White Sox 6 Yankees 2: Jeter Breaks Hit Record at Yankee Stadium; Otherwise, Yawn

Quick wrap up of tonight’s game.  I got a call from a friend from out of state I haven’t spoken with in some time, sparing me the last couple innings of another boring loss.  It was good to hang out in the HDLR, and thanks to Mike and Nick for coming by. Big night for Jeter breaking Gehrig’s record on a single that Ed Farmer and Steve Stone via radio and Pete Abraham blogged should have been an error.  I was in the car listening at the time, and Mike said it could have gone either way.  Once the crowd went into a frenzy, it was surely going to be a hit, and so be it.  Jeter now has a record that won’t ever be broken–most career hits in Yankee Stadium (II), passing Yankee and baseball legend Lou Gehrig.  Truly amazing, and hats off to Jeter.  It’s a great accomplishment.

Other than that, there was little to cheer about tonight as the Yankees failed to score runners, Pettite struggled again, and the team dropped a lackluster 6-2 decision to Chicago.  I genuinely feel for and respect Pettite for trying to pitch through shoulder pain, which he apparently has according to Pete Abe and YES.  But since the Yankees are on the verge of mathematical elimination after weeks of virtual elimination, why not shut the guy down and prevent anything more serious from occurring?  I’d love to see him pitch the last game in Yankee Stadium and of anyone on the team now, he deserves it.  But I don’t want to see him struggle again or, worse, get injured in what might be his last season in pinstripes if not baseball.  He lacks velocity, his breaking balls lack bite, his command is off, and he’s now 3-7 after the All-Star break.  Again, I feel for Lefty and, being quite busy, I honestly didn’t know about his shoulder ailment.  That said, don’t push the guy any more.

Brett Gardner showed off his speed again, stealing two bases with ease and, had his deep blast to center not one-hopped over the wall, would have had a stand-up triple with ease.  Great to see him drive the ball with such vigor, something that a good off-season of work would serve him well to augment for next season.  If Gardner could somehow develop steady gap power or at least the ability to hit the ball solidly, jeez, look out.  He’ll make singles into doubles and doubles into triples all day.  First, he needs to work on making good, solid contact every at-bat and minimizing the pop-ups.  He needs to use his lower body to add some compact power to his swing.  We’ll see.  Goodness knows I and others are rooting for the kid.

But the same old nonsense again reared its ugly head.  JD hit a bloop single and Jeter passed Gehrig in the first, but Abreu’s liner marked the first out, A-Rod chased a fastball up and in–nothing to handle–to K, and Giambi popped out–two of three at-bats just poor.  After Ramirez led off the third with a solo shot, the Yanks got the run back but should have had more–if they could hit with RISP.  Gardner slapped a single to left and easily stole second, and JD’s double to center easily scored him to tie the game.  Jeter bunted him to third–normally not something I favor but–given this year’s travails, how many times I’ve railed against it, and my respect for Jeter’s unselfishness–I didn’t find it too objectionable.  But Mike (and Michael Kay) carried the anger torch instead and were proven right, for Abreu’s 1-3 and A-Rod’s flyout stranded JD.  After Jeter’s out–a productive out but an out nonetheless–the others couldn’t deliver.  It’s the same old song with this year’s Yanks, and while I didn’t have it in me to get riled about it, Mike said what we discussed all year long–Jeter bunting there is giving up a crucial out, a Hall of Fame player who just passed Gehrig at that.  Many can be blamed for not scoring the run; ultimately, the sin is a collective one.

As has occurred so often this year, the Sox made the Yanks pay right away with three in the top of the fourth as Lefty struggled.  Giambi tattooed his 31st of the year and 395th of his career to cut it to 4-2.  But with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth, Giambi fanned in a 12-pitch at-bat.  Veras struggled in the seventh, giving up a run to extend the lead to 5-2 Chicago.  After Gardner’s aforementioned ground-rule double to lead off the bottom of the seventh, JD lined out, Gardner stole third with ease, but two more hard-hit liners left Gardner at third–bad luck this time, but the same old problems scoring runs.  Two doubles in the eighth off Giese made it 6-2 White Sox to cap the scoring.  Veras has been brutal the last three weeks.  The 6-8 spots combined to go 0-12.  The Yanks stranded eight, five in scoring position and all five from the 3-5 spots.  If you want a microcosm for the 2008 Yankees season filled with lethargy, poor performance, and a sputtering team, tonight was a good candidate–the 48th time this year the Yanks have scored two or fewer runs, by the way–nearly 1/3 of the time.  Horrible, absolutely horrible.

HDLR tomorrow night, hopefully with a better game to accompany the chatter.

Published in: on September 16, 2008 at 10:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

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