I’m probably heading to Ebertfest locally, so figured an in-game would suffice to describe this bad loss, in which all ten runs were scored with two outs. Pettite extended innings and surrendered a 3-1 lead through inefficiency, allowing a three-run shot to Peralta in the fifth and a solo shot to Gutierrez immediately afterwards. Traber yielded a two-out RBI to Carroll, and the Yankees mustered nothing off Perez and Betancourt, just like last October. On the positive side, Giambi crushed two deep homers to fight-center and hit the ball hard most of the night. Damon doubled as part of his own resurgence, and Matsui, Posada, and Abreu singled. But Jeter and A-Rod were 0-4, Cano 0-2, and Melky 0-3. The team really got nothing going aside from Giambi’s blasts, looking tired after last night’s late game and early arrival this morning.
1st Inning: Top–Two down, Abreu lined a single through the hole, A-Rod popped to short for the third out. Byrd had it pretty easy, throwing only 13 pitches. Bottom–Nice 2-1 curve for the swing and miss, 2-2 but Giambi screws up an easy grounder, E3. Horrible. The guy continues to fail. 5-4 force, then Carroll stole second with Hafner up and his 4-3 moves Carroll to third. Pettite walked Martinez, being extra-careful. Peralta singles through the hole, 1-0 Indians. The pitch got a lot of the plate and was up a bit. Gutierrez up 3-0, with Pettite already at 22 pitches, and his 23rd walks the bases loaded. Yeeesh. Blake is up and it’s 0-1, Blake is .440 with RISP. But 6-4 force ends it with Pettite throwing 26 pitches, 1-0 Indians.
2nd Inning: Top–Matsui and Posada go down quickly, but Big G atones for his error with a big blast to right-center, ripping a belt-high fastball out for his 368th career homer. Cano takes Byrd to the warning track for the third out. 1-1. Bottom–Michaels out on a 5-3, and Shoppach singles to the gap, but Melky absolutely pegs him out, nice tag Cano. Melky fielded the ball off-balance leaning down to his right, righted himself quickly with a turn and, in one motion whipped a throw on a line to second. Shame on Shoppach for not running hard right away; it cost him. Sizemore pop 5 foul, three down, 1-1. Pettite is at 39 pitches.
3rd Inning: Top–Melky pop 4 in shallow right. Damon ripped a double off an inside curve into the right-field corner for Jeter, who cranks a fastball in to the warning track in right-center, moving Damon to third with two outs. Damon is really warming up the past several games. Abreu himself ripped one to deep left-center, but was robbed by Sizemore on a really good running catch. 1-1 still, though the Yankees are hitting Byrd hard–but for outs. Byrd is up to 39 pitches. Bottom–Carroll singles. Rick Manning makes a good point on how often Pettite is throwing over to first, protecting Jorge with the arm recovering. Hafner up…and down on a terrific K, slider down and in, one down. Martinez grounded into a 1-4-3 on the first pitch, giving Pettite a seven-pitch third. 1-1, Pettite at 46 pitches.
Top 4th: Top–A-Rod with a high pop-out to shallow left, one down on one pitch. Matsui down on a 3U, great to see two pitches and two outs. Nice patience. Posada singles to right, extending the inning for the moment. Big G up, and cranks another homer deep to right-center with two outs, 3-1 Yankees. Giambi creamed a breaking ball, silencing the “Yankees Suck” chants with career homer #369. Cano 3U, three down, but the Yankees take the lead. Byrd up to 55 pitches. I’d say that Giambi atoned for the error, with two homers bringing his average up to precariously close to the Mendoza line at .190. Bottom 4th–Cano robs Peralta, one down. Gutierrez K’s, two down. Blake walks, Michaels singles to center, Shoppach grounds into a 6-3, three down, still 3-1 Yankees. Pettite is at 69 pitches.
5th Inning: Top–Melky out on a 6-3. Damon out on F7. Jeter is 6 for his last 30 and needs to heat up but doesn’t yet, 6-3, three down, 3-1 Yankees. Byrd is at 67 pitches through 5 IP. Bottom–Sizemore out, F9, shallow, one out. Carroll out, 3U (Giambi?!?), two down. Hafner up with the bases clear, singling to left. Martinez does also, bringing up Peralta. On a 3-1 hanging change, Peralta caps the two-out rally with a three-run homer to left, 4-3 Indians. Pettite is behind Gutierrez 3-0, the third straight batter, and Gutierrez creamed a 3-1 pitch, 5-3 Indians. Terrible job by Pettite collapsing with two outs. He finally K’s Blake, but the damage is done. For the second straight game, the Yankees surrender a lead and trail 5-3. Pettite is up to 99 pitches and might be done.
6th Inning: Top–4-3 for Abreu, one down. A-Rod has looked rusty so far, understandable, but they need him especially now, but he chases ball three very low, 5-3 two down. Matsui cranks a deep homer to right, closing the game to 5-4. Matsui destroyed a breaking ball inside, chasing Byrd for the night. Posada will face Rafael Perez, and way to make him work Jorge, swinging at the first pitch against a guy who is 0-1 with a 6.52 ERA. Three down, but 5-4 Indians now. Interestingly, all nine runs in the game have been scored with two outs. Bottom–Traber in against Michaels, F8 one out. Shoppach up and K’s, two down. Sizemore worked a BB with two outs and stole second, Carroll’s broken-bat bloop single to left makes it 6-4, all ten runs scored with two outs. Traber horrible with two outs. Hafner up and Carroll stole second without a throw, while Hafner walks. Traber finally got Martinez, but they can’t do anything right with two outs this game. 6-4.
7th Inning: Top–Giambi ripped the first pitch to the track in right, but Gutierrez made a nice catch, one down. Cano awkwardly golfs at the first one, but works a walk. Melky grounds into a 6-4-3 DP, three outs, still 6-4 Indians. Bottom–Albaladejo in versus Peralta, 5-3 on a nice short-hop by A-Rod, one down. Gutierrez also out on a 5-3. A-Rod preserves his privates on another tough hop, 5-3, Indians still lead 6-4.
8th Inning: Top–Top of the order against Perez, Damon with a come-backer, one down. Jeter is struggling, 6 for his last 31, hard-hit F9 extends it to 6-32, two down. Abreu up. The Yankees have done nothing tonight before getting two outs. Abreu K’s. Boy, have the Yanks done wonders for the confidence of a kid who couldn’t buy outs to start this year. Picking up from last October but skipping over his struggles against everyone else, Perez went 2 1/3 IP, allowing only a walk on 23 pitches/17 strikes, fanning one, holding the lead, and lowering his ERA over a run with this stint. Bottom–A-Rod now has five straight assists, one down. Shoppach walks after being down 0-2. Sizemore out on a 3U, Shoppach to second. Carroll out F8. 6-4 Indians.
9th Inning: Top–Betancourt versus A-Rod who pops out weakly to first as part of a thoroughly unproductive night, one down. Matsui K’s on a change down. Posada F8 deep, three outs. 6-4 Indians.