Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Game 83 Wrap-Up: TB 6 NYY 3

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

The Yankees can't hit, the Yankees can't pitch, the Yankees can't field.  They stink and today made it official.  5th straight loss, the first time this season a losing streak has made it that high, that dropped them below .500 this late into a season for the first time since 2007.  They've lost 9 out of their last 11 and there's no end to this nosedive in sight with Teix's knee giving him problems and Jacoby Ellsbury having to take games off because he's so "beat up" or something.  Welcome to The Suck.

Game Notes:

- Brett Gardner was the best player in a Yankee uniform in June and he kept that momentum going with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the 1st.  Jake Odorizzi threw him a ton of fastballs and Gardner squared one up in a 3-2 count.

- Vidal Nuno looked pretty good in the first 2 innings and then he went walk-passed ball-HBP with 2 outs in the 3rd to let the tying run come home and he was never the same pitcher.  Every time the Yanks got him a lead, he'd give it right back.

- Like in the 3rd, when Brian McCann yanked a cheapie home run down the right field line to make it 2-1 New York and Nuno gave it back on a double and ribbie single the next inning.  Or when Gardner drove home a run in the bottom of the 4th and Nuno gave it back on a single-double-single to 3 straight batters.

- The death blow came in the top of the 6th, when Logan Forsythe singled to lead off the frame and Joe pulled Nuno for Shawn Kelley.  Kelley gave up a 2-run home run to #2 Yankee killer (behind Napoli) Sean Rodriguez on the third pitch he threw to put Tampa up for good 5-3.

- The Yanks would strand a runner in every inning after except the bottom of the 9th.  They went down in order then with a strikeout by Gardner, strikeout by Derek Jeter, and a lineout by McCann.

AB4AR "Best Of The Month" Awards: June 2014

Yankees, your June.  Woof!  That was a stinker, eh?  Coming off a May that wasn't quite as good as April, the Yankees doubled down on regression and really started to play some bad baseball in June.  Overall they went 12-15 with a - 23 run differential, dropping them to 1 game above .500, a game they lost to get July started where June left off.  There was no consistency to the team's play either.  The entire month was a series of short steaks.  Started off losing the first 4 games of the month, then won 2 straight, lost 2 straight, won 4 straight, lost 2 straight, won 4 straight, lost 4 straight, won 2 straight, lost 3 straight.

It's not time to start manning the life boats, not before the trade deadline, but it might be a good idea for all women and children to put on their life jackets.  After the jump, the few spots of brightness from a gloomy month of June.

Reviewing The Yankees' Fake Options To Improve The Offense

(If you had a ghost runner, you could try again.  Courtesy of the AP)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

I tried to be level-headed and calm about dissecting the real options the Yankees have in front of them to get something going offensively and look where that got us.  With 4 hits in the next 9 innings and only 1 run scored, that run scoring not because somebody came up with a big hit with runners in scoring position, but because the defender who caught a pop up accidentally hit the baserunner trying to advance to second with his throw.  The Yankees had 1 run scored and 0 runs batted in last night, and if I'm being honest, I'm afraid they won't have the stones to do any of the 3 options I covered yesterday.  So screw it, let's investigate some "other" ways they can try to jump start the offense.

Report: Yanks Scouting Chase Headley

If this were 2012, I'd be ecstatic about that report from Jon Morosi yesterday.  In 2014, it's not nearly as exciting.  The Yankees could use help in the infield and bringing in a proven, regular third baseman like Headley would allow Joe to focus his platoon attention to second base.  But Headley has been in a steady decline since his banner year of 2012.  He battled injuries last season while batting .250/.347/.400 and he's been further hampered by a herniated disc in his back this year that has limited him to a .201/.287/.320 slash line in 247 PA.

Headley is set to become a free agent after this season and is now 30 years old.  Between that, the injury problems, and the decline in production, the Padres' asking price for him has to have come way down.  There's a chance that a move out of Petco Park could help boost his production, but with the back problems I'd be hesitant to give up anything of real value for him.  The Yanks don't need a Youkilis repeat.

Game 82 Wrap-Up: TB 2 NYY 1

(Wasn't his fault.  Courtesy of Getty Images)

I want David Price.  I need David Price.  With CC Sabathia turning into an age-related regression pumpkin and Andy Pettitte retired once and for all, I'm really missing having the big reliable lefty in the rotation and I want that back.  I'm sure Joe feels the same way and he had a front row seat, along with the rest of MLB, for Price's latest start last night in the second game of this Yanks-Rays series.  He was spectacular, as most good pitchers are against the pathetic Yankee lineup, and the Rays took another as the Yanks continued to plunge.

Game Notes:

- Hiroki Kuroda was up to the task of matching Price and they traded zeros through 3.  Price allowed only a leadoff walk to Brett Gardner while Hirok surrendered a couple of singles.

- In the top of the 4th, those couple of singles turned into 3 singles in 4 batters, the last of which by Logan Forsythe pushed a run across and got the Rays on the board.

- The Yanks matched in the bottom half on a throwing error by Ben Zobrist, who hit Jacoby Ellsbury with a throw trying to finish a double play after catching a Mark Teixeira pop up.  Derek Jeter was on third base after leading off the inning with a double and he came home to score on the error.

- The only other mistake Hirok made on the night was hanging a first-pitch curveball to James Loney in the 6th.  It was a back-breaking mistake, however, as Loney crushed it for the go-ahead and eventual game-winning home run.

- Price worked around a baserunner in every inning from the 5th to the 7th, and handed the 1-run lead over to his bullpen.  Jake McGee retired the side in order in the 8th and Grant Balfour avoided trouble with 2 walks by getting a groundout from Yangervis Solarte to end the game.