Tag Archives: Nettles

Notes from Boone/Cashman press conference




Since I’ve been out on disability for a while, I was able to watch the Boone/Cashman press conference yesterday. Here are a few takes from it.

Since everything revolves around Aaron Judge, they would like a deal sooner rather than later. Nothing would be as bad as being scorned and then having no backups to fall back on. Cashman denied any friction with Judge from this spring’s negotiations.

Neither thinks a drastic retool is necessary. They think the Yankees would have been far more competitive in the ALCS vs. Houston if LeMahieu, Benintendi and Carpenter were healthy. I can agree there. Judging by their comments about Benintendi’s and Carpenter’s injuries, it appears that they will be reaching out to both of them to see if they can get both back.

One thing that concerned me was their defense of Josh Donaldson. Now if anyone were on the trading block, neither Boone nor Cashman would be tipping their hand on that. But to state that Donaldson, 37 next month, underachieved offensively but still has something in the tank goes against everything we saw this year. He looked cooked. But with Donaldson’s contract being horrible, I guess they have to hope. They did think Donaldson deserved to be among the three Gold Glove finalists at 3B, though.

SS appears to be a competition next spring training. IKF could still be there but will be pushed by Peraza and possibly Volpe. Oswaldo Cabrera figures in here too. Peraza was described as impressive in his short 18 game stint at the end of the season. Other terms used for him was that he needed to improve and develop last year (done) hence not an earlier callup. Jack Curry, on the YES network, mentioned that IKF was a polarizing figure to the Yankees fanbase much as Sanchez was. Boone and Cashman were defending IKF at the presser, stating that IKF (as a bridge) did everything that was expected from him.

They would like Anthony Rizzo back. Rizzo will opt out of his $16MM deal, but the question is will he accept a qualifying offer of $19.65MM or go for more? Or accept more years at less than the qualifying offer? (2 yr/$18MM per). But the Yanks hope to work something out with him.

To no surprise, the Yanks WILL pick up Severino’s $15MM team option. One more rotation piece could be in play. It could be retaining Taillon (a free agent) or going elsewhere. After the front three of Cole, Cortes and Severino, there still is Schmidt, Montas and German even if Taillon goes, but you know what they say…. you NEVER have enough pitching.

The feeling is that Stanton was playing through something at the end of the year. I feel the same way. His batting average after June 1 was Gallo-like.

Cashman’s contract actually expired October 1. He wants to return, and Hal wants him back, so it is like Cashman is working pro bono as of now. But you figure something will be worked out soon there.

I wrote down notes haphazardly while the conferences were going on, but there is a quick synopsis for you.

UPDATE: One thing I didn’t like: From the NY Post: In other bits of info from Cashman’s press conference, he said he wouldn’t discuss trading players but noted that outfielder Aaron Hicks would be back and that the team felt he still had something to offer. Really? Ugh. But then, if he is on the market, they don’t want to say anything hurting Hicks’ trade value (which is probably low enough already).

Other things I came across:

A sad state of affairs. Graig Nettles states that the Yanks stopped inviting him to Old-Timer’s games and events some five years ago and he doesn’t know why. It’s a shame. Nettles should have a plaque in Monument Park (#9 is already retired for Roger Maris and I don’t think Nettles deserves that honor, but a plaque? Definitely). Apparently, someone in the front office has it in for Nettles, but who?

One tweet on Twitter accuses the Yanks of being more of a corporation than anything else, including a baseball organization. Looking at how they have the YES network, are involved with an Italian soccer team, have the Pinstripe Bowl, were in negotiations to play regular season games in France (and remember they played in England recently, also Japan) I have to wonder if that person is correct, and if so, that could be a scary thing. After all, I remember the CBS years, where the Yanks were not the priority of a corporation, but just part of it. You would like it to be 100% baseball. Does this explain the fan base’s exasperation with the owner and the front office? Or some of the postseason failures of recent times? After all, Hal is more corporate than the old man was as far as divesting his interests (or so it appears). And the last time the Yanks won, or even went to the WS, the old man was still alive (although much diminished in capacity). Hal’s track record does seem more corporate and bottom line than baseball oriented, and is that a problem and a cause of the postseason disappointments?

Finally, another Japanese player few have heard of to keep an eye on. Yesterday I mentioned RHP Koudai Senga.

Now, Masataka Yoshida. If the Yanks are not able to bring back Benintendi, Yoshida has many of the same skill sets as Benintendi. He is a lefty hitter. He turns 30 next July. He hit .336 with 21 HR and 89 RBI in Japan this season. His power would probably drop in the USA but then again, Benintendi only had five HR this season. Like Benintendi, a contact hitter. Benintendi had 52 walks and 77 strikeouts while hitting .304. Yoshida had 82 walks and only 42 strikeouts. Yoshida has hit .326 in Japan and has 427 walks to 307 strikeouts. He has had four seasons of 20 or more HR (which would be what here? 12-15?). If you take Yoshida’s career stats in Japan and divide by five, his average season in Japan comes out to something like .326-27-95 over 156 games. Taking into account the tougher MLB competition, could he hit .280-15-70 here? Be Benintendi-like for a cheaper price? Be a backup consideration if the Yanks can’t sign Benintendi? Just throwing his name out here because until recently, I hadn’t heard of Yoshida (or Senga) either. But most of us haven’t heard of these Japanese stars who could be MLB-bound. So just passing his name out there and informing you (and me).

Game 122. Benintendi’s blast lifts Yanks, 4-2.

Before yesterday’s game, the Yanks retired #21 in honor of Paul O’Neill. O’Neill becomes the 24th Yankee and 23rd number retired (#8 is retired for both Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey). Note I didn’t say players, as broadcaster John Sterling erroneously said in his introduction. After all, Joe Torre (6) and Casey Stengel (37) were managers, not players, for the Yankees.

One thing the Yankees should do next. I feel it is LONG overdue that Graig Nettles and Bobby Murcer get plaques in Monument Park. I am not talking retiring the numbers, for the numbers they wore (9 for Nettles, retired for Roger Maris or the 1 or 2 worn by Murcer. Those numbers are retired for Billy Martin (1) and Derek Jeter (2), respectively) are retired for other individuals, but plaques to honor the superb Yankees’ tenure of both men. For Murcer, not only as a player but also as a broadcaster. Get it done, Yankees.

The Yankees (74-48) then got a much-needed win over Toronto, 4-2. Their lead in the AL East is 8 games and the magic number for clinching the division is 34. The lead once was 15 1/2. As you know, the team has been struggling greatly lately.

The Yanks struck first with a run in the bottom of the first inning. With two out, Anthony Rizzo singled, then D.J. LeMahieu singled Rizzo to third. Lourdes Gurriel, Jr.’s throw to third, trying to get Rizzo, got away, and Rizzo came in to score.

Toronto tied the game in the top of the third with one of the weirdest homeruns you’ll ever see. Whit Merrifield’s blast hit the top of the fence, bounced up and to the left, then bounced off the wall again and then over it for a HR. It was the only run Yankees’ starter Nestor Cortes gave up. Meanwhile the Yankees made four fine defensive plays in the game, two by RF Marwin Gonzalez, and one each by 1B Rizzo and SS Oswaldo Cabrera.

the Yanks took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third. With one out, Andrew Benintendi walked. After Aaron Judge struck out, Rizzo walked. LeMahieu followed with an RBI single.

Toronto tied it in the top of the seventh when the Yankees’ bullpen faltered. Jonathan Loaisiga gave up a leadoff single, but after a force-out, gave up a walk. Wandy Peralta came in and gave up a single to load the bases but then walked in the tying run. He then got a force-out at home before Lou Trivino came in to get the final out. Trivino did a great job in finishing the game off, going 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

In the bottom of the seventh, Jose Trevino led off with an infield single and was bunted over to second by Gonzalez. Benintendi then followed with his fourth HR of the season, and first as a Yankee, to make the score 4-2 Yankees, which was the final score.

There was a minor dustup in the fifth inning when Judge was HBP. The Yankees’ bench was about to charge but Judge waved them off. With first base open and a man on second at the time, the original thought was that the HBP was intentional (instead of just sending him to first) but it wasn’t.

A needed win. The Yanks are scheduled to face the Mets today and tomorrow, and not only that, but they also have to go up against Scherzer and DeGrom. Today’s game could be rained out, however. The weather forecast calls for rain all day.

Benintendi 2 hits, 2 RBI. 2-run HR (4). First HR as a Yankee.
LeMahieu 2 hits, RBI.

Cortes 6 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 5 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2.68
Loisiaga (H, 7) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 6.04
Peralta (BS, 5) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 2.45
Trivino (W, 2-7) 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 5.27 (Combined Oak/NYY stats)





Game 84. Yanks beat Mets 5-1 behind G-“FOUR”CES.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Well, you have heard of G-forced, how about G-“FOUR”CES?

The Yanks beat the Mets 5-1 Wednesday night behind key contributions from four “G’s”:

German
Gleyber
Gregorius and
Gleyber

G-FOURCE.

(if you want to add Green to that, go ahead, but G-FIFTH doesn’t read too well… ).

The win puts the Yankees (55-29) 6 1/2 up on the Rays and 11 up on Boston in the AL East.

The Yanks now have a four-game series in Tampa vs. the Rays. It could be huge. All the Yanks really have to do is split, stay 6 1/2 up and take four games off the schedule.

A sweep could help bury the Rays at 10 1/2 out. Just don’t get swept yourself and get them back to 2 1/2 out.

The Yanks struck at the Mets right away, scoring two in the first inning. D.J. LeMahieu led off with a double, and Aaron Judge followed with a double to score D.J. Later in the inning, Gleyber Torres’ single knocked in Judge.

The fact Torres (.298-19-50, basically a .298-37-97 pace more or less–and for a middle infielder, to boot) is not on the AL All-Star team is a travesty.

Domingo German, just off the IL, gave up a HR on his first pitch, and you wondered if he was brought back too soon. But he settled down after that to pitch six great innings for his tenth win of the season.

Gio Urshela looked like Graig Nettles at third base last night. Maybe even better. He put on a defensive show.

Down 2-1 in the fifth, with a man on, Mets’ manager Mickey Callaway made a curious decision. He didn’t PH for pitcher Jason Vargas. Vargas’ did get his bunt down, but the Mets didn’t score.

That decision came back to bite the Mets in the sixth. With one out, Didi Gregorius hit his fourth HR of the season to give the Yanks a 3-1 lead. Callaway then replaced Vargas with Wilmer Font.

If Vargas’ leash was that short, why not PH for him in the fifth? ESPN announcers were arguing about that last night. You are down, need to score runs, don’t PH for the pitcher, but then the next inning he only faces two batters? Makes no sense.

And that is one reason why Callaway’s seat with the underachieving (39-48) Mets is extremely hot.

Font gave up a HR to the first batter he faced, as Gregorius and Urshela went back-to-back. Urshela’s seventh HR of the season made it 4-1.

For a while, it appeared as if Gio was hurt, but he turned out OK. Whew.

LeMahieu led off the seventh with a double, and two outs later, Hicks walked. Torres’ single made it 5-1, which was the final score.

Aaron Hicks robbed Robbie Cano of a possible HR during the game. Definitely a possible double, questionable whether it would have cleared the fence or not.

LeMahieu 2 hits (.342 leads AL)
Torres 2 hits, 2 RBI
Gregorius 2 hits, solo HR (4)
Urshela 2 hits, solo HR (7). A couple of superb defensive plays.

German (W, 10-2, 3.67) 6 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 0 W, 6 K. Gave up 1 HR (on his first pitch).
Green 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 4 K.  5.64
Cortes, Jr. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.  5.04

German looked like the German, ace-like, that he was before his last few starts when he struggled with the hip problem.

Yankees’ announcers are now on the IL. John Sterling will not be broadcasting this weekend because of health issues. Sterling, who turns 81 today, the 4th of July, had broadcast 5,060 consecutive games, ever since he had to take two days off for the death of a sister in 1989.

Meanwhile, Michael Kay will miss a month because he needs surgery on one of his vocal cords.

 

Game 2. Bottom of lineup leads Yanks to 4-2 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks got 2 RBI each from the #8 and 9 hitters in their lineup tonight to beat Toronto 4-2 to go to 2-0 on the season.

In the second, Didi led off with a triple but was thrown out at the plate on a ground out by Gary Sanchez. Bad base running move.

But with two out, Billy McKinney singled in his first MLB at bat, and Brandon Drury doubled home Sanchez for a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the second, Masahiro Tanaka made his only mistake, giving up a HR to tie the game.

Tanaka, if he throws a fastball, has to make sure it isn’t a strike. It has to be a “show you the fastball” pitch that is off the plate. His fastball is what is being hammered for HRs. He has to show it, make sure it’s off the plate, because he can’t blow it past people. He has to rely on his splitter and breaking pitches.

Which is what he did after the HR. He adjusted.

In the fourth, Didi doubled, and after an out, Walker walked. With two out, Drury singled to make it 2-1 Yanks.

In the sixth, Didi walked. With one out, Walker singled, and with two out, Drury walked to load the bases. Wade doubled in two for the deciding hit of the ballgame.

In the ninth, with two outs, Aroldis Chapman gave up back-to-back doubles for a run before recording the final out.

Didi 2 for 3, double & triple. Walk. Scored 2 runs.
Drury 2 hits, 2 RBI and a walk. Double.
Wade 2 RBI. Double.

Tanaka (Win) 6 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 8 K.
Kahnle (H) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Robertson (H) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Chapman (S) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 3 K.

12 K for the Yanks’ pitchers today, and I believe 12 on Opening Day. 3 runs given up in 18 innings.

For opening day at the Stadium, Mickey Rivers and Bucky Dent will be throwing out the first ball to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1978 WS Champs. Surprised Guidry cannot do it.

Also, can the Yanks please honor Graig Nettles with a plaque in Monument Park? Without his D in Game 3 of that 1978 WS, the Yanks don’t win that title.

 

The other #9s. Infield options.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

#9, as we know, is retired for Roger Maris.

But with this new year of 2018, it marks the 40th anniversary of the Yanks’ great comeback in 1978.

One key member of that team was Graig Nettles. Who can forget his defensive wizardry in Game 3 of that 1978 WS that turned the series around? Nettles was on 5 division winners, 4 pennant winners and 2 World Championships with the Yankees from 1973-1983. He led the AL in HR with 32 in 1976, led the Yankees in WAR (Wins above Replacement) in both 1976 and 1977, was a 5x All Star in his 11 years with the Yanks, and finished in the top 10 for AL MVP in 1977 and 1978.

Isn’t it about time Nettles, 73, was honored with a plaque in Monument Park?

And while they are at it, another player who wore #9, Hank Bauer, who played for the Yankees from 1948-1959, could be honored with a plaque as well for his WS record 17 game hitting streak. Bauer died in 2007. It’s 60 years since that streak ended in 1958.

1938, 1958, 1978, 1998… lets’ hope the Yanks 20 year streak of WS titles continues…

I am not saying co-retire the number 9, as the Yanks did with #8 (Dickey and Berra), but shouldn’t Nettles and Bauer have plaques? In the case of Nettles, especially, it is long overdue.

The Yanks may or may not be looking into additional infield help. Apparently they are talking with Ji-Man Choi about him returning to AAA SWB as insurance for a possible injury to Greg Bird. Choi was 4 for 15 for the Yanks in 2017, hitting 2 HR.

Todd Frazier and Eduardo Nunez are still on the free agent market and the Yanks could have interest in one or the other. Of course the market for them has to drop or the Yanks need to unload some $alary (Ellsbury, for example). But Richard Neer (spelling?) of WFAN suggests that the Yanks should just go with the rookies, Miguel Andujar at 3B and Gleyber Torres at 2B and see how they do and then make a move, if needed, at the trade deadline of 2018.

Will the Yanks get a veteran infielder, or will they go with two rookies to start the season? We’ll see.

So far the free agent and trade market has been glacially slow.

 

Game 152. Beltran’s HR wins it for Yanks, 3-2. Magic #5 for playoff spot.

cropped-the-stadium-facade.jpg

Carlos Beltran’s 3-run HR was all the Yanks’ offense in a 3-2 win over the White Sox on Thursday night.

Beltran’s 18th HR of the season was #391 of his career, passing Graig Nettles on the all-time list. On base was Alex Rodriguez, and his run scored was #2000 of his career.

The win puts the Yanks at 84-68 with 10 games to go. They are 3 behind Toronto in the AL East, have a 4 1/2 game lead over Houston for WC #1 and a six-game lead over both the Twins and Angels for WC spot #2.

The magic number to get into that WC game is 5.

Pineda (W, 12-8, 3.99) 6 IP, 1 R, 8 H, 0 walks, 6 K
Wilson 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 3.16
Betances 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 walks, 2 K. 1.37
Miller (35th save) 1 IP, 0 R 1 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 2.01

Game 150. Bird’s HR wins it for Yanks, 6-4.

cropped-the-stadium-facade.jpg

This will be brief, because of the other sad post I wrote regarding the passing of the legendary Yogi Berra.

The Yanks won last night 6-4, on a 3-run HR by Greg Bird (10) in the top of the 10th inning. The win puts the Yanks at 83-67 and 2 1/2 behind Toronto with 12 games to go.

They remain 4 up on Houston for WC #1 and six up on the Twins for WC #2. The magic number to get into the wild card game is now 7.

A single by McCann and a SF fly by Beltran gave the Yanks two in the first. Ellsbury had started the game off with a double.

Luis Severino had another strong outing, giving up two runs in six innings. He gave up a solo HR in the third and another run in the fourth.

Carlos Beltran’s 17th HR of the season put the Yanks up 3-2 in the eighth. It was the 390th HR of Beltran’s career, tying him with Graig Nettles on the all-time list.

The Yanks’ bullpen was shaky however. Betances escaped a bases-loaded jam in the 8th, but Andrew Miller gave up a game-tying HR in the bottom of the 9th.

Bird’s HR in the 10th put the Yanks up 6-3 and it was huge because Miller gave up another HR in the bottom of the tenth for the final score of 6-4.

Severino 6 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 3 walks and 3 K. 3.10
Wilson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 3.04
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 walks and 2 K. 1.40
Miller (W, 3-2) 2 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 2 walks and 4 K. 2.04

Game 102. Red hot Teixeira powers Yanks, 13-6.

cropped-the-stadium-facade.jpg

For the second straight night, Mark Teixeira hit two home runs in a game, and the way he did it last night established a new major league record as the Yanks beat the Chicago White Sox 13-6.

Before the game, the Yanks made no major splash at the major league trade deadline. That isn’t to say that there weren’t some minor internal moves. To make room for newly acquired Dustin Ackley, the Yanks dfa’d Garrett Jones. Chris Capuano was outrighted to AAA SWB. Esmiel Rogers was released so that he could play in Korea. Slade Heathcott was optioned to AAA (rehab over).

Top prospect Luis Severino’s next start will be for the Yanks. They are bringing the 21-year old up, and his MLB debut may be on Tuesday against Boston in the Bronx. The exact date hasn’t been determined yet. The kid was 9-2, 2.45 this year between AA/AAA.

Bryan Mitchell will start for the Yanks on Saturday night.

Some may be upset that the Yanks didn’t make a major splash, but you have to give to get, and the Yanks were NOT giving up Severino, Bird or Judge. Mateo was mostly off limits as well, but was on the table in rumors involving Craig Kimbrel of the Padres.

Let’s hope the four develop into another “core four.”

Teix hit a homer from both sides of the plate in the same game for the fourteenth time in his career, breaking the record he shared with Nick Swisher.

Carlos Beltran doubled in a run in the first, then the Yanks got five in the second on an RBI single by A-Rod and Teix’s first HR of the game—a grand slam.

After the White Sox got two in the third on a HR by Jose Abreu, the Yanks came back with another five-run inning in the top of the fourth.

Chris Young doubled and scored on two wild pitches. After A-Rod walked, Teixeira hit his second HR of the game to pout the Yanks up 9-2. This second HR, #28 of the season, was #391 of Teixeira’s career, and passed Graig Nettles on the all-time list. Later in the inning, Bredan Ryan singled in a run and Didi Gregorius’ SF made it 11-2.

A Headley single in the fifth made it 12-2.

Ex-Yankee Melky Cabrera drove in a run in the bottom of the fifth for the Pale Hose to make it 12-3.

Ellsbury’s single in the sixth made it 13-3 Yanks. Chicago got two in the seventh and one in the ninth to make it 13-6 as the final.

With the win, the Yanks are 58-44. 60 games to go, and they have a six-game lead.

A-Rod 2 for 2, 3 walks, scored 4 times.
Teixeira 3 for 4, 2 walks, 2 HR, 6 RBI
Beltran & Ryan each had 3 hits and an RBI.
The Yanks banged out 18 hits.

Eovaldi (W, 11-2, 4.30) 5 2/3 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 3 walks and 5 K.
Warren 2 1/3 IP,  2 R, 4 H, 0 walks, 4 K. 3.50
Goody 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 1 k. 6.75

Game 101. Yanks lose in 9th, 7-6. Pineda to DL, CC to hospital, Yanks make minor deal.

cropped-the-stadium-facade.jpg

Before the game, the Yanks traded OF Ramon Flores and RHP Jose Ramirez to Seattle for utility man Dustin Ackley. Mostly a 2b/lf, Ackley can also play 1B, CF and RF. Ackley, 27, was hitting .215-6-19, OPS+ 79, for Seattle this year. His 162 g. average is .243-12-56, OPS+ 92. His versatility means that Garrett Jones could be gone.

Also before the game, Michael Pineda was scratched from his start and placed on the DL with a forearm strain. CC Sabathia, on normal rest, started instead. After the game, CC showed signs of dehydration, and was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

The Yanks brought up Bryan Mitchell and Nick Goody before the game. Caleb Cotham was sent back to AAA.

Meanwhile, the Yanks saw Toronto get David Price, and one Yankees’ target, Cincy’s Mike Leake, was dealt to SF. The trade deadline is this afternoon.

As for the game, the Yanks were edged 7-6 on a Josh Hamilton walk-off single in the bottom of the 9th. The Yanks’ lead is now six over Baltimore and the refurbished (Tulo and Price) Toronto. The Yanks are 57-44.

In the first, the Yanks jumped out to a 3-0 lead on an Ellsbury triple, a SF by Gardner, a solo HR (25) by Teixeira and a single by McCann, walk to Beltran and RBI single by Headley.

But CC gave it right back on a 3-run HR by Hamilton. Then in the second,he gave up the lead on a HR by Choo.

The Yanks took back the lead in the top of the third on a 2-run HR (16) by McCann. 5-4 Yanks.

In the bottom of the fourth, Jacoby Ellsbury missed trying to make a diving catch and Ryan Rua had an inside-the-park HR to tie up the game for Texas.

The Yanks went back up, 6-5, in the seventh when Teixeira did a Texas two-step with his second HR of the game. #26 of the season was #389 of his career, tying Johnny Bench on the all-time list and placing Teix one behind Graig Nettles.

The Yanks couldn’t hold the lead again, though, as Texas got one in the seventh to tie before Hamilton’s walkoff single in the 9th.

The Yanks had a chance to score a run in the 8th, Beltran singled to start the inning, but Headley GIDP. They still managed to load the bases after that, but Gardner struck out.

Nick Goody made his MLB debut in the game.

Sabathia 5 IP, 5 R,  9 H, 1 walk and 3 K. 5.54
Wilson 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 2 K. 2.65
Betances 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 3 K. 1.32
Goody 1/3 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 1 K.   27.00
Miller  (L, 0-2, 1.54) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 walk and 0 K.

Game 113. Yanks blow it, 6-5 in 12. Season slipping away.

Get out the cutlery. Stick a fork in them. They’re done.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a diehard Yankees fan and root for them and will continue to do so, but eventually reality sets in. A team that played over their heads in the beginning of the season is crashing to earth now.

With last night’s 6-5 loss in 12 innings, in a game where they twice were one strike away from winning, the Yanks fall to 57-56, one game above .500. They are 11 1/2 games out of the division lead and 6 1/2 games out of the second wild card slot. They lost five of six to bad teams in SD and the Chicago White Sox. Earlier this year they lost four in a row to the Mets, another bad team. There is no real expectation that they will kick butt from here on out, go 33-16 (which is probably what it would take) and sneak in as the second wild-card team. They have the Tigers this weekend. They still have, and need, to win games against the teams ahead of them in Tampa Bay, Boston and Baltimore. They are worse than the Royals right now.

Instead, the question should be, will this team finish above or below .500?

The Yanks had a 4-0 lead after four and blew it. Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run HR in the first, his second since his return to the Yanks and his 19th of the season. HR #391 in his career enabled Soriano to pass Graig Nettles on the all-time list.

Vernon Wells singled in a run in the third, and Eduardo Nunez hit his first HR of the season in the fourth.

It was the best outing for CC Sabathia in a while until he ran out of gas. CC gave up a run in the fifth and two in the seventh. He went 7 1/3, 3 R, 5 H, 0 walks and 1 K. ERA 4.73.

David Robertson 2/3, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 1.72.

Mo came in and for the third time this season, blew the save. He got the first two men out but gave up a double to Gordon Beckham (who had Hr’d off CC in the fifth), and on an 0-2 count, gave up a game-tying single to Adam Dunn. As my friend Josh “The Yankee Truth” states, sometimes Mo is his own worst enemy. Sometimes he should waste a pitch and doesn’t. Here is an example.

Rivera 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 1.70.

In the top of the 12th, Robbie Cano hit HR #22 to put the Yanks up 5-4.

Adam Warren (L, 1-2, 3.74) got the first two guys out in the bottom of the inning, then, one strike away from ending the game, he deflected a ball that would have been an easy out for Cano behind him. Single. Next pitch? Single. Next pitch, ball. Next pitch? 2-run triple to blow the game.

From one strike away to a devastating loss in four pitches.

Stick a fork in them. They’re done.

An aside: Even though I want the Yanks to win, if A-Rod is a significant contributor, I’ll have very mixed emotions. For if A-Fraud contributes while he is appealing that lengthy suspension, I’ll feel as if the win was dirty. Not deserved. Won through cheating.

Which is why sometimes I wish the ground would just swallow Alex whole.

Get rid of him, his problems, his cheating and his distractions already. Let him clean up his life and let him do it WITHOUT baseball. He has more important things to do than play baseball. Like get his 10-cent head together.

The Yanks now come home. It’ll be interesting to hear what kind of reaction A-Rod gets from the home folks.