Multiple Failures in 8-6 Loss

A.J. had a miserable start, Coke failed to keep it close, and the offense awakened too late in a frustrating 8-6, staving off for a game the clinching victory.  Despite a somewhat belatedly strong game off Lee, including starting the first with a 1-0 lead, A.J. started last night as he did Game 5 in the ALCS, giving three back in the first three batters, culminated by another Utley homer.  He allowed three more in the third, exiting having thrown a mere 2+ innings, allowing 6 runs earned on 4 hits, 4 walks, and fanning just 2 on 53 pitches/28 strikes.  Awful outing, considerably worse than Game 5 in Anaheim when he at least kept the Yanks in the game.  Not so last night.

The Yanks cut the lead to 6-2 in the fifth by missed a chance to do further damage as Robertson and Aceves held the Phillies at 6 over four innings, allowing but a hit apiece.  Fine work by the bullpen, until Coke surrendered two homers in the seventh to Utley and Ibanez to widen the lead to 8-2.  It hurt badly, for the Yanks mounted a fierce rally in the last two innings–too late, but those four runs they scored would have tied the game had Coke been able to blank Philly.  The Yanks scored three in the top of the eighth, and another in the top of the ninth on Jeter’s unfortunate DP, but could close it no further. Had Jeter reached base, I think all hell would have broken loose on the Phillies. Despite wearing down Lee a bit, accumulating seven hits, three walks, and five runs off him, pitching and an early dearth of offense did them in.

Before accentuating the positive–and there are some positives–I must rail against the Molina-caddying job.  Not only was that a dismal flop last night, Molina allowed a stolen base that resulted in a run.  I know, these things happen, and no one throws out everyone.  But the simple fact is this: if Molina through his defense is not doing everything possible to try to moderately offset the considerably greater loss of Jorge’s offense, then the justification for his playing is completely gone.  I haven’t been big on his caddying at all as the playoffs have wound on, primarily because Jorge’s bat is too essential especially as key parts of the lineup have struggled.  Thank goodness that experiment appears to have played itself out.

Not to be overlooked, I don’t know why Pena was not in to pinch-run for Matsui after his single in the ninth made it first and third, no outs.  He could have done much, including keeping the Yanks out of a DP but also, with Madsen’s slow move home, stolen second and put Jeter in position to get a different pitch.  That’s on Girardi.

That said, there is much to feel good about, despite the freshness of last night’s loss.  The Yanks not only recaptured home field, they superseded it by winning two of three in Philadelphia, a tough place to play.  That’s pretty impressive, and speaks to what a good road team the Yankees have been this year.  They won two of three, and reignited parts of the lineup in the process.  Yes, Cano, Swish, and Teixeira have been down, but JD has been a monster, as has Jeter, A-Rod has been clutch, Matsui (.556) is back in Wednesday’s lineup, Posada is hitting well, and the Yanks have a strong shot at home to clinch their 27th World Series championship.

I like their chances to do that Wednesday night a lot.  I like that Pettite–even on short rest–will probably start, for he is a money pitcher and did very well in the Game 6 clincher against the Angels.  He has been there plenty of times before and succeeded.  I like that the Yanks are home, where it will undoubtedly be raucous.  If there is a silver lining to last night’s loss–and yes, a win would obviously have been far preferable–Mariano and Joba will have two days off between Games 5 and 6.  That will pay dividends Wednesday night for the Yanks.

The inability to clinch last night hurts, people.  But the Yanks are in a very good spot right now–returning home, up three games to two, and recapturing home field.  Finish the job tomorrow night, guys.

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Published in: on November 3, 2009 at 8:49 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Hope the Yankees win it all tomorrow!!! I’m really anxious…I just can’t wait for tomorrow night.


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