What a big, chunky, barf-bag filled game this disgusting wretch of several hours was, an absolute disgrace. Worst loss of the year, and one falling on several heads–Girardi, Hawkins, Jeter, and more. Repulsive by any sober estimation. Two four-run leads blown in the first five innings, Jeter picked off second with A-Rod ready to hit, Girardi refusing to use Joba to preserve a win that Mariano rightfully earned in favor of lummox Hawkins, who promptly yakked it up in the 11th. What is the point of having Joba around if they won’t use him for 15-20 pitches to save a key game when TB lost, Boston was nip and tuck, and Toronto was losing? The players and manger just handed Baltimore the game, just flat-out gave an eminently winnable game away. Stinking Horrible.
Giambi’s solo homer and JD’s three-run blast in the second made it a seemingly secure 4-0 lead, but with Kennedy pitching, not so. The kid immediately surrendered the lead, allowing four right back in the bottom of the second on Millar’s two-run shot, Hernandez’s solo blast, and Jones’s single, running on JD’s rag arm to tag up to second, taking third on a cross-up between Kennedy and Molina, and scoring on A-Rod’s throwing error. The Yanks then scored four more in the top of the fourth, all with two outs. JD doubled, Jeter singled him in, Abreu ripped a homer, 7-4, and A-Rod clubbed a homer to right-center, 8-4. Yet Ohlendorf, in for Kennedy who was placed almost immediately on the DL for a strained lat muscle, barfed it back up in the bottom of the fifth. Roberts singled, Mora homer, 8-6. Ohlendorf then fanned Markakis and Huff, but then surrendered back-to-back homers to Scott and Millar to tie it, 8-8. As we discussed at The Sommer Frieze, it’s really about time to consider other options than Ohlendorf. His ERA is 6.37, which is just plain bad. Mike Sommer mentioned Britton, and I can’t disagree with that. Give the guy a chance instead of letting Ohlendorf be a punching bag.
In the sixth, JD singled with one out, Jeter forced him at second, Abreu walked and, with A-Rod up and before he could get a swing, Jeter got picked off second, inexcusably horrible, Captain. Nuke worked around a lead-off walk in the eighth after some good work by Edwar, getting out of a jam via the DP ball to Cano.
The the rain came in the 9th, but the Yanks had to play through an unsafe monsoon. They subsequently squandered a lead-off double from JD, and a double-steal from him and A-Rod, when Matsui lined out to Millar. After a rain delay of over an hour, play resumed, with Mariano pitching the 9th and 10th. After a 1-2-3 9th, Mariano allowed a one-out double past the statue Betemit but Mariano avoided potential trouble when, after fanning Jones and walking Payton, he retired Roberts on an F8.
The Yankees took the lead in the 11th when, with the bases loaded and no outs, A-Rod grounded into a 4-2-5 DP, ripping one to second, and the catcher Quiroz caught Jeter at third as he waited to see if the hot shot was caught at second. Yet Matsui singled through the wickets of Albers, 9-8. Ah, but Hawkins and Girardi blew it, regardless of what the organization’s plan for Joba is. The plan is to win games, and there’s no good reason why the team couldn’t have pitched Joba for the 11th and bumped his extended outing back a few days. So much for the lack of any Joba Rules. Sure. I’d like some straight answers from the organization about this, about how Joba somehow couldn’t be used with a depleted bullpen, about how stretching him out–by any estimation a drawn-out process–couldn’t have been paused a couple days to secure a win. Straight answers and not mealy-mouthed nonsense for a change. Hawkins entered and allowed a lead-off single to Mora, got Markakis on a deep F7, Huff’s double scored Mora to tie it and he took third, Hawkins IBB’d two to load the bases, and Cintron’s hit to deep right-center ended a disgraceful loss, 10-9.
The Yankees left 9 on base, 5 in scoring position, while plating 7 with two outs. The team had 15 hits, but couldn’t hold a lead. Kennedy heads to the DL with the strained lat, Ohlendorf and Hawkins were a mess and I’d consider removing both from the Bronx roster–Ohlendorf being sent down and Hawkins via DFA. The latter is low risk and thus far really low reward. Hawkins has an ERA of 6.75–he’s a nice guy and a good teammate, but cut bait already and go with kids. The team banged out 15 hits and 9 runs, but couldn’t win the game. Disgraceful, just an absolute gift to the Orioles. The worst loss of the year in my opinion, and back to two games under .500 as the Yankees can’t penetrate the glass ceiling of mediocrity.