Cashman presser

UPDATE: Brian Cashman: well, no one asked me a specific question about A-Rod’s hip


UPDATE:  Cashman started the presser by saying that the first the Yankees knew that Rodriguez was having problems was when Joe Girardi pinch hit Raul Ibanez for him in Game 3 of the ALDS against the Orioles.  After the decision was made, Rodriguez told Girardi that his hip was keeping him from “firing” but that did not talk about it being in pain. That night A-Rod was given an MRI and no damage was found.  How much pain he was in was not known until much later.

Cashman is implying that Rodriguez may have been hiding the injury. When pressed about the timing of Rodriguez telling Girardi about his hip, Cashman said “as you recall, he said before the playoffs that he felt better than he has in years.”  It doesn’t sound like he’s singling A-Rod out, though, because he’s noting that players typically hide their injuries.  His example: Michael Pineda last spring.

Also: Classic Cashman: asked about why this is just coming up now, he said “no one asked me a specific question about his hip.”  Rather, he said, he was asked if A-Rod would be used as a DH, or if he was going to start or what. Because, yes, I’m sure Cashman would have loved to have volunteered that information if only someone had given him a chance.

Asked about replacements, Cashman was vague (of course) but he said that the Yankees are not committed to either a part-time player or a full-time player. He said they’d “run everything up the flag pole” to see what works. Which seems pretty sensible.

Cashman says that

2:10 PM: Brian Cashman is going to be here in the media room in Nashville in about 20 minutes for a press conference to, presumably anyway, talk about how A-Rod got all dead and stuff.  I’ll provide the highlights here when it all goes down.

The biggest question I have — which I mentioned this morning — is how, if Rodriguez was as injured as they now say he is back in the playoffs, no one affiliated with the Yankees said anything.  Instead, Rodriguez was allowed to dangle like a pinata all October, with everyone taking a whack.

There’s no one to blame in Yankees’ loss

Joe Girardi

You’re going to boo All-Star Brett Gardner for striking out against a Cy Young contender?

You’re going to bash Alex Rodriguez for going hitless in another postseason game, three years after his last one?

Maybe you’d prefer to put it all on Masahiro Tanaka for giving up two solo homers to a lineup full of 20-homer guys?

The truth is that the Yankees were supposed to lose tonight. They were facing an outstanding left-hander with their forever-lefty-heavy lineup, and they simply didn’t have anyone pitching like an ace to set themselves up nicely for a one-game, winner-take-all showdown. The 3-0 result… well, that’s how this was supposed to go down.

It didn’t necessarily mean it would; what fun would it be if the better team always won? And the Astros might not even be a better team than the Yankees. However, the Astros with Dallas Keuchel on the mound were certainly a better team than the Yankees with whoever they picked to throw.

I just don’t see where it’s worth putting any blame tonight. Joe Girardi? He could have started John Ryan Murphy over Brian McCann against the tough lefty, but he wasn’t willing to risk Tanaka losing his comfort zone by using a backup catcher.

The front office could have added more talent, perhaps outbidding the Blue Jays for David Price or the Royals for Johnny Cueto, and set themselves up better for the postseason. However, that would have cost them Luis Severino and/or Greg Bird, both of whom went on to play key roles as the Yankees secured the wild card. Would it really have been worth it? I don’t think so.

Tanaka gave the Yankees what they should have expected. Had Keuchel’s stuff been a little off on short rest, Tanaka’s performance would have kept the Yankees in the game.

Keuchel, though, was on his game from the first pitch. The Astros bullpen might have been a bit more vulnerable, and late at-bats from Gardner, Carlos Beltran, Rodriguez and McCann definitely left something to be desired. Still, on the whole, the lack of offense was quite a team effort.

The Yankees got beat by a better team tonight.  I’m not sure the Astros would have been better in Games 2-7 in a longer series, but they had everything in their favor in this one.

Keuchel, Astros cruise past Yankees in AL Wild Card Game

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Dallas Keuchel faced the Yankees two times during the regular season and was fantastic in each outing, striking out 12 in a complete-game shutout on June 25 and whiffing nine batters over seven scoreless frames on August 25.

The 2015 Cy  Young Award candidate continued that trend in Tuesday night’s American League Wild Card Game, limiting the Yankees to three hits and one walk over six innings of scoreless ball as the Astros earned a 3-0 win and advanced to a best-of-five ALDS with the top-seeded Royals.

Keuchel was working on three days of rest but didn’t show very many signs of fatigue, whiffing seven and needing only 87 pitches to get through six. He sure looked like he could have gone an inning longer, but Astros manager A.J. Hinch decided to turn the game over to his bullpen and they added three more big zeroes to the scoreboard at a very loud then very boo-heavy Yankee Stadium. Tony Sipp worked around some early jitters to throw a scoreless seventh, Will Harris kept the Yankees off the bases entirely in a scoreless eighth, and closer Luke Gregerson went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth.

Impending free agent outfielder Colby Rasmus provided the first burst of offense for the Astros in the top of the second inning with a leadoff homer against Masahiro Tanaka. And then deadline acquisition Carlos Gomez, who missed a bunch of time down the stretch with an intercostal strain, got to Tanaka for another solo shot in the top of the fourth. Houston scored its third run on a Jose Altuve RBI single in the top of the seventh.

This is a young, talented Astros team with an ace at the head of its rotation.

Kansas City could have a problem.