Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Game 19 Recap

1. Phil Hughes gave up back-to-back singles to Luke Scott and Ty Wigginton to lead off the second inning and after retiring Rhyne Hughes, walked Nolan Reimold to load the bases. Caesar Izturis, the number 9 hitter, was up next and Hughes walked him on four pitches, only one of which was particularly close. That forced in a run and put the Orioles up 1-0, but Phil avoided further damage when he got Adam Jones to ground into an inning ending 5-4-3 double play.

2. The Yankees led off the top of the third with consecutive singles of their own, this time by Nick Swisher and Randy Winn. Derek Jeter advanced the runners with a ground out to first. Brett Gardner slapped a 2-1 slider to Miguel Tejada at third, but it ate Miggy up and allowed Swisher to score, tying the game at 1.

3. Jorge Posada gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead in the 4th as he led off the inning with a homer. He jumped all over an 87mph cutter from Millwood and pulled it over the scoreboard in right field.

4. The Yankees made two outs on the basepaths in the 6th inning. After singling, Cano got was gunned down by Matt Wieters trying to steal second despite getting a good jump. After working a walk, Jorge Posada strayed too far from second base when a ball hit by Nick Swisher was knocked down by Miguel Tejada and trickled into the outfield. The only out the Yanks made at the plate in the inning was a strikeout by Curtis Granderson.

5. The bottom of the 6th was even worse for the Yanks. After Phil Hughes recorded the first two outs, Girardi went to the bullpen and called on Boone Logan to face lefty Luke Scott. Logan promptly walked him and on came David Robertson for the right handed Ty Wigginton.

Robertson plunked Wigginton on an 0-2 count on a fastball that rode too far inside. He then allowed a RBI single to Rhyne Hughes that tied the game at 2. Reimold and Izturus followed with RBI base knocks of their own and before Robertson struck out Adam Jones, the Orioles were up 4-2.

6. The Orioles struck again with two outs in the 8th. Ty Wigginton reached on an error by Derek Jeter to lead of the inning and was pinch ran for by Julio Lugo. Alfredo Aceves, in his second inning of work retired the next two batters, bringing up Izturis. Lugo took off for second during the AB and Jorge Posada sailed his throw into center field, allowing Lugo to advance to 3rd. Izturis blooped a single to right and drove in his third run of the game to make it Orioles 5 - Yankees 2.

7. The Yankees came oh-so-close to stealing this one in the top of the 9th facing Alfredo Simon who had been called up from AAA earlier in the day. Swisher poked a single through the right side (his third hit of the night) and then Nick Johnson (pinch hitting for Winn) worked a walk. With one out, Derek Jeter struck out swinging on a 91mph slider, leaving the game in Brett Gardner's hands.

After quickly falling behind 0-2, Gardner grounded a ball to short that slipped past Izturis and was scored an error, bringing the Yanks within 2. Mark Teixeira then lined the first pitch he saw from Simon into right for an RBI single, closing the gap to one run. A-Rod came to the plate with runners on the corners and lined a ball directly up the middle, right under the feet of Simon but it was fielded by Izturis and flipped to Lugo to force out Teixeira and end the game.

IFs, ANDs & BUTs
  • Hughes was missing his spots by quite a bit tonight and those balls that were clearly not worth swinging at out of his hand that led to some long at bats. The Orioles had 10 plate appearances of 6 pitches or more, which were the main reasons Hughes needed 109 pitches to get through 5 2/3 innings.

  • While he recorded only 2 strikeouts, Hughes remained relatively unhittable, as 4 of his 6 baserunners reached via a walk. This wasn't one of his finer performances, but if you're going to have an off night, one run over 5 2/3 ain't bad.

  • Cano is now 2 for 4 in stolen bases this season, dropping his career mark to 19 for 44. He should probably stop trying.

  • Randy Winn had a chance to throw out Luke Scott at the plate and get the Yankees out of the 6th inning with the lead but he slipped and yanked the throw so badly that it landed on the outfield grass and barely rolled to first base. It would have been absolutely hilarious if it wasn't as such a crucial moment in the game.

  • There will be plenty of second guessing of Girardi playing the matchup game in the 6th inning. Hughes had 109 pitches and I honestly thought that he might have been done after just 5. Instead Girardi allowed him to come back out, but played the matchup game for Luke Scott - who had a .270 OBP coming into tonight. Instead of Boone Logan, I would have liked to see Aceves in that spot, or someone else who wouldn't have been removed after one batter regardless of the outcome of the AB, you know, just in case it doesn't go right.

  • Would someone like to remind Joe Girardi that David Robertson has fucking reverse platoon splits? Including tonight, he has 7 appearances this year every time the Yanks have been leading or the score has been tied, he's been used primarily to face right handers and pulled after less than an inning. He's not a ROOGY.

  • The freebie run that the O's plated in the 8th, in part due to Jeter's error and in part to Posada's errant throw, made the comeback in the 9th that much more difficult.

  • Apparently Nick Johnson isn't the only person man enough to use Miley Cirus for his at bat music. Ty Wigginton also chose to come out to "Party In The USA". Hopefully he did it for his daughter as well.

  • Curtis Granderson was 0-4 on the night with three strikeouts and is now 1 for his last 20.
That would have been a brutal loss even if it weren't for the near comeback in the 9th inning. The boys are back at it tomorrow night, same time, same place.

1 comment:

  1. Jason from The Heartland4/28/10, 1:43 PM

    Good summary and analysis of a bad, infuriating game Jay. I missed the first 3 1/2 innings while at my son's baseball game (1-3 with a single smoked to left, and he was miffed that a shoestring catch by the third baseman robbed him of another hit; plus he made a terrific play at third, fielding a slow roller and beating the runner from second to the bag for the inning-ending force), so I missed much of Hughes's start. He seemed good overall but inefficient, harking back to his difficulty in putting away batters in 2008. Still, he's unquestionably been good this year so far; great to see. The team won't squander too many of those starts from him this year.

    I wonder if Cano's running was a hit-and-run that Jorge missed. That, or Girardi needs a talking-to for continuing to try getting Cano to steal, for it ain't working. It's amazing how Cano's quickness in the field, especially going to his right about as well as anyone in recent memory, doesn't translate to speed on the base paths. It reminds me of the paradox of Otis Birdsong, a terrific guard in the 1980s, who was an excellent shooter but poor from the free throw line--highly unusual for a guard. Posada's rounding second too far was terrible, for there was no way he, so slow afoot and where the ball was, could have made third. Awful, as was his throw into the outfield. Once that 5th Oriole run scored, all I could think of was a ninth-inning rally to fall short; lo and behold...

    Grandy has really struggled at the plate of late, as you rightly note. He's back down to .227 against lefties as a result of his recent 1-20. Clearly his issues with lefties won't be cured overnight, his good first two weeks aside.

    Teixeira's 9th inning single was good, but he's still hurting them at #3. I love the guy but, as I commented a couple weeks ago, I wouldn't mind seeing him dropped to, say, 6th while he heats up. It's no disrespect; he's just not hitting. I guess in Teixeira's defense, he did drill a good few deep outs in Oakland and Anaheim that, once his timing returns, might be HRs soon--I hope.

    A-Rod has cooled off as well, 1 for his last 17.

    In all, these stretches will happen when the team swoons a bit as a whole, or at least several key people in the lineup. It just makes it all the more painful when they lose to an eminently beatable Orioles team that, while playing better of late, still stinks out loud.

    Methinks C.C. provides the Yanks a strong start and reverses the mojo back in NY's favor tonight.