As far as losses go, tonight’s was fairly expected. The Yanks were facing the NL’s ERA leader, and the team had just won seven in a row. But in a way, this loss is a bit infuriating too. With Boston and Tampa Bay both losing, the Yanks lost a chance to gain some ground. If only the breaks had gone their way.
The biggest play in the game was, besides a few early caught stealings, Johnny Damon’s non-error on a fly ball he’ll tell he should have caught. Leading off the fifth Edwin Encarnacion hit a hard line drive at Damon, and as the Yanks’ left fielder went for the catch, he lost the ball in the glare from the lights at twilight in the Bronx. Encarnacion was awarded a double.
A few batters later — after an intentional walk that Mussina did not want to issue — Jolbert Cabrera picked up his third of four hits and drove in two runs. While he would score — and Ken Griffey would oddly high-five the umpire — the damage was done, and those two runs, the Reds’ second and third of the game, would hold up. (Later on in the game, Cabrera would leave the game with a severely dislocated finger after sliding head-first into second base. Feet first is the way to go.)
For the Yankees, they just couldn’t get any breaks. Jason Giambi missed a game-changing home run in the 7th by about a quarter of an inch when he lofted a deep fly ball to left-center field, and Wilson Betemit drove one deep only to see Jay Bruce haul it in with his back literally to the wall.
The story of the night heading into the game was Volquez, and he did not disappoint. He gave up two earned runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out five. The Yanks lost, but they didn’t gain any ground. I’ll take eight wins out of ten games any time of the season.
Game Notes Jason Giambi made the final out of the game as the potential tying run and went 0 for 4 on the night. He is now 0 for his last 12 since homering twice against San Diego on Tuesday. While we may have spoke too soon, I’d expect a hot streak from Giambi soon.