Their ace, despite laboring due to the disgusting mist the teams were forced to play through, tossed seven innings of one-run ball against the second-best offense in the AL.I'm not ashamed to admit that we left after the 6th inning. It's the first Yankee game in ages I didn't stay until the end for, and I'm not sad for one second that we left. I only had my suit jacket on and was absolutely freezing and tired from standing up the entire time. At the end of the 6th it was 10:30pm, I was tired and more than happy to watch the rest of the game at home. And I'm sure glad I did, as I can't imagine how enraged I would've been had I stayed to watch what unfolded.
They had a 5-1 lead at the culmination of those seven innings.
Josh Beckett was unable to make it through five full innings.
The Red Sox bullpen has been a weak link for Boston thus far (though clearly not as awful as the Yankees' has).
Due to the nonstop rain, my dad and I never bothered going to our seats, instead opting to watch the entire game while standing in the concourse, a la ALCS Game 2. After four hours of standing in unseasonably cold weather--which I was completely ill-prepared for, as I figured the game would get called -- the least the team could've done was hold on to a Goddamn lead.
As we left the Stadium, my dad and I looked at each other and said "this game's far from over," given the bullpen's disastrous work of late, but deep down we hoped a 5-1 lead was enough. After all, new Yankee Stadium isn't Fenway Park. Unfortunately we were right about the 'pen, as I turned on my TV once I got home to find that the Sox had climbed back to 5-4, and then tied it up on Papi's next at-bat.
Now obviously we can't fault Mariano Rivera for what happened in the 9th inning -- Marcus Thames has no business coming within 20 feet of a baseball glove, and if Randy Winn wasn't standing practically in the infield he probably catches Jeremy Hermida's go-ahead two-run double. Not to mention the fact that Mariano had strike three on Darnell McDonald yet the umpire refused to call it. Still, Mo clearly wasn't quite as sharp as usual, although he pitched well enough to hypothetically have kept the game tied.
And had the game stayed tied, the Yanks had a pretty good shot at walking off in the bottom of the 9th. As it stood, they still had a fantastic shot at tying the game after Robbie Cano doubled A-Rod home to bring the Yanks within one with no outs yet. The tying run on second with no outs! How do you not get that man home?? Well, when the bottom half of your lineup contains a wide variety of crap I suppose it's not as much of a surprise.
Here's why the Yankees lost:
With Cano representing the tying run on 2nd base with no outs, Joe Girardi elected to have Francisco Cervelli -- his best hitter with runners in scoring position -- lay down a sacrifice bunt. I know Cervelli's magic pixie dust has to wear off sooner or later and he laid down an excellent bunt, but COME ON. Why not let Cervelli swing away there?? You've got three opportunities to get a game-tying base hit with the ass-end of the lineup coming up. Why would you punt a single out??In the grand scheme of things, it's just another loss, and the Yanks still lead the season series against the Sox 5-3. We need to quickly turn the page and look forward to hosting the best team in baseball the next two nights.
Marcus Thames inexplicably continues to get reps in the field. I know he was Monday night's hero and all, but good lord Marcus you have to catch that ball in the top of the 9th inning! Given that the depleted Yankees need his bat in the lineup this is exactly why I was advocating for him to be the DH in Nick Johnson's stead. Even the most routine of pop-ups are an adventure with Thames in the field and I fear he is going to fail to make a clean play every single time a ball is hit to him. The Marcus Thames Outfield Experiment HAS to end.
The Yankees had several opportunities to build their lead -- most notably the sixth, in which they loaded the bases with one out but couldn't plate any runs as the inning ending with Tex weakly popping out.
The bullpen blew a game in the 8th inning for the third straight day! And it was the second straight game that the BoSox came back from a five-run deficit! Remember how we were talking about the bullpen sucking yesterday? Not even the two guys who have mostly been doing their job were able to get it done last night.
The Yankees continue to pitch to Kevin Youkilis. The Fackin' Youkstah went 2-3 with two walks, including a solo job that got the Sawx on the board in the sixth. Youkilis now owns a career line of .326/.455(!!!)/.516 against the Yankees.
Randy Winn remains on this team. Sadly the decimated Yankee lineup actually needs him right now, but sweet Jesus is he a disgrace at the plate. Did anybody think Winn wasn't going to strike out against Papelbon there? Don't get me wrong, it should never have even come down to Winn needing a base hit in the final at-bat of the game, but there was just no way he was coming through there. Not entirely sure why Nick Swisher wasn't available to pinch-hit; I guess Girardi didn't want to risk having to put him in the field.
Although given how many things went wrong in last night's game, it's tough not to stew for at least a little while in the aftermath.