Game 103: Yankees @ White Sox, 7/31/09

Below, as per Pete Abraham, are tonight’s lineups.  Some of us get our with with Hinske in the lineup, for the Sox traded lefty Clayton Richard and others to the Padres for Jake Peavy, and now have righty Carrasco starting.  I presume Cano will bat seventh, for Abraham had not listed him.  Mitre must keep the ball down, but not down and in to Thome and Konerko, against a power-hitting fastball-loving lineup.  Hopefully the offense and defense rebound from poor showings last night. The family and I getting geared up for the weekend games in Chicago and, since the hotel where we’re staying has free wireless, I’ll be sure to blog and upload some photos.

Enjoy the game, everyone.

YANKEES (62-40)
Jeter SS
Damon LF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Matsui DH
Posada C
Cabrera CF
Hinske LF

Pitching: RHP Sergio Mitre (1-0, 5.91).

WHITE SOX (52-51)
Podsednik CF
Beckham 3B
Thome DH
Konerko 1B
Pierzynski C
Quentin LF
Kotsay RF
Nix SS
Getz 2B

Pitching: RHP D.J. Carrasco (3-1, 3.58).

The Yanks jumped on Carasco in the top of the first.  Jeter grounded into what should have been a 3-1, but Jeter tied Carrasco to the bag, safe.  That’s an object lesson in why hustle is always important, and why Jeter is a Hall-of-Fame player.  JD singled through the right-side hole, and Teixeira blasted a gap shot past Podsednik to score Jeter 1-0, second and third no out.  A-Rod made a nice, unselfish play, grounding a pitch inside to second by strength, giving himself up for a run and to advance Teixeira 2-0.  Matsui singled to right, 3-0 Yankees, before Jorge’s 4-6-3 DP.  Great start.  Mitre must put up a goose egg.  Mitre allowed consecutive two-out singles to Thome and Konerko, then Pierzynski singled to left on another pitch up, if away, 3-1 Yankees, second and third two out.  Quentin’s 1-0 foul ball past third had A-Rod looking slow in his reaction time.  Mitre has fallen behind 3-1, then walked him on 3-2.  Kotsay up, and Mitre has already thrown 27 pitches.  Kotsay made out on a routine F7, but Mitre must be more efficient, and must not turn this into a slugfest.

Cano led off with a broken-bat lead-off, first-pitch single over short.  Melky’s grounder into the right-side hole advanced Cano to second, one out.  Hinske was behind on the 1-1 fastball away 1-2, 2-2, then meekly waved at a 2-2 uncle charlie, two out for Jeter, who smoked one to first that a diving Konerko snagged on a great catch to save a run, 3-1 Yankees. Mitre fell behind Nix 3-1, then on 3-2 walked him and allowed a single to Getz, first and second no outs.  Podsednik bunted and Mitre fielded the ball yet fell on his ass, all safe bases loaded, no outs.  3-2 to Beckham, sac fly advances the runners, 3-2 Yanks.  Jeter should have cut that throw off from Melky; he could have had Podsednik at second.  That proved crucial on Thome’s hit, 4-3 Sox.  An early lead has turned into a shootout.  Full count to Konerko, who K’s on a good change two down.  Pierzynski’s 4-6 force ends the second, already more runs than last night.  Mitre is at 54 pitches; abysmal work thus far.

JD shattered yet another bat on a close 4-3, a shard of which hit thr ball and kicked it to second.  Teixeira K’d and flung the bat accidentally into the stands.  A-Rod singled.  Matsui roped a double into the right field corner, second and third for Posada, who fisted the first pitch to short behind second for the third out; lousy patience.

Quentin homered to deep left, 5-3 Sox.  Mitre is looking like a bum tonight.  That’s what happens when a pitcher with medium velocity leaves one in to a righty power bat.  Mitre is working his way into wearing out the pen at this rate.  The offense must create and cash in on their chances this game, for Mitre is allowing way too many to the Sox.  Nix down on a 6-3 on the 10th pitch, two down.  I don’t like Hawk Harrelson being such a homer, but he rightly loves on Jeter, which I respect for Hawk isn’t a hater.  Getz down on a 3U, Mitre is at 75 pitches.  That’s more than he threw in his last start, which was 5+.  In 3 IP, Mitre has had 3-2 counts to seven different batters; that’s brutal.

Cano led off with a single and melky ripped on to deep left center, but Quentin made a great running catch, one out.  But Hinske the Clutch tied it with a homer to right, 5-5.  Dude’s gotta play.  Jeter grounded out.  JD walked, and Teixeira flew out to shallow right, but the game is tied in what, against my wishes, is a shootout.  Mitre–try holding ‘em off the board.

That won’t happen for Robertson has seen enough after Girardi repeatedly wretched at the sight of Mitre’s “work.”  Podsednik down on a 6-3.  Beckham down on an F8.  Thome got caught looking at a perfect fastball at the knees; great pitch, first 1-2-3 of the game.

Pena in to face 4-5-6.  A-Rod is finding his strike, roping one hard to left.  4 of 5 innings the Yanks have had the lead-off hitter aboard.  Matsui down on the first pitch swinging, F7, one down.  Rip one, Jorge!  He doesn’t, but Nix booted a perfect 6-4-3 DP ball.  Cano up, F7 hard, two down.  Melky smoked it but right to second, three down.  Hold it here, Robertson.  Lead-off walk to Konerko, single to left by Pierzynksi.  Quintin doubled to left center, 6-5 Sox, second and third no outs.  Robertson is grooving ‘em  now.  Kotsay down on a liner to Cano, one down.  2-1 change looked good, called ball.  Nix fanned on a suspect 3-2 pitch inside, two down.  2-2 to Podsednik, and a 4-3 minimizes the damage, 6-5 Sox.  Hinske, Jeter, and JD up.

In the sixth, Hinske walked on four pitches.  This game is ripe for the taking.  Jeter got brushed back.  2-0 to The Captain; get your pitch and send it yonder, 2-1 after a foul ball; 6-4 force, one out for JD.  Jeter should try to steal.  Better yet, rip one around the pole JD, yet he pops up for the second out, letting this dog-barf pitcher settle in.  C’mon, Teixeira.  Jeter stole second easily on a 1-1 ball.  Yet Teixeira grounded out 4-3, letting this bum Pena settle in.  Still 6-5.  Aceves is in and got Podsednik out on an F8, one down.  Two down and, on Thome’s first-pitch check swing, Barrett did not call a strike on what he would have done from behind home last night; joke, but a 4-3 ends the 6th. Aceves threw all of 7 pitches that frame. Need runs, guys.  Get the lead now.

Dotel is in, A-Rod popped up to second, one down.  Matsui crushed a foul home run, 1-1, he got hit on the foot but 2-1, 2-2, 3-2 on a pitch that would have been a generous strike last night, foul ball, then a lead-off BB for Posada; good at-bat.  Posada is a joke tonight, popping out to shallow left for the first out.  Cano lined out right to third, letting this mediocre team off the hook yet again.  I don’t like what I see tonight; this team hasn’t had good pitching at all tonight, and the bats have faded for the last few innings. Aceves’s 1-2 was right over the plate but called a ball, lots of foul balls before a bad walk.  That turd Pierzynski singled to right, first and second with no outs, a recipe for disaster thus far tonight for the Yanks.  That was one hell of a catch by JD on a rocket to left, banging him off the wall to keep the runners where they are; tremendous play. Hinske caught Kotsay’s shot at the wall, two down, and Aceves is getting hit hard.  He then walked a bum in Nix (batting .225) after having him down 1-2, bases loaded.  Getz singled to right, 8-5 Sox; nice going Aceves.  Then Nix stole home, and a deflected ball off Teixeira scored another.  I’m shutting this stupidity off, 10-5 Sox; another joke of a performance playing down to a mediocre team.

Dog sick.

Published in: on July 31, 2009 at 4:39 pm  Comments (4)  

Yanks Lose 3-2

Tonight felt like one of those nights early on, when the Yanks weren’t hitting, when Gavin Floyd and Pettite got breaks on calls from blind home plate ump Ted Barrett well off the plate, when runs and even opportunities were at a premium.  Unfortunately, a few costly mistakes felled the Yanks 3-2 in a tight game. Pettite was tremendous, going 6 2/3 and allowing just 5 hits, 2 runs 1 earned, walking none and fanning 8 on 101 pitches/71 strikes.  Floyd certainly matched him, fanning 10 in 7 2/3.

The game buzzed along, thanks to an umpiring crew that officiated as if affronted by an hour rain delay that interrupted dinner plans, something on which I will touch later.  The Sox broke through in the third when Pettite hung two sliders, one to Getz for a lead-off single and one to Beckham for a two-out RBI double, 1-0 White Sox.  The Yanks, meanwhile, were held in check and mustered little until the sixth, when Molina lined a ground-rule double over the fence in left center to start the inning.  Jeter lined out right to Dye in right, and JD laced an RBI single to right to tie the game, taking second on the throw.  Teixeira struck out on a curve outside that Ted Barrett generously and erroneously called all game for the second out, and A-Rod’s abysmal plate awareness suckered him into swinging at a curve well outside for the third out, clipping short a rally that actually had potential.

Despite how good Pettite had been all night, the bottom of the seventh was brutal and ultimately costly, for the normally reliable Yankees’ defense caved and allowed a lousy run.  Thome hit a slow chopper up the line at first and Pettite lumbered toward the ball as if it would be a close play at first when, with the ox Thome loping harmlessly, a gradual approach to field the ball would have been more than sufficient.  Nope; instead, Pettite scampered to the ball as if Wise were running, then slipped like an oaf on the turf, giving Thome first on what should have been a sure out.  He fanned Konerko on a nasty cutter for the first out, but Pierzynski, whose picture fittingly appears in the Oxford English Dictionary next to the entry “jackass,” lined one low to third that A-Rod should have had, yet it glanced off his glove into the hole, first and second instead of a sure DP ball.  Hughes entered and got Quentin on what should have been a 5-4-3 DP, but Cano got a hard slide from Pierzynski and made an errant throw to first, allowing the painfully slow Thome to score from second, 2-1 Sox.

The Yanks got two two-out singles from Jeter and JD, but Barrett decided that Teixeira’s flinch at an 0-2 pitch merited a strike call to allow him to get pasta and meatballs at Harry Carey’s restaurant a half-hour earlier than warranted.  Barrett was a joke all night.  Hughes worked through the eighth, and with two outs in the ninth, Swish creamed an 0-1 fastball up to deep left to tie the game at 2.  Still, I didn’t feel at ease; it was just too odd a night.  I would have felt better had the game slid into extras but, alas, it didn’t happen.  Beforehand, to end the top of the ninth, Barrett rung up Cano on another lousy call, high and outside, really a joke call.  Yes, players need to adjust to abnormal strike zones.  Yet I deny that Barrett’s was consistent all the way through the night.  Joke.

Hughes worked into the bottom of the ninth, ensuring that he won’t work until Saturday at the earliest.  Thome hit a one-out single to center when Coke might well have subbed in for him.  Konerko singled to left.  Coke entered and got that asshead Pierzynski on an F8 shallow, but fell behind the weak-hitting Wise 2-0, came back to 2-2, then grooved a cookie down Broadway (or Michigan Avenue in this instance) that Wise hit through the box to score Podsednik pinch-hitting for Thome, 3-2 Sox, bad start to the four-game set for the Yanks.

The key to the loss, other than poor defense?  Teixeira, A-Rod (who looks lost at the plate), and Matsui combined to go 0-12, 8 K’s. That was a killer.  The team fanned 14 times; atrocious.  Floyd and Thornton are good, but not that good.  Lots of help from Barrett, and regular readers here know I do little complaining about umpiring, but tonight it was well justified.  Still the big reason for the loss was defense, looking awful for the second time in three games, wasting a gem of a start from Pettite.

Mitre goes tomorrow night against lefty Clayton Richard (4-3, 4.65 ERA).  Better get off the mat fast, Yanks.  Enough of the nonsense with struggling unknown lefties and youngsters.  The Yanks blew an eminently winnable game tonight, and have one tomorrow against an inconsistent lefty who walks a fair amount of batters and, while very good in his last two starts, has struggled in plenty of others.  Don’t screw around with him and this dangerous but justifiably .500 team, guys.  With Boston’s win and the Yanks’ loss, New York now sits 2 1/2 up in the East.

Published in: on July 30, 2009 at 11:32 pm  Comments (5)  

Game 102: Yankees @ White Sox, 7/30/09

Below as per Pete Abraham, are tonight’s starting lineups.  Molina catches for Posada tonight.  Otherwise, the lineup is as it has been for a few games.  The White Sox have a power-heavy lineup, one of which the Yanks must be wary this series and one to which Yankee pitchers must not feed high pitches.  Anything up to the heart of the Sox order must have good movement on it, or expect it to get creamed.  The Sox mix some speed with lots of lumbering sluggers so, if Lefty and the other three starters can keep the ball down, they may well be able to turn some DPs against Chicago. Taking three of four would be a very good result this series, and the Yanks have won the opening game of each of the four series they’ve played after the break.

Enjoy the game, everyone.

YANKEES (62-39)
Jeter SS
Damon LF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Matsui DH
Swisher RF
Cano 2B
Cabrera CF
Molina C

Pitching: LHP Andy Pettitte (8-6, 4.67).

WHITE SOX (51-51)
Kotsay CF
Beckham 3B
Dye RF
Thome DH
Konerko 1B
Pierzynski C
Quentin LF
Getz 2B
Nix SS

Pitching: RHP Gavin Floyd (8-6, 4.24).

TIME/TV: 8:11 p.m., YES, MLB Network.

Published in: on July 30, 2009 at 5:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

NYT: Ortiz, Ramirez Tasted Positive for PED in ’03

According to a report by Michael S. Schmidt in The New York Times, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez tested positive for banned substances in 2003, acording to lawyers familiar with the test results.  I would lying if I found this news surprising, and not just because Ramirez recently tested positive for another banned substance.  I would also be hypocritical if I did not object to the continued release of names from the 2003 tests.  There is no way they should have been released, and MLB and the MLBPA should be ashamed, if not outright sued, for failing to adequately safeguard the names of those who tested positive.  There is absolutely no reason why all names should not have been excluded from any and all test results, disassociated from any numbers or names on samples, then simply checked off a list of players to be tested.  The release of names has been a disgrace, and strikes me as illegally releasing information the rights to which are currently contested.

I’ll add this, and not for nothing: I genuinely feel bad for the good Red Sox fans I know–Joe the Statistician Magician, Steve from The Boston Red Sox Blog, and Dan from Fans on the Field.  They don’t deserve such bad news, and have never struck me as haters as are some among the Red Sox (and Yankees) fan base.  Believe me when I say this is not something in which I revel.

That said, how do those Red Sox fans feel who wrongly claimed that the Red Sox won “clean” championships in 2004 and 2007, while the Yankees’ championships of the 1996-2000 era were tainted?  For that sanctimonious segment of the fan base, who also reveled in A-Rod’s admission of steroid use, this should serve as a long-overdue wake-up call that steroids have been rife throughout the game, used by players on most if not all major-league teams.  I never believed otherwise.

Nor do I doubt this revelation about Ortiz and Ramirez.  While I think it was wrong for those who spilled the beans to do so, these charges and others including those in The Mitchell Report have largely been proven true.  So I believe with Ortiz and Ramirez, the latter of whom looks particularly stupid for multiple positive tests several years apart.

Published in: on July 30, 2009 at 2:16 pm  Comments (7)  

Reason for Optimism With CC

I admit that I might be saying this because I want to see him pitch well when he’s slated to start Sunday in Chicago, but there is more to this post that optimism.  Expect a good start from C.C. Sabathia this Sunday.  Other than his stretch in late April and early May, he has typically followed sub-par starts with strong ones.  After allowing five runs four earned in 6 2/3 against the Angels May 2, he pitched a complete-game shutout in Baltimore.  After yielding five runs four earned in Tampa June 6, Sabathia had a strong start against in Fenway before tiring in the eighth. After giving up six earned in just 5 2/3 against Seattle July 2, he shut down Minnesota, giving up just three hits and a run.  In his last start before the break in Anaheim, he allowed five earned in 6 2/3, but responded after the break with seven dominant scoreless innings against Detroit.

I expect a strong response to Tuesday’s struggles this Sunday from Mr. Carsten Charles.

Published in: on July 30, 2009 at 9:54 am  Comments (7)  

Yanks Clinch Series 6-2, Pad Lead

Sorry for the late recap, but a late-night chinwag with Frank the Sage, who was as ebullient as I was after last night’s win, kept me up prohibitively late.  Excellent way to take the series finale in Tampa Bay, with Joba pitching as well as he or any other Yankee starter has all year in beating the Rays 6-2.  He went eight efficiently dominant innings and got steady run support from the offense.  In a way, the win had a very slightly bittersweet quality to it, for watching Joba mow down TB last night was a glimpse of the impressive present and future with Joba as a front-line starter, while also a reminder at this point in the season that Joba’s innings cap may well prevent him from starting games in the last month, necessiating a rotation shuffle rife with uncertainty later.  Nonetheless–and I would agree with shifting Joba to the pen to prevent overworking his young, talented arm–last night’s win was as impressive a pitching performance as I’ve seen all year from a Yankee starter.  Joba was that good.

The Yanks’ offense gave him run support right away when Jeter led off the game with a triple sliced into the right field corner, and scored on Teixeira’s single, 1-0 Yanks.  The Yanks missed a chance to add on in the third when Swish and Jeter singled, but JD and Teixeira’s quick outs ended the frame.  Teixeira stole at least a single from Navarro with a great leaping catch, snaring the ball way up on its apex for yet another tremendous defensive gem.  Another defensive gem soon followed, for Bartlett singled for Tampa Bay’s first hit, then he was caught stealing on a good strong throw from Posada, and  great tag by Cano who avoided Bartlett to receive the ball, then slapped the tag on his backside before he reached the base; great play.

In the fourth, A-Rod singled to center and Matsui slapped a fastball up and away into the left field corner.  Posada popped out, then Cano’s 4-3 scored A-Rod, 2-0, but Swish’s K ended what could have been more.  Still, the Yanks steadily added on to support, Joba, who continued to buzz along.  In the fourth, Joba buzzed Longoria’s tower on the first pitch, then got him to pop out.  This prompted a response which Garza admitted after the game was intentional, plunking Teixeira in the top of the fifth, which I believe should elicit a suspension if he was stupid enough to reveal his intention.  Joba briefly flirted with trouble in the bottom half, walking Pena and Gross but escaping unscathed.

The Yanks added on in the sixth when Cano homered to deep right center after fouling a fastball off his shin, not unlike but less dramatic than Bucky Dent fouling one off his leg before homering in the one-game playoff in 1978.  Joba put up an important goose egg in the bottom half, allowing a single to Crawford through the box but fanning Longoria, who stared out at Joba who lingered near the mound.  However, it appeared to me that Joba simply forgot that it was the third out.  Joba worked a fast, nine-pitch 1-2-3 seventh before the Yanks added another run in the top of the eighth.  Matsui chopped one over the mound, and Bartlett’s errant throw gave Matsui second before Posada’s single scored Ransom pinch running.  Joba worked around Bartlett’s two-out single to cap a brilliant night–8 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 K, and no runs on 101 pitches/65 strikes.  He was nothing short of brilliant.

The Yanks added two more in the top of the ninth when Melky crushed a long homer to deep right, a couple rows from the back of the stands, 5-0, and Teixeira followed two batters later with a homer creamed to dead center, 6-0.  It should have stayed that way, but Bruney entered and again struggled, with Crawford hitting a lead-off triple to right that Swisher lolly-gagged to retrieve, allowing the swift Crawford third.  Longoria followed with a long homer to left, 6-2.  Pena then doubled, prompting Girardi to go to Mariano, who quickly fanned Burrell on three pitches.  After walking Gross, Mariano fanned Hernandez on a nasty cutter to finally end the game.

Jeter was 2-5 with his first triple of the year, batting .323.  Teixeira was 2-3 with his 26th homer of the year and 2 RBI, 74 on the year, batting .285.  Matsui was 2-4 to raise his average to .259.  Cano was 1-4 with his 16th homer, 2 RBI (56 this year), batting .308.  Melky was 2-4 with his 9th homer, batting an improved .290.  He’s 10 for his last 20 in his last seven games, raising his average 16 points in the last week, and is turning over the lineup very well.  Posada’s RBI single (47) put his average at .284.  A-Rod was 1-5 with 2 GIDP, and Swish was 1-3 while looking like an elephant on roller skates in right field.  Only JD (0-4 with a BB) went hitless among the starters.

I feel for Bruney, whose velocity was good but location again poor.  He can’t be trusted in close games right now.  Conversely, Mariano’s BB was just his 5th this year.  His WHIP is 0.831 and his ERA 2.08, just tremendous, and his 2 K’s give him 49 in 43 1/3 IP.  There’s no one like him, and I wholeheartedly concur with The Sage’s assessment that Mariano merits consideration as one of the greatest players ever.

With Boston’s 8-6 loss, the Yanks now sit 3 1/2 games ahead in the East, and 7 1/2 ahead of Tampa–8 in the loss column.  It can’t feel good for Boston that they’ve beaten the Yanks all eight times thus far, yet sit 3 1/2 behind the Yanks.  Methinks their unbeaten string against the Yanks crashes hard to earth in early August.  The Yanks are gaining control of the tough East, but need to keep it rolling against Chicago, where they play their next four before Monday’s off day, and two in Toronto before returning home to face Boston.  The series win in Tampa Bay was just what they needed, and taking three of four from Chicago would be ideal.  Shifting gears, as The Sage rightly says, is what’s necessary now to distance themselves from Boston, Tampa Bay, and a tough Angels team that is within 1 1/2 games for home field in the AL.  The Yanks now sit at their high water mark of 62-39, 23 games over .500 and playing great ball.

Soak it in, Yankees fans.

Published in: on July 30, 2009 at 9:36 am  Leave a Comment  

Game 101: Yankees @ Rays, 7/29/09

Below, as per Pete Abraham, are tonight’s starting lineups.  In a battle of good, hard-throwing righties, Joba faces Matt Garza for the series win.  Cliff Lee was dealt to the Phillies.  In other, minor news, Tomko was released.  Hopefully the Yanks can take advantage of a rested bullpen and score some early runs.

Enjoy the game, everyone.

YANKEES (61-39)
Jeter SS
Damon LF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Matsui DH
Posada C
Cano 2B
Swisher RF
Cabrera CF

Pitching: RHP Joba Chamberlain (6-2, 3.86).

RAYS (55-46)
Upton CF
Crawford LF
Longoria 3B
Zobrist 2B
Pena 1B
Burrell DH
Gross RF
Navarro C
Bartlett SS

Pitching: RHP Matt Garza (7-7, 3.68).

TIME/TV: 7:10, YES, ESPN.

Published in: on July 29, 2009 at 5:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

Boston Lost in Extras; Aceves Has Sore Shoulder

The Yanks got a big break, with the A’s mounting a late comeback against the Boston bullpen, especially Papelbon, and winning in 11 innings, 9-8.  Two throwing errors in the ninth by Nick Green helped the A’s score 3 in the 9th off Papelbon to tie it, and they added two off Delcarmen in the 11th.  Boston scored one in the bottom of the 11th, but to no avail.  The Yanks stay 2 1/2 up on Boston.

Aceves has a sore shoulder, but asserted that he can still pitch because it’s fatigued.  This makes me all the more positive that the Yanks will add a starter by the deadline Friday.

[Edit: Before I forget, thanks for the continued BS with injuries, Girardi.]

Published in: on July 28, 2009 at 10:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wang Out For Rest of Season, At Least

I first saw it on ESPN and Pete Abraham has also reported that Chien-Ming Wang will have surgery tomorrow to repair a tear in his right shoulder’s capsule ligament.  He will miss at least the rest of the season, likely more.

Rough year-plus for CMW.  Whether or not Aceves is heading to the rotation, I’d be surprised if the Yanks do not actively pursue a starter by Friday’s trade deadline.

Published in: on July 28, 2009 at 10:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

Splat

The game got ugly early and uglier later as the Yanks lost 6-2. Sabathia struggled to locate his fastball, working long counts as the game went on and getting his mistakes hit.  Oddly, the defense let the Yanks down with a couple errors and misplays, costing the Yanks a couple runs.  Meanwhile, Kazmir locked down the Yanks through 7+, allowing just one run.  We haven’t seen a poor brand of baseball from the Yanks much lately, but tonight’s game certainly qualified.

A-Rod led off with a single in the second and stole second, his seventh steal, but was stranded.  The Rays plated their first run in the bottom of the second, thanks to some generosity from Jeter and Sabathia.  Zobrist singled and, on the play, Jeter launched the throw into the seats, giving Zobrist second.  Sabathia walked two, and Navarro’s sac fly scored Zobrist.  In the third, Upton blooped a single to right, and Crawford tripled off the wall in center, 2-0 Rays.  A-Rod launched Longoria’s ground ball, allowing Crawford to score, 3-0 Rays.

Teixeira blooped a double to right to lead off the fourth, and A-Rod hit a missile that Crawford nabbed.  Matsui then singled in Teixeira, 3-1 Rays, but Matsui rounded the bag too far on Kapler’s throw home and got caught for the second out.  Longoria got the run back with a homer to left in the bottom of the fifth, 4-1 Rays.  In the sixth, Kapler doubled to left, moved to third on Navarro’s 4-3, and scored on Bartlett’s shot to first, which Teixeira leaped high to reach and knocked down, but was beaten to the bag, scoring Kapler 5-1.  Upton’s double to right that eluded a clumsy Swish scored Bartlett, 6-1 Rays.

Kazmir allowed the Yanks nothing afterward, retiring 10 straight after Posada followed Matsui’s single and overrun of first with two out in the top of the fourth.  A well rested Melancon worked 2 1/3, allowing but a bloop single to Navarro in the eighth and saving the rest of the pen.  He looked good, but it was cold comfort in a game in which the Yanks looked flat and, thanks to Kazmir, were made to look so.  After A-Rod’s single in the ninth, Matsui doubled him in off ex-Yankee Randy Choate, 6-2 Rays.

A-Rod and Matsui each had two hits, and Teixeira, Posada, and Swish each had a hit, and Matsui’s RBIs put him at 46  this year.  Otherwise, the offense was stagnant.  The lack of offense notwithstanding, Sabathia was poor today, failing to locate his fastball and struggling after a fast first inning.  The line: 5 2/3 IP, 9 H, 6 runs 5 earned, 2 BB, and 6 K on 109 pitches/60 strikes.  He’s been sub-par overall in July after terrific work in May and June.  The infield’s defense let down tonight, but that has been rare.  The outfield, however, has been more erratic, and tonight was a clear example of that and their collective limitations, especially without Gardner.

Such games are no fun, but have thankfully been anomalous since mid-June.  With Boston beating Baltimore 6-3 in the eighth, the Yanks are on the verge of giving a game back.  Hopefully the Yanks can get back to their winning ways tomorrow behind Joba (6-2, 3.86 ERA), who faces Garza (7-7, 3.68 ERA) tomorrow night in the rubber match.

Published in: on July 28, 2009 at 8:59 pm  Comments (2)  
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