Starting to get tired of having to write game recaps involving the bullpen betraying the team.
Of course, the 'pen may not have even had a chance to cough up the lead had Home Run Javy Vazquez not given up five earned runs in a mere three innings pitched, marking his fifth straight disappointing start. The Yankees have now lost in four of Vazquez's five outings. I'm no psychologist, and I think the whole "so-and-so can't pitch in New York" thing is overblown, so I'm not going to say Javier Vazquez can't pitch in New York. We've seen him do it before. He can. However, right now, he's not pitching in New York.
Small sample size or not, a 9.78 ERA through five starts is cause for alarm. Home Run Javy has also lived up to his nickname and then some, having surrendered a Major League-leading 8 home runs. Something is clearly not right with Vazquez, although I'm not sure what the Yankees can do to fix him. He's not going to accept a minor league assignment, which means if he's not injured he'll have to continue to work his struggles out every fifth day. Of course, if he continues to get hammered he's not giving the team a chance to win every five days, and so the other alternative would be a demotion to the bullpen. I was half-joking when I clamored for Joba back to the rotation yesterday, knowing full well the team is committed to Joba in the bullpen this year, although I'd hope they'd at least ponder the option. Obviously the more likely scenario would be Sergio Mitre taking over Vazquez's slot in the rotation, which, whatever. We all know how that movie ends.
Despite being buried in an early 5-1 hole, the Yanks battled all the way back and actually took the lead on a rare Nick Swisher two-run bomb at home. Crawling back from a four-run deficit is no easy task, and the Yanks seemed poised to take down a victory in spite of their starter.
While Mitre valiantly held the Sox at bay for three scoreless innings, David Robertson and Damaso Marte unfortunately could not get the job done yet again, as doubles from Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski wound up setting up and bringing in the tying and go-ahead runs.
The Yankees had plenty of opportunities throughout the game to score, but couldn't push the tying the run across in the last three innings, falling to the White Sox 7-6 and evening the series at 1. Oh yea, and if that wasn't bad enough, Curtis Granderson pulled up lame running the bases in the sixth inning, and the Yankees hope their center fielder will only be on the DL for 15 days. Unfortunately Granderson was mired in a slump, already prompting second-guessing from the mainstream media as to whether the Yankees shouldn't have traded for him (as if Austin Jackson would even be in the Bronx by now if he was still in the Yankees' system). This is just silliness, but until Granderson comes back and starts raking again and/or Jackson's ridiculous BABIP finally corrects itself, we're going to be subjected to stories like this for a while.
The Yanks go for their seventh series win in 8 tries this afternoon at 1pm.