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Postgame notes: “You can do it or you cannot”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Sep 08, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Ichiro Suzuki

Each time, Ichiro Suzuki’s first step was forward. On the fly ball in the top of the ninth, and again on the wild pitch in the bottom of the inning. Toward what seemed to be an innocent pop fly, and on his way to a no-doubt walk-off win.

“Anybody could make the read once that (wild pitch) got by him,” Ichiro said.

He then scanned the crowd of reporters gathered in front of his locker and noticed one of the Yankees broadcasters.

“Suzyn (Waldman) could have made it,” Ichiro said. “But I always prepare myself. I’m ready. I didn’t know it was going to come on that first pitch, but I was anticipating that to happen.”

Ichiro SuzukiWhat a perfectly stunning way to end this stunning four-game series, with the Yankees’ first walk-off wild pitch victory since 1977. And what a perfectly appropriate way to set up that game-winner, with Mariano Rivera blowing a two-inning save to cap a series of pitching blunders throughout the long weekend. Joe Girardi said he had no hesitation in using Rivera for six outs — something Girardi hadn’t done except in the playoffs since becoming Yankees manager — and Rivera said he was fully prepared for such an assignment.

“I’m holding nothing (back),” he said. “I’m not coming back next year. … I don’t think it’s a risk. You can do it or you cannot. You have to know how you feel. We are looking to go to the playoffs, and if we think it’s going to be a risk, why do it? I need to pitch if we’re going to the playoffs.”

Rivera threw 35 pitches, his most since June 23, 2010. He allowed two hits, pitching around a single in the eighth inning and then watching a routine fly ball become a game-tying home run in the ninth. Ichiro’s immediate reaction had been to come in toward the ball — “If the wind wasn’t blowing it would have been a pop-up in front of me,” he said — but Will Middlebrooks’ fly ball just kept carrying.

“No, no, no, no, no,” Rivera said when asked if he thought the ball was a home run off the bat. “When the ball got up in the air I said, well, that’s a pop up.”

It wasn’t. But a half inning later, Rivera was standing in front of the Yankees dugout laughing and celebrating Ichiro’s winning dash from third base. Everything about these past four days was fairly stunning, but perhaps most stunning of all was that the Yankees got through the weekend without completely destroying their playoff hopes. There’s not much time left, but the wild card hasn’t slipped away just yet.

Rookies• Random and unexpected postgame event: Today was rookie hazing day, with the first-year guys dressed as various pop music stars. Stealing the show was Kuroda’s translator Jiwon Bang as South Korean rapper Psy. Brett Marshall was dressed as Psy’s sidekick in the Gangnam Style music video, and those two came charging into the clubhouse doing the Gangnam Style dance side-by-side. It was outstanding.

• That picture is from the Yankees PR department by the way. From left to right: J.R. Murphy as Justin Bieber, Cesar Cabral as Rick James, Bang, Marshall, David Adams as Vanilla Ice and Preston Claiborne as Billy Ray Cyrus.

• For actual postgame news: Chris Stewart said he has strained ligaments on the top of his left foot. It might have happened trying to move out of the way of that hit by pitch. Nothing is broken, but he’s likely to miss a few games. His foot was throbbing after the first at-bat and he was having a hard time throwing. “I was able to get through it, get Hiro through the game, and that’s what we were trying to do,” Stewart said. “Get that done and get somebody else in there.”

• Also, Boone Logan said he got a cortisone injection yesterday. He’s hoping to be back by Friday’s series opener in Boston. Girardi said he’s hoping Dave Robertson — and possibly Logan — could be back during the upcoming Baltimore series. “Basically, Robertson and Logan are probably going to have three complete days off,” Girardi said. “They’ll play catch on the fourth day if we think they’re ready to play catch and go from there. I hope at some point, because it is a four-game series, that we get one or maybe both of them (in Baltimore).”

• Hiroki Kuroda allowed two runs through six innings, his fewest runs since eight scoreless on August 12 against hte Angels. “I wasn’t really sharp today, but if I hang in there, I knew our hitters were hitting well,” Kuroda said. “If I stayed resilient, I thought we had a chance.”

Hiroki Kuroda• Kuroda threw a season-high 117 pitches, giving the Yankees decent distance despite a high pitch count early. The Yankees badly needed him to go as long as possible. “We checked with Kuroda a little bit, but not too much,” Girardi said.

• Another big game from Robinson Cano who had three hits and two RBI. “I was ready from the beginning,” Cano said. “Thank God that I was able to give us two hits, the first one and the second one with men in scoring position. That’s what you want because they’ve scored a lot of runs. You want to score early. That’s what you want, you want to do the little things when men on base and you don’t want to do too much. You’re just trying to get a single. At least one run scored and thank God it was a double and two runs scored.”

• Cano has driven in at least one run in his past four bases-loaded plate appearances.

• Shawn Kelley made a strong return from his triceps issue. He got Dustin Pedroia in the seventh to avoid facing David Ortiz with runners on base. “It was huge,” Kelley said. “Obviously it’s kind of pick your poison there, because Pedroia is a good hitter. But Ortiz does what he does. So I was really trying to throw the perfect slider right there, really being behind in the count, and it worked out.”

• Ichiro on the stolen base in the ninth: “If I had an opportunity, I wanted to take it. I wasn’t going to go crazy and do something that wasn’t there. It wasn’t anything special. I just took what was there.”

• Final word goes to Ichiro: “Obviously if we lose this one today, it would have been a big hit mentally. It would have been tough, to be honest. But we did win, and hopefully we can take this win here, get on a run, and really use it to our advantage.”

Associated Press photos (plus one from the Yankees)

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70 Responses to “Postgame notes: “You can do it or you cannot””

  1. Hankflorida September 8th, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    I will repeat my previous statement: The Yankees are three down in the lost column from the Rays, and I will be back in Florida to watch and root against the Rays when they take on the Rangers, O’s, Yanks and Blue Jays. All I ask of the Yankees is that in the next week as I continue to watch them here in New York, they take care of business against the O’s and Sox to erase some of the deficit with the Rays in order to give me meaningful games to watch at home.

  2. MTU September 8th, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Where is everybody ?

    I haven’t mistakenly walked into the Morgue have I ?

    :)

  3. MTU September 8th, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    We finally win a game and no one is here.

    Too funny.

    :)

  4. JT September 8th, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    This is still doable. 14-5 will do it.

  5. chicken_stanley September 8th, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Hank – safe travels back home… hope you’ve got some great games to watch when you get there!

  6. chicken_stanley September 8th, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Hi MTU.

    I can’t speak for everyone but this series, along with college football yesterday and the nfl today, has left me a mental zombie (which is not much of a change from my normal mental state but I digress).

    What good news do you bring?

  7. tomingeorgia September 8th, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Mister MTU,
    I’m always around, but had to steam up some snow crabs for Mrs. Tom, and reheat some bean and andouille soup for me.

    It’s never easy to get a Yankee win, is it? When we do, however we do it, it’s great.

  8. MTU September 8th, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Chicken-

    The good news I bring is that we should be out of this thing but we’re not.

    ;)

  9. chicken_stanley September 8th, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Well, at least the yanks rang up a win today… I don’t know if it can be done (making playoffs) but its not likely to boring :)

  10. MTU September 8th, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Tom-

    Hopefully ending on a positive note will help them as they travel to Baltimore.

    This next series should be a very tough one.

    Two teams that are in must win mode meeting head to head.

  11. tomingeorgia September 8th, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    MTU,
    It’s 19 games of playoff baseball. Exciting stuff. Go, Yankees!

  12. MTU September 8th, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Tom-

    This next set of four should be particularly interesting.

  13. tomingeorgia September 8th, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Very early morning tomorrow, so I’ll see you then.

  14. MTU September 8th, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Take care Tom.

    Manana.

  15. bruceb September 8th, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    A 5-5 road trip would actually be good considering who we are playing but, of course, nowhere near good enough to keep our faint playoff hopes alive.

    Our next series is basically an elimination series. Lose two out of three and you’re out.

  16. umbrelladoc September 8th, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    It’s going to be a tough week. I don’t know how we can win with the middle relief decimated. That being said, we need to cut Miller or Daley for a backup SS.

  17. MTU September 8th, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Bruce-

    It’s a 4 game set.

    ;)

  18. bruceb September 8th, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Good to see someone is paying attention, MTU!

    We need to win three then.

  19. JobaTipsHisCap September 8th, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Please don’t let them make the playoff. As it will hide their so many weakness.
    They need to be exposed, hard. The next is to address these issues.

    Now they don’t have guts, no soul, don’t deserve respect from any opponents.

  20. JT September 8th, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Joba….with all respect, what you just wrote is total horse$hit.

    How about they go on a magical run these last 19 games and send Mo off with his 6th ring.

  21. Hankflorida September 8th, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    JT, as I have written before, the longest winning streak for the Yankees was 19 straight in 1964. They had Bouton, Ford, Downing, Terry and a rookie, Mel Stotlemeyer, and mostly all of these starters used more savvy then speed to get hitters out. The relief pitching was by committee. With a little luck, the ball bounced their way, and we could use a little of that luck today.

  22. JT September 9th, 2013 at 1:01 am

    Hank….’64 was a little before my time, but they went 27-7 down the stretch in ’95 to qualify as the first WC team ever. I will never forget Donnie pounding his glove on the Toronto astroturf when they got the last out.

    This is still doable. This team can win 14 out of 19.

  23. rm September 9th, 2013 at 1:53 am

    Hank,

    I think that 19 game Yankee win streak was in 1947 the most recent long Yankee win streak is 15 games in 1960 (according to wikipedia). But thats not important, there are 5 teams in a race for the final wildcard spot with similar records. Realistically they have about a 20% chance of playing better than the other 4 teams and getting winning the wild card birth and I will continue to root for them to win the WC until they are mathematically eliminated.

  24. 99thin September 9th, 2013 at 6:24 am

    Very useful information. Thank you for sharing it. Thanks 99th

  25. ConcernedCitizen September 9th, 2013 at 6:54 am

    Play .500 baseball for the next 7 days (an achievable goal considering our bullpen situation and opponents I think), and then go on a tear against the Jays/Giants/Rays/Astros.

  26. 86w183 September 9th, 2013 at 7:14 am

    How do you play .500 ball over seven games? New math?

  27. blake September 9th, 2013 at 7:34 am

    Amazing that the Yanks lost 3 of 4 inntjisnseries and lost no ground on a playoff spot.

    Need 2 of 3 vs the Os at least

  28. Russell Munson September 9th, 2013 at 7:45 am

    “Amazing that the Yanks lost 3 of 4 inntjisnseries and lost no ground on a playoff spot.”

    I realize this is technically true, but they went from being a game up on Baltimore and a game and a half up on Cleveland to trailing both by a half game now. To me that’s losing ground.

  29. Doreen September 9th, 2013 at 7:56 am

    Yes, they’re back to having to leapfrog 3 teams now I stead of one. Hopefully, this goes down to the wire and the Yankees edge out their competition. It’s not impossible…….

    What stinks is that they could have won at least 3 of four, and would have been in a great position since Tampa Bay (they of the superior pitching) was busy losingto inferior teams.

    But it looks like Kuroda had a much better game, maybe he’s found a second wind; CC was better last time out, Andy has been doing fine, and I expect Nova to rebound. That all bodes well for a competitive finish to the regular season. Fingers crossed. ;)

  30. blake September 9th, 2013 at 7:57 am

    “I realize this is technically true, but they went from being a game up on Baltimore and a game and a half up on Cleveland to trailing both by a half game now. To me that’s losing ground.”

    it is but it’s not as significant to losing ground to the team and spot you’re chasing. They are only a game behind Clevelend and Baltimore…..had Tampa taken care of business against the Mariners they could have effectively ended the Yanks season…..they didn’t and so the Yanks still have a pulse.

  31. tomingeorgia September 9th, 2013 at 7:57 am

    CC tonight: 8 innings, 4 hits, 3 runs. Save, MO. Final score 6-2. You listening, Lord?

  32. tomingeorgia September 9th, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Final score 6-3, aw, you know what I meant.

  33. blake September 9th, 2013 at 7:59 am

    The Yanks schedule is pretty favorable after they get through the next week…..they do have the series with Tampa that’ll be huge but other than that it’s Jays, Giants, and ending with the worst team in baseball the Astros.

    If they can hold their ground over the next two series then they have a chance…..a week from now they need to either be where they are now in the standings or have gained ground……if they go backwards it’s probably over at this point.

  34. 86w183 September 9th, 2013 at 8:00 am

    So who should they start when the Hughes/Huff turn comes around?

  35. blake September 9th, 2013 at 8:00 am

    have they announced anything on Robertson yet? That’s a huge deal……

  36. blake September 9th, 2013 at 8:02 am

    “So who should they start when the Hughes/Huff turn comes around?”

    I’d pitch Hughes…..more experience….most likely to throw a good and deep game.

  37. MTU September 9th, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Good morning.

    The O’s are a 4 game set.

    Not sure who I’d start for Hughes.

    I might even consider Warren.

    At this point in time he might be better than both Huff and Hughes.

    If Huff could neutralize Davis and Markakis ?

  38. MTU September 9th, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Hughes is a bad choice against the O’s.

    Flyball pitcher who is off his game and power hitting team in a hitter friendly ballpark.

    Recipe for disaster.

  39. 86w183 September 9th, 2013 at 8:27 am

    I think I’d give Huff another shot with Warren long. Without seeing Hughes in the pen its hard to know what he’s got and if he’s mentally checked out.

  40. MTU September 9th, 2013 at 8:28 am

    86-

    I think that’s a good plan. Short hook for Huff if he doesn’t have it.

  41. blake September 9th, 2013 at 8:30 am

    There is a great option for that Hughes/Huff game……I’d go with Phil though because as I said I think he probably has the best chance to give them a good and long start……he could blow up after 2 innings also….but he’s got the best shot to go 7 or 8 strong IMO and it’s dice roll time……they need to win every game

  42. MTU September 9th, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Meanwhile the Yankees should try to control what they can control and hope that the rest falls into place.

    KC and the Indians face each other 6 times.

    I’m gonna hope that KC wins the majority because their schedule is probably tougher than the Tribe’s.

  43. blake September 9th, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Huff wet the bed in his opportunity against Boston……I wouldn’t take that chance again. At least Hughes has been there……he faced the O’s at Camden earlier in the year and gave them 6 good innings.

  44. blake September 9th, 2013 at 8:33 am

    I’m not worried about Cleveland…..The Yanks have to catch the Rays….they are 3 back in the LC against them…..that’s who they are chasing.

  45. blake September 9th, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Mark Bowman ?@mlbbowman 9m
    Bethancourt will have a chance to acquaint himself w/ the Majors. He or Gattis will most likely begin ’13 as ATL’s starting catcher. #Braves

    and hopefully McCann will have a chance to acquaint himself with NYC

  46. MTU September 9th, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Hughes has 9 innings against the O’s this season and he’s lasted a total of 9 innings and given up 7 runs.

    Not a good choice.

  47. MTU September 9th, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Blake-

    Neither is a particularly appetizing choice.

    McCann in stripes ? Great OS acquisition if we can get him.

    We have 3 games at NYS against the Rays.

    We can likely control our own destiny against them.

  48. blake September 9th, 2013 at 8:42 am

    “Hughes has 9 innings against the O’s this season and he’s lasted a total of 9 innings and given up 7 runs.”

    both games were in May……the first start was his 2nd of the season after having no real ST and the 2nd one he went 6 innings and gave up 2 runs.

    Look there isn’t a good option for that game really…..I just think Hughes has a better chance of going deep in the game and giving a quality outing.

  49. Yankee Trader September 9th, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Good morning

    Will 14-5, 90 wins do it, or might we see 3 teams tied for a wildcard?

    Was Nuno’s injury season ending?

  50. MTU September 9th, 2013 at 8:43 am

    I think there is a decent chance Huff can neutralize Davis and Markakis.

    Davis does not hit OS stuff all that well and Huff has an excellent breaking ball.

    Of course he still would have to contend with Jones and Hardy.

    Maybe he could switch-pitch for those 2.

    Hughes has the confidence of a mosquito right now.

    Where are Phelps and Pineda when you need them. Or even Nuno.

    :)

  51. blake September 9th, 2013 at 8:43 am

    MTU,

    considering how we play against the Rays I’m not sure that’s a great thing.

  52. MTU September 9th, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Blake-

    I don’t.

    ;)

  53. MTU September 9th, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Look Blake.

    It’s like this. It’s crunch time in the valley of the Lions.

    The Yankees have a chance to take care of business.

    It’s as Mo said, “they can either do it or they cannot”.

    Much of it is up to them and it starts tonight.

    ;)

  54. MTU September 9th, 2013 at 8:46 am

    The Marathon has now turned into a sprint.

  55. Doreen September 9th, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Yankee Trader

    OMG. I hadn’t even considered a tie for the play-in WC spot. What a nightmare scenario that would be, although MLB and the media would be all over it.

  56. Yankee Trader September 9th, 2013 at 8:48 am

    It seems that Hughes is mentally fried.
    We certainly could use a nice on the road, 7 game winning streak!

  57. MTU September 9th, 2013 at 8:48 am

    YT-

    He is obviously not available or they would have called him up in Sept.

    :(

  58. MTU September 9th, 2013 at 8:50 am

    I’ll tell you what I didn’t consider.

    That the Yankees would still be in this thing and actually have a chance.

    ;)

  59. blake September 9th, 2013 at 8:50 am

    they could start Kuroda on short rest that last game against the Orioles and then get him back on schedule easily with the off day the following week…..but then somebody else would have to go short rest too against Boston most likely at Fenway and that’s also recipe for disaster.

    this part of the schedule is just brutal with no off days…..if they can survive the next 7 games and not lose ground then they have a shot…….I think we will know a week from today how realistic this thing will be.

    if they are 2 games back next Monday then game on……if they have fallen to 4 or 5 back then call the fat lady.

  60. Yankee Trader September 9th, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Doreen
    Scheduling wise, for MLB, it will be a nightmare. I believe there is no wiggle room in the playoff format this season to cram another game in.

  61. MTU September 9th, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Blake-

    It’s going to take a Herculean effort for sure.

  62. Yankee Trader September 9th, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Kuroda threw 117 pitches in his Six innings

  63. MTU September 9th, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Rays have a day off today.

    If we beat the O’s tonight we gain a half game.

    The Rays then go and play the Sux. Guess who I’ll be pulling for in that series.

    :)

  64. Russell Munson September 9th, 2013 at 8:56 am

    The Indians have a joke of a schedule. They play one team that’s above .500 the rest of the year, and it’s KC who is barely above .500. They still have 6 games with the White Sox, 6 games with the Twins and 4 games with the Astros.

    We should be worried about them.

  65. MTU September 9th, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Yup.

    Hiroki is not going on short rest after that outing.

  66. MTU September 9th, 2013 at 8:56 am

    New one ——->

  67. Yankee Trader September 9th, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Our April thru July strength-pitching, certainly has hit a wall. You can’t have enough pitching and now the Yankees are using journeymen and rookies to start.

  68. Doreen September 9th, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Yankee Trader.

    Very true. Something is going to have to give

    Which reminds me of something I was thinking. For a period of time there it seemed like the Yankees had a ton of off days. Now, in the final stretch of the season, they have nine and nine of them are rain out makeup games. I don’t know what other teams have, but I suspect at least a few must have the Sam e situation. Are the schedule makers completely out of their minds, or has MLB forced this ridiculousness by over-expansion and season-long interleaved play, plus trying to squeeze in another wild card round, even it it is “only” a one-game play-in, while still trying to end the season before the first snowfall AND keeping a 162-game schedule???

    Seems to me they cannot have their cake and eat it too.

  69. Doreen September 9th, 2013 at 9:01 am

    That should read NONE, not nine, both times. SMH typos.

  70. 86w183 September 9th, 2013 at 9:19 am

    No way I go short rest with Kuroda. He’s pitching decently again and I think that’s at least in part due to the time he got an extra day off.

    I go with Huff over Hughes because I’d rather throw a lefty against the Orioles than a righty. Yes there is a remote chance Hughes goes seven, but it’s extremely remote. More likely they can get four out of Huff and three from Warren.

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