Sunday, May 11, 2014

Game 36 Wrap-Up: MIL 6 NYY 5 (UPDATED)

(Courtesy of the AP)

This was a game the Yankees could have and should have won about 4 different times and didn't.  David Phelps pitched like David Phelps, the offense had a quick early burst and then disappeared for most of the time, Derek Jeter continued to look older than death and not much else, and Joe may or may not have lost the game for his team in the bottom of the 9th with a questionable bullpen decision.

It was a fun weekend with family and friends but a frustrating weekend as a Yankee fan.  I'm completely exhausted and going to bed now so I can be up before the sun to drive the fam to the airport.  A full recap of this game will be coming tomorrow morning can be found after the jump.

Maybe It's Time For A New Strategy, CC

The curse of the one bad inning continued for CC Sabathia yesterday.  This one was particularly bad because of the Brendan Ryan error that allowed the inning to continue and the back-to-back jacks that followe.  After the game, CC talked about what he was trying to do in the at-bat against Jonathan Lucroy:

“Just trying to throw a comeback sinker.  Ended up middle, didn't get in enough, and he put a good swing on it. Just a mistake."

Far be it for me to question a guy who's pitched for as long as CC has, but maybe throwing a sinker in an 0-2 count wasn't the best decision.  He's been so inconsistent with command of both of his fastballs this year and at 89-90 MPH, they aren't swing-and-miss pitches anymore.  In that situation, I would have rather seen another slider to try to get the strikeout.  Hell, waste one way down in the dirt and see if you can get Lucroy to chase.  That's way better than throwing a hittable fastball anywhere in the strike zone, regardless of whether you hit your spot or not.

I don't know, maybe I'm off base here.  It just doesn't make a lot of sense to me to throw your weakest pitches in a pitcher's count.  If the sinker was 92-93 with consistent movement, it'd be a different story.  But it's not and CC's not locating where he wants to, so why throw it and give the hitter a chance when you've already got him in an 0-2 hole?

Game 35 Wrap-Up: MIL 5 NYY 4

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

CC Sabathia pitched the best baseball of his career in the summer of 2008, when he was traded to Milwaukee and almost single-handedly pitched the Brewers into the playoffs.  I had just moved out to Wisconsin that summer and I can tell you that the city was absolutely in love with the guy.  He hit the free agent market that offseason and signed with the Yankees.  Fast forward to 2014, when the big guy is pitching the worst baseball of his career and making his first return back to Milwaukee.  CC got a standing ovation yesterday at the beginning of the game and it was all downhill from there as the Yanks failed to secure a comeback win.

Game Notes:

- It didn't take long for things to go south for CC.  He gave up a DEEEEEEEP home run to Carlos Gomez to lead off the bottom of the 1st, I mean really deep.  The ball hit off the windows of the stadium club in left field, at least halfway up.  Longest home run I've ever seen at Miller Park.

- The lineup would mount a 2-out rally for him in the top of the 3rd to take the lead.  Jacoby Ellsbury was awarded first base on catcher's interference, he scored on Brett Gardner's triple, and Gardner came around on a single by Carlos Beltran to make it 2-1 Yanks.

- And then the wheels really came off.  With 2 outs in the bottom of the 3rd, Brendan Ryan booted a ball at shortstop to put a runner on.  CC then gave up a 2-run home run to Jonathan Lucroy and a solo shot to Aramis Ramirez on the next pitch to make it 4-2 Milwaukee.  Hanger City on weak fastballs.  Same old story.

- To their credit, the Yanks fought back.  Mark Teixeira popped a solo HR to left in the 6th and Alfonso Soriano scored Kelly Johnson with a pinch hit single in the 7th to tie the game back up at 4.

- The shorthanded bullpen couldn't hold the lead though.  Joe went with Alfredo Aceves in the 7th and he couldn't retire Rickie Weeks with 2 outs.  Weeks snuck a ribbie single through for the go-ahead run and the Milwaukee bullpen held on in the final 2 innings.  Worth noting that Beltran misplayed a ball in right that ended up as a double 2 batters before Weeks.