Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wasted Chances Lead to Yanks 2-1 Loss

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Boston «020000000260
N.Y. Yankees000000010161
WP: J. Lester (12-7) LP: P. Hughes (13-5)
SV: J. Papelbon (28)

Splitting four with the Sox isn't the worst thing in the world, but the Yankees had many opportunities, especially in the late innings, to win yesterday and take the series three games to one.

Both starting pitchers pitched very well in what turned into a pitchers duel in the Bronx. Phil Hughes allowed two runs on six hits over six solid innings. Both Red Sox runs came in the second off Hughes. A throwing error by Jorge Posada didn't help matters.

With the run support he's used to getting from the Yanks, that's normally more than enough for a win, but Jon Lester was even better for Boston. The left-hander held the Yankees hit-less over the first four, and scoreless over 6.1 innings. He gave up just four hits and walked three, while striking out six.

One of those hits--a long drive to right-center in the 7th by Marcus Thames--came within inches of being a game-tying two-run home. The ball hit the very top of the wall, but instead of going over it bounced back and Thames had to settle for a double. Still, the Yankees had 2nd and 3rd with nobody out and Austin Kearns was about to get hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Lester and reliever Daniel Bard would leave all three runners right where they were. Lester struck out Curtis Granderson for the first out before being replaced by Bard, who then fanned Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher to end the inning.

It was one of many wasted chances on the day for the Yanks. Two innings earlier they have runners on the corners with two out against Lester, but once again Swisher couldn't come through with the big hit and struck out. Both Swisher and Granderson had days to forget, combining to go 0-for-9 with 5 K's and 12 men left on base.

The Yankees finally got on the board in the 8th, when Mark Teixeira launched a Bard fastball deep into the second deck in right for a solo homer. Alex Rodriguez then singled to put the tying run on base. Joe Girardi decided to go for the run and pinch-ran for A-Rod with Brett Gardner, a move that I had no problems with. There was a problem, however, and that was Gardner's hesitancy to do what he was put in there to do and steal a base. He did move to second on a ground out by Robinson Cano, but it wasn't enough. The Yankees would eventually leave runners on 1st and 2nd when Lance Berkman flew out and Austin Kearns grounded out.

They had another chance to tie the game in the 9th off Jonathan Papelbon when Jeter walked and stole second with one out. Once again the Yanks would come up short as Papelbon struck out both Swisher and Teixeira to end the game.

As you can see, it was a game the Yankees easily could have won. As a team they went 0-for-9 with RISP and left 11 men on base. They will now head to Texas for a two-game series against the first-place Rangers. A.J. Burnett will start the opener for the Yanks, with C.J. Wilson going for Texas. First pitch is 8:05 p.m. and the game will be on MY9 and MLBN.

Derek Jeter , SS4010114.279
Nick Swisher , RF5000037.295
Mark Teixeira , 1B5111031.259
Alex Rodriguez , 3B3010110.264
Brett Gardner , PR0000000.283
Robinson Cano , 2B3000102.329
Jorge Posada , C3010102.258
Marcus Thames , LF3010011.304
a-Lance Berkman , PH-DH1000002.240
Austin Kearns , RF2010102.269
Curtis Granderson , CF4000025.240
a-Flied out for M Thames in the 8th.
2B - M Thames (5)
HR - M Teixeira (26)
RBI - M Teixeira (85)
RISP - 0-9 (D Jeter 0-1, M Teixeira 0-1, C Granderson 0-1, L Berkman 0-1, A Kearns 0-1, N Swisher 0-4)

SB - D Jeter (12)
E - J Posada (7)

Phil Hughes (L,13-5)6.06221303.92
Kerry Wood1.00001105.55
Boone Logan0.10000003.00
Joba Chamberlain1.20001105.07
First-pitch strikes/Batters faced - P Hughes 14/25; K Wood 2/5; B Logan 1/1; J Chamberlain 3/6
Called strikes-Swinging strikes-Foul balls-In Play strikes - P Hughes 20-8-25-21; K Wood 2-2-4-2; B Logan 1-0-1-1; J Chamberlain 1-3-7-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - P Hughes 6-9; K Wood 0-2; B Logan 0-1; J Chamberlain 2-2

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Jon Lester (W, 6.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K)
HONORABLE MENTION: Jonathan Papelbon (SV, 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 3 K)
GOATS OF THE GAME: Curtis Granderson & Nick Swisher

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