Yesterday’s game between the Twins and the Yankees ended when Alex Rodriguez, on a 3-1 pitch, flied out to Carlos Gomez. A-Rod, 1 for 6 against Jesse Crain prior to that at bat, represented the last gasp for a dying team, and he didn’t come through. The three batters that had to face Joe Nathan were simply a formality, and the Yanks went down in defeat, 4-1, to the Twins.
In this game, the Yanks had their chances. Darrell Rasner, the Yanks’ sixth or even seventh starter, threw five effective innings. He allowed three runs — two earned — on four hits and a walk. With four strike outs, Rasner threw better than he had since the start of July. While he left on the wrong end of a 3-1 game, a Robinson Cano error prevented it from being 2-1 or even tied.
But again, the Yankees couldn’t get their offense going. They scored their two runs on a single and a wild pitch, and while A-Rod’s eighth inning out was the most egregious example of failure, no one came through. Johnny Damon, Bobby Abreu, Xavier Nady, Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera combined to go 0 for 16, and the Yanks just left four runners on base.
On the other side of the ball, the Yanks’ pitchers had another rough day, health-wise. Dan Giese, throwing three days after his last start, left with shoulder stiffness in the sixth. It was just another man day in a long season of injures.
Elsewhere in the AL, the Yanks saw Boston kill Chicago Texas. With the Boston win and the Yanks loss, the Bombers fell six games behind Boston for the Wild Card with 41 games left to play. The Yanks are 3.5 games behind Minnesota and are fading fast. While Phil Hughes and, eventually, Joba Chamberlain on the mend, the Yankees will offer their fans some excitement this season. But I’m going to start making plans for October that don’t, for the first time since 1994, involve the Yankees. Hopefully, I’ll have to cancel those plans, but right now, after a 3-7 road trip, I’m not too optimistic.