a whiffle ball. He hit the ball over the fence in left field, good for a 3-run home run. That broke up a 1-1 tie. Alex Rodriguez re-directed a Joe Blanton fastball on the inside part of the plate over the fence in right for a solo homer in the 9th and the rest was left to C.C. Sabathia who was terrific. The Twin Towers polished off the Royals in the 8th and 9th innings respectively and the Yanks had a tidy 5-1 win to end their modest losing streak.

 

[Photo Credit: Charlie Riedel/AP]

Live at the Barbeque

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Yanks look to the Big Fella tonight in K.C.

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Chris Young LF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran RF
Chase Headley 3B
Jose Pirela 2B
Stephen Drew SS
John Ryan Murphy C

Never mind the last four games:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Photo Credit: Lauren Condoluci/Slate]

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