There’s no need to declare the Yankee season over that. I’ll let David Pinto’s eloquent eulogy carry the day in that regard.
After all, just a year ago, the Colorado Rockies, the NL’s 2007 World Series representative, were 6.5 games out of the Wild Card. The Yankees are down; they’re not playing well; and Joe Girardi, as David Cone opined on the post-game show tonight, doesn’t really know what to do with this group of ballplayers. But until they’re mathematically eliminated, I’m not ready to throw in the towel. They do, however, have a very steep climb ahead of them.
Tonight, the game started and ended with the Yankee pitching. Sidney Ponson got off to a rocky start in the first inning. Before the Yanks had a chance to bat, they were facing a 2-0 deficit, and Ponson didn’t seem to have that sinker working. But Ponson seemed to right the ship for a few innings, and he pitched through the second, third and fourth without incident.
In the fifth, with the Yanks and Red Sox knotted at two, Ponson allowed another two runs, and Joe Girardi quickly yanked him. Again, a Yankee pitcher couldn’t get out of the fifth, and again the bullpen would be called up on for more than four innings of work.
The bullpen wasn’t up for the job. While Edwar Ramirez and Damaso Marte kept things under control, Jose Veras and David Robertson, once again called upon in a situation in which he was nearly obligated to fail, allowed seven runs in the eighth. That would be all for the Yankees.
Ponson allowed 11 baserunners in 4.2 innings. The bullpen allowed seven earned runs in one inning of work while tossing up zeroes in the other 3.1, and when the game ended, it didn’t matter that A-Rod was 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI. It didn’t matter that Jason Giambi blasted yet another home run off Mike Timlin. All that mattered was that Lisfranc injury to Chien-Ming Wang, that reliance on starters that just shouldn’t be here, and an offense that just isn’t doing what it should be doing.
The Yanks are down. But I’m not ready to count them out. Hope springs eternal, even with September growing closer.