Yanks sloppy in nightcap, lose to Red Sox


(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

When he was standing on the mound, Burnett did not have his worst game. He got through six innings and allowed four runs, three earned, while striking out five and walking just two. That’s not a $17.5 million performance, but with the way Burnett has pitched this season it was a welcome one. What wasn’t welcome was a sequence that needlessly cost the Yankees a run.

I understand that the ump was indecisive with his call. The first thing they teach you, at the lowest level of umpiring, is to make your calls quickly and decisively. The first base ump delayed a bit, which might have caused some confusion. And yes, the runner very well might have been out. A few replay angles made it look that way. But none of that excuses Burnett losing focus of the still-live play. Not only did Daniel Nava score, but Josh Reddick advanced all the way to third with none out.

Thankfully Burnett did come back to strike out the next two hitters before getting Eric Patterson to line out to short. But even that wasn’t without sloppy play. Francisco Cervelli dropped a pop-up, which would have made for a nice, easy out with the runner on third. That inning had the potential to be quite a bit worse, but the one run ended up being the difference.

One decision that came back to bite Joe Girardi was sticking with Royce Ring. Playing match-up is one thing, but doing it with a AAA lefty is another. He did his job by retiring J.D. Drew to end the seventh, and with four lefties coming up I suppose I understand the desire to leave him in. But after he walked the pinch-hitter Jed Lowrie I’m not sure I’d leave him in. That’s probably second-guessing, though. In any case, Ring just gave up another single, but that set up the Red Sox to score two runs in the inning, tying the game.

The second run was of the most inexcusable kind. With one out and runners on first and second Ivan Nova pitched around pinch hitter David Ortiz and loaded the bases. That brought up No. 9 hitter Kevin Cash. Walking a guy with the bases loaded is already one of the most frustrating outcomes in baseball. This was the No. 9 hitter, a guy who has a .246 OBP this year and a .248 OBP lifetime. Yet Nova walked him. It induces hair-pulling and brick lobbing.

For the second straight game the Yankees had plenty of chances with runners in scoring position, but came up with a hit in just one of 16 chances. To which I say: eh. It happens sometimes. The A lineup wasn’t in, so a poor or slumping hitter was just a couple of batters away at all times. The game would have been much more frustrating, though probably a bit quicker, had they gone, say, 1 for 3 with RISP.

Here’s the WPA stuff and here’s the box score.

It now takes a Tampa Bay loss for the Yankees to win the East. I don’t think it’s a big deal either way. Home field is nice, but not necessary. The Yanks will hand the ball to Dustin Moseley, while the Sox will have John Lackey make one final start in the 2010 season.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. Carlosologist says:

    Bring on the Twinkies. And wow this season came and went.

  2. RJ says:

    Um, someone explain why they weren’t walking Patterson to try to set up the double play! Also, why did Kay not even mention them not walking him?!! WTF?!

    • Big Stein says:

      why did Kay not even mention them not walking him?!
      Because Kay was spending all his time bashing AJ.

  3. Accent Shallow says:

    I really hope this ends the desire to see Royce Ring (!) On the postseason roster (!!!). Being an LHP is not a pass for having garbage stuff.

  4. Dirty Pena says:

    Can someone explain what happened on the Burnett miscue that’s alluded to above?

    • bexarama says:

      Basically, ground ball to first with a runner on base, Berkman bobbles it a little, throws to AJ who’s covering at 1B. Runner is pretty obviously out, but ump calls him safe. AJ starts arguing with the ump, runner comes all the way around and scores, he tries to throw the ball home but it’s too late. (Think Knoblauch in the 1998 ALCS a little…)

  5. first time long time says:

    look on the bright side everyone: if you think about it the only way the sox won tonight was because we pretty much handed it to them. i mean from our defense and novas near meltdown in the 8th, they couldve easily put the game out of reach. but they didnt. thats one way to look at it i guess.

    • Betty Lizard says:

      That’s my story, too, first time.

      (Of course, for the last two weeks or so, I’ve found myself changing, “Nothing external can harm me. Nothing external can harm me. Nothing external can harm me” every time I watch the Yankees play.)

    • Evan3457 says:

      This would be more meaningful if the Sox didn’t play a ridiculously bad lineup, and if Matsuzaka had not been his usual throw the ball all over the place self.

      I can’t look at the bright side this time, and I’m usually very understanding of the notion that the best teams still lose 60 games a year.

      The 2nd game last night should not have been one of them.

  6. first time long time says:

    if they played last night, you think they might’ve won? because im sure we would’ve had different options in the pen. although im not sure those same options wouldve been available today in that case

  7. Big Stein says:

    I was shocked when Girardi brought in Nova with men on base in the 7th, instead of his main-man-gaudin.

    Then I realized, like the Rays and Twins, no body wants HFA (as dramatized the the following classic commerical).


    • Ray the Anti-Handle says:

      Basically the theme of the AL for the past month. It’s like hot potato. Except the potato in this case isn’t hot. In fact, it’s quite delicious. Apparently, no one in the AL wants a yummy potato.

  8. Big Stein says:

    Race for the Pennant and the Race to Avoid Cliff Lee.

  9. first time long time says:

    on the bright side my “good vibes” and channeling into aj’s mind did wonders for him!

    comeon admit it. it was pretty funny until i started doing it with mitre and nova.

  10. V says:

    Eh, I’m going to pay attention to football. This team ain’t getting out of the ALDS unless CC can pitch three games.

  11. Betty Lizard says:

    Some say home field will end with AJ,
    Some say with Dustin Moseley.
    From what I’ve tasted of his meltdowns
    I hold with those who favor AJ.
    But if it had to perish twice,
    I think I know enough of dice
    To say that for a loss the Dustin
    Is also great
    And would suffice.

    /Robert Frost’d

  12. mike c (LETS GO YANK KEEZ) says:

    AJ had 2 ER over 6, not 3. does RAB have it different or is it a typo?

  13. Mike Nitabach says:

    It looked to me like AJ’s foot clearly hit the bag before the runner’s.

  14. DallasGreen says:

    really thought joe should have just stuck with mitre. he might have gotten beat, but it prob would not have been sloppy like ring / nova was. oh well, bring on the twins!!

    • Andrew says:

      I agree with this, Mitre facing 2 batters was strange. Granted pining for Sergio Mitre is a dirty, dirty game but it would have saved some of Girardi’s bullets if he just let Mitre go until he started to falter (which would have been inevitable). If he had somehow given them 2 shutout innings, who knows how the game turns out?

  15. Carcillo says:

    They were something like 4-36 with RISP over the two games yesterday.

    Wow at that awfulness.

    • Chris says:

      They’re just saving them up for the playoffs.

      • Carcillo says:

        Well, if they were to face Texas in round 1, they would have a little making up to do for the last time they faced them…

        I made this point earlier – they were 6-30 with RISP in the first two games of that series through 22 innings. That was thought to be pretty bad (.200 average). 4-36 in 20 innings yesterday? That’s a .111 mark! More incompetence in fewer innings.

        Efficiency, I tell ya.

  16. larryf says:

    Up 4-1 with your 18 million dollar pitcher against the Pawtuckets and you can’t get it done. I turned it off then and glad I did. Truly a frustrating team to watch. RISP failure and AJ torture-not good for one’s health.

  17. Wil Nieves #1 Fan says:

    Just some of my observations from reading the recaps and boxes…

    - Cano came into the series needing 7 hits for 200. And he gets 6 of them in one day. Not sure if he’ll be playing Sunday but that’s badass, and bumped his average back up to .320.

    - After game 2, Granderson has 67 RBIs. That’s sick considering his shitty start to the season. And by ‘start to the season,’ I mean everything up until last month. He’s also been grand (hahahahaha I’m so funny) against the Sox this year.

    - Cervelli is annoying, he can’t catch pop ups…but he’s potentially going to finish the season with a .270 batting average? WTF!

    - Kearns still sucks.

    - Colin Curtis only needs 189 more hits to get his first 200 hit season. Hopefully Girardi will play him Sunday. I think he has a legit shot.

    • larryf says:

      Kearns 3k’s and 9 LOB’s. Horrible 2 strike approach.

      Solid 4th outfielder?

      No thanks.

    • Betty Lizard says:

      Hee. I was reading from the bottom and my barely-functioning brain saw “Colin Curtis” and “only x more hits to get his first 200 hit season” and I tried to process that seriously before I read it again and laughed.

      As for Curtis Granderson, he is my love of this season. I saw his home run in his first post-Kevin Long game and really, that made the season for me. For me, he’s a joy to watch.

      And Robbie Cano, as well. I love to watch someone who can do something well do it well. And do it well with such grace and elegance. Such LETHAL grace and elegance.

  18. larryf says:


    The batting avgs. of 5 Red Sox starters after the game last night. We really don’t deserve the division whether we want it or not, whether it matters or not. We are still playing to win when we go out there and everything else is a rationalization.

  19. Frank says:

    Don’t get Girardi’s decision to pull Mitre in favor of Ring with a 2 run lead after he retired the first 2 batters he faced in the 7th. There was no one on base. I would have let him face Drew.

    4-37 with RISP in both games. That’s just horrible, but pretty much par for the course. This just cant be written off as “eh.” This has been a problem for a while. Yanks were lucky to get a split.

    And then there’s AJ. This guy’s mechanics/release point are so inconsistant it’s laughable. To say he pitched a decent game is being very kind. He had 1 WP and should have probably had 2 more. He hit 1 batter from what I saw and almost hit at least 2 others. The bonehead play at first was just another example of how much this guy lacks focus.

    Given the way this team has been playing over the past 6 weeks or so, coupled with the fact they have no reliable starting pitching after CC, it won’t matter who they play in the first round.

    • first time long time says:

      2 ER in 6IP from AJ Burnett. From the way he’s pitched a majority of the season, i think we’d take that any day.

      • Evan3457 says:

        Facing what was essentially a AAA lineup plus J.D. Drew?

        No, that has to be rated as disappointing, especially the lack of command on the cure, the 2 HBP, the WP, the mental meltdown at first.

        • first time long time says:

          well would you rather him have a meltdown against a AAA lineup? exactly. because he has the potential to do that. and in his defense, he was right, the ump was wrong. the ump get the call right, yankees most like win. although he coulbve payed more attention, but he wouldn’t have needed to pay more attention had the ump gotten the call right. i blame the offense and nova for this one. but mostly the offense. defense was stellar either.

  20. poster on another computer who happens to be a deuce bag says:

    I’m actually imporessed with Girardi. He had the balls to keep in an obviously struggling Nova for three innings even after he gave up the lead in the eighth. That takes balls. Good job Joe.

  21. Mickey Scheister says:

    After the auditions last night the postseason roster shall be…
    1.) Derek Jeter
    2.) Curtis Granderson
    3.) Nick Swisher
    4.) Brett Gardner
    5.) Alex Rodriguez
    6.) Robinson Cano
    7.) Mark Teixieria
    8.) Jorge Posada
    9.) Marcus Thames
    10.) Frankie Cervelli
    11.) Nunez or Pena
    12.) Lance Berkman
    13.) Austin Kearns
    14.) CC Sabathia
    15.) Andy will be Dandy
    16.) Phil Hughes
    17.) AJ Burnett
    18.) David Robertson
    19.) Kerry Wood
    20.) Boone Logan
    21.) Joba Chamberlin
    22.) Ivan Nova
    23.) Javy Vasquez
    24.) Moseley or Gaudin
    25.) Mo

    Or pretty close, prob gonna carry one or two less pitchers and 3 outta 4 of Pena, Nunez, Kearns and Golson. Am I missing anyone?

  22. Bo Jackson says:

    Why was Austin Kearns in the lineup? Strikes out 2x with the bases loaded.
    He should not be on the PS roster

  23. Not Tank the Frank says:

    I was sloppy in my nightcap too. Knowwhatimean.

  24. You know, I can understand why people are still getting frustrated even though these games really don’t mean much.

    These games are frustrating because we see the A-lineup (or close to it) that promotes the idea of these games being important. So we watch thinking the game is important, and then when they get drawn out (as they frequently have lately) we see the back of the bullpen and get frustrated when we lose. It’s not anyone’s fault really, Joe is playing to win and is pushing the lineup but not the pitchers (which I personally agree with) and fans are just going by what they see. I think it helps to just recognize that the Yankees are playing to win, but not at the cost of overusing any of their pitchers – even the less valuable ones.

    • first time long time says:

      i agree, although with the 60% A-lineup not being able to put the game out of reach in the multiple oppurtunities they had, thats not on Girardi or it being a meaningless game, thats just not good baseball.

  25. first time long time says:

    Steinbrenner would’ve been furious with the way they played last night. Well, maybe the Steinbrenner from the ’70s but you get what I’m saying.

  26. Chris says:

    The only thing comforting about last nights game was that the Yankees have some company after flushing $85 million down the drain on Burnett. The Sox flushed more than $100 on Matzusake.

  27. CBean says:

    You know we have this running joke about my friend’s couch being the magic couch and we watched the first game there and we won. I watched the first few innings of the second game there and it was fine. And then I leave and on the way home, I listen to the most awful inning ever. Note to self: don’t leave magic couch.

  28. Tom Merritt says:

    If anyone in the Yankess front office had any balls, last night should have marked the last pitch A.J. Burnett will ever throw for the Yankees!!!! They should have taken him into the clubhouse and shot him. What a waste product. This guy is a loser to the core. If they put him on the post season roster they deserve to lose.

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