Yesterday was my son’s birthday and we had a good day and party with my father and stepmother, so I didn’t see any part of the game until highlights at night. After being ahead 7-2, a loss would have been nothing short of terrible, so the Yankees’ pulling out the win after Cano homered in the seventh was vital. With Boston’s extra-inning win, the Yankees are still five back in the Wild Card. Rasner struggled, the errors certainly hurt, but the Yankees hit the nemesis that is Cabrera well. Five players had multi-hit games, including Cano with four and the game-winning homer (more about him below), his 12th of the year, JD with a three-run shot in the second, his 9th this season, Nady with a double and 2 RBIs, Abreu with 3 and A-Rod with 2. Among the starters, only Jeter (0-5) and Giambi (0-4 with a sac fly) went hitless.
The Yankees really need a sweep of Boston in the series that starts tomorrow. Winning the series wouldn’t exactly be awful since they’d gain a game, but due to their struggles and current position, it’s really not enough to win series against teams ahead of the Yanks in the playoff race anymore. In fact, the Yankees need to win at least 5 of the remaining 6 games against both Boston and Tampa, and to sweep the White Sox in September. There’s really no way around it.
Pete Abraham gave a heads-up over the weekend about a brief but excellent piece on The New York Times “Bats” blog by Jack Curry on Larry Bowa’s impact on Cano. It’s really something and illustrates how crucial Bowa was not only in being a great third-base coach (and note how Bowa reacted to Cano’s not following his sign) but also his being a tough-love mentor. Coaching is hard work and takes consistency in effort over time as well as in approach. Bowa undoubtedly had a huge, positive impact on Cano, and the Yankees have missed him in more ways than one this year. Mike Sommer has said that the president of the Lehigh Valley Yankee Fan Club has it from a very good source that part of Melky’s being sent down was his negative influence on Cano, with the two of them doing a lot of late-night partying together. Some things don’t change in sports. More importantly, it’s a poor habit for a kid to be in, and one that the Yankees have ill afforded this year. I sure wish Cano could have gotten a loud earful or three from Bowa after one of his late nights on the town.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again, Joe Girardi and the Yankees routinely lie about injuries, as this hilarious exchange illustrates. Sorry, there’s just no need to lie about a guy being hurt. What benefit to the team and public is there in lying when anyone speaking to Marte, as Pete Abraham and Ed Price did, and seeing his arm packed in ice knew that Marte hadn’t been “fine” as Girardi falsely said? Trying to delude an opponent into thinking they might have to face someone and plan accordingly, as they would anyway? Smart, well-prepared teams can handle such possibilities regardless. It’s just dumb and engenders distrust.