Friday, September 6, 2013

Game 140 Wrap-Up: BOS 9 NYY 8

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

Not to diminish what they've done in the last week or so, but if we're being honest, the Yankees have been feasting on some weaker competition lately.  Shit started getting real again last night with the Sawx coming back to town for a 4-game weekend set.  The Yankees needed to not only hang with them but beat them if they were serious about staying in the Wild Card race and things didn't get off to a very rosy start for Ivan Nova last night.  It only got weirder and more unpredictable from there as the Yanks and Sawx played to another one of their all too familiar back-and-forth marathon games.  From a near blowout loss to an incredible comeback win to a blown save to a near walk-off win to a heartbreaking extra innings loss in a matter of 3 innings.  Where do we even begin with a game like that?

Game Notes:

- Nova didn't have the command he showed in his previous outing last night, and the Sawx lineup really worked him over.  He threw 80 pitches in the first 3 innings, including a 47-pitch 3rd that scored 2 runs.  Lotta 3-ball counts and a lot of fouled off pitches.

- A 2-out walk and single loaded the bases for Robinson Cano in the bottom of the 3rd and he narrowly missed a YS3-aided grand slam on what was a 2-run, game-tying double.

- Nova left after 4 innings, 96 pitches, and a solo HR by Will Middlebrooks to give Boston the lead back.  Preston Claiborne came out to start the 5th and also gave up a solo HR to make it 4-2.  He actually didn't retire any of the 5 batters he faced and had 2 more runs tacked onto his ledger before Adam Warren got out of the inning.

- Boston starter Jake Peavy handled the Yankees through 6 and got another run to make it 7-2.  He was over 100 pitches and yet was sent out to start the bottom of the 7th, when the Yankee lineup made its move.

- An Ichiro walk and a Vernon Wells pinch hit single ended Peavy's night, and the Yankees greeted Matt Thornton with an RBI single, walk, and an RBI groundout to make it a 7-4 game.  Thornton gave way to Junichi Tazawa, who gave up a ribbie single to Alfonso Soriano and a ribbie double to Curtis Granderson to pull New York within 1.

- A-Rod struck out and it was up to Lyle Overbay to keep the rally going.  He pulled a groundball single through the right side of the infield to plate 2 runs and just like they did against Chicago earlier this week the Yankees had turned a late deficit into a lead to hand over to their bullpen.

- D-Rob handled the 8th without issue and Mo got 2 quick outs in the 9th before giving up a single to Mike Napoli.  Napoli was pinch run for and the runner immediately stole second and took third on a bad throw by Austin Romine.  The next pitch was hit for a single and the game was shockingly tied.

- The Yanks still had last ups in the bottom of the 9th and were in business after a 1-out Soriano walk.  He almost got picked off first by reliever Craig Breslow before advancing to second, and only pitches later DID get picked off second when he broke way too early for third.  Absolutely cannot happen in that situation with C-Grand at the plate and Joe's reaction in the dugout told the story.

- With few viable arms left in the 'pen, Joe went to Joba in the 10th.  With 1 out and a runner on first, he threw what appeared to be strike 3 to Shane Victorino on a check swing.  First base ump Joe West, always the center of attention, ruled it no swing and Victorino hit the go-ahead single on the next pitch.  Yanks went down quietly in the bottom half and the new worst loss of the season was achieved.

F*ck Yeahs:

- Gardner: 2-5, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB, 1 K.  Another 2-hit game for Gardner at the top.  He got a workout in center chasing down a lot of deep fly balls against Nova too.

- D-Rob: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K.  Looked outstanding in the 8th, like his bad previous outing never happened.

Oh Nos:

- Nova: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K.  Ivan didn't put the team in a good spot giving them no length.  It was almost like watching a Phil Hughes outing.  He couldn't get swings and misses with his fastball, he wasn't fooling anybody with his curveball, and he had to work way too hard in every inning.

- Claiborne: 0.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K.  Guess that settles the debate on how best to use Claiborne.  Mid-inning entrances only.

- Derek Jeter: 0-3, 2 BB.  Both walks were big in keeping the team's 2 offensive rallies going, but Jeter looked brutal in the field.  He helped turn Romine's bad throw in the 9th into the error it was by not blocking the ball and keeping it in front of him and he has no movement anywhere.  It's like taping a glove and a hat to a garbage can and sticking it at short.  No way a 40-year-old Jeter will be able to play shortstop next season.

Next Up:

As bad as that loss was, the Yankees can get over it with a win tonight.  Lefties Andy Pettitte and Felix Doubront get the starts for their clubs and I'll be viewing from the third baseline upper deck.

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