Friday, July 31, 2009

Floyd Dominates, Chisox Walk-off With 3-2 Win

(REUTERS/Jeff Haynes)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
NYY 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
2 6 2
CWS 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1
3 8 0

WP - Matt Thornton (5-2)
LP - Phil Hughes (4-3)

It was a rough loss for the Yankees tonight in Chicago as they fell to the White Sox 3-2. After an hour and four minute rain delay both starters, Andy Pettitte and Gavin Floyd, pitched great games holding both offenses in check for most of the night. Pettitte allowed just 1 earned run on 5 hits in 6.1 innings, striking out 8, and did not walk a batter. While Floyd allowed just 1 earned on 4 hits in 7 innings. He struck out 10, and walked just one. Both pitchers had very good stuff tonight and were hitting their spots consistently.

Another reason both starters pitched so well was the ridiculously large strike zone home plate umpire Ted Barrett had tonight. It was a strike zone that would make Eric Gregg proud. Anything near the strike zone was called a strike, especially for Floyd. That's also probably why 7 of his 10 strikeouts were looking.

Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third on an RBI double by rookie Gordon Beckham, and that was how the score would remain until the top half of the sixth. Jose Molina led off the inning with a ground-rule double. Two batters later he scored on a Johnny Damon single to tie the game.

Pettitte had an easy sixth, but then got into some trouble in the seventh thanks to some shoddy defense. Jim Thome led off and his a weak dribbler up the first base line. Pettitte came over to field it, but he slipped on the wet grass and failed to make the play, E1. After Paul Konerko struck out A.J. Pierzynski hit a sharp grounder to A-Rod, a ball he probably should have fielded and turned into an inning-ending double play. But instead the ball bounced off his glove to put runners on 1st and 2nd with just one out. (The play was initially scored an error but was then changed it to a hit. I still think it was an error.) That would be all for Pettitte and Phil Hughes came into the game.

Chicago gave the Yanks another chance to get out of the inning, this time when Carlos Quentin hit a tailor-made 5-4-3 double play ball, but Alex Rodriguez took a little too long to get the ball to Robinson Cano, Pierzynski came in with what was probably an illegal slide, and Cano threw the ball where even Mark Teixeira couldn't reach it. Tex try to block it, but it wasn't enough, and the ball trickled off his glove and up the line allowing the run to score and the White Sox had a 2-1 lead.

The score would remain the same until there were two out in the top of the ninth and Nick Swisher was at the plate. He had gone 0-for-3 with 3 strikeouts so far in the game and had really looked awful in the process, so my expectations weren't high. But White Sox reliever Matt Thornton left an 0-1 fastball right down the middle and Swisher sent it over the wall in left for a game-tying solo homer.

Sadly the joy of the Swisher homer was short-lived because the White Sox quickly got runners on 1st and 2nd with one out against Phil Hughes in the bottom of the ninth to knock him out of the game. Then, after Phil Coke was able to get the second out of the inning, Dewayne Wise lined a single off his glove and into center field for a game-winning RBI single. The run and loss was charged to Hughes. It was the first run Hughes has allowed in 25.1 innings.

It was a game the Yankees easily could have won. Besides the terrible defense that cost them a run, they went just 1-for-8 with RISP for the game. Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez came up time after time with men on and each time came up short. Combined they went 0-for-8 with 6 K's and 6 men left on base. Not really what you want from your 3-4 hitters. Add Hideki Matsui and the Yanks 3-4-5 hitters when 0-for-12 with 8 K's and 6 men left on. When you don't play defense and you don't hit with men on it's pretty tough to win.

Their lead in the east dropped back to 2.5 games because Boston won earlier today thanks to a 3-run 7th inning homer by David Roidtiz. The Yanks look to even the series tomorrow night at U.S. Cellular with Sergio Mitre on the mound. He will be facing White Sox southpaw Clayton Richard.

Jeter, SS 4 0 1 0 0 0 2 .323
Damon, LF 3 0 2 1 1 0 1 .276
Teixeira, 1B 4 0 0 0 0 3 4 .282
Rodriguez, A, 3B 4 0 0 0 0 3 2 .247
Matsui, H, DH 4 0 0 0 0 2 0 .255
Swisher, RF 4 1 1 1 0 3 0 .239
Cano, 2B 4 0 0 0 0 1 0 .305
Cabrera, Me, CF 3 0 1 0 0 1 0 .290
Molina, J, C 2 1 1 0 0 0 1 .255
a-Posada, PH-C 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .283
Totals 33 2 6 2 1 14 10

a-Struck out for Molina, J in the 8th.

2B: Cabrera, Me (18, Floyd, G), Molina, J (3, Floyd, G).
HR: Swisher (17, 9th inning off Thornton, 0 on, 2 out).
TB: Jeter; Damon 2; Swisher 4; Cabrera, Me 2; Molina, J 2.
RBI: Damon (58), Swisher (54).
2-out RBI: Swisher.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Damon; Rodriguez, A; Teixeira.
Team RISP: 1-for-8.
Team LOB: 5.

E: Pettitte (2, fielding), Cano (4, throw).
DP: (Cano-Jeter-Teixeira).

Pettitte 6.1 5 2 1 0 8 0 4.51
Hughes, P (L, 4-3) 2.0 2 1 1 0 1 0 3.47
Coke 0.1 1 0 0 0 0 0 3.77

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Gavin Floyd (7.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K)

HONORABLE MENTION: Andy Pettitte (6.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K)

GOAT OF THE GAME: Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira (comebined 0-for-8, 6 K's, 6 men left on base)

Tomorrow's Game

Yankees @ White Sox
Game Time: 8:11 p.m. | TV/Radio: YES, WCBS
RHP Sergio Mitre (1-0, 5.91) vs. LHP Clayton Richard (4-3, 4.65)


YankeePride3 said...

I actually live in Chicago so I was there tonight. I had great seats, third row down the first base line between first and right field. The rain started right when they game was about to being, but it seemed like it moved by pretty quickly.

The Yankees looked completely over matched by Floyd. Pettitte matched him pitch for pitch but that 7th inning was a disaster. Ever since that error-less game streak, it seems like the Yankees have been playing terrible defense. Swisher is just awful out there, Damon's arm kills us and A-Rod has been pretty terrible as far as range goes.

I had four completely wasted White Sox fans in front of me, so they were being extremely annoying the whole game. When Swisher hit that homer, I went nuts and shouted in their ears like they did to me. I never really felt comfortable though. I thought they should have taken Hughes out after he got Dye out. Coke should have came in to pitch to Thome, pitched around Konerko and then pitched to AJ. But oh well, nothing we can do. I still had a blast, going to ball games is always a fun time win or lose.

Hopefully Mitre actually pitches good tomorrow, but with us facing a pitcher we've never seen it doesn't look to good.

Anonymous said...

The strike zone was a fluctuating joke, and Floyd benefitted it from it quite a bit more than Pettitte did. Our hitters either ended up striking out looking on balls, or had to chase pitches and make easy outs because the jackass put them in the hole with a bad call.

What sucks the most is losing game one of a four game series, but I guess we can't look at it like that. At this point, especially when you're on a long road trip, they need to take two out of the remaining three. That would put them at 4-3 on the road trip to that point, which is perfectly good, especially when facing two "contending" teams in their home ballparks.

Mike N. said...

Tough loss but hardly the worst of the year. They'll come back tonight and win the second game of the series.

I feel for Pettitte though. Its tough to lose two games the way he's lost the past two games.

bruceb said...

I wouldn't be so sure of that Mike N. We've been winning games lately mainly on the strength of our starting pitching. Our biggest weakness all season has been hitting with RISP and last night, we were simply awful. A-Rod is going through yet another protracted slump, increasing the pressure on Tex to come through. Some of A-Rod's swings were embarrassing for a player of his ability. Is he just out of form or is there a bigger problem there?

Mike N. said...

A-Rod's low BA is a nagging worry for me. His power numbers and OBP are good and he has a crazy low BABIP but its still scary to see him turning into Adam Dunn so early into his contract.

Mike B. said...

A tough loss indeed.