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Postgame notes: “It’s all hands on deck obviously”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on May 09, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Lyle Overbay, Brennan Boesch, Robinson Cano

The pitcher batting eighth was only the beginning. When this one was over, every healthy position player had been in the game; Vernon Wells had played third base for the first time in his life; a reliever with six days of big league experience had been called into a tied game; and a 6-4, 235-pound outfielder had won it on a stumbling infield single that capped a ninth-inning rally in which the Yankees never hit the ball out of the infield.

This one had the unmistakable feel of making it up on the fly, but the improvised win was one of the Yankees’ most impressive of the season.

“This team is scrapping,” Brennan Boesch said. “I think it’s pretty cool to just have guys do whatever they can. It’s all hands on deck obviously. We’ve been kind of doing that all year, so nothing’s really changed.”

With no infielders on the bench, Joe Girardi decided to pinch hit for Chris Nelson in the ninth inning, knowing it meant moving Wells to the infield for the first time since he played shortstop in high school, which Wells joked was “just a couple of years ago.” When Travis Hafner struck out in that at-bat, it was the pitcher’s spot in the order — the No. 8 spot — that came up with the bases loaded, two outs, and the game tied. Boesch won it when it seemed Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado underestimated Boesch’s speed.

“It’s not like I’m just (throwing ideas) against the wall,” Girardi said. “I mean, it’s thought out, you know? … We pitched extremely well. That’s why we won this game tonight. And we know we have to do that. But stealing one is when you’re down and someone makes an error or you get a call that goes your way. That’s stealing. But our guys played a good game.”

Or, as Wells put it: “To a man in this clubhouse, when you’re asked to do something and it’s going to help this team in any way, there’s not a man in here that will say no. Once the pitch is thrown, nobody really cares of it’s the first time you’ve done anything. You have to go out and compete, and we did that.”

Vernon Wells• Wells likes to take ground balls at third base because he thinks it helps keep his hands nimble. Girardi saw him doing it earlier this season and was impressed. It was just today that Girardi told Wells that he was being considered as the backup infielder while Eduardo Nunez is hurt. “As soon as I saw Travis coming up, I knew I was going to end up playing third,” Wells said. “Once Boeschy was called safe, I was like a little kid jumping around. Then I quickly stopped and realized I had to play third base and get my head together. … I’m looking over at (infield coach Mick Kelleher) in the dugout and he’s like, ‘Hey, you’ve got to play in.’ I’m like, ‘What? I’ve got to play in? This is already in!’”

• Stuck in a slump, Wells broke out with a 3-for-4 night that included a two-run homer and the game-winning run. But he said the highlight was playing third. “Taking ground balls while Mo is warming up, then I look up and I’m throwing the ball to Mariano Rivera, it’s a cool feeling,” Wells said. “… Hopefully instincts take over. Go catch it and hopefully you hit Lyle’s glove on the other side of the field. You have fun with this game; that was one of the cooler moments of my career.”

• The hilarious story of the last time Wells played the infield: “I got hit in the mouth when I was 12 at second base and I moved to the outfield. In high school, report cards came out and our entire infield failed, so I had to go play short. That’s a true story.”

• Boesch on beating out the infield single, when he got down the line faster than it seemed anyone was expecting: “I probably surprised some third baseman sometimes in my career with hitting some balls over there as a left-handed hitter. That doesn’t happen too often, and you can kind of get out of the box quicker as a lefty. I’m kind of a taller, bigger guy but sometimes you can sneak up on some infielders. Just trying to hustle and make something happen.”

David Phelps• Great start by David Phelps, who looked sharp in his second start in place of Ivan Nova. “That’s probably the best I’ve felt in a little while,” Phelps said. “Just keep the ball down, try to pitch to contact, get some good results. I think (Austin Romine) did a really good job tonight walking me through the game. I think I shook once. We were on the same page most of the night, and it made it really easy for me.”

• Phelps said he didn’t have a good curveball tonight, so he relied on his changeup. The biggest difference, he said, was simply staying down in the zone. “I felt like we were, today, mostly, we were more down than on the corners,” he said. “That’s what I’d like to do. I’d like to not have to live on the edge and have to depend on an umpire’s call. Get some groundballs and early contact like I was doing tonight. I feel like I had a little bit better feel of where my ball was going.”

• Phelps grew up in St. Louis watching Tony La Russa’s teams, so he didn’t find the lineup particularly unusual. But he said he did give Romine a hard time about it.

• For whatever it’s worth, Girardi said he was also considering moving Romine to third base in the ninth but decide to use Wells instead.

• Another perfect inning for Preston Claiborne, who’s been awfully good in his first two outings. “It’s great to have (confidence),” he said. “I’ve got it right now, and I just hope to keep doing what I’m doing and maintain the confidence that I’m at.”

• By the way, Claiborne got his first big league strikeout and has the ball. He said his mother is coming to Kansas City and he’s going to give her the ball as a Mother’s Day gift. That’s rock solid.

• Dave Robertson slipped on his first pitch but came through the outing healthy. He was pretty erratic, though, and said it wasn’t because of the weather. “Felt a little rusty,” he said. “Didn’t make a lot of quality pitches. … Physically I’m good.”

• Final word goes to Phelps, who said he was watching the ninth inning in the Yankees clubhouse. “Put the ball in play, crazy things can happen. We’ve found a way to win ballgames this year, and we’re winning them a lot of different ways. We’ve got a lot of guys that are scrapping for us. It’s a lot of fun.”

Associated Press photos





35 Responses to “Postgame notes: “It’s all hands on deck obviously””

  1. yankeehotelfoxtrot May 9th, 2013 at 2:30 am

    What a great way for Vern-o to break the slump; homering, scoring the (eventual) winning run and then making an assist at third in the 9th. Lovin’ the gritty, team first attitude! Watching Yankees encore right now…man Phelps was good tonight! And, to top it off, Prestie, with another strong outing, could/should(?) slide right into the 7th inning role. And what a terrific Mother’s Day gift! Good times :D

  2. 4TrainNorth May 9th, 2013 at 4:33 am

    Hard to deny what Wells brings to this team in terms of chemistry. Plays hard but keeps it light. The Yankees FO should have a team of psychologists analyzing what’s going on here, and apply lessons learned going forward. Talent is only part of the equation. Why just look at the Angels, struggling to make the Yankees’ old model work.

  3. GregD May 9th, 2013 at 5:29 am

    I was very impressed with Preston Claibourne……I don’t think he was a top 50 prospect but he should have been……..he could be a nice middle reliever and deepen their staff esp when Joba returns

  4. GregD May 9th, 2013 at 5:31 am

    It was a great win by the Yankees………they found a way to get it done…’s the story of this team this year……….it’s why I love baseball, you can have fun analyzing every move but in the end its winning that counts no matter how ugly……..

  5. GregD May 9th, 2013 at 6:07 am

    Calling up Claiborne when he was “in the zone” and pitching well was a good call by the Yankees……..the popular move would have been to move up Montgomery but they made the right call

  6. Mike Ri May 9th, 2013 at 7:01 am

    What a game by Vernon !! . .nice play at third too ! lol

  7. Mike Ri May 9th, 2013 at 7:11 am


    Granderson is scheduled to play for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Thursday night, and though manager Joe Girardi didn?t put a timetable on Granderson?s return to the big leagues it?s possible the power-hitting outfielder could join the Yankees Tuesday when they open a six-game home stand against the Mariners.

  8. Doreen May 9th, 2013 at 7:22 am

    The timing on Granderson is right about where they said it would be, but it sure feels like its been half a season since his injury!!

    Anyone see the missed replay call by Angel Hernandez??? I wonder if MLB will reverse the call. If they do not, then they make a travesty of the replay rule. The umpires should have had a relay with as many angles as possible. If they do not have access to what most broadcasts have, that is unacceptable.

  9. RadioKev May 9th, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Hopefully Wells has broken out of his slump. We need him to be a consistent contributor this season.

  10. RadioKev May 9th, 2013 at 7:49 am

    At least we’re adding an extra slugger to our lineup tonight ;)

  11. Doreen May 9th, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Ah, yes. CC!!!

  12. blake May 9th, 2013 at 8:06 am

    “Calling up Claiborne when he was “in the zone” and pitching well was a good call by the Yankees……..the popular move would have been to move up Montgomery but they made the right call”

    Yea seems that way…..that’s why it’s not always easy or accurate to make calls from the outside looking in….. The Yanks have more info on these guys than we do. That said… like for them both to be up soon actually.

  13. Yankee Trader May 9th, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Good morning-

    Colorado leads the league in BA .281. OB% .346 and is second in runs scored with 168 in 2 less games played than leader Oakland.

    To pitch like David Phelps did, in Denver, earns him a spot as a starter.

  14. blake May 9th, 2013 at 8:11 am

    Crazy win last night…. Felt like the stole one.

    Phelps made one mistake where he missed his spot to Helton but aside from that was very good….he should stay in the rotation and they should send nova to AAA to work on his delivery…..Nova has had well over a years worth of chances…’s Phelps’s turn and he’s earned the opportunity.

    Claiborne looks legit….aggressive….throws strikes….can miss bats….I like what I’ve seen from him a lot.

    I was initially against the Wells trade but the guy is growing on me quickly…..he seems like a really good dude and seems totally ego free. Even if he regresses to a point where he’s mainly a weapon vs LHP then considering he’s basically free next year he could be a nice piece this year and next.

    This team keeps finding a way….it’s fun to watch especially when teams like the Angels and Dodgers and Jays are collapsing under lesser circumstances

  15. Yankee Trader May 9th, 2013 at 8:12 am


    Yes that extra slugger is CC. Just looked up his batting stats. Lifetime .238 in 105 plate appearances with 3 homers.

    The Yankees pitching is holding the team together. Look where they rank in runs scored:

  16. blake May 9th, 2013 at 8:20 am

    “The Yankees pitching is holding the team together. Look where they rank in runs scored:

    Yea we kinda knew this was gonna have to be the case…..the Yanks rotation if healthy is very good and deep and so long as it stays that way they will win games……they do need more offense though

  17. randy l. May 9th, 2013 at 8:20 am

    so, big fight on the blog last night on romine being taken out in 9th inning for defensive purposes after having had the pitcher bat before him in the lineup when he did play.

    …no truth to the rumor that girardi made romine ride on the top of the bus to the yankee hotel last night. but it’s not a bad idea when you think about it. a veteran bus rider like stewart is not going to fall off his seat and maybe injure some other player. tony larussa used to do it all the time.

    plus romine has only spent 6 years in the yankee system learning how to catch. does anyone realize how hard it is after only 6 years of catching to have to catch mariano rivera for one inning. it is possible for the catcher to have put down a different sign for something besides the cutter. that could happen.

    rumor is that romine enjoyed the bus ride on top of the bus. it was a good time to think about the lessons that master catcher developer girardi was teaching him. plus he was just happy to be in the big leagues paying his dues. yeah , it would have been nicer if the stars were out and it wasn’t raining, but hey, it was better than being under the bus.

  18. Yankee Trader May 9th, 2013 at 8:23 am


    Good morning. Just looked at the replay of the Helton homer. It apparently was a cutter on the inside part of the plate but it was just above the knees. I give credit to Helton for hitting that pitch out.

    Best strikeout was on Cargo in the 6th on a wicked CU.

  19. blake May 9th, 2013 at 8:29 am

    “Good morning. Just looked at the replay of the Helton homer. It apparently was a cutter on the inside part of the plate but it was just above the knees. I give credit to Helton for hitting that pitch out.”

    Romine was setting up away though and he got way more of the plate than he meant to ….I think he was trying to back door it and just yanked it a bit

  20. blake May 9th, 2013 at 8:30 am


    I thought Romine looked pretty darn good defensively… was a strange move IMO….

  21. tbone1570 May 9th, 2013 at 8:33 am

    randy l.,

    You’re right, that was a bogus rumor. My sources tell ne that Romine was tethered to the back of the bus and had to run to the hotel while carrying the bats and balls.

  22. Yankee Trader May 9th, 2013 at 8:35 am

    AAA position players who deserve a shot to be called up to replace Francisco and nelson:

    David Adams leads SWB BA .325 and played 3rd last night.

    Obviously I’d like them to promote Mustelier, who played LF last night, but is hitting .125, having been back only a week.

    Could Almonte, who has no errors so far, and is hitting .290, .305 vs righties, with 3 homers and 17 RBI’s be the replacement for Francisco?

  23. blake May 9th, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Tyler Austin hitting .304 with a .935 OPS in May….starting to adjust to AA .

  24. blake May 9th, 2013 at 8:38 am

    I would call up Adams as soon as he’s eligible which I believe is next Wednesday. Probably call up Musty too and DFA Francisco and Nelson if necessary

  25. Tackelberry May 9th, 2013 at 8:44 am

    If Granderson does return on Tuesday,he’d be making his season debut against King Felix. TOugh way to try and get back in the swing of things. Very impressed with Claiborne so far. He comes right after hitters and throws strikes. Just blew that fastball right past Helton to end a 1-2-3 inning. Nice start by Phelps as well. One bad pitch all night. Too bad they couldn’t get a win for him. Nice game for Wells, as a bunch of us were going off yesterday about how he has come back to earth. Nice to see him break out of it. Lastly, great hustle by Boesch to beat out that grounder and allow the winning run to score. Always pays to hustle all the time.

  26. randy l. May 9th, 2013 at 8:45 am

    “My sources tell ne that Romine was tethered to the back of the bus and had to run to the hotel while carrying the bats and balls”

    all except the game ball, stewie got to carry that one.

  27. blake May 9th, 2013 at 8:52 am

    @jasoncollette: Melky Cabrera is hitting .394/.412/.576 in the month of May

  28. Yankee Trader May 9th, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Whatever the reason, CC Sabathia has shined against NL opponents since signing with the Yankees. In 16 starts since 2009, the southpaw has posted a 2.83 ERA, and his 11 Interleague victories are tied with Justin Verlander for the most in the Majors during that time.

    Only one Rockies hitter has faced Sabathia more than 15 times — outfielder Michael Cuddyer. In 61 at-bats, Cuddyer is hitting .230 with a pair of homers.

    Hitters on the current Yankees roster have mustered a combined .235 average against Francis. Only Ichiro Suzuki, 4-for-6 with a homer, is hitting above .250 (minimum five at-bats).

  29. randy l. May 9th, 2013 at 9:01 am

    “All three of Montero’s homers this year have come with Hernandez on the mound. In fact, those two fellow Venezuelans have built a nice rapport, with Montero catching all but one of Felix’s starts this season. Hernandez has a 5-1 record and 1.03 earned-run average in those seven starts with Montero behind the plate, and a 1.84 ERA in 13 career games throwing to Montero.

    “That’s crazy what’s happening,” Montero said. “He pitches, I hit a homer. He wins. Unbelievable. Everybody knows he’s talented. He’s so good. Everything today was working — curveball, changeup, slider, fastball, sinker, everything.”

    Hernandez, however, rated his stuff as merely “OK — not good as normally, but it was good.” He noted that Montero “is maturing a lot. Behind the plate, he’s doing a lot better. He’s pretty good back there.”

  30. Shame Spencer May 9th, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Oy vey at the convo from last night…

    I will say this: I think there is a major disconnect for people that have never played a sport as to the culture of how things work in games. Some of the posters on here understand clubhouse culture.. a person like myself, that never made it past little league, does not. We should all embrace viewpoints that we simply could never have.

  31. Shame Spencer May 9th, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Seriously though, was Nancy on the sauce last night or was that just me…?

    (You: ‘It was just you Shame. Put the Jack Daniels down.’)

    …fine, be that way.

  32. Shame Spencer May 9th, 2013 at 9:08 am


  33. MTU May 9th, 2013 at 9:10 am

    Good morning.

    I’ll join the celebration.

    Yankees beat the Rox last night w nuthin’.


    That is not the 1st time the Mission Impossible Man has impressed.

    So I ask you.

    Do you really belive the Yankees aere going to let him displace Nova if Ivan is healthy ?

    It’s why I get so frustrated sometimes.

    It seems that, on ocassion, there is nothing a young player can do to get his shot.

    I have been saying for quite some time that there is a lot more to Mr. Phelps than meets the eye.

    Don’t get me wrong I am a Nova supporter as well.

    But right now David has earned his place.

    Let’s see what they do.


  34. randy l. May 9th, 2013 at 9:39 am

    “We should all embrace viewpoints that we simply could never have.”


    girardi obviously knows as much about catching as any man alive, but there is something odd about yankee catcher development or non development.

    i’ll give a clue as to what might be going on with him. i was a stained glass artist for fifteen years in my twenties and mid thirties.i was in all the top craft galleries in the northeast. i then opened my own craft gallery in cape cod. i sold only my own stained glass work in there because i had really high standards. i carried pottery, jewelry , and dozens of other mediums.

    after about twenty years of not carrying any stained glass at all ,i’ve finally started carrying a few people’s work. now that was kind of dumb on my part, but it came form having high standards in stained glass craftsmanship.

    i think girardi knows so much about catching and he has such high standards that it’s difficult for him to like any young catcher. even cervelli he dumped quickly last year for a year.
    i think as long as girardi is there, the catching situation is going to be impacted by girardi’s high standards.

    and high standards doesn’t always work to one’s advantage.

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