The Rangers walked off on the Yankees for the second straight night, winning 7-6 in one of the stranger games I can recall in recent memory. This one featured an hour rain delay, eight strikeouts by the Yankee offense through the first four innings, continued offensive ineptitude, ridiculous overmanaging by both Joe Girardi and Ron Washington for a second straight night (both men used seven pitchers each), Alex Rodriguez finally breaking through and scoring what would have been three more stranded baserunners in the eighth inning to out the Yankees ahead 6-5, and a rare Mariano Rivera blown save and loss as he hit Jeff Francoeur with a pitch with the bases loaded to force in the winning run.
In addition to the continued offensive ineptitude of the Yankee lineup, Girardi didn't do his team too many favors in this one, sending up four pinch-hitters and, in perhaps the strangest move I've ever seen, having Francisco Cervelli bunt on a 3-0 count despite the fact that Eduardo Nunez had successfully stolen second to put himself in scoring position with no outs in the top of the ninth! I suppose it's possible that Cervelli elected to bunt on his own, but either way it was by far one of the most inexplicable plays imaginable. Had Cervelli reached base it would've been his ninth straight plate appearance reaching safely; instead he pulled this incredibly head-scratching move that completely backfired since Marcus Thames and Nick Swisher couldn't get the insurance run home.
Although with the way Mo was struggling with his control in the bottom half of the inning the extra run might not have mattered. He gave up the tying run with no outs on a walk and two straight hits, managed to record an out, intentionally walked Chris Davis and then hit Francoeur with his very next pitch. I'm still not even really sure how to react to that.
Ugly, ugly, ugly, and it doesn't get any easier for the New York Stranded Baserunners -- now 1-5 over their last six, with 57(!) runners left on base, per RAB -- as they get to face Cliff Lee in the 3pm finale on Sunday. And then they get to play three more on the road at Tampa Bay, who is now a 1/2 game out of first place. On a positive note, it's hard to imagine the Yankees playing much worse than they have during the past week.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Texas notches second walk-off win against Yankees in a row in second straight ugly, ridiculously overmanaged game
by Larry Koestler