Yanks drop a Sunday contest in Minneapolis

Rumors, rumors everywhere
Brian Cashman is confused by Chris Britton, too

En route to a 5-1 win on Sunday, the Twins managed to plate five of their 13 base runners. The Yankees managed to score just one run — on a Derek Jeter solo shot — while 10 other base runners were either erased via the double play or left stranded. And that, my friends, makes all the difference.

After a hot stretch of hitting well over .300 with runners in scoring position, the Yanks returned to their lethargic ways yesterday. Darrell Rasner did what a fifth starter does; he threw 5.1 innings and gave up four runs. He allowed far too many base runners — 10 for a WHIP of 1.88 — but struck out five as he fell to 3-2. The Yanks meanwhile couldn’t get much of anything going against Nick Blackburn, and when a Bobby Abreu line drive hit Blackburn, who is okay, the Bombers couldn’t muster much against the Twins bullpen.

In the end, it’s tough to look at this game and complain. Unlike their extra-innings loss to Baltimore last week, this wasn’t a game the Yanks let slip away, and the team is an impressive 7-3 over their last 10 games. If they play .700 ball the rest of the way, they’ll end the season with 102 wins. It’s an unlikely outcome, but the sky certainly isn’t falling.

The only problem, though, is that the Yanks have once again put themselves in a situation where they have to win. By starting off slowly for yet another season, the Yanks find themselves playing catch up, and unlike previous years where they were just trying to catch up to the Red Sox, they are chasing both the Red Sox and the up-start Tampa Bay Rays, the AL’s best team right now.

The Yanks have gained two games on Boston during their hot streak, but they’ve ceded a game to Tampa who is 8-2 with two walk-off wins over their last 10 contests. The Yanks clearly won’t win every day, but they’re in a position where they seemingly have to.

Rumors, rumors everywhere
Brian Cashman is confused by Chris Britton, too
  • Chip

    I was at the game tonight and it just didn’t seem like their night. Rasner didn’t pitch very poorly but didn’t pitch well either. The Yankees really should have scored in the first few innings which would have changed everything. I was thrilled to see Patterson and Britton though. Britton did fairly well where you could see Patterson was a bit nervous. Overall, I agree with Ben that it wasn’t an ugly loss but it just wasn’t their night

  • http://www.overheardinnewyork.com NC Saint

    I agree that we shouldn’t complain with the recent run we’ve been having, but I found this loss especially frustrating. As much as you hate to see anyone get hurt, when the opposing starter goes down in the 5th the day after they used every pitcher in their bullpen, it’s time to run up the score.

    Plus, it’s upsetting to see Patterson struggle in his first outing. I know Torre is gone, but I’ve been conditioned to worry that this means he’ll never be given a serious shot with the major league club.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      I’ve been conditioned to worry that this means he’ll never be given a serious shot with the major league club.

      Paging Chris Britton…

  • Rich

    It is hard to understand what Britton has to do to get a shot. Based on his recent quotes, it has baffled* Cashman as well. Not that he projects to be anything more than a secondary or tertiary reliever, but neither does, Albaladejo, and he was used fairly often.

    In terms of offense, Posada’s absence probably went a long way towards demonstrating just how valuable he is to the significant segment of the fan base that has underappreciated him for too long. He will be a sight for sore eyes.


    The Yankees’ reluctance to use Britton has been confounding to many Yankees bloggers, and Brian Cashman sounded similarly baffled when asked about Britton on Wednesday. Cashman said he would never tell his manager how to run a game, but he seemed hopeful that Joe Girardi would give Britton more of a chance.

    “It’s about opportunity,” Cashman said. “He has not failed in any capacity at any level. Every chance he’s gotten, he’s had success, period. That’s what defines Chris Britton. I can’t tell you any more than that.”

    • A.D.

      Great Britton quote

  • A.D.

    Gotta chalk Sunday up to sometimes you loose, need to come out and get tonights game because splitting with Minnesota is just treading water, taking 3 out of 4 is progress. On top of that Tuesday will be interesting with Joba SP debut against Halladay

  • http://www.workwithpete.com Pete

    If that’s a bad Rasner start, I’ll still take it over one of Hughes or Kennedy’s stinkers this year. 5.1 innings is light years ahead of 3 or 4.

  • RustyJohn

    Frustrating offensive performance- actually I think the loss of Blackburn may hae helped the Twins as he was starting to get hit rather hard. The only other thing that was upsetting, although understandable, was letting Rasner go out there for the 6th. Yes, the pen was used like a porn star the night before, but he appeared tired during the 5th.