Results tagged ‘ Toronto Blue Jays ’

Game 155: Welcome back, Tanaka.

If you sang that to the tune of “Welcome Back, Kotter,” give yourself a hand, because that’s what I wanted you to do.  Masahiro Tanaka made his first start in what felt like ages, after sitting out with an injury.  We could have used him a few months ago, but it’s better to have him healthy now so he’ll be 100% for next season, instead of pitching through it anyway and being useless by February.  As you know, I want the team to finish above .500, so every little bit helps.

For coming off an injury that had him out for a while, he did a fantastic job — 5.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K.  He’s really going to be an incredibly solid part of the rotation next season, if we can just keep him encased in bubble wrap the whole time.  Warren, Betances, and Robertson pitched in relief, with D-Rob picking up his 38th save of the season.  They did a great job, and since I seldom have opportunity to praise them, I’m doing it now.

Well, one thing I can say for the offense is at least we didn’t leave 11 men on base or go 3-13 with RISP.  We went 2-8, but that’s still better.  Brett Gardener went 2-5 with 1 RBI, Brian McCann went 2-3 with 3 RBI, Derek Jeter went 2-4 with an RBI, and Ichiro went 2-4.  Unfortunately, with the exception of Ichiro, all of our offense was concentrated in the first three batters.  Gardy leads off, Jeter hits second, and McCann hits third.  No one after him, except for Ichiro, got a hit.  That’s pretty damn depressing.  I’m glad we won and all, don’t get me wrong, but that’s a whole lot of nothing from literally everyone else.  We start a series against Baltimore next, and the last game of the series on Thursday will be Derek Jeter’s final home game — we close the season against the Red Sox in Boston, and won’t that be a delight.  So, four more home games for Mr. November.  Where does the time go?

Game 154: Well, that was nice while it lasted.

The Yankees could only manage three in a row, I’m afraid.  Any more and they’d all be liable to blow up or something.  We’re only four games above .500, so my challenge for them is to finish better than 82-82.  Even if it’s 83-81, I don’t care.  Just finish above .500.

Chris Capuano didn’t have the best night, lasting only 5.2 innings, giving up 4 ER on 5 H, walking four while striking out only two.  At least he didn’t give up any HRs, yeah?  Our bullpen was okay, they didn’t completely sh!t the bed, but they did give up a further 2 ER and 5 H, so it wasn’t a sparkling performance by any means.  There were other reasons we eventually ended up losing that had nothing to do with the pitching, as poor as it was.

The offense has been stagnant all season, so that in and of itself wasn’t shocking.  I expect us to barely do anything at the plate anymore.  What annoyed me is we managed 11 hits, a feat for this team, and yet we scored only three runs.  We were 3-13 with RISP and left 11 men on base.  That’s not going to win you ballgames, whether you’re a good team, a poor team, or a middling team.  When are we ever going to clock that many hits during one game?  You need to capitalize on that.  Brett Gardner went 2-5, Derek Jeter went 2-5 with an RBI, Brian McCann went 1-4 with an RBI, Ichiro went 2-4, and Francisco Cervelli went 1-4 with an RBI.  Let’s win today if we can.  That’s IF we can.

Game 153: Wow, three in a row!

I’d like to think the Yankees secretly read my blog, thus understanding just how pissed off I’ve been at them all season, and now they’re trying to butter me up by playing smart baseball and winning games.  I’m on to you, fellas.  *taps side of nose*  It’s just too bad they’re figuring this out in the last two weeks of September, instead of several months ago.  Imagine how different our playoff outlook would be then?

Hiroki Kuroda pitched tonight, kicking all kinds of Blue Jay ass, lasting 6.2 innings, giving up 2 ER on 7 H, with 0 BB and 7 K.  Outman, Rogers, and Warren pitched the remaining 2.1 innings, giving up a combined 2 H and 0 ER, walking one and striking out three.  Warren picked up his 3rd save of the season, as well.

As far as offense goes, it wasn’t great, but it got the job done, which in the end is all that’s really important.  Jacoby Ellsbury went 2-3 with 3 RBI before leaving the game with a strained hamstring, but since it’s September 19, it’s not as crushing a blow as it otherwise would have been.  I still hope he’s alright and won’t have any issues come Spring Training next year.  Derek Jeter went 2-4, and Brian McCann went 1-4 with an RBI.  On a personal note, I can’t honestly say I know why Carlos Beltran played tonight, given the fact his wife lost their unborn child.  If ever there was a time when it was perfectly acceptable to sit the rest of the season, it would be for that.  My good thoughts and positive vibes are with them both right now.

Game 152: We’re trying at least.

Walk-offs are nice, certainly, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a walk-off error before.  In that I mean, an error allowed a runner to score, hence the Yankees winning the game.  Definitely a new one, but the outcome was more than acceptable.  We’ve actually won two whole games in a row now, though how long that’ll go on……I haven’t a clue.

Shane Greene took the mound last night and pitched a damn good game — 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K.  It’s a shame he didn’t factor in the win, because he deserved it.  For any of our starters to make it into the 7th inning is a big deal, especially the pitchers that come from the back of the rotation.  Dellin Betances, Shawn Kelley, and David Robertson (who got the win) all pitched in relief, but the only one who crapped the bed was Shawn Kelley.  He gave up 2 ER on 2 H, allowing the Jays to tie the game.  Not cool.  Thankfully Adam Lind had butterfingers and we were able to squeak away with a win, even if we didn’t play like we deserved to.

On that continued note, at least we managed more than five hits, which is something.  Jeter went 2-4 with an RBI and Stephen Drew went 2-3 with an RBI….and that’s really it.  The offense was fairly spread out, but when two players have half your hits and two-thirds of your run production, things may look spread out, but that’ll just make it all look worse.

Game 135: Will idle wonders never cease?

Game in, game out, the Yankees always find new and exciting ways to lose.  Saturday they lost with only one hit, yesterday they lost with 11!  Progress!  I’m not even going to worry about what other teams are winning or losing, because now that it’s September, it doesn’t actually matter anymore.  Barring some kind of cataclysmic realignment of the entire space-time continuum, we’re not making the playoffs this year.  Which kind of sucks to say out loud, but what can you do?  We just have too many problems that we can’t overcome in a month.  Hopefully next season will be much, much different.

Brandon McCarthy pitched the rubber match, and really, didn’t do that poor of a job.  6.0 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K.  What made it look worse than it was is the fact he gave up three home runs.  They were all solo shots, so the damage wasn’t as bad as it could have been.  The game was still winnable despite that, as Dellin Betances relieved him and didn’t give up any more runs.  Meaning, the damage had been contained.

With 11 hits, you’d think that would have been enough offense to power us past the Jays, who only scored four runs themselves.  Ah, but you’re forgetting that the Yankees are the undisputed kings of leaving runners stranded on base.  Brett Gardner went 3-5 with an RBI, Martin Prado went 2-4, Francisco Cervelli went 2-4 with an RBI, and Chase Headley went 2-3.  Aside from those four that stood out, no one else really did anything.  I’m not even sure I know what I want from the Yankees in their next game, aside from winning.  They score runs, they lose.  They get lots of hits, they lose.  Their starter goes deep into the game, they lose.  Let’s try for a combination of all three but with a win?  Maybe?  Please?

Game 134: One step forward, one hundred steps back.

I’ve said this about the Yankees before, but it’s coming true more and more it seems.  Just when we appear to have all our sh!t together, we completely fall to pieces the next game.  I’m starting to run out of ways to describe it without translating from English into a foreign language.  I love them, but they’re killing me.  Baltimore is tied with Minnesota right now, though they’ll probably win anyway, Kansas City is losing to Cleveland, and Detroit is beating the White Sox.  If it wasn’t for the new episode of Doctor Who tonight, today would have been a total loss.

If there’s anything I hate more than pitchers winning despite pitching like crap, it’s pitchers losing despite pitching a great game.  Michael Pineda threw a very, very quality start.  6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K.  How does that lose?  Oh right, no offense.  We’ll get to that in a moment.  The relief corps did their jobs, holding the Blue Jays in place, but again….no offense.  Doesn’t matter how great your pitching is, if your hitters can’t provide the support, you’ll end up losing every time.

Let’s see…..we got one hit today.  ONE STINKIN’ HIT.  Mark Teixeira hit a double.  Oh wow.  We didn’t just lose, we got embarrassed.  There’s literally nothing else to say.  Hopefully we’ll manage at least two hits next game.

Game 133: We really needed that.

After yesterday’s vomitrocious (I just made that word up.) loss, a win tonight would have been just the palate cleanser we needed, like that gargle of mouthwash you take right after you upchuck.  Thankfully, the Yankees provided the ACT (substitute your mouthwash of choice, of course), and we beat the Blue Jays.  With Baltimore winning, Detroit winning, and Seattle winning, we really needed to come out on top.

Chris Capuano followed up Kuroda’s fantastic outing with one of his own, finishing with 6.1 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, and 4 K.  We’ve been getting some surprisingly good pitching from our rotation of late, it’s just a shame our record hasn’t reflected that.  Warren, Outman, and D-Rob comprised our bullpen, finishing the game by giving up just one hit and striking out two.  I will add that we were sloppy in the field, which led to a Toronto run, as we made two errors.  Jeter had an uncharacteristic oopsie, as did Brett Gardner.  At least neither came back to bite us in the @$$.

Our offense tonight wasn’t great, but six runs is by no means something to scoff at, and after the lackluster showing from our series finale with Detroit, I’m certainly not complaining.  Jacoby Ellsbury, who has been a truly great contribution to our lineup, went 2-5 with 2 RBI, picking up our Offensive Star of the Game.  Martin Prado, Mr. Wheaties, went 2-5, Brian McCann went 1-4, Brett Gardner went 1-3 with an RBI, and Chase Headley went 1-2 with an RBI.  Everybody but Teixeira and Beltran got a hit, so at least it was a well-rounded affair, which is something I consistently harp on with these guys.  Even if we lose, lose despite trying your damnedest to win, just don’t roll over and die.  I’d love to post the Crazy Stein again, so let’s see if we can’t sweep these birds.

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 114: Afternoon Delight.

Apparently I’d completely forgotten that this was a 4-game series, because I thought last night’s game was the rubber match.  Either way, winning the series, was important, and we did it.  The only thing I dislike about afternoon games is that I can’t listen to them — I can only listen to night games or games over the weekend.

Our pitching was superb this series, and this afternoon was no different.  Shane Greene has been one of the many call-ups, acquisitions, and bullpen shifts we’ve had this season, and he demonstrated today that he can be very, very dominant on the mound.  His final line was 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K.  David Robertson came in during the 9th and got his 31st save for the effort.  Can’t say much more about that.

Can’t say much about the offense, either.  We managed only one run on nine hits.  Everyone in the lineup got at least a hit, except Francisco Cervelli, and Ichiro went 2-3, the only player to get more than one.  Our lone run came from Stephen Drew, who made up for his sloppy defense last night by hitting an RBI double in the 4th.  Let’s hope that Toronto loses again tonight, so we can pull ourselves even with them, then start to pull away during the next series.

Game 113: Bronx Bombers

Considering that Tuesday night’s game ended in extras, and that it was possible we could have won the game, this would have been a sweep of a heavily favored Tigers team, but I’ll take 2 out of 3.  Just like against the Red Sox, also a series we should have swept.  Toronto won, so we didn’t gain any ground on them, but that meant that Baltimore lost, so both teams gained a game on them

Chris Capuano took the mound for us last night, and pitched a stellar game, going 6.2 innings, giving up only 1 R on 5 H, while striking out eight.  Unfortunately he got a no decision for the night, as we didn’t take the lead until after he’d left the game.  That doesn’t, however, take away from how great he pitched.  Our bullpen held the Tigers hitless for the rest of the game.

The title of this recap alludes to how we managed to best Verlander, and that was through the home run.  We hit two, and that was just enough to be the difference, the extra runs over that were just insurance.  Chase Headley hit one in the 5th, and Brian McCann hit one in the 7th.  One thing I don’t hesitate to point out is that the Yankees were incredibly sloppy in the field last night, giving up four errors.  Jeter had one, Capuano had one, and Stephen Drew had two.  Giving up a baserunner or a run because of a hit or walk is one thing, but allowing the other team to capitalize because our heads are up our butts is quite another.  Hopefully the sloppiness will disappear for our next set of games.

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