Sunday, April 22, 2012

Yankees postgame notes from Saturday night

Here are the postgame notes after a wild 15-9 Yankees win this evening in Fenway Park.  Thanks to the Lohud Yankees blog who had the coverage and I add my own insights as usual. 

The whole thing took a little less than an hour and a half, which, all things considered, was remarkably fast. In a span of six Yankees outs, 13 Yankees hits and seven Red Sox pitchers a baseball blowout came full circle. The Yankees were on their way to a embarrassing loss, and suddenly they were humiliating the Red Sox in front of a booing Fenway crowd that seemed to have seen enough.

“It’s baseball, and it’s hard to feel sorry for anybody,” Mark Teixeira said. “That’s not a knock on (Bobby Valentine) or anybody, but you go out to win the game. I’ve never felt bad about winning games.”

For the Yankees, this one had bad feeling written all over it. Freddy Garcia was pulled after an inning and two third, the Red Sox scored at least two runs in four of the first five innings, and the Yankees had scattered three singles before Teixeira hit his solo home run in the top of the sixth.  The thing that still concerns me is the Yankees starting pitching.  It has been pretty bad and Garcia and Hughes have both been bad.  Andy Pettitte is on schedule to return in about three weeks so who goes and also if they both continue one of them will be in the rotation.  Michael Pineda had a setback which isn't good, who knows when you may see him. 

“It seems kind of like an innocent homer at the time,” Joe Girardi said. “… I know we have a great offense, but you don’t see a comeback (like that) at any level very often in professional baseball.”

In coming back from 9-0, the Yankees matched the franchise record for the largest deficit overcome in a win. They’d done it five times before tonight. They also scored seven runs in back-to-back innings for just the second time in franchise history. The first also came at Fenway.

“It’s still pretty shocking,” Teixeira said. “It’s one of the funnest games I’ve ever played in my entire life. I’ve played in a lot of games.”

Nick Swisher called the Yankees relievers the “heroes of the game,” but it’s hard to ignore six RBIs apiece from both Swisher and Teixeira. In consecutive at-bats, Teixeira hit two homers — one from each side of the plate — and a two-run, ground-rule double. In back-to-back at-bats, Swisher hit the grand slam that gave the Yankees life and the two-run double that gave them a lead. As he stood on second base after the double, Swisher pounded his chest.

“Those first four or five innings, we didn’t really have much going on,” Swisher said. “Then one hit, then a second hit, then a third hit. You know the old saying hitting is contagious. I feel like that is exactly the case today.”

 Curtis Granderson on Thursday, Eric Chavez yesterday and Mark Teixeira tonight. The Yankees have had a player hit multiple home runs in three straight games for the first time since 1961. The Yankees are the first big league team to do it since the Reds in 2010.

Last time two Yankees had six RBIs in the same game was 2005 when Alex Rodriguez and Tino Martinez did it against the Rays. Last time two Yankees had six RBIs in a game on the road was 1999 when Scott Brosius and — surprise! — Joe Girardi did it. Girardi had seven in that game.

The Red Sox bullpen allowed 14 runs (13 earned) through the final three innings. It was the most runs allowed by the Red Sox relievers since 2000 when the bullpen gave up 17 runs in a 22-1 loss to the Yankees. It was the most earned runs allowed by the Red Sox bullpen since 1994.

 On the other side, the Yankees bullpen allowed four runs through 7.1 innings. None of those runs came in the last four innings when David Phelps, Rafael Soriano, Boone Logan and Cody Eppley pitched a scoreless inning apiece. Phelps finished with four innings and three earned runs (he gave up another run charged to Clay Rapada). “I thought (Phelps) was ok,” Girardi said. “I thought he threw the ball pretty decent. He wasn’t quite as crisp as the last time he went out and went five innings, but on a day when the wind was blowing pretty good, I thought he was OK.”

 Freddy Garcia was neither crisp nor ok. He lasted only 1.2 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits. Girardi said Garcia didn’t have the same arm strength he showed in spring training and in previous starts this season. Garcia said he felt better in the second inning, but by then it was too late. “Every pitch I was throwing, they hit,” Girardi said. “I threw a couple of good pitches in the first inning and they hit it. Like I say, I have to pitch good. I don’t care if I’m throwing 83, 85, 86, whatever. I need to pitch good.”

Here’s Girardi on Garcia: “He didn’t have his velocity today. I think it caused the other pitches to roll a little bit. He was up in the zone. He just didn’t have his stuff today when he went out there, for whatever reason. We’ll continue to work on it and see what’s going on. He didn’t have the arm speed that he’s had and had all spring training.”

 After the second inning, I thought the Yankees would need to call up a pitcher for tomorrow’s game. At this point, I’m not so sure. Cory Wade, Dave Robertson, Soriano and Mariano Rivera should all be available. Maybe Logan, Rapada and Eppley as well. With CC Sabathia getting the start, that’s probably enough.

 Brian Cashman confirmed tonight that Michael Pineda will go for a dye contrast MRI on Monday in New York.

Eduardo Nunez is hitting .455 after a 3-for-4 tonight. He also has three stolen bases. The Yankees other shortstop is hitting .382 and also went 3-for-4 today.

 Don’t bank on tomorrow’s game being played. “The forecast is not real positive,” Girardi said. “It looks like we’re going to see a lot of rain tomorrow.”  I would think it will be postponed and the Yankees will move on to Texas.  They play enough during the season that they can easily reschedule.  The hope is that if it is as bad as they think, cancel it early so the Yankees can get going to Texas and not just sit around. 

 Let’s give the last word to Teixeira: “Some games, you get blown out. You play 162 games a year, you’re going to get blown out a few times. But, we still said, ‘Hey, let’s stay in it. We have a few innings left. You never know.’ And I give our bullpen a lot of credit because they kept us in the game. The last few innings they were lock down, and that was big. … If you come back from nine runs against anybody it’s a cool thing. But to do it here in Boston, it makes it a little more fun.”

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