Rangers 9 Yankees 5: Joba Hurt; Marte Coughs Up Walk-Off

Not much good about that game at all, a really painful loss in various ways. After giving up a two-run homer in the fourth and a three-run blast to Young in the fifth, Joba tensed up and winced, pointing to his shoulder as Pudge–recognizing a problem immediately–ran out to the mound. Joba was then removed with what the team has generically termed shoulder stiffness, which certainly doesn’t sound encouraging regardless of the extent of the problem. With Wang out, a serious injury to Joba would be a back-breaker for the team. Edwar and Bruney were good in relief, but Marte struggled a bit in the eighth, then gave it away by walking the bases loaded in the ninth before coughing up a walk-off grand slam to Marlon Byrd, 9-5 Rangers.

Giambi’s RBI single to left center in the first gave the Yanks a 1-0 lead, fortunate for he really should have been called out on strikes. The Yanks did a good job working over Padilla, who did himself no favors by his painfully slow work on a very hot night. Solo shots in the fourth by Giambi and Cano, both into the upper deck, made it 3-0 Yanks, with Padilla up to 81 pitches through 4. But Joba walked Byrd, then left a slider up to Murphy who deposited it to right, 3-2 Yanks. After a single and two balks in the fifth by the filibustering Padilla, the Yanks took a 4-2 lead. The Rangers then got a break, for Kinsler ran into a batted ball in what looked to be outside the batter’s box, which should have been ruled an out but was overruled and called a foul ball, that he touched it in the box. Bad call. Worse, A-Rod also threw out the runner at second, causing Joba to duck and cover. The play was nullified with the erroneous foul ball call, Kinsler walked, Laird flew out, but Young plastered to right off a homer off a fastball up, 5-4 Rangers, with Joba removed shortly thereafter.

Marte then pasted a homer to right to tie it in the eighth, just clutch. But though Marte held the Rangers at bay in the eighth, he collapsed in the ninth, walking Bradley, fanning Kinsler, walking Laird, getting Young to fly out, walking Hamilton and then giving up the walk-off grand slam to Byrd with two outs.

Waldman said on the post-game that Joba is heading back to NY for tests. They seem to think it’s muscular, which would be a huge break even if he misses time, that he felt it in the fourth, that it didn’t occur from the fall to the ground in the fifth. If that’s the injury and nothing involving tendons or ligaments, that would probably be a huge relief, but we’ll see. I’m not holding my breath until I hear the results tomorrow. Mariano was not available today, nor was Veras, drastically shortening the bullpen options tonight.  But this loss will fuel some second-guessing of Girardi, who left Marte in through a lousy ninth, and Cashman for trading Nuke.  Honestly, who knows what Nuke would have done, and Marte is no lefty specialist but a tough lefty who is usually good against righties as well, but just collapsed.  Marte should have been able to throw strikes, that’s the bottom line.

Terrible way to lose, and terrible fears that Joba is in jeopardy. How horrible would it be for Joba to be seriously hurt? Unfathomable. It sure is hard to type when one’s fingers are crossed.

Giambi was excellent, going 3-4 with his 21st homer and 2 RBIs, 64 now, batting .256. Nady was 2-4 with his 17th homer, batting a sterling .336 in all this year and 12-30 (.400) with 3 doubles, 3 homers, 7 runs, and 10 RBIs for the Yanks. Nady has been huge, positively clutch. Cano was 1-4 with his 10th homer and 53rd RBI, batting .262. JD was 2-5 with his 25th double and a run, batting .316. Jeter and Abreu each had a hit. But Pudge, Christian, and Sexson combined for 0-8 in the 8th and 9th spots. The Yanks also went 1-7 with RISP, stranding 6 runners, four in scoring position. Particularly painful was the 6th, when Giambi and Nady led off with back-to-back singles, first and second no outs. But Cano flew out, Pudge’s ground out moved the runners to second and third on the second out, and Christian’s 6-3 ended the threat.

This loss also rests on the pitching. Joba had only surrendered three homers thus far this year, but gave up two in consecutive innings. He was excellent through three but seemed to falter and tire in the fourth and fifth. I sure hope he’s healthy. The Yanks are in dire straits without him. Edwar and Bruney were excellent, but Marte was bad, walking three and giving up the walk-off in the ninth. Terrible loss to take when both Boston and Tampa lost, leaving the Yanks 5 1/2 back. Terrible loss to take against a team with one of the worst bullpens in baseball, scoring only one run and mustering only two hits and no walks in the final three innings. Texas’s bullpen had a 4.98 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, and a .264 BAA entering tonight’s game–all second-worst in the AL, and having logged by far the most bullpen innings in the AL. They didn’t look so poor tonight, unfortunately.

Ponson (6-2, 4.23 ERA) seeks to replicate his last, outstanding start against the Angels against righty Tommy Hunter (0-0, 10.80 ERA). The last three losses have been bad, very bad. An injury to Joba would be just devastating, so the Yanks need quality starts from here on out.

Published in: on August 4, 2008 at 11:25 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. nothing good ever happens in texas….

    what a horrible night for all the obvious reasons…

    i have to say though–2 days in a row girardi stays with a guy who walks the bases loaded.

    i have a feeling it’s all over after tonight.

  2. That was a tough loss. I thought Nady was going to be a hero again. What’s also frustrating is that Boston and Tampa lost.

  3. Hey, Jason …

    Very crushing loss by the Yankees last night !!!

    In my view, when Marte walked the bases loaded, Girardi should have brought in David Robertson to pitch to the “right-handed” hitting, Marlon Byrd. I know the bullpen was a little short last night, with both Mariano and Veras not available to pitch. But, Marte did not have control of the strike zone [after he got the first two outs in the inning]; and, it would have been a great “test” to see how Robertson would pitch in that pessure situation.

    As the season continues, I would like to see David Robertson elevated to the role of 8th inning set-up man, as the “Bridge to Mariano” in the bullpen. He has been very impressive so far, and maybe he will be this years “Joba” out of the bullpen.

    Finally, hopefully, Joba Chamberlain is not seriously injured. This would be a major loss, that would be very difficult for the Yankees to recover from this year !!!

    Nine more games remaining on this very grueling 10-game road trip. I think, the Yankees need to win, 7 of 10, on his trip – so they don’t get too far behind in the AL EAST race.

    Both, the Red Sox and Rays, also, lost yesterday. So, the Yankees missed out on a great opportunity to gain “a game” on each team in the standings.

    Just when it looks like the Yankees are going to put together a long winning streak, they have a game like yesterday’s, 9-5, “walk-off” loss. The playoffs are still in sight, but there are threatening dark clouds overhead.

    A winning road trip [7 wins?] will help the sun to shine brightly [once again] on the Yankees !!!

    Take care, Jason …

    — Jimmy [27NYY]


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