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Postgame notes: “Can’t use fatigue at this time of the year”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Sep 14, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Preston Claiborne

Baseball players, coaches and managers don’t like talking about fatigue at this time of year. They seem to think it’s an unworthy excuse and not a legitimate factor. They pride themselves on the grind, on being able to get through a 162-game season that leaves everyone exhausted at the end. I once had a player tell me that he goes home at the end of a baseball season, shuts himself in his bedroom with bottles and bottles of water, and literally tries not to get out of bed for two days. Just a total crash at the end.

But in the season, the end-of-the-year fatigue is part of the experience.

Maybe that’s why Joe Girardi seemed to, I don’t know … Take offense? Get defensive? Completely dismiss the notion? … when he was asked whether fatigue has become a factor for the Yankees pitching staff.

“You can’t use fatigue at this time of the year,” Girardi said. “There is no player that’s not dealing with a little bit of fatigue in September.”

Maybe that’s the case, but here’s another reality of the situation: The Yankees had the American League’s second-best team ERA in the first half of the season, but they’ve ranked 12th since the All-Star break and they’ve ranked last in the month of September. This staff carried the weight for four months, and whether they complain about it or not, they seem worn out. And that seems to be a factor.

Tonight, the game basically hinged on Hiroki Kuroda and Preston Claiborne. Kuroda was terrific after that miserable start to the game, but even so, he had a 2.33 ERA a month ago and has a 6.67 ever since. Claiborne was one of the rookie surprises of the first half, but in the second half he has a 7.00 ERA opponents are basically hitting .300 against him. In his past three outings, he’s allowed eight runs in an inning and two-thirds.

“I’m not going to sit here and make excuses,” Claiborne said. “I know I’ve been in a rut lately. I’m not going to hang my head and mope around. That’s not who I am. I’d be disappointed in myself if I did, and I know my teammates would be disappointed in me if I did that as well. I’m going to show up to work tomorrow, same way I did every single day even when I was having success, and go after it the same way I have.

“… (This loss) hurts pretty bad. I know I let the guys down. I know this one’s on me.”

Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter• Remember when Girardi said pregame that Alex Rodriguez was going to play third base tomorrow? Scratch that. “My mind has changed a little bit,” Girardi said postgame. “It looks like he’s lacking a couple (of extra gears). I’m not sure what I’ll have tomorrow. I’ll have to check with him. It’s a concern of mine, yes.”

• Rodriguez acknowledged that he’s not running well. He said the hamstring issue doesn’t bother him at the plate, but he can’t really move with it. “I’m just trying to go where it doesn’t blow out,” he said. Rodriguez said he’s hoping to play third base on Tuesday, using the Monday off day to rest.

• There seems to be at least one bullpen piece coming back tomorrow. David Phelps was here tonight, and Dan Barbarisi reports that he’ll be activated tomorrow to give the Yankees a fresh arm in the bullpen. He’s been dealing with a forearm issue for more than two months now.

• Phelps is on the 60-day disabled list, which means the Yankees will have to lose someone when he’s activated. I wonder if that’s why Matt Daley got the ball in the eighth. He’s pitched well, but he could be the one sacrificed to make room for Phelps. Strictly speculation, though. Daley might actually be one of the Yankees best relievers right now.

• Speaking of the bullpen: Girardi said his plan was to use Joba Chamberlain in the eighth inning and Shawn Kelley in the ninth.

• Girardi said he was probably a hit away from going to Mike Zagurski in the second inning. “I was pretty close,” Girardi said. “Because (Kuroda) was struggling so bad. I think I had Zagurski up three times, and it as kind of touch-and-go with Hiro, and then he seemed to find himself.”

• What changed for Kuroda? “Early in the innings, I was probably overcautious with my pitches,” he said. “But after that, I was able to go six-plus. … My pitches were not particularly good, but I think I was getting the timing off of the hitters later.”

Hiroki Kuroda• On the decision to bring Cesar Cabral to face David Ortiz in the seventh: “Ortiz has hurt Kuroda all year long,” Girardi said. “When you look at his numbers against him, it has not been a good match-up. To me, it was time to change. I was just hoping (Kuroda) could get the one out, Victorino.”

• Should Kuroda have gotten that one out? Should Eduardo Nunez have made that play at third base? “It’s a tough play,” Girardi said. “It’s a play he can make, but it’s a tough play.”

• After getting Daniel Nava to strikeout on a changeup, Claiborne called a first-pitch called strike on a changeup to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, then he went to a fastball that he meant to be down and inside for a possible double play ball to the right side. “You don’t want to fall into a pattern,” Claiborne said. “I know I got Nava on a couple changeups, and I started Salty with it, but I needed to change things up and set him up for something else. We had the right game plan, I just didn’t execute. All there is to it.”

• Claiborne said he thinks his stride might be a little off, not going directly toward the plate. He thinks that might be part of the cause of his recent struggles. “I know it’s not anything physical,” he said. “But maybe it could just be a mechanical issue that I need to watch some tape on and hone out.”

• The Red Sox lead the Majors with eight grand slams this season. Three of them have come against the Yankees. It’s the most Boston has hit against the Yankees in a single season since 1959. The Yankees have allowed six grand slams this season, half of them to the Red Sox.

• It’s easily forgotten on a night like this, but Robinson Cano was terrific again. He went 4-for-4 with three doubles, including the two-run double that tied the game in the seventh. He tied his career-high for extra-base hits in a game. Of the Yankees 10 four-hit games this season, four belong to Cano.

• Brendan Ryan had his second multi-hit game of the year. He also hit his fourth home run, matching this career-high for a single season. He hasn’t hit that many in a year since 2007.

• Final word goes to Rodriguez: “Look, (the young relievers) are doing the best they can. This is a (Red Sox) team that’s hard to measure yourself against right now because they’re finding all types of ways to win games, and they’re playing very well. Our guys are going to be fine. They’re competing and they’re taking the ball every night.”

Associated Press photos





42 Responses to “Postgame notes: “Can’t use fatigue at this time of the year””

  1. Captain Clutch September 14th, 2013 at 12:27 am

    Joba in the 8th inning? lol

    Good thing they blew it in the 7th inning because I wouldn’t be able to watch him throw slider after slider in a close game.

  2. long_atbat September 14th, 2013 at 12:31 am

    Two games out with 14 left to go… It aint over by a longshot.

  3. yankinvegas September 14th, 2013 at 12:34 am

    Again as we head towards the finish line, we are playing too many lousy hitters. The injuries have been unreal. It’s not the amount, but the quality of player and length of time.
    That being said, the scenario changes every day. Let’s take 4 of the next 5 on this trip and see where we are next Friday morning.
    I think it would be in a really good place. One day at a time.
    I remain cautiously optimistic.

  4. Ed Whitson September 14th, 2013 at 1:45 am

    Excuses don’t cut it now. i hate losing to the Red Sox. I hope we make the playoffs because next year looks grim.

  5. theREALkevin September 14th, 2013 at 2:07 am

    Let’s face it, this team wasn’t going anywhere without Jeter anyhow.

  6. 86w183 September 14th, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Anyone up this morning?

    Tough night obviously… most outcomes went against the Yanks’ interests with the exception of Texas and Kansas City losing. Hopefully today will be a better day.

    Cano’s 7th inning 2B should have given the Yanks the lead but Old Man River couldn’t make it around the bases. They should run for him in that situation.

    Preston Claiborne looks gassed to me, but he shouldn’t be. He’s thrown about 60 innings total this year, about 20 less than last year and the year before.

  7. Doreen September 14th, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Morning 86w183

    Cano had himself a night, didn’t he? LOVED the bunt DOUBLE!

    Kuroda battled.

    Victorino made a good play on Overbay’s line drive and Pedroia also robbed Ichiro of an RBI single.

    But the bullpen is toast.

    I know some people were upset Girardi didn’t bring Kelley in in the 7th, but if you’ve decided he’s your closer and you’ve tied the gam, you work backwards fom there. But, even if you bring Kelley in there, and he keeps the game tied, where do you go from there? There is no one reliable left right now, since Mo and DRob were not available. It really was 6 of one, half dozen of the other.

    joe G is going to have to let Betances nd Marshall pitch. At least they’re fresh, and they can be on a short hook. I’m concerned Phelps isn’t really healed enough.

    It’s not looking good. :(

    And I’m torn between not giving up the slim hope I have and just wanting the fat lady to step up and sing already. Because even if they do somehow miraculously get that 2nd wild card, I cannot stomach another series with Boston. Not with the team gong on a wing, a prayer, and fumes.

  8. 86w183 September 14th, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Gotta keep plugging…losing in the post-season, even to the Sawx is better than missing out.

    I had no problem holding Kelly out. Shoot, Daley has really good stuff but Claiborne has slipped into the Joba category with me, no more high leverage opportunities this year.

    Hopefully Tex enjoyed the bunt double a much as you and I did. Granderson too. You HAVE TO punish teams that over shift.

  9. Jesus Bustero September 14th, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Asking Phelps if he feels ready to go is really unfair of the Yankees. He has a forearm strain. In the heat of a race like this of course he wants in. He’s going to need Tommy John surgery and he really hasn’t made much money in baseball yet.

  10. Doreen September 14th, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Granderson did the bunt thing in Baltimore I think. Now that he’s hitting lead off, I hope he tries it more. And yes, if Cano can do it, Tex can do it.

    I guess making the playoffs, even if they don’t advance, would be something to hang their hats on this year. Hey, they’ve hung in this far…they haven’t given up, so i guess it’s my duty as a fan to try and keep the faith to the very end. :)

    I want to go on a six month vacation where there is no access to baseball news.

  11. 86w183 September 14th, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Jesus —

    Most of the time a forearm strain is simply that. While it CAN be a precursor to Tommy John surgery there’s absolutely no certainty where that’s concerned.

    20 teams miss the post-season, ten do not. It’s important to be one of the ten.

  12. Wave Your Hat September 14th, 2013 at 8:59 am

    I think Joe should have left the game up to Kuroda. He might have been gassed, but the alternatives other than Kelly were worse.

    And Nunez has to make that play, or not play third. I am tired of seeing him not make plays.

  13. Madrugador September 14th, 2013 at 9:01 am

    I am afraid making the playoffs will give the FO the idea that their <$189M plan is working.

  14. austinmac September 14th, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Bad day with the loss and most competitors winning. The chances are again looking remote.

    I hate when the minor league season is over. Usually, after a loss I could find something cheerful in the minors.

    Doreen may be on to something by doing a Rip Van Winkle for six months. Maybe we should do a year. It seems we will be seeing the final dismantling soon.

  15. MTU September 14th, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Good morning to the AM crew.

    Heading out for a short hike soon so just a quick drive by.

    No matter what happens in coming days I’m proud of our Team and what they have been able to accomplish.

    I doubt any other could have gone this far with all the injuries.

    The best Team for the future will be a balanced 1.

    The season shows that clearly to me.

    You can’t win with just pitching and weak O, or with just a potent offense and poor pitching.

  16. MTU September 14th, 2013 at 9:13 am


    One door shuts and another opens.


  17. austinmac September 14th, 2013 at 9:23 am


    I hope Hal will let the team have the key to the door, but it costs money. Next year’s team may be unrecognizable.

  18. Melkmanisinhotlanta September 14th, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Hal Steinbrenner spent 203 million dollars. That’s more than enough to get entry into the playoffs. It’s not his fault that injuries have ravaged this team. It’s over. Jeter should retire. Mo should go out on top with his 43 plus saves. Andy should go to Texas and take it easy.

    It’s going to be a long time before we get back to a great team. Aroid is a scam artist. Tex is done. Kuroada is gone imo. A CC that stinks. My guess is that it’s a supplement issue. Very sad. If only a great baseball mind had run the show instead of marketing folk. Of course it’s very expensive to operate in tax heck NYC.

  19. MTU September 14th, 2013 at 9:34 am


    I do not see them going above 189 next year.

    Catch you later.

  20. austinmac September 14th, 2013 at 9:39 am

    They have spent this year, but it was desperation spending. They need to spend on younger players even if they have to give the dreaded multi-year contract.

    At least ten key players will be gone next year to be replaced by whom?

  21. longtimefan September 14th, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Girardi had other options he chose not to make, Reynolds could have played third, other pitchers where available knowing Claybourne had not pitched well against the Sox, could have pinch run for Arod in 7th……

  22. austinmac September 14th, 2013 at 9:41 am

    I don’t see the Yankees exceeding $189 next year, and I see the resultant team under .500. Maybe well below. I’ve seen the movie before. They have been aging for years awaiting the crash. Wait no more.

  23. austinmac September 14th, 2013 at 9:44 am

    I don’t think blaming Girardi is appropriate. We wanted Joba to come in during the 7th? Or did we want Kelley with Joba pitching the 8th or 9th?

  24. Melkmanisinhotlanta September 14th, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Promote Trenton. Let them play next year. They won the ring lol.

  25. YanksPats September 14th, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Add one bat and 1 or 2 starting pitchers in the offseason, assume Rodriguez is suspended for the year, and they have a fighter’s chance to compete for the division.

  26. YanksPats September 14th, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Priority number 1 is re-signing Cano.

  27. Doreen September 14th, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Its Cano’s fault. If he had hit a grand slam instead of a double, ARod would have scored easily. ;)

    Maybe with a lead, he’ll leave Kuroda in.

  28. 86w183 September 14th, 2013 at 9:55 am

    I don’t agree that spending this year was “desperation” spending. It was short term spending to try and win without making significant long term financial commitments.

    To an extent it succeeded. they are a post-season contender in control of their own destiny with 14 games to go and they have more than $ 100 M coming off the books next season.

    It’s far too early to say whether or not they can contend @ $ 189 M. Of the impending FA the only major losses are Cano, Pettitte, Kuroda and Mariano. None of the others will be difficult to replace in terms of their 2013 productivity. The will have approximately $ 50 M to replace those guys and strengthen other areas. It’s not a ton of money, but it’s not insignificant either.

    If A-Rod is suspended for a year that’s another $ 25 M to replenish the roster.

  29. joeman September 14th, 2013 at 9:57 am

    YanksPats September 14th, 2013 at 9:54 am
    Priority number 1 is re-signing Cano.

    4 years down the road this contract will bite the NYY in the azz

  30. joeman September 14th, 2013 at 10:00 am

    austinmac September 14th, 2013 at 9:41 am
    I don’t see the Yankees exceeding $189 next year, and I see the resultant team under .500. Maybe well below. I’ve seen the movie before. They have been aging for years awaiting the crash. Wait no more.

    Bingo….if they can they need to dump players even if it cost them up front money…Tex and CC

  31. joeman September 14th, 2013 at 10:08 am

    I wouldn’t doubt that they try to sign Youkilis back again to cover Arod sitting out in 14

  32. YanksPats September 14th, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Without Cano, the Yankees will be bitten in the ass for the next 4 years as they fight with the Blue Jays for 4th place in the division.

  33. austinmac September 14th, 2013 at 10:09 am


    Losing Cano, Granderson, Pettitte, Kuroda, AROD, perhaps Jeter, Logan and the rest will be missed and not replaced. Who exactly is replacing Cano’s production?

    Ichiro is a 4th or 5th outfielder with an awful OPS. We used to have an advantage of offense up the middle. If Cano leaves, we may be down to Gardner for offense up the middle.

    The Yankees have not outbid anyone for any player that has had a market since 2009. Good luck on getting McCann and his type. I don’t think they will make any offer to McCann. We have our four horsemen to catch.

  34. joeman September 14th, 2013 at 10:11 am

    YanksPats September 14th, 2013 at 10:09 am
    Without Cano, the Yankees will be bitten in the ass for the next 4 years as they fight with the Blue Jays for 4th place in the division
    won’t cost them 200+ mil for 7 years though

  35. austinmac September 14th, 2013 at 10:11 am


    Signing Youkilis will be the only sign we need the end is here.

  36. 86w183 September 14th, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Getting younger and better is difficult. Getting younger, cheaper and better is damn near impossible. Dramatic improvement from several of the younger players on the current roster is the only way that can happen.

    As I’ve written many times I understand the desire to get under $ 189 M and if I owned the club I would be trying to do it too. It gets a lot easier if A-Rod gets 211 games or at least 162.

    Remember they are not trying to replace the departing FA at their best, they are trying to replace 2013 productivity for fewer $$$. In the cases of Granderson, Hughes, AJ Burnett ($ 8.5 M for nothing), Youkilis, Hafner and Joba that won’t be difficult at all.

    That’s $ 40 M in 2013 costs right there.

  37. austinmac September 14th, 2013 at 10:13 am

    If we don’t sign Cano, Hal will have more money. Great news. That’s why I follow baseball. Good times.

  38. joeman September 14th, 2013 at 10:14 am

    austinmac September 14th, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Signing Youkilis will be the only sign we need the end is here.
    couldn’t agree more…seen this act before and it set up the same way…call NYY fans spoiled but it’s here to stay for a while

  39. austinmac September 14th, 2013 at 10:17 am


    They need to cut about sixty million from the payroll. Removing salary is fine. The real question is who replaces them.

    We will need three starters, back of the bullpen help, a 3B, maybe a shortstop, a second baseman and outfielder who can actually hit.

    Good luck. They will be replaced just like this year except no Youkilis spending.

  40. 86w183 September 14th, 2013 at 10:39 am

    I’ll be disappointed if they fill in all the gaps with older guys on one year deals.

    According to Cot’s the current payroll is $ 228 M, so they need to cut $ 50 M, not $ 60.

    I already documented $ 40 M that is producing nothing. It’s not that hard. BUT they won’t be able to compete @ $ 189 M in 2014 without significantly improved performances from young players and several returning veterans.

    If Alex is suspended it is a much easier task because they’ll have his $ 25 M to spend.

    Replacing the productivity at SS and 3B is NOT much of a challenge.

  41. 86w183 September 14th, 2013 at 10:42 am

    I do think some of you are over-estimating the challenge of improving on the performances at many positions. The Yanks have been simply AWFUL at four spots:

    Catcher —– .221 / .294 / .309

    Shortstop — .229 / .289 / .318

    Third Base — .229 / .295 / .331

    DH ———– .195 / .280 / .319

  42. Bring in the Goose September 14th, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Cc is just awful

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