Game 93: Orioles @ Yankees, 7/21/09: Yanks in First!

Below, as per Pete Abraham, is the Yanks’ lineup, with the Orioles to follow later.  Mitre takes the bump against ex-Cub Rich Hill.  The Yanks must make Hill work; he’s issued 33 walks in 52 1/3 IP.  He throws fairly hard and has an excellent curve.  For the Yanks, Posada is back, hitting fifth, Ransom gives A-Rod a day off from the field, at least, and Melky plays again despite his travails at the plate.  As Mike and I discussed via text, Little G really should play more, especially since he’s getting on base more than Melky, and the offense needs various methods to score having scored just 11 runs in the last four games. At least Melky’s defense has been excellent, unlike last year when his game all around faltered badly when his offense slipped.

The wins via pitching and defense have been great, but the offense is long overdue for a break out.  My gut tells me it’s tonight. Despite their recent sluggish performances, the Yanks’ offense ranks atop the AL in runs, OBP, and slugging, and is second in HR and average.

In 2007, it was not until September 8 that the Yanks were 18 games above .500.

According to Abraham, Tomko has been DFA’d.  So long.  It was time to clear some space for younger pitchers to get a shot.

Hopefully Mitre can go six good ones tonight. The bullpen is certainly rested enough for tonight.  Enjoy the game, everyone.

YANKEES (55-37)
Jeter SS
Damon LF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez DH
Posada C
Swisher RF
Cano 2B
Cabrera CF
Ransom 3B

Pitching: RHP Sergio Mitre (4-1, 2.32 in minors).

ORIOLES (41-51)
Roberts 2B
Jones CF
Markakis RF
Huff 1B
Scott DH
Mora 3B
Reimold LF
Wieters C
Izturis SS

Pitching: LHP Rich Hill (3-2, 6.92 7.22 according to Baltimore’s website).

The Orioles swung at the first three pitches Mitre threw, with Roberts doubling and Markakis singling for a run.The early swings helped give Mitre a 12-pitch first.  Markakis then stole at least a double at the wall from Jeter with a nice leaping catch.  JD and Teixeira went down on an F7 and a 6-3, respectively; Hill is at 16 pitches.

Mitre fanned Mora on a wicked curve, retired Reimold on a 6-3, allowed a single to Wieters, but got the stubborn Izturis on an F8 shallow; Mitre is at 30 pitches, and looks fairly good.  His sinker cannot get too much of the plate for, while he throws hard (92-93), he is not overpowering.  A-Rod worked a lead-off walk, then stole second on a 1-2 slow curve.  Good to see A-Rod running some.  Posada sent A-Rod to third with a long F9. Swish then scored A-Rod on a sac fly to left center to tie the game; excellent team baseball, Swish et al.  The Yanks scored a run without a hit.  Cano K’d, but the game is tied; Hill has thrown 37 pitches.

Roberts singled and stole second, then took third on Mitre’s pickoff attempt.  The throw wasn’t bad, but it looked as though Roberts’s slide obstructed Cano from grabbing it.  Jones looked like he should have been out on the 2-2 curve, which was a good one, but his 6-3 scored Roberts for a 2-1 lead.  Mitre caught Markakis looking on a fastball then walked Huff before fanning Scott on a nice change.  Mitre is up to 53 pitches, having thrown 23 in the third.  Runs, guys.

Melky grounded out yet again.  Ransom worked a walk and, while running, Jeter executed a nice hit-and-run for the Yanks’ first hit to send him to third. Drive the ball, JD.  Jeter then stole second, his 18th of the year, on Hill’s curve.  It’s terrific to see the Yanks run so much.  JD failed to score the runners with a shallow fly out.  Waldman bothers me.  When discussing the Texas-Boston score, with Texas having scored 2 in the bottom of the first, she said, “Add on Texas.  Add on.”  Shut up, Waldman.  Don’t be a homer.  That’s not your job.  I can’t stand that.  Teixeira had a terrific, eight-pitch walk for A-Rod, who came through with a clutch single to right, scoring Ransom and The Captain, 3-2 Yankees.  Great job, A-Rod.  Hill is at 66 pitches as Jorge steps into the box.  Posada fanned on a slow curve, but the Yanks have both taken the lead 3-2, and have nearly doubled Hill’s pitch count in the third, forcing him to throw 35 in the frame–72 overall.  Way to make Hill pay for his inaccuracy.

Mora is down on a 5-3, Reimold on an F8 shallow, and Wieters on a 3-1, nicely done kid–putting up a 0 after the Yanks scored twice to take the lead, and throwing 15 pitches/65 through 4.  Hopefully he can be efficient and go two more. Swish worked a walk as Hill couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with his fastball right now.  Cano then ripped a 2-2 yakker to deep right center, 5-2 Yanks.  Melky down on a 3U, he’s really struggling–2-15 after the break.  Ransom walked again, a killer for a .176 hitter, then stole second–the third SB already tonight.  Jeter walked.  C’Mon, JD, rip one out of here!  Rather, he ripped a single off the wall in right again for a long single, 6-2 Yanks. 51 RBI for the Yanks.  Great peg by Markakis to nail Jeter at the plate on Teixeira’s F9.  Markakis is a tremendous ball player.  Still, the Yanks are now up 6-2.  Keep up the good work, Mitre.

He gets a 1-2-3 via the 6-4-3 DP in the fifth but falters in the sixth, giving up consecutive singles to (That Damn) Markakis and Huff, who moved to third on a ground out then scored on a Mora single, 6-4.  After fanning Reimold, Mitre got lifted at 91 pitches, Aceves is in to face Wieters.  Nice hand for Mitre, who was overall pretty good. JD nabbed a soft liner for the third out, nice work Aceves.  Cano worked a four-pitch walk (Gasp!), the seventh tonight for the Yanks.  Melky needs to get off the schneid now.  Seven straight balls now and Melky is ahead 3-0, then 3-1 and Melky should have hit into a 4-6-3 DP were it not for a poor throw from Izturis, one down.  Ransom doubled to right, with Markakis just missing it in a hustling dive, second and third for Jeter, and a base hit can restore the four-run lead.  Jeter fanned on a fastball low and in, two down for JD, who lined out to left center.  Still 6-4, but the Yanks are 2-8 with RISP.  Aceves must hold.

Izturis out on a shallow F8, and Cano robbed Roberts of a single up the middle with a nice snag, and that sweet quick snap throw across his body.  Tremendous.  RC has been Gold Glove worthy this year, no question.  Aceves sets ’em down 1-2-3, working very efficiently.  The heart of the order is up for the Yanks, and I’d love to see them add on and open the lead more.  Teixeira down on an F9, A-Rod walked again, the eighth for the team tonight.  Nothing mustered.

Coke is in for the eighth, and great defense again abets the team.  After a lead-off single by (That Damn) Markakis, Coke fanned Huff on a nasty slider.  Then Scott lined one low to first that Teixeira went to his knees to get, then raced to the bag to double off Markakis; amazing defense.  Cano in the fifth with his excellent turn on the DP, and his great play up the middle on Roberts in the seventh, then Teixeira with his great D, heartily acknowledged by Coke with a five.

Mariano locked things down in the ninth with the help of more good defense, this time from The Captain, who made a nice play on Reimold’s grounder, then made a terrific running catch into shallow left on Wieters’s bloop; tremendous defense, and Mariano earned his 27th save of the year and his 509th save in his incomparable career on just 10 pitches.

The Yanks have now won five straight after the break.  The bullpen was tremendous allowing but a hit in 3 1/3.  Mitre was good, taking it into the 6th on 91 pitches. It was great that Hughes got a second consecutive day off in the win, and that Mariano wasn’t over-worked for the save.  Cano’s HR was his 14th with 48 RBI, batting .308.  Jeter’s 1-3 puts him at .319.  Ransom’s 1-1 with a double, 2 walks and 2 runs merits attention; way to turn over the lineup, kid.  A-Rod was 1-2 with 2 walks, and his 2-out, 2-run single in the third was big.

Boston lost 4-2.  The Yanks are in first!  Shift gears, Yanks.  That’s the phrase for the near future, to me, courtesy of Frank the Sage.  What a pleasure it’s been watching this team thus far.  The Rays have come back yet again, scoring twice off Jenks in the 9th to win 3-2.  But the Yanks, despite all their travails, are in first by a game, 19 over .500 and at their high water mark this season.  Excellent baseball.

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Published in: on July 21, 2009 at 3:44 pm  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. GAME OVER! RED SOX LOSE! WELCOME BACK TO FIRST PLACE! DRINKS ALL AROUND!

  2. Make mine a Jagermeister, Tim.

    Mitre was all we could have asked for, esp. from a #5. Keep the team in the ballgame. Try to get into the 6th. We aren’t looking for an ace here, just get into the 6th and keep the team in the game. Mitre did that tonight.

    Just improve on what Wang gave. 1-6, 9.64 isn’t that hard to improve on. No offense to Wang (and what a sadly wasted year for him) but that’s the way it is…

  3. All is right in the AL East tonight! Mitre was clutch despite Roberts and Markakis getting in the way. All in all a good game and a good way to take the lead in the division!

  4. Every citizen of Taxachusetts must be popping prozac pills today. Those who haven’t taken their pills have probably thrown themselves off the Charles River Bridge. Red Sox fandom is a MENTAL DISRODER!

    The monkeys will be crapping on themselves if Texas sweeps them out of Arlington.

    Before I forget, GO YANKS! CRUSH THE Os!

  5. On the round of drinks, I’ll take a bottle of Ommegang. Agreed about Mitre, Mike. He doesn’t have to be a world-beater, just a guy to keep a potent team like the Yanks in the game. He did better as the game went on, finishing with some struggles in the 6th but getting lots of ground balls with a pretty good sinker.

    Thanks for coming by, Lisa. I will be sure to add your blog to my list right away. True about Roberts and Markakis, the latter of whom was tremendous yesterday.

    Tim, I get why you’re saying it to rank on Bostonians, but are you aware that a good many states have higher personal and consumer tax rates than Massachusetts?

  6. Yes Jason I am aware of that fact. God knows living in New York ain’t cheap. However, it is much more fun to rip on Massachusetts.


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