First, Liriano didn’t start for Minnesota (I pulled it off of ESPN) so I apologize to anyone who thought he was going to start.
The bottom of our lineup had Winn, Thames against a righty and Miranda a call up first baseman who seems a little shy of major league talent, but has a swing that may be worked with. Anyway, that is a very weak end of order against a righty and true to form, Winn sucked, Thames struggled against a righty and Miranda didn‘t come through until the 8th when he stroked a long double against a lefty. Winn was up twice in spots where a sac fly or moving the runner over would have been productive outs and popped up and struck out. I am sure he will have some good games as he is not horrible, but he belongs on a Pittsburgh type of team, not the Yanks. I still think they will cut him before the end of the year and Cashman made a mistake. Thames is playing out of necessity against a righty, but I would play Golson and see how he does.
The biggest managerial play for Girardi happened in the 7th inning with Burnett having thrown 100 pitches, but had been going very well since a rocky start. Girardi took out Burnett with a man on 2nd and 2 outs to play the matchup game with Marte against the two lefties and then the 4th batter was Kubel. Now you know I believe strongly in the matchup game, but at the time I stated this was forcing the matchup game. Hard to say it was stupid with 3 out of lefties coming up, but Burnett was throwing well and does a good job against lefties. I would have left Burnett in there, but it wasn’t a terrible decision…just forced for my liking. Marte had a very good fastball but didn’t spot his slider too well. Cervelli should have called for another fastball, but after seeing a previous slider ad taking a fastball Mauer singled in the tying run on a slider. What made it worse was a terrible decision by prior home run hitting Brett Gardner, who tried to throw the runner out at home and missed the cut off man allowing Mauer to get to 2nd base. Fundamentally horrible play that cost us after Morneau hit a slider for double.
The Yankees came right back as Cervelli and Jeter set the table for Texiera to be intentionally walked to face ARod. ARod, came through with a grand slam that gave the Yankees a 7-4 lead! This time Michael Kay said it exactly correct when he stated, “ARod has not been bad, but the power has been lacking for him.” Fortunately, Captain Clutch (yes I coined him that after I was one of the few defending his lack of success in the postseason with the Yanks) came through in a very exciting way with his 19th career grand slam.
Joba came on in the 8th and was throwing a consistent 95 which made his slider tough to lay off. It makes a huge difference for Joba to throw 95+ because the batter needs to react faster and then the slider gets swung at instead of taken for a ball. It is like night and day with Joba when he has a good fastball.
Rivera pitched an excellent 9th pinpointing his cutter on almost every pitch and getting a slow grounder, a soft chopper back to the mound followed by a fairly hard grounder to Cano to end the game. The 1st slow grounder to Cano was a very good play by Robbie charging and firing just getting the speedy Spahn at first base. While on Cano, Hudson Minnesota’s 2nd baseman, had a play similar to the great play Cano made up the middle the other day and Hudson took a few more steps and “Jeter jumped” to try and get Cervelli at first base and was late. The smooth play of Cano makes it hard to realize what a great play it was.
Cervelli made a great throw to 2nd base on a stolen base attempt getting rid of the ball lightning quick and making an accurate and strong throw that allowed Jeter to basically catch and tag. Cervelli also is now10-13 with runner is scoring position…wow!
Robbie Thompson got Texiera thrown out at home by 4 steps. It was with 2 outs, but boy I miss Larry Bowa as Thompson has had a very bad year so far.