Game 159. Hollywood ending for Jeter’s last home game.

For a whole career that seems like a fairy tale, why not a Hollywood ending for the hero’s last home game?

Derek Jeter hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the 9th to win the game against Baltimore, 6-5. It couldn’t have been any different, right?

Hiroki Kuroda, possibly making his final MLB start, started the game off badly, giving up back-to-back HRs to the first two batters he faced. But then after that, he threw a one-hit shutout for eight innings.

Kuroda, 8 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 walks, 9 K. 3.71.

Meanwhile, the Yanks came back. In the bottom of the first, Gardner singled, and Jeter just missed a HR, doubling in Gardner. Jeter went to third on a WP and scored on an error to tie up the game.

In the seventh, Jeter came up with the bases loaded and hit a ground ball. In going for the force, the ball was thrown away and two runs scored. Error and RBI for Derek. Brian McCann then hit a SF to make it 5-2.

So to the 9th it went, and all seemed safe. Then things went crazy.

David Robertson gave up a walk, then got a strikeout.

Then he gave up a 2-run HR. 5-4.

Then a strikeout. With two out, I expected Girardi to pull Jeter to a standing ovation. Instead, he left Jeter in the game. Good thing, too.

For Robertson then coughed up the lead by giving up another HR. And it was to Steve Pearce (see my recent post, “You were saying?”).

Robertson (W, 4-5, 3.13) 1 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 1 walk, 2 K.

So Jeter now had another Yankee Stadium at bat. More if the game went extras. He was third up in the bottom of the ninth.

Rookie Jose Pirela, in his third major league game, singled to start the bottom of the ninth. Antoan Richardson pinch-ran.

Everyone knew what would happen next. Gardner bunted Richardson over to set the stage for Jeter.

It seemed so scripted. But, why not a Hollywood ending for the hero’s last home game in a fairy-tale career?

Jeter singled in the winning run. Career hit #3463.

The win ensured a winning season. The Yanks are 82-77 with three games in Boston to go. It put them one up on Toronto for 2nd place in the AL East.

Jeter probably won’t play today (Friday). I’ll be shocked if he does, simply because of all the emotion of last night. He will never play SS again, saying that is one thing he wants to take out of his home farewell—his last game at SS. In fairness to the Boston fans who want to say goodbye, he will DH in Boston this weekend.

Is an encore (like a HR over the Green Monster in his final MLB at bat) in the cards?

Game 158. Farewells forthcoming as Yanks are eliminated, 9-5

Cue Sinatra. “… and now, the end is near…”

The Yankees were eliminated from playoff contention with a 9-5 loss on Wednesday afternoon. Tonight’s (Thursday) game vs. Baltimore will be the final home game of Derek Jeter’s career. It also will probably be the final game of Hiroki Kuroda’s career, and probably the final game for Ichiro Suzuki as a Yankee in Yankee Stadium. As for David Robertson, who knows?

(Trivia: the Yanks, despite 27 World Series Championships, have never won a WS in a year ending in a 4 or 5).

Jeter, of course, is retiring at the end of the year and tonight will be the Yankees’ last home game of 2014. Ichiro most likely will not be a Yankee in 2015 and with him turning 41, you wonder who’d pick him up. Kuroda, 39, may be retiring.

One big question is when tonight’s game would start, and if it will start or be rained out. You know the Yanks will do everything in their power to play the game, for it is Jeter’s home farewell. Rain is in the forecast all day, and the question is, when will it be over. There is a chance tonight’s game starts after a delay.

As for yesterday, Shane Greene took a 3-0 lead into the third inning, but the O’s knocked him out of the box in the fourth with six runs on their way to defeating the Yanks 9-5.

The Yanks had scored a run in the first on a Teixeira double, another in the second on a Drew HR (overall 7), and one in the third on a Headley HR (overall 13).

Greene (L, 5-4, 3.78) went 3 2/3, 6 R, 7 H, 3 walks and 5 K.

Huff 2 IP, 0 R, 2 h, 0 walks and 1 K. Overall ERA 3.36 (1.85 as NYY).

Whitley 1 1/3, 2 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 5.38.

Phelps 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 4.42.

Claiborne 1 IP,  0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 3.05.

The O’s got 3 in the eighth to make it 9-3, and Mark Teixeira hit a 2-run HR (22, 363 career) in the bottom of the 8th to bring the Yanks to 9-5, the final score.

Tonight should be dramatic. The ovation(s) for Jeter should be huge. You wonder if and how Jeter will show his emotions.

It will be less so for Kuroda and Ichiro, but it could be their home Yankee farewells as well.

And what about David Robertson, who is a free agent after the year? Is this is last home game as a Yankee as well?

Derek Jeter went 0 for 4 in the loss, keeping his total hit total at 3461. His average dropped to .253. (.309 career)

The loss dropped the Yanks to 81-77 and into a second-place tie with the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East.

Game 157. Yanks fall, 5- 4. On brink of elimination.

Brandon McCarthy gave up three HR and the Yanks couldn’t climb out of an early 4-0 hole as they lost to the Orioles 5-4 Tuesday night.

The loss puts the Yanks “tragic number” of missing the playoffs at one. They are 81-76, one game ahead of Toronto for second in the AL East. With five games left, the best the Yanks can do is 86-76, and both KC and Oakland have 86 wins now. Any Yanks loss will eliminate them from the playoffs, and they would have to hope either KC or Oakland loses all their games from here on out. An impossible task. (Not to mention Seattle has 83 wins right now and that the Indians have 82). The Yanks are five out of the last wild card with five games to go.

McCarthy (L, 10-15, 4.05 overall, 7-5, 2.89 as NYY) went 5 1/3, giving up 5 R, 11 H, 0 walks and 8 K. He gave up two in the second, two in the fourth and one in the fifth.

Rich Hill 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. Overall ERA 3.38.

Esmiel Rogers 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. Overall ERA 4.96

Dellin Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 1.40.

David Robertson  1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 2.74.

The Yanks got one in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI groundout by Chris Young to cut the Orioles’ lead to 4-1.

Stephen Drew got a bases-loaded SF in the sixth to cut the Orioles’ lead to 5-2.

Brian McCann hit a 2-run HR (23) in the seventh to cut the lead to 5-4 but the Yanks couldn’t catch up.

Derek Jeter went 1 for 5, career hit #3461 but struck out to end the game. He is at .255.

 

 

 

 

Game 156. Yanks one-hit O’s, 5-0.

Michael Pineda was dominant as he teamed up with three relievers for a one-hit shutout of Baltimore Monday night, 5-0.

Derek Jeter drove in three runs, and Jose Pirela tripled and singled in his first two MLB at bats to lead the Yanks.

Pineda retired the first 13 batters he faced before J.J. Hardy got the Orioles only hit of the game. Pineda (W, 4-5, 1.93) went 7 1/3, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 8 k.

Shawn Kelley 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 4.38.

Rich Hill 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 1 K. Overall ERA 3.60.

David Phelps 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 4.38.

The Yanks got 2 in the third when Ichiro reached on an error, Pirela tripled in his first MLB bat to knock in Ichiro and Jeter drove in Pirela on an RBI groundout.

They got two more in the fifth on a 2-run double by Jeter (hit #3460).

Chase Headley’s HR in the 8th (his 12th overall) finished off the scoring.

Earlier in the day, the Yanks picked up OF Eury Perez and DFA’d Josh Outman. The team has used a franchise-record 57 players this year.

The win ensures that the Yanks will not have their first losing season since 1992. They are now 81-75 with six games left. One more win and they have a winning season, if not a play0ff-bound one. They remain two games ahead of Toronto for second place in the AL East. They are four out of the last wild card spot with just six games to go.

Game 155. Gardner gets 15000th team HR in 5-2 win.

Brett Gardner hit the 15,000th HR in Yankees history, Brian McCann added two more, and Masahiro Tanaka got a win in his return from the DL (Chaz Roe was DFA’d) as the Yanks beat Toronto 5-2 on Sunday.

Mickey Mantle got HR #5000, Claudell Washington #10000 and now Brett Gardner #15000 in Yankees history.

For the fourth straight game, Derek Jeter got two hits. He came into the home stand on a bad slump, but in the last home stand of his career, has put together some nice games. He had two hits today, including an RBI double, raised his average to .255, and now has 3459 hits for his career. It was his fourth straight two-hit game, all on his final home stand.

Tanaka, limited in his # of pitches due to just coming off the DL, went 5 1/3 and looked, well, like TANAKA. 1 R, 5 H, 0 walks and 4 K. He improved to 13-4, 2.47. If only for those 10 weeks he missed.

He gave up his only run in the top of the first,  but McCann’s first HR of the game tied it in the bottom half of the inning.

Gardner’s 17th HR of the season (and who thought he’d hit THAT many this year?) made it 2-1 in the fifth, and the HR was the 15,000th in Yankees history. They are the first team to hit 15,000 HR in their history.

The Yankees got 3 in the 7th on doubles by Gardner and Jeter and McCann’s 2nd HR of the game. McCann’s 22nd HR gave him the team lead. With Ellsbury out, McCann’s 3 RBI gave him 71 for the season, and the team lead there as well.

Dellin Betances gave up a run in the 8th.

After Tanaka left,

Warren 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 3 K. 3.07

Betances 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 1.42.

David Robertson picked up his 38th save. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 1 K. 2.79.

The win put the Yanks 2 up on the Jays for 2nd place in the AL East at 80-75. Two more victories means a winning season. They haven’t had a non-winning season since 1992. They may still win less games than last year, when they won 85.

They are 4 1/2 out of the last wild card spot with just 7 games to go and must jump three teams. An almost impossible task to accomplish.

Game 154. Banged-up Bronx Bombers beaten, 6-3.

At this stage, you wonder who’ll be left for Game 162 besides Derek Jeter.

Mark Teixeira was removed in the middle of the game due to a sore wrist, Carlos Beltran wasn’t available due to his elbow issues (which will require surgery after the season) and Jacoby Ellsbury wasn’t available due to a strained hammy which may finish him for the season. Of course, Martin Prado is out for the year after his emergency appendectomy.

Chris Capuano pitched well for five innings on Saturday, but the wheels fell off in the sixth and the Yanks lost 6-3.

The loss dropped the Yanks to 79-75 with eight games to go. They have a one-game lead over Toronto for second place in the AL East. As for that last playoff spot, they are 4 1/2 out with 8 to go.

Toronto scored first on a first-inning double by Eduardo Encarnacion. The Yanks tied it in the third on a Jeter single (hit #3456), WP and RBI single by McCann.

The Yanks went up 2-1 an inning later on an RBI single by Cervelli.

Toronto, however, got three in the sixth, one in the seventh and another in the ninth.

A Derek Jeter RBI double in the ninth (hit #3457) made it 6-3. Jeter’s RBI put him #100 on the all-time list. The run scored by Jeter in the third put him temporarily into the top 10 all-time in runs scored (he passed A-Rod, who will most likely return the favor next year).

Today,  Sunday, Masahiro Tanaka returns and tests out that elbow. He has been out the last ten weeks.

Besides Jeter most likely playing his last home game on Thursday, two other players may be in their final week. The next start for Hiroki Kuroda could be his last. It could be Wednesday, or…. if the Yanks stay in rotation after Tanaka today, and go Pineda, McCarthy, Greene, Kuroda’s last game of his career could be Thursday—in Jeter’s final home game.

Not only that, Ichiro most likely won’t be back with the Yanks next year. It would remain to be seen who might pick up the soon-to-be 41-year-old.

The pitching line:
Capuano (L, 2-4, overall ERA 4.67) 5 2/3 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 4 walks and 2 K.
Whitley 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 5.23
Rogers 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 3 K. Overall ERA 5.11.
Huff 1 Ip, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K. Overall ERA 3.47
Phelps 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 0 k. 4.39.

 

 

Game 153. Ellsbury leads Yanks to win, but may be done for the year.

Jacoby Ellsbury homered, doubled, and drove in three runs in the Yankees’ 5-3 win over Toronto Friday night but also strained his right hamstring and, with only nine games remaining in the regular season, may be done for the year.

Toronto took a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first on an Edwin Encarnacion HR off of Yankees’ starter and winner Hiroki Kuroda.

The Yanks came back in the bottom of the first on a double by Ellsbury, single by Jeter and RBI single by McCann.

Ellsbury put the Yanks up 3-2 in the third with his 16th (and final? We’ll hear about the MRI results today) HR of the season.

The Yanks made it 5-2 in the fourth when Ellsbury hit an RBI force out with the bases loaded and reached first on a bad throw by Blue Jays’ SS Jose Reyes which enabled a second run to score on the play. In running down the line, however, Ellsbury strained his hamstring.

Derek Jeter got two hits to run his career total to 3455 and lift his batting average to .252.

Kuroda (W, 11-9, 3.77) went 6 2/3, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 walks and 7 K.
Outman (overall ERA 2.86) one batter, and he gave up a double.
Rogers 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 0 K. Overall ERA 5.23
Warren (Save #3) 1 2/3, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 3 K. 3.13.

The win puts the Yanks at 79-74, and two games up on Toronto for second place in the AL East. They are 4 1/2 games out of the final wild card spot with just nine games to go. Cleveland is also 79-74, and the Yanks would have not only better the Indians in the last nine games, but also jump over KC (83-69) and Seattle (83-70) to claim that final playoff spot.

HOF 1B Willie McCovey has been hospitalized. Get Well Soon, Stretch!