Before we take a look at what went wrong in this game, let’s first take a look at the positives:
- Andy Pettitte rebounded nicely from a pair of rough starts, gutting out 7 innings just when the team needed it most.
- Alex Rodriguez broke out of a 2 for 20 slump, reaching base three times with a pair of booming doubles.
- Derek Jeter didn’t ground into a rally killing/inning ending double play.
- Both Boston and Minnesota lost, meaning the Yanks lost ground only to the ChiSox in the Wildcard chase.
So now that that’s out of the way, let’s get down to business and highlight the boo-boos.
- A-Rod trying to steal third in the 8th inning. What the freak was that about? He was already in scoring position with the team’s hottest hitter staring down a 2-0 count with only one out in the inning. Sure stealing third means he can score on a wild pitch or sac fly, but sometimes the best thing to do is nothing. Classic example of a guy trying to do too much.
- Joe Girardi’s substitutions in the 9th inning. Why would you pinch-hit the guy with a .278 OBP leading off the inning while not using the guy with a .394 OBP until there were two outs. Isn’t that completely ass backwards?
- Marte coming back out for the 9th. He had just thrown 17 stressful pitches to retire the Halos’ 4-5-6 hitters with a runner on first, and instead of using THE GREATEST RELIEF PITCHER IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE (who was well rested after working just 3 innings total in the last 12 days) Girardi sends Marte back out there. Two men predictably reached base, and by then it was too little too late. After throwing 29 pitches today, Marte is likely unavailable for tomorrow’s game against the Twins, whose two best hitters happen to be lefties (on a sidenote, Marte’s IP total this year is already his highest since 2004). And spare me that “Mo struggles when the score is tied” junk, is there really someone on this staff you’d rather have out there in that situation?
- The 15-hopper through the hole to end the game. Seriously Robbie, at least dive to make it look like you’re trying.
Things look ugly now, but there’s still 44 games left in the season and they’re only 4.0 games back in the Wildcard. Considering that the Yanks have endured injuries to basically everyone except Mo, Abreu and Moose, that’s not that bad. Anyone who thinks the season’s over hasn’t learning anything from last year.
The team does need to wake up though. It’s time to cut the shit and play with a little urgency.