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Postgame notes: Six pitches not enough in the sixth

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes, Podcast on Jun 04, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The final result looks similar to those two frustrating losses in Seattle — one-run game against an elite starting pitcher — but this one felt very different. It’s not a game the Yankees blew, it’s just a game they didn’t win. It’s easy to look back at the six-pitch sixth inning, or the double that bounced over the wall, or Ivan Nova’s sloppy first inning as possible turning points, but that’s all based on speculation of what might have happened. Bottom line, a very good pitcher shutdown the Yankees lineup tonight.

“I thought we did a pretty good job of making him work,” Joe Girardi said. “But we just didn’t get many hits.”

The Yankees had only three hits, and it’s hard to win with a 3 in the hit column. One thing they did well — beginning with Derek Jeter’s opening 15-pitch at bat — was make Jered Weaver throw a bunch of pitches. They had him at 101 after five innings, but a six-pitch inning let him off the hook a little bit. The top offenders were Robinson Cano and Russell Martin, each of whom made a one-pitch out.

“If the guy gets a hit, no one questions it,” Girardi said. “He’s got outstanding breaking stuff. It’s not a guy you want to get behind in the count too often. The guys took an approach. They tried to jump him, and they didn’t get it done.”

Trying to jump on an early strike. Not wanting to fall behind in the count. Not wanting to take pitches because Weaver usually doesn’t walk too many guys. Every explanation for that six-pitch inning makes sense, but still… With a pitcher like that on the ropes, a six-pitch inning is a bad inning.

“I don’t know if he comes back out if we put 10 or 12 pitches on him, I’m not sure,” Girardi said. “He’s a guy that, you see him throw 120, 125, but I thought possibly that sixth inning was going to be his last inning, but we made some quick outs.”

Here’s Derek Jeter talking a little bit about the approach against Weaver and some other bits of tonight’s game.

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• Jeter on his 15-pitch at-bat to start the game: “It was a while. I don’t know how many pitches it was, but it was probably the longest I’ve been up there. I’m not known for being up there too long.” Just a few seconds later, with a straight face, Jeter began explaining that his entire approach tonight was to foul off as many pitches as possible. He was kidding.

• After Jeter flied out to end that opening at-bat, he clearly communicated a little bit with Weaver as he ran off the field. “It was just more of a gesture,” Jeter said. “I’ve known him since he was a teenager, so it was all in good fun.”

• Tonight was a step in the right direction for Ivan Nova. He looked awful in the first inning — erratic, hit hard, gave up two runs — but he settled in a little bit. I still thought, in the fourth inning, that his night wouldn’t last very long, but he gave the Yankees a solid start, much better than last time. “I threw more strikes today,” Nova said. “And I was more aggressive.”

• The line drive back to the mound hit Nova at the very bottom of his glove hand, and pretty much hit all glove. Nova said he’s fine. “I just see the ball right at my face and react,” he said.

• Turns out to be significant that Jorge Posada’s fourth-inning double bounced over the wall. If that weren’t a ground rule double, Nick Swisher almost certainly would have scored and extra run.

• Nova had never faced any of the Angels hitters before tonight.

• Boone Logan was brought in to face a switch hitter tonight. He got two strikes, but he couldn’t put Alberto Callaspo away, giving up a single. “I just thought he missed his spot with that pitch,” Girardi said. “With two strikes, hitters sometimes shorten up a little bit and take a little bit different approach, and you got to be able to make the pitch.”

• The first-inning passed ball was just a fastball that got away from Russell Martin. Nova said they were not crossed up on that pitch.

• The Angels announced that Ervin Santana has been bumped up one day and will start Saturday in place of Dan Haren. Joel Pineiro will start Sunday’s game in place of Santana.

• Jeter was asked if it’s starting to feel like the Yankees are facing one ace after another. “Even if you’re facing guys that may not be big-name pitchers,” he said, “they still seem to get up for us and throw the ball well.”

• Just to be sure, I double checked with CC Sabathia: He didn’t bounce his ceremonial Little League first pitch on Wednesday. Actually, he threw two of them, one to the starting catcher of each team.

• Kind of a tradition here in Anaheim, the team was showing the “Kiss Cam” on the big screen, encouraging couples in the stands to kiss on camera. Finally, the camera cut to a shot of Lance Pendleton sitting next to Dave Robertson in the bullpen. Pendleton leaned in for the kiss. Pretty hilarious.

Associated Press photos

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44 Responses to “Postgame notes: Six pitches not enough in the sixth”

  1. Vineyard Yankee June 4th, 2011 at 2:24 am

    ‘Boone Logan was brought in to face a switch hitter tonight. He got two strikes, but he couldn’t put Alberto Callaspo away’.

    =============

    Logan has been dreadful this year, almost a hit an inning and an ERA over 4. Marte, Feliciano and Logan, not much luck with these LHRP’ers.

  2. Pat M. June 4th, 2011 at 2:37 am

    Jared Weaver is a Premier Starting pitcher who is very unconventional when it comes to pitch selection in different situations….he threw a dynamite 0-2 change to Posada for a strike….He was pinpoint all night with his backdoor fastball to lefties…..Against Quality pitchers you get 1 maybe 2 chances to inflict damage against these types of pitchers…You better make the best of that opportunity …If not you lose….Next month Russell Martin will be catching him in the 2011 All Star Game in Texas….

  3. Vineyard Yankee June 4th, 2011 at 2:48 am

    Pat M.:

    Did you have good seats ? Alot of Yankee fans in the stands ?

  4. Rich in NJ June 4th, 2011 at 2:50 am

    Girardi can pretend that if someone gets a hit then no one questions it, but that’s sophistry. Approach nets the sought after outcome far more times than not. That’s why Jeter’s first inning AB was so great even though he didn’t get a hit.

  5. Jerkface June 4th, 2011 at 2:51 am

    Easy now on singling out Cano. Why not start with Swisher, Posada, Gardner and Jeter first.

    Cano in May: .250 .305 .407 .712
    Gardner in May: .301 .379 .373 .752
    Jeter in May: .274 .338 .371 .709

    If Cano isn’t hitting .320 he needs to walk more.

  6. Pat M. June 4th, 2011 at 3:00 am

    Vineyard,,,,Diamond club seasts, 3 rd row behind the plake…I’ve sat there before, 2009 Joba Chamberlain start…..They’re comp’d, but real nice seats

  7. pft2 June 4th, 2011 at 3:01 am

    So what is it you don’t like about Gardners May 379 OBP?

  8. Mikhel June 4th, 2011 at 3:06 am

    A good start for Nova? the guy put 10 runners on base in just 6 innings of work, he still looks lost, panicky, nervous, whenever he has men on base, and even if the league bats just 0.267 AVG / 0.303 OBP / 0.321 SLG with men on base, he has men on base almost every inning due to the high batting average the league has versus Nova with the bases empty: 0.304 / 0.348 OBP / 0.406 SLG.

    When pitches 3 straight games where his total innings of work are higher than the hits+walks+HBP he has, then we could say he has been progressing.

    ————–

    @Vineyard Yankee Not to mention that lefties hit 0.324 against Logan… though one excuse is that he’s part of the “i think we’re gonna lose this game” moves JoeG does:
    Logan has been in 21 games, the Yanks have lost 15, 8 of those by 1 run, 4 by 2 runs.

    Kind of like when he only uses Mariano for a save or with the game tied, and spotty relief appearances when he has not pitched a few days.

  9. Pat M. June 4th, 2011 at 3:14 am

    Ivan Nova pitched well enought to pick up a win tonight, bottm line…….Jared Weaver just pitched slightly better,,,,,,

  10. Pat M. June 4th, 2011 at 3:17 am

    I can’t wait to read Lupica’s column on the Walsh departure and then Dolan & Thomas….Should be a must read…….He’s going to drill Dolan, and rightful so….

  11. Rich in NJ June 4th, 2011 at 3:23 am

    That was a good start for Nova.

    As for the Knicks, if someone wants to allege something nefarious on Dolan’s part, then in effect you are saying that Walsh is lying when he discussed his exit.

    GN

  12. Vineyard Yankee June 4th, 2011 at 3:46 am

    Pat M. June 4th, 2011 at 3:00 am

    Sounds awesome no matter how you got them, all you needed to see was a win. Damn. You going to see CC tomorrow ?

  13. Vineyard Yankee June 4th, 2011 at 3:49 am

    Jerkface June 4th, 2011 at 2:51 am

    Easy now on singling out Cano. Why not start with Swisher, Posada, Gardner and Jeter first.

    Cano in May: .250 .305 .407 .712
    Gardner in May: .301 .379 .373 .752
    Jeter in May: .274 .338 .371 .709

    If Cano isn’t hitting .320 he needs to walk more.

    ==============

    Next time maybe you can cherry pick it by the week.

  14. West Coast Yankee Fan June 4th, 2011 at 3:52 am

    It’s not very becoming to pick on the weak and infirm Vineyard.

  15. Vineyard Yankee June 4th, 2011 at 4:05 am

    My response should have been, ‘cherry pick whatever you want, I could care less’. Stat geek probably sleeps with an abacus.

  16. Jerkface June 4th, 2011 at 4:12 am

    It’s not very becoming to pick on the weak and infirm Vineyard.

    True, I shouldn’t pick on the weak and infirm vineyard.

  17. Jerkface June 4th, 2011 at 4:14 am

    If you’re going to invent a friend, he should at least be hale and hearty.

  18. West Coast Yankee Fan June 4th, 2011 at 4:21 am

    Oh, look what crawled out from underneath the bleachers . . . it’s stat man.

  19. Vineyard Yankee June 4th, 2011 at 4:25 am

    Do you even have any friends ? Do you know what those are ? Oh that’s right you live in your alternate ‘stat’ reality where nothing and no one matter.

  20. Vineyard Yankee June 4th, 2011 at 4:27 am

    Does it wear a cape or just those extra tight pink lace leotards from neck to toe ?

  21. Jerkface June 4th, 2011 at 4:38 am

    Its highly amusing that the artificial construct is talking to me about alternate reality.

  22. Jerkface June 4th, 2011 at 5:16 am

    West Coast Yankee Fan April 24th, 2011 at 8:08 pm
    Blojo – I don’t need to discredit you

    Vineyard Yankee April 24th, 2011 at 8:12 pm
    Typo: Blojo s/b Bojo.

    How come you didn’t correct his posts today, spell check? :(

  23. GreenBeret7 June 4th, 2011 at 6:12 am

    a couple of bats have been waived. Makes you wonder of the yanks will have any interest. Jake Fox and billy hall have been cut loose. Supposedly, the Mets will have no issues trading with the Yankees. Will this put Beltran on the discussion table?

  24. GreenBeret7 June 4th, 2011 at 6:22 am

    Makes you wonder ***if*** the yanks will have any interest.

  25. Gary June 4th, 2011 at 7:00 am

    Morning, well what can you say, some sloppy defense and weak hitting again. 3 hits and 2 runs won’t win many games especially when the last hit comes in the 4th inning. If we had a few of these it would be OK, but there have been quite a few. Well re load for todays game.

  26. brownies June 4th, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Oakland is trying to get their manager who they loathe fired…looked like a little league team last night in boston ..good thing we got their pitchers at the right time. I have never seen a team so befuddled by good pitchers. Sox big 3 right around the corner too.

  27. Ghostwriter June 4th, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Very tough loss. There’s no shame in getting beat by one of the best pitchers in baseball. Still, it is a very tough loss to take: If Posada’s hard-hit ball in the fourth doesn’t bounce into the stands, then Swisher probably would score, and the Yanks would grab the lead, which could have changed everything. C’est la vie.

    It’s a shame to waste a good start from Nova. He snapped back from last week’s awful performance very nicely. I think that Joe made the right call in running him out there tonight, rather than skipping his start last night. If Nova had pitched this way last week, he might have gotten the win against Pineda. Nevertheless, I like the way that Nova seems to be developing into a solid pitcher. In a way, he kind of reminds me of a young Andy Pettitte, making fans nervous with all of the hits that he would surrender, but battling his way through innings and giving his a club a chance to win.

  28. Ghostwriter June 4th, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Jerkface June 4th, 2011 at 2:51 am

    If Cano isn’t hitting .320 he needs to walk more.

    ===========================

    I agree. Cano has become very frustrating to watch, and it seems like he has been struggling for a while now. I would like to see him trying to drive the ball to the opposite field a little.

    The same goes for Gardner: Walk more; try to drive the ball the opposite way a bit more. He’s looked awful for about a week now.

  29. Rich in NJ June 4th, 2011 at 8:45 am

    Again, the primary cause of last night’s loss was not taking pitches in key spots. It’s inexcusable no matter how Girardi chooses to spin it.

    I’d also like to see more Ks from Nova. Two against that lineup isn’t enough.

    At least he got back to throwing more changeups (10).

    But he’s OK as a 5th starter, so I don’t get the angst by some.

    If Hughes comes back as Hughes, then he’s insurance against an injury, or in long relief.

  30. yankee21 June 4th, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Respectable effort by Nova last night, a step in the right direction.

    Although Nova was all over the place, Martin’s defense didn’t help him out either.

    One of the worst things to happen to Cano this year is believing Long that he can hit 40 hrs.

    Cano at his best is a 25-30 Hr guy, driving in 100+ and hitting .330+, the 2011 version is closer to a Texiera HR hitter with a Texiera average.

  31. yankee21 June 4th, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Again, the primary cause of last night’s loss was not taking pitches in key spots. It’s inexcusable no matter how Girardi chooses to spin it…..

    Girardi will never throw veterans under the bus, not how he swings, at least publicly.

    He is never hesistant to call out publicly rookies or guys who have been around a short time though.

  32. coney1 June 4th, 2011 at 8:55 am

    http://www.nydailynews.com/spo.....ousin.html

    Not good news about top prospect Gary Sanchez. He better get his act together.

  33. Rich in NJ June 4th, 2011 at 8:57 am

    “Girardi will never throw veterans under the bus, not how he swings, at least publicly.”

    I understand, but then he shouldn’t say anything. He’s a smart guy, so he should know that obfuscating is better than slinging $h!t and insulting people’s intelligence.

    But I agree that the important thing is what he does not what he says, so he better see to it that it stops.

  34. Rich in NJ June 4th, 2011 at 8:59 am

    I read the Sanchez article. I’m confident that it’s a phase, but it’s reason #1000110101 they can’t trade Montero, unless, you know, they’re not bright.

  35. Yankee Trader June 4th, 2011 at 9:00 am

    It also didn’t help Nova when Martin was charged with the 2nd passed ball, that moved Abreu to 3rd, scoring on an infield groundball out, and what turned out to be an unearned run.

    The Yankees need to stop trading/FA signing for pitchers that have last pitched for the Braves-Jaret Wright, Chris Hammond,Kyle Farnsworth,Javier Vazquez,Boone Logan. Can you think of any others? Only Mike Stanton has worked out in the long term for the Yankees!! :)

  36. austinmac June 4th, 2011 at 9:02 am

    I wouldn’t necessarily give up on Sanchez. I have had 18 year old sons. That age guys aren’t the most rational of people. Age helps. Let the kid know he screwed up big time and move on.

  37. yankee21 June 4th, 2011 at 9:02 am

    The key point is in-game management, what exactly was NYY approach last night?

    Weaver is a guy known to throw strikes, a guy around the plate,,, Martin and Cano as veteran BL hitters should of known that, an/or Girardi or Long should have reminded him of that, thus adapted their game plan accordingly.

    What the hell is Cano thinking this year anyway? From a guy on the fast track to building a HOF career, this has been a step back, offensively and defensively.

  38. yankee21 June 4th, 2011 at 9:04 am

    I wouldn’t necessarily give up on Sanchez…..

    Strike 1 if you will in the eyes of management. 18 year olds with huge talent get afforded slack but Sanchez will hopefully be reminded slack only runs so far…

  39. blake June 4th, 2011 at 9:08 am

    I don’t fault Cano for his last AB…..tough pitches. The 3-1 pitch was a little up so maybe he shouldn’t swing there but its 97 mph and Cano has always had trouble laying off the high heat……after that he was just protecting. The 3-2 slider was a near perfect pitch…

    That said, he bailed Weaver out in a couple other ABs…..the first AB where he took an 0-2 hack at a 1-0 pitch ……the first pitch breaking ball that wasn’t even close to a strike etc….not trying to say they lost because of Cano’s approach….nobody hit last night….but they need him to be the elite player he was last year if they are going to be as good as they can be.

  40. yankee21 June 4th, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Absolutely Blake.

  41. Ghostwriter June 4th, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Yankee Trader June 4th, 2011 at 9:00 am

    It also didn’t help Nova when Martin was charged with the 2nd passed ball, that moved Abreu to 3rd, scoring on an infield groundball out, and what turned out to be an unearned run.

    The Yankees need to stop trading/FA signing for pitchers that have last pitched for the Braves-Jaret Wright, Chris Hammond,Kyle Farnsworth,Javier Vazquez,Boone Logan. Can you think of any others? Only Mike Stanton has worked out in the long term for the Yankees!! :)
    ==============================

    As the saying goes, in the long term, we’re all dead. Logan had a good year last year, and he’s been mediocre to this point this year. Frankly, Logan seems like a pretty decent pitcher to me, but I think that Girardi is using him wrong in trying to make him into a LOOGY. Logan has good enough stuff to pitch to anybody, righty or lefty. In fact, he reminds me a bit of Stanton in that way, because he wasn’t particularly effective against leftys, but you could use him against anybody–the lefty-righty thing really didn’t seem to apply to Stanton. Nevertheless, I agree with your general principle: If the Braves are willing to part with a pitcher, then smile and walk on by… they are great judges of talent.

  42. Ghostwriter June 4th, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Ghostwriter June 4th, 2011 at 9:11 am
    ==========================

    BTW, I realize that strictly speaking, Girardi didn’t use Logan as a LOOGY last night, but pulling him immediately after he gave up a hit to the first batter that he faced was a bit knee-jerk to me. If you don’t trust him in that spot, then don’t use him. Bringing him in just to yank him immediately doesn’t make much sense.

  43. Ghostwriter June 4th, 2011 at 9:29 am

    blake June 4th, 2011 at 9:08 am

    I don’t fault Cano for his last AB…..tough pitches. The 3-1 pitch was a little up so maybe he shouldn’t swing there but its 97 mph and Cano has always had trouble laying off the high heat……
    ===========================

    Blake,

    you make a good point, but he’s been struggling for over a month now. Cano is just too talented for this crap; it’s tough to watch. And then he drags his hitting problems out on the field with him. Maybe Joe should try flipping him with Tex or ARod, or even Grandy to try to get him some better pitches to hit….

  44. longtimefan June 4th, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Weaver is a very good pitcher, although not unhittable. Bottom line is if the Yankees want to go to the post season and be competitive they need to pick up the offense. 6th inning was terrible, trailing by one run and hacking at the first pitch. Cano has his head up his ass and has for a while, extremely talented player could be one of the top five in baseball if he puts more effort into his game. Swisher is looking really bad both at the plate and in the field, and Long needs to work with slappy Gardner, slaps at the ball rather than driving it.

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