Johnson Outduels A.J., JD’s Drop Costly as Yanks Lose 2-1

Josh Johnson was lights-out for most of his seven-inning stint, besting a very sharp A.J. Burnett as Florida got a homer from Uggla in the second, and an error from JD on a liner that was a sure out in the sixth, to beat the Yanks 2-1.  The Yanks had chances with runners on in each of the last three innings, but could only muster one run on a Swish RBI single in the seventh.  Melky then chased a high fastball to end the seventh.  Matsui stroked a lead-off single in the eighth, Brett the Jet pinch-running promptly stole second, and A-Rod pinch-hitting for Coke (who was excellent again) walked.  But Jeter weakly tapped into his sixth DP ball this year for the second out, and JD meekly struck out to end the eighth without some much-needed atonement for his egregious error.  After Hughes was excellent in the ninth, really impressing me with his aggressiveness, Teixeira singled, Posada popped out to short, and Cano swung at the first pitch and grounded into a game-ending DP.

A.J. was tremendous, going 6 1/3 strong, allowing just five hits, two runs one earned, walking three (all in the sixth, contributing to the plight that JD’s error and perhaps eye issues exacerbated), and fanning eight on 98 pitches/59 strikes.  He was dazzling and kept the Yanks in a game that, otherwise, was out of their reach due to the offense getting overpowered by Johnson.  Those criticizing Posada’s catching should keep in mind not only that he caught tonight’s game that saw the Yanks allow all of one earned run, but also that he threw outboth Marlins runners trying to steal.

Bad that the Yanks mustered so little against Johnson; bad that they only went 1-5 with RISP, blowing a chance to tie in the seventh and a golden opportunity in the eighth; bad that they are 2-3 against the Gnats and the Marlins; all the worse that Boston, Tampa, and Baltimore all won, and Toronto is tied with the Gnats in the 11th.  Sabathia (6-4, 3.67 ERA) faces Chris Volstad (4-7, 4.75 ERA) tomorrow afternoon at 5:05 ET to salvage the series and some dignity, and keep pace with the rest of the AL East.  Be the stopper, CC.

Published in: on June 20, 2009 at 9:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

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