Thursday, July 25, 2013

Game 102 Wrap-Up: NYY 2 TEX 0

(Courtesy of the AP)

It hasn't been a strong stretch to the most important 10-game stretch of the year so far.  The Yankees entered today's series finale in Arlington 2-4 in their first 6 games and losing a third to the Rangers would have put them in a really bad spot heading home to face the red hot Rays.  Naturally, Joe went with quite possibly the worst lineup of the season to date, featuring no Brett Gardner, Brent Lillibridge hitting second, a 4-5-6 of Wells, Nunez, and Adams, and Austin Romine catching.  Needless to say, Hiroki Kuroda needed to be the man today.  He wasn't the man in the traditional sense of dominating the Rangers, but he did what he's done since he got here and won another huge game with a big pitching performance.

Game Notes:

- The leadoff man got on in each of the first 3 innings for the Yanks, and they never came close to doing anything with any of those chances against Texas starter Derek Holland, no slouch in his own right.

- A couple of loud outs early and a 2 on/1 out situation in the bottom of the 3rd for Hirok that he worked out of with a strikeout of Ian Kinsler and a groundout by Elvis Andrus.  At that point, Kuroda seemed to find his command.

- The Yanks wasted another leadoff runner in the 5th and looked ready to strand Romine after he started the 6th with a double.  Ichiro executed a good sac bunt to move Romine, and Lillibridge came through with a ribbie double to give Hirok the only run he would need.

- Kuroda walked a tightrope in the 6th, working around single, single, walk to the first 3 batters of the inning without allowing a run.  He finished up by dispatching the bottom half of the 7th with 3 grounders on 8 pitches.

- Big insurance run in the top of the 8th.  Robinson Cano hit a 1-out double and smallballed his way around to score on a single and a groundout.

- Joe didn't fool around and went with D-Rob and Mo for the 8th and 9th.  They rewarded him with 2 clean innings and rewarded Hiroki with a much-deserved victory.

Next Time On "As The Quads Strain"...

(Previously, tensions rose in Yankeeland.  Courtesy of USA Today)

Brian reveals Alex's betrayal to the agreement:

"Contrary to the Basic Agreement, Mr. Rodriguez did not notify us at any time that he was seeking a second opinion from any doctor with regard to his quad strain."

While Alex tries to smooth things over with his once supportive organization:

“I think the Yankees and I crossed signals. I don’t want any more mixups. I’m excited and ready to play and help this team win a championship I feel great and I’m ready and want to be in the lineup Fri night. Enough doctors, let’s play."

Does anybody mean what they say?  Are they just looking to stab each other in the back again?  Will the threat of a lifetime ban force Alex to make a deal with the devil?  And just what the hell is going on with Derek's legs?  Tune in next time to "As The Quads Strain."

The Price Of Lost Production

52 G, 216 PA, 6 HR, 23 R, 22 RBI, -0.6 fWAR

That's the combined offensive output of Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and Kevin Youkilis this season.  The Yankees are paying those 5 guys a combined $95.855 million in 2013, or a cool $443,773.15 per plate appearance, $4.168 million per run scored, or $15.976 million per home run.  It's a horse that's been beaten to death 10 times over, but that's a lot of production to lose for any team and a lot of money being paid to players who aren't helping the team.

Game 101 Wrap-Up: TEX 3 NYY 1

(Courtesy of the AP)

The A-Rod stuff off the field reached soap opera levels of ridiculousness yesterday afternoon, but the Yankees still had a job to do on the field.  Last night that job was against a former familiar face in Matt Garza, the Rangers big deadline pickup.  The opposing lineup looked a lot different, and easier to navigate, to him than he probably remembered, and the Yanks really could have used a bounce back night from Robinson Cano to take the pressure off the rest of the batting order.  Typically they've pounded Garza in the past.  With the lineups they continue to roll out, what's typical means nothing.

Game Notes:

- Tale of the Yankee season in the 1st.  Got the first 2 runners on, had 'em on the corners with 1 out, scored 0 runs in the top half.  Andy Pettitte puts 2 on and gives up a 2-out RBI single to a lefty hitter to make it 1-0 Rangers in the bottom half.

- Wasn't much doing for the Yankee offense after the 1st.  Garza retired 12 of the next 13 batters he faced through the 5th, the only blemish a Cano single to lead off the 4th.

- Garza was his own worst enemy in the 6th, throwing a ball away on a Brett Gardner single that allowed Gardner to get the third base.  Another Cano single got the Yanks on the board and tied the game.

- Andy settled down and put up zeros himself to give the Yankees the chance to tie, then left a slider up to A.J. Pierzynski - the same guy who singled in the run in the 1st - with 2 outs in the bottom of 6th that Pierzynski hit for the go-ahead HR.  Just a crushing blow.

- Pettitte was out after putting 2 on to start the 7th and Shawn Kelley allowed an insurance run on a solo HR in the 8th.  A quiet offensive finish put a bow on another punchless loss.