(photos from the AP and Getty)
Like Michael Kay said at the conclusion of the game, "that, my friends, was a very tough loss." Giving up two six-run leads to the last place Indians is absolutely inexcusable. It was a game the Yankees had in the bag, but thanks to some awful pitching they pissed it away and turned it into their worst loss of the season.
As far as the offense goes, I can't complain. 11 runs and 13 hits should be enough on any day. Derek Jeter, Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano each had three hits. Jeter and Swish each doubled and drove in a run. Jeter scored three runs, Swish scored two. Cano drove in three with a double, extended his hitting streak to 12, and raised his average to .359. Alex Rodriguez also had a nice game, going 2-for-4, with a double and 3 RBI, but his double was the big story for all the wrong reasons.
He came to the plate with runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the third and the Yankees leading 1-0. Alex hammered a first-pitch changeup from Indians starter David Huff and line it off the southpaws head. The ball bounced all the way to right field and the Yanks would score a run on the play, but the only thing anyone was concerned about was Huff who was laying face down on the mound. He remained on the ground for a few minutes before being placed on a stretcher and carted off the field. As Huff was heading off the field he gave the crowd a thumbs up and received a standing ovation. He was immediately taken to Columbia Presbyterian for a CT scan, which thankfully came back negative.
After that point in the game the Yankees opened up a 9-3, and then 10-4 lead and all seemed well as the Yankees were on their way to their 30th win of the year. Then it all went wrong. I'm not going to go over all of it, I'm just going to blame a bunch of people.
CC Sabathia: The Yankees ace gave up five runs on seven hits in six innings to the light-hitting Indians. A team that ranks 12th out of 14 AL teams in runs scored, and is slugging just .363. After being handed a 3-0 lead in the third, he responded by giving up three runs. Then, after the Yankees made it 9-3 with a six spot in the fourth, he gave up individual runs in the fifth and sixth. This is now his third bad start in four tries and on the year he has a mediocre 4.16 ERA.
Joba Chamberlain: After some shoddy relief work (which I'll discuss later) Joba had to come into the game one out earlier than normal, and with runners on first and second. Needing just one out against this lineup you had to feel that Chamberlain could get the job done.
RBI Single--walk--two-run double--two-run double--RBI single, and the Indians had taken 12-10 lead. In a third of an inning Joba allowed four runs on four hits and a walk, and his ERA ballooned to 5.82. He was throwing hard, hitting 97 on the radar gun, but velocity doesn't mean a thing if you can't locate your pitches. Joba consistently missed his spots and left the ball up in the zone, and when he was ahead he couldn't put away hitters. It was a total disaster for Joba who left the mound to a chorus of well deserved boos.
Joba has been hit or miss all season, and I'm not sure what the Yankees should do with him. If they had a solid pen around him I'd suggest moving him out of the setup role or even down to the minors if these struggles continue. But at this point the Yankees don't have better options. Aceves is hurt, Robertson has been ineffective, Park stinks, and Mitre and Gaudin are nothing more than mop-up guys. All I know is that this pen needs to be fixed because it's a complete mess right now.
Some minor blame belongs to these two Yankees relievers:
David Robertson: He left after just seven pitches with an injury, but while he was out there he was pretty bad. He allowed a single and hit a batter in just a third of an inning, but had he been 100% you never know how things play out. Luckily the injury doesn't appear to be serious, and when he left the game the Yankees were still up by four runs.
Sergio Mitre: Came in to replace Robertson with a 1-0 count on Jhonny Peralta and threw three straight balls to walk him. A lefty was on deck and Girardi went with Marte, so after just three pitches Mitre's day was done.
During and after the game I heard a lot of people complaining on Twitter and some forums about the way Joe Girardi managed the seventh inning. And while certain moves, like bringing in Mitre for three pitches and then using Marte for just one batter, are slightly odd, overall I can't complain. Did he over manage a bit? Probably. However, with the way this bullpen has been struggling it's very hard for him to do anything that works so I can't really blame him.
Anyway, this is a loss the Yankees need to put in their rear view mirror and forget about. I know I want to.
Hopefully they can get back in the win column today withTon the mound. Former Red Sox Justin Masterson will get the start for Cleveland. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. and the game will be on YES.