Wednesday, May 19, 2010

No Pie Tonight, Just Embarrassment and Shame

(AP Photos/Kathy Willens)

Boston «0000010427102
N.Y. Yankees020120001682
WP: D. Bard (1-1) LP: M. Rivera (0-1)
SV: J. Papelbon (10)

The Yankees came close to recapturing the 9th inning magic they showed the night before when they put the tying run on third with one out in the ninth, but fell short and dropped a heart-breaker to the Red Sox 7-6. It was a terrible loss for the Yankees, who, for the second night in a row, blew a 5-0 lead to Boston on their home field.

Most Yankees fans would say the first seven innings of this game went about as well as they could have hoped. CC Sabathia wasn't at his best, but he was still able to hold the Red Sox to just a run on four hits over seven innings. He walked three (along with five K's), had command issues most of the night, and threw just 66 of his 112 pitches for strikes. The only run Boston scored of the left-hander came in the sixth on a solo homer by Kevin Youkilis.

By that time in the game the Yankees had already built up a 5-0 lead and knocked Red Sox starter Josh Beckett out of the game. Beckett gave up all five runs on five hits, walked three and struck out six as his struggles against the Yankees (and everyone else so far this year) continue. Only three of the runs were earned thanks to an error by Marco Scutaro that led to the Yankees first two runs in the second. Juan Miranda hit his first home run of the year to make it 3-0 in the fourth. Robinson Cano made it 5-0 with a two-run double in the fifth. The hit that would knock Beckett out of the game, and cause a little controversy in the process.

After the double, Boston pitching coach John Farrell made a trip to the mound. After talking to Beckett he signaled for a reliever, and said that Beckett was leaving the game because he was injured and Manny Delcarmen, who was headed into the game, was then allowed to throw as many warmup pitches as he needed. This didn't sit well with Joe Girardi. He felt that because Farrell made the call for the reliever before announcing Beckett's injury, Delcarmen should have only been allowed the eight warmup pitches normally given to relievers coming into a game. Because of all this Girardi played the rest of the game under protest. I'd be shocked if the league did anything, but at least he's making his point... I guess.

With the Yankees still winning 5-1 in the 8th it was time for Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera to get the last six outs, but for the second time in three games they failed to get the job done.

Marco Scutaro led off the 8th with a slow grounder to third, Alex Rodriguez came up with the ball, but threw it wide of first and pulled Mark Teixeira off the base allowing Scutaro to reach. Things quickly went downhill from there. Joba allowed a single to Dustin Pedroia, an RBI double to J.D. Drew, and a cheap two-run bloop single to Youkilis that and just like that it was a one run game. Joba finally got an out when he retired Victor Martinez on a ground out to Cano, but Youkilis advanced on the play. David Ortiz then tied the game when he launched a ball off the wall in right, but because he thought the ball was out and didn't run out of the box, the Yankees got him at second. Joba then retired Adrian Beltre, but as they say, the damage had already been done.

Joba didn't walk anyone, but it seemed that he was behind every hitter and didn't have command or life on his fastball. Just 17 of his 31 pitches were strikes, and after looking so good for the first part of the season is slowly becoming another question mark in an already unstable bullpen.

The Yankees got put runners on first and second with two out in the bottom of the inning, but Teixeira flew out to right to end the inning.

Mo came in for the ninth and like Joba, didn't have his best command and was also let down by his defense. With a runner on first and one out Scutaro hit a shallow fly ball to right. Marcus Thames and Robinson Cano converged on the ball, Thames called for it, and then missed it completely. The ball bounced off his foot and trickled away from him and both runners were safe, so instead of a runner on first with two out, the Sox had runners on first and second with one out. Like Kenny Singleton said during the broadcast, when you call for the ball you have to make the catch, and it was a very catchable ball. In a span of just 24 hour Thames went from hero to goat, or at least he would a few batters later.

Dustin Pedroia grounded out to first to put runners on second and third with two out for Jeremy Hermida. After working the count to 2-2 Hermida deposited Mo's cutter over the head of Randy Winn in left for a two-run double. Winn was way too shallow on the play, but even if he was positioned normally I don't think he would have tracked it down. Either way, it was 7-5 Sox and the Yankees had three outs left.

The Yankees did make it interesting in the bottom of the inning thanks to some more sloppy play. Marco Scutaro, who for some reason was connected with every error in the game, allowed a ground ball by A-Rod to get under his glove. After Rodriguez took second on defensive indifference, Cano cut the lead to one with an RBI double. More importantly the tying run was in scoring position with nobody out.

Francisco Cervelli was up and it was decision time for Girardi: Do you allowed Cervelli to swing away or do you have him bunt Cano over to third? He went with the bunt and Cervelli got the job done. I can't blame him for going for the bunt, but there is certainly an argument to be made that he should have let Cervelli swing away. A ground ball or deep fly ball could also get the job done, he's been great with RISP this year, and the Yankees didn't exactly have Murderer's Row coming up behind him. Either way, the Yankees had the tying run on third with one out and Thames, Miranda and Winn due up.

Thames was the Yankees best chance, but he drew a walk and Ramiro Pena came in to pitch run. Pena was running on the 1-1 pitch to Miranda, and looked like he had the base stolen, but Miranda swung at the pitch and hit a grounder back to Papelbon who threw him out at first. The Yankees were down to their final out and it was up to Randy Winn. He put up a good fight, working the count full and fouling off several tough pitches, but on the eighth pitch of the at-bat he couldn't catch up to a 94 mph fastball and struck out swinging to end the game.

It was a sloppy and embarrassing loss for the Yankees and even if they had pulled it out this game still would have been a disappointment. Blowing a five-run lead one night is one thing, but two nights in a row in your home ballpark is unacceptable. The struggles of the Yankees pen is also becoming a major concern. Besides that, the Yankees lineup wasted several opportunities to blow this game open. Their best chance came in the sixth when they loaded the bases with one out, but Brett Gardner grounded into a force out at home, and Teixeira popped out to third to end the inning. For the game the Yankees left 12 men on base and went just 3-for-15 with RISP.

Things aren't going to get any easier for the Yanks who now host the first place Rays for a short two-game series before starting interleague play. A.J. Burnett will start for the Yankees tomorrow, with Wade Davis going for the Rays. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. and the game will be on YES and ESPN.

Derek Jeter, SS4010122.268
Brett Gardner, CF4110113.321
Mark Teixeira, 1B4100115.219
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4220102.290
Robinson Cano, 2B5123001.325
Francisco Cervelli, C4000012.375
Marcus Thames, RF2000311.352
Ramiro Pena, PR0000000.194
Juan Miranda, DH5122012.231
Randy Winn, LF4001132.196

2B: Gardner (4, Beckett), Cano 2 (10, Beckett, Papelbon).
HR: Miranda (1, 4th inning off Beckett, 0 on, 2 out).
TB: Jeter; Gardner 2; Rodriguez, A 2; Cano 4; Miranda 5.
RBI: Miranda 2 (2), Winn (7), Cano 3 (27).
2-out RBI: Miranda; Cano 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Jeter 2; Cervelli; Teixeira 3; Thames; Winn 2.
S: Cervelli.
Team RISP: 3-for-15.
Team LOB: 12.

Outfield Assists - Brett Gardner 1
DP - Jeter-Cano-Teixeira
E - Alex Rodriguez (4, Throwing), Marcus Thames (2, Dropped fly)

CC Sabathia74113513.43
Joba Chamberlain14430004.91
Mariano Rivera (L,0-1)12200001.46
Pitches-Strikes - CC Sabathia 112-66, Joba Chamberlain 31-17, Mariano Rivera 29-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - CC Sabathia 8-7, Joba Chamberlain 3-0, Mariano Rivera 2-2
Batters Faced - CC Sabathia 27, Joba Chamberlain 7, Mariano Rivera 6

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Kevin Youkilis (2-for-3, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 2 R)
HONORABLE MENTION: Jeremy Hermida (1-for-1 w/ game-winning two-run double)
GOAT OF THE GAME: Joba Chamberlain, Marcus Thames, Mariano Rivera

blog comments powered by Disqus