Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Soriano Stumbles As Yanks Blow 4-0 Lead


Final 10th12345678910RHE
Minnesota «0000000401570
N.Y. Yankees3100000000460
WP: M. Capps (1-0) LP: B. Logan (0-1)
SV: J. Nathan (2)

Whether it's April or August, a loss like last night's stings. Not only do you blow a 4-0 lead with six outs to go and waste a great start by your ace, but you also give a team that you've dominated over the years, a little extra confidence going forward.

I've heard many people second-guessing some of Girardi's bullpen decisions. The big one is why didn't he bring in David Robertson to start the 8th instead of going with Soriano on back-to-back games with a 4-0 lead. We all know how closers and setup men tend to do worse when there isn't as much pressure on them. His response to the media when asked that question was that he went with Soriano "because he's our 8th inning guy." To me that is a far too simple answer, but the bottom line is Soriano has to be able to get those outs and tonight he didn't.

To be honest, I agree and wanted to see D-Rob in that spot. But let's say Girardi had he gone with Robinson and he blew the game, wouldn't we all be sitting here asking why Soriano wasn't in because he's supposed to be the 8th inning guy?

As far as why he struggled, it was clearly a command issue and an extremely rare one for Soriano. According to Joel Sherman, it was actually the first time he's ever walked three batters in a single relief appearance. A very bad outing, but nothing more than that. Just put it in the rear view and move forward. However, he did something after the game that won't make that so easy: avoiding the media.

 Marc Carig tweeted last night that Soriano was "nowhere to be found in clubhouse" after the game. To me, this is much more unacceptable than his performance during the game. I know I don't have to tell you guys that this kind of stuff won't fly in this town, but someone in that clubhouse better tell Soriano.  

But he wasn't the only Yankee to blame for this one. Boone Logan started off the 10th inning with the dreaded lead-off walk leading to the Twins 5th and winning run, but at least he was man enough to talk about it after the game. 

For the second straight game the Yankees scored all of their runs in the first two innings. Maybe it happened because Brian Duensing last night and Scott Baker the night before made the proper adjustments to the Yankees hitters, or maybe the Yankees just sat back and waited for a three-run homer that never came. Hopefully it's the former and not a bad habit that this team falls in to.

Shifting gears a bit here are the positives from the game:

CC Sabathia was great, even without his best command. He allowed just two hits while walking one and striking out six over seven shutout innings (104 pitches-67 strikes). His only blemish on the night was a shaky start to the 2nd when he allowed two on with one out, but settled down quickly and followed that up by retiring the final 17 batters he faced. He now has a 1.38 ERA over his first two starts.

Mark Teixeira continues to put his past Aprils behind him. He went 1-for-4 with a 3-run homer in the 1st, his league-leading 4th home run and 10th RBI of the year.

An inning later, Andruw Jones started off his Yankees career in style, lining a solo homer into the seats in left.

.... That's about it. 

Tomorrow, Freddy Garcia makes his Yankees debut, with former Yankee (I guess) Carl Pavano on the hill for the Twins. First pitch is 7:05 PM.

D Jeter SS41101121.167.273.167
N Swisher RF4120019.333.409.389
M Teixeira 1B41130010.333.4551.000
A Rodriguez 3B40100114.333.429.778
R Cano 2B40000016.238.273.429
J Posada DH40000211.222.300.722
R Martin C30001121.353.389.588
A Jones LF31110113.333.3331.333
C Granderson CF40000116.176.222.353
HR: M Teixeira (4, 1st inning off B Duensing 2 on, 0 Out); A Jones (1, 2nd inning off B Duensing 0 on, 1 Out)
RBI: M Teixeira 3 (10), A Jones (1)
GIDP: J Posada
Yankees RISP: 1-1 (M Teixeira 1-1)
Team LOB: 3
DP: 1 (A Rodriguez-R Cano-M Teixeira).

C Sabathia7.0200160104-671.38
R Soriano0.214431032-1613.50
D Robertson
(B, 1)
M Rivera1.010002013-100.00
B Logan
(L, 0-1)
L Ayala1.000010013-86.00
B Logan pitched to 3 batters in the 10th
First-pitch strikes/Batters faced: C Sabathia 13/24; R Soriano 2/6; D Robertson 0/2; M Rivera 3/4; B Logan 2/3; L Ayala 2/3 
Called strikes-Swinging strikes-Foul balls-In Play strikes: C Sabathia 19-10-22-16; R Soriano 7-1-6-2; D Robertson 0-1-5-1; M Rivera 2-2-4-2; B Logan 0-1-4-2; L Ayala 2-1-3-2 
Ground Balls-Fly Balls: C Sabathia 5-10; R Soriano 0-1; D Robertson 0-0; M Rivera 1-0; B Logan 0-0; L Ayala 2-1
Game Scores: C Sabathia 78

GOAT OF THE GAME: Rafael Soriano

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