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Postgame notes: “Eventually it pays off”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jul 02, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Travis Hafner, Josh Roenicke

I can’t remember which of the other writers actually said it as we walked in the clubhouse tonight, but it was once of the first things all of us noticed.

“When’s the last time you heard loud music in here?”

The Yankees are a pretty steady bunch, and I wouldn’t say they were inconsolable during this recent losing streak, but these guys know when they’re playing well, and they know when they’re not. They’ve played poorly for a little more than a month now, and tonight’s eighth and ninth innings were a welcome relief from the disappointment.

“Our guys have really kept a good attitude, even in our tough times,” Joe Girardi said. “I have not seen them hang their heads. And that’s what I talk about. They’ve kept the fight. They keep fighting, and that’s what you want to see, and eventually it pays off.”

Make no mistake, the Twins handed the Yankees plenty of breaks tonight, but what made the difference was the Yankees ability to capitalize. Given a right-handed reliever in the eighth inning, a bunch of lefties did their jobs. Given a handful of defensive mistakes, the Yankees pulled away. Given a chance to win, the Yankees took advantage.

A lot of those June losses were close games. There were blowouts mixed in there, but for the most part, the pitching staff kept giving the lineup a chance. And there were plenty of times that the Yankees put runners on base only to have nothing to show for it.

Not tonight.

“Lately we have a chance early in the games, and we never take advantage,” Robinson Cano said. “We’re always trying to get on in the seventh, eighth inning, but always with two outs. Now we start early, and that’s what we’ve got to do. Start early in the game and get men on base and take our chances. … We’ve got to start early and just focus from the first inning because we’re not the team any more that we can say this guy might hit a home run the next inning. We’ve just got to take advantage when we get men on base.”

One win in a sloppy game isn’t going to turn overwhelming pessimism into unflinching optimism, but at least one night it gave the Yankees a reason to celebrate a little bit. The clubhouse wasn’t wild or anything, just happy for the first time in about a week.

“Any time you’re in a losing streak, you want to end it as soon as possible,” Chris Stewart said. “The way we did it tonight, we came back in the eighth inning and put some good at-bats together. We finally got those hits with runners in scoring position that we haven’t been getting. I thought that was pretty big confidence booster for us. It shows us that we’re capable of it and re-instills the positive that’s going in here, that we can do it, and we’re capable of anything. Hopefully we keep that going for a while.”

Andy Pettitte• As you might expect, Andy Pettitte was disappointed in his outing, but my gosh, the man has more Yankees strikeouts than Whitey Ford. Or anyone, for that matter. “I feel fortunate to be able to be around as long as I have,” Pettitte said. “To be ale to be mentioned with Whitey’s name, it’s always an honor.”

• Also a milestone night for Girardi, who got his 600th managerial win. “I didn’t know until after the game,” Girardi said. “It’s nice. I had some really good players along the way.”

• But back to Pettitte, the bullpen was active in the first inning, but Pettitte settled in to pitch the next five scoreless before allowing the go-ahead homer. “You can’t give up another run, that’s it,” Pettitte said. “Just figure out a way to go out there, go six or seven and don’t give up another run. That’s exactly what I was thinking. You feel like you’re getting it done, then you go out and give up a leadoff home run in the sixth inning. It’s frustrating, that’s for sure. It makes it a lot easier to swallow that we were able to come back and win.”

• Pettitte was mad at himself for the leadoff walk. He said he threw a “terrible” pitch to Ryan Doumit. He couldn’t believe he allowed a go-ahead home run to a lefty. But Stewart is usually a tell-it-like-it-is kind of guy, and he actually seemed pretty happy with Pettitte’s outing. Said he was better than the results. “The second hitter, he made a good pitch on, he just hit it down the line and made a better swing,” Stewart said. “Other than that, he left a ball up to Doumit for the double to drive in two runs. He slipped on that one ball to create the third run. He was able to settle down and throw strikes with everything. He went deep in the ballgame. After that first inning you didn’t really know how deep he was going to go, and fortunately we went in there and he got to the sixth inning for us.”

Ichiro Suzuki• Robinson Cano is absurd on this road trip. Three more hits tonight, including two more home runs. He has three homers in two games and four straight multi-hit games. “Hopefully I can continue doing that because you know how baseball is,” Cano said. “You can be hot for an amount of time and next thing you know, you go through a slump. Hopefully not. Just continue doing this thing and win games and do my job with men on base.”

• By the way, Zoilo Almonte had another three-hit game. He also had his second multi-RBI game. “I have not seen him really become overwhelmed by a situation,” Girardi said. “He seems to relax in every situation we put him in.”

• Ichiro Suzuki was bunting for a hit in that eighth inning. That wasn’t a sac bunt, and forcing the Twins to make a play ultimately put the go-ahead run on base. “Ichiro put some pressure on them with the bunt and his speed and it kind of changed the inning for us,” Girardi said. “We capitalized on some mistakes on their part.”

• Also a two-hit game from Brett Gardner who had his team-leading 21st double. Three of his last five hits have been doubles, and he’s hit safely in 29 of his past 36 games.

• Final word goes to Girardi: “Just good at-bats. I’ve said I like the fight that we’ve had. Even in these struggles, think about last night, we had a chance last night. Our guys don’t quit. I’ve said, you hope that the hard work that they’re putting in pays off, and maybe tonight is the start of something.”

Associated Press photos

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34 Responses to “Postgame notes: “Eventually it pays off””

  1. Ys Guy July 2nd, 2013 at 1:14 am

    Ichiro turned the tide tonight! That was an important win!

  2. Pat M. July 2nd, 2013 at 1:38 am

    Ys Guy…..Now we need Ichiro to make his move towards the .300 mark. .285 by the break would do wonders ….

  3. Rich in NJ July 2nd, 2013 at 1:52 am

    But for Cano, there is no tide, and Gardner continues to be one of the mist important current Yankees.

  4. PacoDooley July 2nd, 2013 at 4:40 am

    Most encouraging stat of the day? Probably Wells with 2 hits. There is a small, but non-zero chance that he could regain some confidence and plate discipline and hit around .250-.270 the rest of the way and not be a total blackhole – unlikely, but there is a chance. Turning that tide would be very nice.

  5. Frankg July 2nd, 2013 at 6:01 am

    Pettitte’s W/L is 5-7, his ERA is 4.4, and his salary is $12M. We need Nuno back. Andy should consider early retirement. If he came back to strengthen his case for the HOF, he’s actually hurting it at this point.

  6. PacoDooley July 2nd, 2013 at 6:39 am

    Frankg July 2nd, 2013 at 6:01 am
    Pettitte’s W/L is 5-7, his ERA is 4.4, and his salary is $12M. We need Nuno back. Andy should consider early retirement. If he came back to strengthen his case for the HOF, he’s actually hurting it at this point.
    —————————————

    A HOF case presumably is not something that Pettitte is worried about. He was never dominant enough to warrant inclusion, and his admission of PED use will lose him enough votes to assure him that it never happens. He has been a mediocre starter, which is pretty much what any logical fan should have expected given his age and previous career accomplishments. I don’t see him returning after this year, and I am guessing that Kuroda is also done after this season.

  7. blake July 2nd, 2013 at 7:13 am

    When was the last time the pirates had the best record in baseball in July?

  8. blake July 2nd, 2013 at 7:13 am

    @MinorLeagueBall: Prospect of the Day: Zoilo Almonte, OF, Yankees. Beat Mason Williams, Tyler Austin, Slade Heathcott to majors http://t.co/HzUC1zsReB

  9. Frankg July 2nd, 2013 at 7:23 am

    Sources say Braves, Giants interested in Yankees’ Chamberlain

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports.....wYjbzobKHM

  10. PacoDooley July 2nd, 2013 at 7:25 am

    blake July 2nd, 2013 at 7:13 am
    When was the last time the pirates had the best record in baseball in July?
    ————————

    Perhaps when they had the Killer B’s? Not sure, but I assume that the teams led by Bonds were pretty good and quite likely were good enough to have the best record at some point in the mid to late season.

  11. Doreen July 2nd, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Blake,

    Nice write up. thanks for the link. Here’s to continued success for Zoilo.

  12. PacoDooley July 2nd, 2013 at 7:26 am

    Frankg July 2nd, 2013 at 7:23 am
    Sources say Braves, Giants interested in Yankees’ Chamberlain

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports…..wYjbzobKHM

    ————————-

    But what would anyone give up for Joba? Unless the NYY are going to go into fires ale mode where they could package him with another player (and they won’t), I don’t see a deal with Joba netting much.

  13. Frankg July 2nd, 2013 at 7:28 am

    Blake
    When was the last time the pirates had the best record in baseball in July?

    The Pirates were 16 games over .500 at 63-47 as late as Aug. 8, 2012.Their fall from that many games over .500 to a sub-.500 finish is the greatest collapse in the history of Major League Baseball, a league which dates back to the 1800s.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/playbo.....ts-of-2012

  14. PacoDooley July 2nd, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Doreen July 2nd, 2013 at 7:25 am
    Blake,

    Nice write up. thanks for the link. Here’s to continued success for Zoilo.
    ——————–

    Indeed – he didn’t have a lot of buzz as a prospect, but that is not necessary to actually become a valuable player.

    This reminds me that I was thinking about the likelihood that Cito Culver will ever work out as a MLB quality player. I am inclined to say ‘no’ except I noticed that the Yankees 1st round pick this year is older than Culver, so perhaps I am being too harsh to give up on him already…

  15. blake July 2nd, 2013 at 7:33 am

    @Joelsherman1: Column http://t.co/ZnXLeEG63G #Yankees problems as much to do with failings of 20-somethings as age/injury/decline of 30/40-somethings

  16. PacoDooley July 2nd, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Frankg July 2nd, 2013 at 7:28 am
    Blake
    When was the last time the pirates had the best record in baseball in July?

    The Pirates were 16 games over .500 at 63-47 as late as Aug. 8, 2012.Their fall from that many games over .500 to a sub-.500 finish is the greatest collapse in the history of Major League Baseball, a league which dates back to the 1800s.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/playbo…..ts-of-2012
    ——————————————-

    Just wait until the Yankees go from 1st place in late May to the worst record in baseball this year… (okay, joking, but they had the second worst record in MLB in June)

  17. pkyankfan69 July 2nd, 2013 at 7:43 am

    I heard a rumor that Starlin Castro might be available.

    He’s had an awful year so far but he is only 23 and there is no denying the talent.

    He’s signed to a 7 year – $60M deal with a 2020 club option.

    I’m sure the asking price for him is still very high but due to his poor year maybe he is a good buy low candidate…?

  18. blake July 2nd, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Theo always asks for the moon in trades…..no telling what he’d want for Castro

  19. Hassey July 2nd, 2013 at 7:51 am

    Pitching coaches must have the largest I-can-fix-anything delusions of grandeur in the universe

    How else could you explain why otherwise good teams would want Joba or Hughes for anything but baby faced kids or salary dump

  20. pkyankfan69 July 2nd, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Yeah I hear ya, can’t hurt to inquire at least about the asking price… Isn’t maturity an issue with Castro? Seems like coming over to a team where he could be around Jeter for a year or so might be a good situation for him… Seeing as both 3B and SS are a short term and long term need, he is definitely a fit and his relitively low AAV should only help with the budget long term.

  21. blake July 2nd, 2013 at 7:56 am

    Yea it never hurts to ask….I just don’t think Theo would sell him low despite him having a down year.

  22. Hassey July 2nd, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Theo would try to rip us off and leave us for dead in a South Side back alley

    It’s fair to question whether Cash can negotiate a good trade…maybe he can and other GMs know it even if we civilians can’t see proof

  23. blake July 2nd, 2013 at 8:05 am

    @MinorLeagueBall: International Signing Day…July 2nd. The window opens. Who will walk through? http://t.co/M9i2Syrtcr

    Yanks have the 2nd to last amount of pool money

  24. Hassey July 2nd, 2013 at 8:05 am

    I’d love too see October baseball back in an old school town like Pittsburgh

    Give AJ and Martin a chance in the NLCS vs StL or whoever

  25. Yankee Trader July 2nd, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Blake-

    Thanks for the articles.
    I see where the Braves scouted Joba Friday. This Gwinnett Braves player would fit the bill-switch hitter. However beware his probable nickname!

    http://www.milb.com/milb/stats.....pid=519345

    Joba + ??? For him

  26. 86w183 July 2nd, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Remember this pool of IFA ballplayers is all 16 year olds, mostly from the Dominican. Huge risk here in terms of major $$$.

    Reports are the Yanks are expect to sign a CF prospect Leonardo Molina ranked # 5 by Baseball America and maybe SS Yonauris rodriguez or perhaps a 3B.

    What would be much more meaningful is if the Yanks made aggressive bid for Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez once he’s cleared to sign. He’s a 26-year-old Cuban righty expected to get $ 40-50 M and pitch in MLB in 2014.

  27. 86w183 July 2nd, 2013 at 8:36 am

    By the way the reason the Yanks have the next two least $$$ this year is that cheap S-O-B Hal authorized signing two of the top four last year.

  28. Yankee Trader July 2nd, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Yankees interested in Dominican third baseman Rafael Devers
    By Mike Axisa

    Via George King: The Yankees are interested in signing Dominican third baseman Rafael Devers when the international signing period opens on Tuesday. He reiterates their interest in Dominican outfielder Leonardo Molina as well. “They like all the players in the picture, but have an interest in Molina and Devers,’’ said King’s source.

    Devers, 16, was recently ranked the third best international prospect available by Baseball America. In the subscriber-only scouting report, they say he is the “most advanced left-handed hitter on the market” thanks to his bat speed, compact stroke, power potential, and ability to both recognize and drive offspeed pitches. His defense at the hot corner is a question, especially if he continues to get bigger as he ages — he’s listed at 6-foot-1 and 215 lbs.

    The Yankees only have $1.88M to spend internationally this year — they are reportedly trying to trade for more pool space — which doesn’t seem like enough to sign both Devers and Molina (fifth best prospect by Baseball America). If they can’t swing a trade for another $1M or so, they’ll probably have to pick one of the two.

  29. 86w183 July 2nd, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Devers is the 3B I was referring to above. Axisa is right that $ 1.88 M probably wont get both, but probably would get one of them plus the SS.

  30. blake July 2nd, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Trader,
    could we net a chipper jones Fat Head for Joba?

  31. Yankee Trader July 2nd, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Watch some of this attached video of Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez and tell me if he’s worth signing to a big contract, because I wasn’t all that impressed.

    http://www.vinscullyismyhomebo.....Y+HOMEBOY)

  32. 86w183 July 2nd, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Wouldn’t overreact to the video on way or the other. Motion is fluid and easy w/ 93 MPH. Command wasn’t very good. Few offspeed pitches were strikes.

    The thing is he’s pitcher in international events for years so scouts have a complete book on him. Don’t know that I could authorize $ 50 M for him, but it’s not my money.

  33. Shame Spencer July 2nd, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Morning all!! :arrow:

  34. Frankg July 2nd, 2013 at 9:13 am

    The Red Sox made an international splash today, signing Dominican third baseman Rafael Devers for $1.5MM according to a tweet from Dionisio Soldevila of ESPN Deportes. Devers, perhaps the best left-handed hitter on the market, was ranked third among this year’s class of international prospects by Baseball America’s Ben Badler, and sixth by MLB.com.

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