Results tagged ‘ Tampa Bay Rays ’

Game 151: We’re in second place!

One should also bear in mind that we’re 14.5 games behind the Orioles, not that it actually matters anymore now, but still.  Woohoo, second place.  I should take comfort in the fact we didn’t get swept, but right now, my main goal is finishing the season above .500.  I can’t even remember the last time we finished the season below that mark.  I’d like to not have my memory refreshed, TYVM.

Brandon McCarthy pitched 7.0 innings, giving up 2 ER on 4 H, giving us another great pitching performance that this time didn’t lead to a loss.  Dellin Betances pitched the 8th, and David Robertson pitched the 9th, picking up his 37th save of the season.  Between them, they gave up only one hit and struck out four.  As has been something I’ve remarked upon quite a bit since returning to this blog early last month, our pitching, for the most part, hasn’t been the problem.  It’s been spotty yes, but on the whole, it’s done better than it’s done poorly.  The problem has been the offense being woefully inconsistent.  Now, about that….

We scored a grand total of four runs this entire series.  No runs in the first game, one run in the second game, three runs last night.  We nearly managed to hit upon the Fibonacci sequence, there.  The fact we only scored three runs is undercut by the fact we only managed four hits, so yet again….yeah.  No one stuck out, no one did anything of great consequence.  It was a boring, painful, win.  I’d rather those than a loss, but I don’t like seeing so many of our players slumping at the same time.  Derek Jeter’s batting average right now is .249.  .249.  He’s retiring in eleven games with an average that is right now, approaching the Mendoza line.  How that can not be anything other than depressing?

Game 150: The Yankees clearly hate their fans.

Well, I should have expected this, really.  I mean, at this rate, we may not finish the season over .500.  With 12 games to go, it’s entirely doable, and since the playoffs are firmly out of the picture, why not shoot for the stars, eh?  Congrats are in order for the Baltimore Orioles, as they won their first AL East championship since 1997, incidentally the one year from 1996-2000 that the Yankees didn’t win the World Series.  Hmm.  Foreshadowing for next season?  I could go with a 1998-style run right about now.

Unlike Monday’s stellar pitching performance that translated into a loss, we got the exact opposite of that last night, and still lost anyway.  Michael Pineda turned in an uncharacteristically middling performance, lasting only 5.1 innings, giving up 1 ER on 4 H.  It was our bullpen that didn’t help matters at all.  Esmil Rogers gave up 3 ER on 2 H during his stint in the game, which lasted all of 1/3 of an inning, then Rich Hill comes in and gives up 1 ER on 2 H, leaving before even recording an out.  When the Yankees suck, we make a show out of it, don’t we?

Well, the good news is, we exceeded our offensive output from Monday by well over 100%.  The bad news is, we only scored one run, and on Monday we scored no runs at all.  So, I mean, it’s something.  Whatever.  Ichiro went 1-4 with an RBI, Francisco Cervelli went 2-3, and that’s basically it as far as notable performances went.  Let’s see if we can get swept tonight!

Game 149: Beyond pitiful.

I don’t really think words exist to describe the horror of last night’s game.  I really don’t.  I don’t know what was worse about it; the fact we didn’t score a single run, or the fact we gave up the win in the bottom of the 9th inning.  It’s like the Yankees hate their fans, and want to make them suffer as much as is humanly possible.

Chris Capuano pitched a great game, it’s a shame that he didn’t get a win to reflect it.  6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K — that should be a winning line.  A big thumbs down to Shawn Kelley who coughed up the RBI to Zobrist in the 9th, that was not cool.  I mean, we were going to lose anyway, but did it have to be with 2 outs?

A big thumbs down also goes to the offense, who aside from Martin Prado (2-4), didn’t do a damn thing.  I know I’ve come to expect mediocrity these past few months, but come on.  Show some balls.

Game 144: I have no idea how the hell we managed to win this game.

If I could post an accurate representation of my face after last night’s game, I would, but as there is no graphic representation of what I was thinking and/or feeling at the time, I cannot.  Suffice to say, “shocked” comes as close as can be done.  I had the game on in the background as I was doing other work, considering we were being no-hit, and it wasn’t exactly like I wanted to listen to that, but I’m a fan so I did.  Then things started to get interesting.  Huzzah indeed.  Our win also brought us to within 4 games of the second Wild Card slot, which while improbable….isn’t necessarily impossible.

Michael Pineda pitched a solid, thankfully deep game last night, lasting 7.1 innings, giving up 4 ER on 10 H.  Could do without all those hits, but at least the Rays weren’t able to capitalize on all of them.  Though at the time, considering we were being no-hit, it wouldn’t have mattered if he gave up no hits himself or 100.  Special kudos go out to Alex Cobb, who took a no-hitter into the 8th inning.  I normally don’t highlight opposing pitching unless they throw a truly spectacular game, either in victory or defeat, but he deserved it.  I wasn’t rooting for the no-hitter, but I was still impressed by how dominant he was.  Good job.  I’m still glad you lost, though.

As is our wont sometimes, the offense didn’t show up until damn near the last second.  No-hit until the 8th, when Chris Young (a name that will come up again) smacked a double into center, we didn’t do anything.  We did the exact definition of “nothing.”  Then things got interesting.  After Chris Young’s double, Martin Prado, another name you’ve been reading a lot about here, hit a HR, bringing the score to 4-2.  Then in the bottom of the 9th, Chris Young came up to the plate again and hit a 3-run HR to win the game, 5-4.  All in the span of maybe 30 minutes, not counting commercial breaks.  Young ended up going 2-4 with 3 RBI, Martin Prado went 1-1 with 2 RBI in a pinch hitter situation, and Ichiro got our only other hit, going 1-4.  I like winning, but let’s try not to wait until the last damn second, please.

Game 143: Come from behind victory.

I was going to leave the title as is, but minus the word “victory,” then thought about how absolutely filthy it sounded, regardless of the fact I wasn’t talking what it might look like I was talking about, and thus opted to leave the word in.  If any of you reading this managed to follow that sentence, you get a gold star.  So do the Yankees, who managed to shock and awe me by falling behind early, but clawing ahead to take the lead and ultimately win the game.  We haven’t done that all that often this year.

Chris Capuano didn’t exactly have the best game.  That’s putting it mildly of course, he lasted only 0.1 innings, or basically one out.  He lasted one out.  He gave up 4 ER on 4 H, walking two, which is a great line if you pitch 7 or 8 innings…..not when you’ve only recorded one out.  Thus, our bullpen had a yeoman’s task ahead of them, trying to hold the Rays to four runs so we could maybe possibly I don’t know find a way to win the game.  They managed to do it, and all of them deserve a steak dinner and a cold beer for it, so Jeter should get on that.  I picked him because he’s arguably the richest guy on the team, so he could afford to drop a few quid for it.

Unfortunately, Derek had no hits last night, which is another reason why he should be the one to pay for the steak dinners and beer.  Those that did have a good night at the plate include Brian McCann (2-3, 3 RBI), Chris Young (3-4, 2 RBI), Chase Headley (2-3, RBI), Mark Teixeira (1-3, RBI), and Ichiro (1-4, RBI).  As you can see, varied production from the top and the bottom of the lineup, which is something I’m always bitching about seeing from them game after game after game.  I hope we try and build upon this and win tonight.

Game 142: Playing out the string.

I should have been upset by last night’s loss, but I wasn’t.  I wasn’t upset because in some small part, I expected it, and in another, I’ve become so desensitized to our losses that when they happen, even when I thought we’d win, I find it hard to get upset or angered or even annoyed.  We’re 11 GB in the AL East now, god knows how many games back in the Wild Card race, so for all intents and purposes (not “intensive purposes,” as some might erroneously believe), our season is done.  We are, as the title suggests, merely playing out the string.  It’s sad that as a Yankees fan, that’s what we’re doing, but it hasn’t been our year since 2009, when we acquired CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, and AJ Burnett.  That was almost a surreal season — I don’t think anyone was anticipating we’d land all three, much less end up winning the World Series.  Ah well, as Topol sang in Fiddler on the Roof, sunrise…..sunset.

Hiroki Kuroda did not have a good game, which is a rarity.  I dare say he actually had a horribly sh!tty one.  Lasting only 3.1 innings, he gave up 4 ER on 9 H.  As a result of our starter’s early exit, Girardi went through nearly everyone we had in the pen, including our closer, David Robertson.  The sad part is, the seven pitchers that came in for relief gave up only a further two hits, no more runs, and struck out a combined six.  I say it’s sad because they they kept us in the game.  Any team that chase out the starter in the 4th inning, you’d think would tattoo the bullpen for a bunch of runs/hits as well, but the Rays stopped at four. 

The other thing that makes that sad, is that the Yankees stopped at three.  When your pitcher craps the bed, but your bullpen holds the other team right where they are, you’re supposed to take advantage of that and make them pay for being unable to chase out your relievers, too.  We didn’t do that.  Jacoby Ellsbury went 2-4 with an RBI, Chris Young went 1-3 with 2 RBI, and Ichiro went 2-3.  That’s the extent of our offensive firepower, and the one good thing I can say about the Yankees last night was that we went 3-5 with RISP and left only two men on base.  I was anticipating a far more aggravating number.  Let’s just win tonight and as I keep saying, try to end the season on a high note.

Game 122: Onwards and upwards.

After dropping a series to the lowly Indians and the soaring Orioles, we needed to take this series against Tampa badly.  If not to improve our playoff chances, but to at least save face.  Thankfully, we managed to do that this afternoon.  Boston lost, Toronto lost, but Baltimore won, so we gained ground on the first two, and held firm against the last.  At this point in the season. you look to the little things, and right now I’d just like to finish the year above .500.  We’re 4 games over at the moment, and I want that number to continue getting bigger, not smaller.  If we’re not going to make the playoffs, I’d at least like a .500 record.  I hope that’s not too much to ask.

Hiroki Kuroda threw yet another fantastic game, and I sometimes shudder to think just how shit we’d be right now if he’d been hurt, along with CC and Tanaka.  Hell, we could be vying with Boston and Texas for worst team in the AL.  We needed a really strong, solid performance out of him, and he delivered in spades, going 6.2 innings, giving up only 2 ER on 4 H.  Shawn Kelley, Dellin Betances (who turned in a solid performance yesterday), and David Robertson, he of the magic high socks, all pitched in relief and matched Kuroda in regard to consistency.  D-Rob, by the by, picked up his 33rd save.

Our offense today wasn’t exactly far removed from our offense of yesterday, but anymore, as long as we win, I’m willing to overlook it.  Brett Gardner went 1-4 with 2 RBI, winning Offensive Star of the Game™, Martin Prado went 2-4, Chase Headley went 2-4, and Mark Teixeira went 1-4 with an RBI.  At least the offense was mostly spread out amongst the lineup, with all but three starting players getting at least one hit at the plate.  We’re off tomorrow, but we start a series at home against the Astros on Tuesday, so hopefully after a day off, the offense will wake up and smash the crap out of Houston pitching.

Game 121: HOLY CRAP, WE ACTUALLY WON!

I’m not entirely sure we deserved to win this game, but I’ll take it.  I know that’s a horribly pessimistic viewpoint to take, but this season, the Yankees have inspired it in me.  It’s always tense playing division rivals, especially a team you’re fighting with to stay out of 4th place and to stay above .500, but everything else that’s seemingly gone wrong this season has merely intensified that tenseness, if that’s a real word.  Thankfully Baltimore lost, so we gained a game on them, if on no one else.

Shane Greene pitched very well for us, but unfortunately due to a not-at-all-surprising lack of offense, only got a ND for his troubles, instead of a win.  His final line was 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 K.  I’ll take that from everyone in the rotation each game and twice on Sunday.  Dellin Betances got the win, as he was still the pitcher of record when we broke the tie in the top of the 9th.  He also lowered his ERA to a paltry 1.50.  David Robertson picked up his 32nd save of the year, facing the bare minimum of three batters.

The only reason we won the game was because of Derek Jeter.  How many times has that sentence been uttered in the last two decades?  His single in the 9th scored Brett Gardner, who’d reached base on a single and an error.  Mark Teixeira went 2-4, and Martin Prado, who went 1-3 with 2 RBI was responsible for the other two runs we scored….and that’s it as far as offense goes.  Hopefully tomorrow’s game won’t be such a snooze.

Game 120: Ever-increasing Spirals.

I wish I could say I have high hopes for this team, but I don’t.  We don’t appear to be doing anything right, and things are never as bad as when they’re at their worst.  Playing a divisional rival, someone who could very well surpass us shortly if things don’t change in a hurry, winning is paramount.  Not that a team can ever afford to lose games, but we can’t exactly afford to lose any now, not if we have any hope of eking into a playoff spot.  Thankfully for us, Baltimore, Boston, and Toronto all lost, so everyone basically stayed put at the end of the night. 

Brandon McCarthy didn’t have the best night, but he pitched into the 7th, which showed a willingness to stay in the game as long as possible to keep from burning out the pen.  His final line wasn’t even that poor, really.  6.1 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K — that’s a great line, provided of course his team gives him some runs to work with.  Since our offense did nothing, it made what he did look even worse by comparison.  Esmil Rogers pitched the remaining 1.2 innings, giving up 1 ER on 1 H.  If I’m being honest. Brandon didn’t deserve to lose.  With any decent amount of run support, we win that game, and he gets the W.  Everyone in the lineup owes him at the very least a steak dinner and a beer.  Add to all of that the two errors we committed, and we had no chance.

Speaking of the offense, I wasn’t aware Alex Cobb was being possessed by Sandy Koufax.  Sure, we got seven hits, but what did we do with them?  We were 1-6 with RISP, and as a team, had 7 LOB.  The only two batters in the lineup to reach base more than once were Jeter and Teixeria, both of whom went 2-4.  It was a piss-poor, paltry effort, and one that inspired no confidence.  After the last two dismal series we just had, one against Cleveland, the other against division-leading Baltimore, we can’t afford to drop this one too. 

Game 40: It’s about damn time.

Well.  It’s nice to see the Yankees taking care of business for once.  Finally snapping a six-game skid, we got not only great pitching, but offense that didn’t die on the vine.  Ivan Nova pitched 5.1 innings, gave up 1 ER on 4 H, walked two and struck out four.  Our bullpen collectively gave up just 1 ER on 2 H, walked three and struck out three in 3.2 IP.  Very nicely done.  BTW, last night’s game was the 997th game that Mo has pitched in during his career, which means he’s only three more appearances away from 1,000 games pitched.  You don’t see that kind of longevity in closers anymore.

The offense finally showed up and showed up with some authority.  Alex went 2-4 with 2 RBI, both coming on solo HRs, Jorge went 2-3, Gardy went 3-4 with an RBI, and Derek went 1-5 with an RBI which means he’s only 34 hits away from 3,000.  It was nice to see some slumping players get off the schnide, and it was nice to see just a great overall level of participation from everyone.  Let’s continue it for the series against Baltimore, please.

Stars of the Game™

Our bullpen, Alex, and Jorge Posada.  Good work!

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