Yankees grab defeat from jaws of victory in loss to White Sox


Blowing leads in the ninth inning is never a fun way to lose a game, especially when a pitcher throws away what would have been a double play ball. What is it with pitchers and throwing to second? They’re usually okay when going to first but I feel like the success rate when they go to second is like, 50%. Maybe less. Anyway, the five-game winning streak is over.

(Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Mix & Matched

I didn’t particularly care for Joe Girardi‘s explanation about why David Robertson did not start the ninth inning — he was trying to stay away from him as long as possible after he pitched on Wednesday — but the bottom line is that Clay Rapada got a tailor made 1-6-3 double play ball and he threw it into center field. The pitching part of Girardi’s mixing and matching worked fine there, but the fielding part failed. It happens. It’s annoying, but what can you do.

Anyway, Robertson ended up recording three outs and throwing 15 pitches anyway, but not before he missed out and over the plate with a fastball that Dayan Viciedo hit for a go-ahead three-run homer. Girardi’s strength as a manager is his bullpen management, but there were just some weird decisions made in this one. If Robertson was available then use him to start the inning so he has a clean slate. He’s been off the DL for two weeks now, if they still have reservations about using him on back-to-back days then they should probably ask themselves if they rushed him back before he was ready.

(Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Hard Contact

Ivan Nova‘s pitching line — 7.1 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 6/9 GB/FB — looks an awful lot better than how he actually pitched. The White Sox made a ton of hard contact against him, especially early in the game. Nova escaped a first and third with no outs situation in the fourth because A.J. Pierzynski scorched a line drive right at Robinson Cano for a double play, Mark Teixeira made a diving stop to end the third, and Derek Jeter made a nice leaping catch in the fifth. If you watched the game on television, you saw an awful lot of 14 because Curtis Granderson had his back turned and was running down balls hit to deep center all night.

That said, sometimes a starting pitcher won’t have his best stuff and he has to fight through it. This was one of those games for Nova and he got some serious help from his defense. You need that sometimes during a 162-game season. Outside of Alejandro De Aza, who went 4-for-4 with a solo homer off Nova, Ivan kept the Yankees in the game and made pitches when he had too. Not everything needs to be micro-analyzed, Nova got lucky a number of times and that’s that.


Almost. (AP/Kathy Willens)

The Yankees scored their first two runs on back-to-back doubles by Alex Rodriguez and Cano in the fifth before Teixeira plated an insurance run with a solo homer in the eighth. It wasn’t enough insurance, unfortunately. Scoring two runs in seven innings off some guy named Dylan Axelrod is quite annoying.

The top five hitters in the lineup went a combined 6-for-20 with three doubles and a homer while the other four hitters mustered just two singles and two walks in 16 trips to the plate. Granderson stole a base early in the game but I through Dewayne Wise waited to long to steal in the ninth. When you lead off the inning with a single down a run, you have to get to second as soon as possible so everyone else has as many chances to drive you in as possible.

Robertson and Rapada really blew it in the ninth, but Boone Logan — three-pitch strikeout of Adam Dunn — and Cody Eppley — four-pitch strikeout of Paul Konerko — really took care of business with the tying run in scoring position in the eighth. Eppley did allow a leadoff single to Alex Rios in the ninth, but Rapada muffed the double play ball.

The video isn’t up on MLB.com yet, but the Yankees visited a nursing home with Glamour Gals for Thursday’s HOPE Week event. Glamour Gals is an organization of volunteers who visit and spend time with seniors in nursing homes, building relationships with people who are easily neglected. Here’s the HOPE Week video archive, I’m sure the clip will be posted sometime overnight.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. The good news is that every AL East team other than the Red Sox lost on Thursday, so the Yankees didn’t see their lead in the division shrink. Boston is playing the Mariners out on the West Coast and is six back in the loss column anyway.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next

Game two of this four-game set will feature two pitchers who spent last season in the Yankees’ farm system. Adam Warren will make his big league debut for New York against the left-handed Jose Quintana, who signed with the ChiSox as a minor league free agent this past offseason. Check out RAB Tickets if you want to head up to the Stadium on Friday night.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. Jimmy McNulty says:

    All the close games were bound to catch up to them. The bullpen’s done a lot of work and they were bound to lose their effectiveness sooner or later. Robertson and Soriano are good relievers, Robertson might even be a great one but relying on the Clay Rapadas, Cody Eppleys, and Boone Logans of the world will catch up to you eventually. They need more relief help.

  2. DT says:

    This is one of those Shit happens game. Hopefully the Yankees offense scores big for Warren tomorrow and make it an easy debut for him.

  3. forensic says:

    Completely agree that Girardi’s excuses for his bullpen choices were absurd.

    Robertson’s been back for 2 weeks and had 2 days off before pitching yesterday. If you’re that worried about him still being hurt or not effective, then he shouldn’t have been activated in the first place. Keep him DL’ed and get someone else who you at least don’t have to baby every day.

    In addition, if you know you’re going to try to show everyone how smart and concerned you are, then you don’t use Logan for one batter in the 8th. You use Rapada against Dunn and save Logan for longer work in the 9th.

    But, much of it falls on Rapada. I’m not so sure it’s a DP ball since it was so soft and he took forever to throw the ball even if it was on line, but you absolutely have to get the out there. Just inexcusable.

    It’s extremely frustrating to give away this game, but it’s magnified even more when you have a pitcher making his MLB debut tomorrow and 2 tough matchups after that.

    • Jorge Brosada says:

      Am I the only one who thinks that Nova could have finished it out? talk about saving your bullpen…

      • MannyGeee says:

        they pulled him at 98 (?) pitches and he had been hammered all night long. I dont know that I would have left him in any longer, those hard hit balls were gonna catch up with him at some point.

    • Steve (different one) says:

      Disagree completely about “saving” Logan. Game was in the balance at that point.

    • NYCSPORTZFAN says:

      In my opinion, Joe Girardi needs to chill with always worrying about the next day, when u don’t even have a huge lead in teh game ur playing right then. Hes always doing things for the next day, and when u play wth fire like that, ur bound to lose some games, which alot of times, the talent level of this team overcomes… Girardi is always trying to avoid injuries, and he just never learns, that injuries are gonna happen, regardless of all this stupid time off and what not.. look at CC, he works once ever 5days, and he still got hurt.. He gets a week off at a time for godsake..lol Justplay ur guys, and yes on occasion, give a guy a day here or whatever, but for the most part, u need to go with ur best options.. Cal Ripken and Lou Gehrig have prooved u can play everyday.. There is no reason that those 2 are so diffrent then anyone else, except they play everyday, no matter what, an do darn well at that… Gehrig was playing everyday long ago, when technology was nothing likeit is today.. Guys used to throw complete games all the time way back, and now all of a sudden, u can’t throw a reliever 2 or 3days in a row??lol Give me a break!

      • Evan3457 says:

        In my opinion, Girardi is exactly correct in trying to rest guys in the pen, and keeping everyone as fresh as possible for the long haul, so you don’t wind up in October with only 1.5 effective reliever for the post-season. Torre used the bullpen as you suggest, to win every game on the line at the time that he could, and in October, he would find himself able to count on only Mariano.

        • Evan3457 says:

          Of course, there is the possibility is a parody, judging from your moniker.

          If so, the question is: who’s the chump?
          And the answer is: me.

          Well played.

      • Steve (different one) says:

        Cue the debate line from Billy Madison….

      • OldYanksFan says:

        I’m sorry… but keeping the next day in mind, the next week in mind, and September and October in mind, is critical to managing a team that plays 162 games, and hopes to play even more in October.

        Would you rather that ARod, Jeter, Teix and others get plenty of off days during the ‘critical’ months of June and July, or should they instead be worn out by September?

        Everybody wants to see the best players play all the games. We hate seeing subs and backups in the lineup. But a baseball team is 25 guys. And the team that Wins it all is usually the team where all 25 guys contribute. This means the lesser players need playing time, and a chance to have the confidence to produce when needed.

        Wanting to go easy on DRob was not a terrible idea. Lou (who was both a player and manager) commented that using the BP ‘B’ squad and saving the ‘A’ squad as much as possible was a good idea.

        It’s a balancing act, and no manager has perfected it. All in all, Girardi is very good with the BP and very good at resting players and giving backup guys playing time…. while still winning games.

        Baseball is more random luck than science. Rivera threw away a comebacker in 2001, and it cost us the WS. Does that mean Mo should not have been in there? Shit happens. All Players make errors, have funks, and both overperform and underperform at differenct times. This is the nature of baseball. This is why we play the games.

        Last night was a brutal loss. That happens. One pitcher gave up a leadoff hit, the next pitcher made an error, the next pitcher gave up a HR. And you really want to blame the manager???

        Shit happens.
        It is very frustrating, but part of the game, and part of a long season.

        I would suggest that fans who absolutely need to BLAME someone everytime something does not work out, use this telephone number:


  4. Voice of Reason says:

    I know this will be incredibly difficult for anyone to do, but seriously: Let this one go… If Eppley and Rapada do their jobs, they get the win, DRob gets saved another day and Girardi seems like a great bullpen manager. People get on Girardi for pigeonholing guys into innings but when he mixes and matches to protect members of his bullpen he gets killed for #overmanaging.. You cant have it both ways. Today definitely wasn’t Girardi’s best day as a manager, but they are 5 games up in the division for a reason.. They will bounce back…

    • Need Pitching says:

      DRob wasn’t really getting saved though, he was going to be brought in when he was regardless of the situation. Best case, he was getting saved 2 batters, and still would likely be unavailable tomorrow.

      • forensic says:

        Exactly, Girardi admitted that he’d be in there with bases empty 2 outs if they get the DP, so you’re not saving him. You’re blowing him for tomorrow anyway and in the process blew this game as well.

  5. Preston says:

    Mlb trade rumors is reporting that the Phillies are shopping Jim Thome. Forget trading for pitchers. I want to see Thome hit 20 bombs over the short porch in the second half.

    • Brian S. says:

      +1. We need some fucking offense.

      • forensic says:

        That would essentially necessitate them releasing Ibanez, which there is approximately zero chance of happening after his April and May. Thome is not a fit to replace anyone else on the roster, even guys like Wise and Chavez.

        • Preston says:

          Except that Ibanez is starting in LF everyday. Gardner’s elbow problem may linger and I’m not sold that Ibanez’s production will last. Thome’s career slash is .277/.403/.556 and is currently hitting .246/.343/.525. Ibanez is .279/.341/.471 and is hitting .240.300/.465. Who would you rather have? It would be a huge upgrade for the stretch run.

          • forensic says:

            I never said Ibanez is better than Thome. I would rather have Thome as the lefty half of a DH platoon.

            But, that’s not what Ibanez has become as this point. I don’t think Gardner will be back before August (and you even say that his problem may linger), so they’re playing Ibanez in LF and Girardi loves sitting A-Rod every other day.

            If you release Ibanez, you’re left with Jones starting every day in LF which isn’t any better than Ibanez overall, it’s actually worse given that he’s supposed to be the lesser half of a DH platoon (I know he’s reversed his split this year, but that’s a very small sample). Then, you’re trying to DH Thome every game against righties which is when Girardi loves DH’ing A-Rod and playing Chavez.

            I’d rather Thome as the lefty DH the rest of the year, but I just don’t see it as a fit.

            • Preston says:

              The cut to make is Wise. Thome at DH, Ibanez in LF, Chavez, Nix, Jones and Stewart on the bench. Granderson plays everyday, if he got hurt Jones and Swisher are both capable of being an emergency CF for the remainder of a game and then we’d call somebody up after the game. The benefit of Thome’s bat would far outweigh the benefit of Wise as late inning defensive replacement.

              • forensic says:

                They could cut Wise, but I don’t see them doing that as he’s Girardi’s pet defensive replacement and only real CFer.

                Again, I’m not saying it’s a dumb move, it’s just not one that I can picture this organization doing.

            • Get Phelps Up (formerly Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat) says:

              If Gardner’s not healthy then DFA Wise and call up Dickerson or Mustiller to play LF. I don’t think that A-Rod DHing would get in the way because Thome is like 41 and he won’t be able to play every game, even if he’s strictly a DH.

              • forensic says:

                I would like if they replaced Wise with Dickerson.

                But, you’re still then left with either Jones or Dickerson starting every day, which they’ve shown zero inclination to even consider.

                • Get Phelps Up (formerly Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat) says:

                  I don’t know why they wouldn’t want to platoon Jones and Dickerson in LF with Thome as the DH. When Gardner comes back, then they could maybe platoon Jones and Thome as the DH and use Dickerson as the 4th OF.

                  • forensic says:

                    I’d be fine with it, and maybe someone could convince Girardi that Dickerson is basically a mixture of Ibanez and Wise, but I just don’t see it happening given the organization’s typical deference to veterans already on the roster who have produced.

        • Brian S. says:

          Ibanez sucks. If we can get Thome without having to get a legit prospect that needs to happen.

          • forensic says:

            Ibanez has sucked in June, I never said otherwise. But he had a fine April and a great May.

            Giving up on veterans after production like that isn’t what this organization does (right or wrong or whether you agree or not).

            I’d rather have Thome over Ibanez for certain roles, but given that Gardner’s strain (or whatever exactly it was called at first) has basically kept him out like a broken arm, Ibanez’ role has changed and Thome can’t fill that now.

            • radnom says:

              given that Gardner’s strain (or whatever exactly it was called at first) has basically kept him out like a broken arm, Ibanez’ role has changed and Thome can’t fill that now.

              That only weakens your argument further. Ibanez’s old role, which you agree Thome would be good for, is no longer being occupied by him. This forces us to instead compare Thome to Ibanez’s replacements over which he would be an enormous upgrade. Let them both play until Gardner gets back (if) and re-evaluate at that point.

              This is of course assuming hes available for the standard rental aged slugger price of a random middling starting pitching prospect (who occasionally turn out to be decent relievers).

              • forensic says:

                It doesn’t weaken the argument though, because the replacements for Ibanez at DH vs. lefties have mostly been A-Rod and Chavez (with some appearances by Jeter and even Martin (ugh…)). Thome can’t be used to replace the rest of the role that any of those players fill.

        • Jimmy McNulty says:

          Yeah, but it’s June. Who gives a shit what happened in April and May? He’s barely putting up league average offense and Girardi has a nasty habit of playing him in the field. Thome, on the other hand, is mashing and would never see the field. He’s basically tailor made for Yankee Stadium. I’d love the move, plus I’d like to see Thome get a rock…hopefully with the Yankees. That’d be a nice end for a guy with a HoF career, pick up a rock, and get into a nice little piece of Yankee Lore…get mentioned on YES every so often because of a double steal type moment.

          • forensic says:

            Yeah, but it’s June. Who gives a shit what happened in April and May?

            Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi. Whether we agree or not, they’re not going to release him after one bad month following two fine months.

            • Jimmy McNulty says:

              Well considering that no one thought that he’d be a realistic DH option or that he’d be on the team much past the ASB anyways, I think they’re willing to thank him for the two good months and move on to more fruitful and realistic options for DH going forward.

              • forensic says:

                I think you’re greatly blurring things here.

                Most people on this blog didn’t think he’d be a realistic option or last long, but Cashman and Girardi did. As such, there’s no way they let one month outweigh two months, despite any other evidence too.

                Though, to be fair in the Ibanez bashing session that this string of comments has become, he’s been very good against righties overall on the season. His too many AB’s against lefties have taken a hit on the overall line (though he’s been terrible against both in June, at least anecdotally).

                • Jimmy McNulty says:

                  I don’t think Cashman thought he’d survive the ASB. I figured he needed someone to DH while all his regulars were playing the field. He’s not making much, and he’s easily expendable.

    • Preston says:

      Most of Thome’s production came as a DH during interleague. He hit .333/.415/.722, it’s pretty obvious he can’t play the field anymore. Put him at DH in our lineup and he’ll be a monster.

      • MannyGeee says:

        but who will play LF? that is the arguement. Ibanez is no longer a DH platoon guy, he is a starting LF platoon.

        Jim Thome should be nowhere near a glove at this point in his career.

        ***That said, I would LOOOOOOVE to see him hit moonshots in NYS from August to October. that would be Ah-fcking-mazing

    • Bavarian Yankee says:

      we have Cust and Branyan in AAA. Just saying. If we need a guy that puts some balls into the upper deck then we just need to call up Branyan. No need to trade for Thome.

  6. Don W says:

    My first game at the new stadium. Not the way I would have written the script.

  7. Kevin says:

    OUr offense isn’t scoring enough runs to where the bullpen is not in use.
    I will say this..Robertson should have started the 9th,period.

  8. CBean says:

    I was at this game; it sucked. And it felt like I was sitting in front of the entire LoHud commentators group for all the whining and bitching about how this team will never win again.

    • Betty Lizard says:

      My sympathies. Believe me, I would have been thrilled to be at the game, but not sitting where you sat.

  9. Brian S. says:

    Why is Morales the best pitcher in baseball all of a sudden?

  10. pat says:

    Would have liked to get this one with the rook going tomorrow. Oh well, all I want from Warren is to pitch confidently. Don’t nibble, don’t get 2-0 on everyone and he’ll be OK. His stuff is good enough to be a starter at this level. Lets hope he pitches like he knows it.

  11. Get Phelps Up (formerly Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat) says:

    Poor Felix. 8 shutout innings, 12 K’s and his offense gives him absolutely nothing.

  12. Betty Lizard says:

    Whatever. This won’t be the only vomit inducing game this season. And anyway, I blame everything on Cleveland, who broke Andy Pettitte AND Russell Martin. Sniff.

  13. Andy Pettitte's Fibula (former Manny's BanWagon) says:

    For all the bitching about Girardi’s bullpen management, his strategy would have worked just fine if Rapada could just throw the ball to 2nd base.

    • Preston says:

      I’m not going to criticize Girardi’s bullpen management. He’s the best Yankee manager I’ve seen in my lifetime. And he’s right more often than not.

      • Jimmy McNulty says:

        Yeah I like the binder…he gets some calls wrong and he’ll make some boneheaded decision. But he’s making calls based on advanced scouting and stats…there’s at least some brain making the call along with his gut. MLB managers are dumb by breed, he may not be Joe Maddon but that’s like whining about your center fielder because he’s not Willie Mays. Maddon’s one of a kind.

  14. Need Pitching says:

    Nice catch, Salty … lmao

  15. Brian S. says:


  16. Kevin says:

    Darn..if the Yanks had been able to win tonight,we would have been one up on everyone.

  17. RetroRob says:

    Glad I missed this game!

    Now I can look forward to Quintana shutting down the Yankees. : -)

  18. Pat D says:

    Well, I just watched The Monkees’ movie Head on Turner Classic Movies, which is funny enough to me.

    I feel better now.

  19. Karl Krawfid says:

    Everyone in the AL East lost today.

    This game did not happen folks.

  20. Paul VuvuZuvella says:

    Ugh, what a crappy loss. Best Hawk HR call miss in my lifetime.

  21. Tom says:

    What is this garbage people keep repeating about Robertson working on back to back days yet? ~1 week off the DL:

    June 23: 25 pitches (long and high stress inning – walked 2)
    June 24: 14 pitches (single, 2 groundball outs)

    He threw 12 pitches the game before this one (a stress free 1-2-3 inning) and the next day Girardi wants to lighten the load of a back to back? He also had 2 days off prior to that as well – so it’s not like a 3 games in 4 days or 4 games in 5 days type of situation.

    How could noone call him on the back to back BS when he already has used Robertson this way (post DL) and did it in a situation where he had worked a much longer inning. How could he be worried about this now when 1 week after coming off the DL he was subjected to a worse back to back appearance? Did Girardi just forget? Is that not in one of his binders?

  22. Bavarian Yankee says:

    thanks Clay, that’s worth the good old DFA. j/k but it sucks nonetheless, at least it wasn’t as bad as Kazmir’s E in the ALCS against the Yanks in 09.

    • Kevin says:

      I remember a certain throw into center field in 01 that was far worse than Rapada’s throw.

      • Steve (different one) says:

        Thougt of that before the ball even left Rapada’s hand. Also remember Gordon pullin that move a few times.

  23. Arya says:

    We lost the ballgame because Joe decided to use tweedledum and tweedledee to finish out the 9th instead of his best available reliever. Absolutely atrocious way to handle the pen.

  24. Buffalo Bill says:

    You, know – maybe it isn’t just Robertson’s usage that maybe dictated the way he handled the ninth inning. Soriano has pitched a lot lately, too, and maybe he wanted to be able to give him two days off (last night and tonight) and use Robertson three days in a row.

  25. MannyGeee says:

    I got to say, the ChiSox are the BEST hitting team we have faced in a month. This coulda been alot worse

    while losing blows, only losing 4-3 (on a throwing error, no less) on a team that was just plastering the ball all night, isnt all that bad.

    • Monterowasnotdinero says:

      Agree. They have alot of talent and lightning in their bats. You don’t see too many hitters get on top and turn on a rising DRob fb. He must have been guessing bigtime.

  26. steve s says:

    A whole thread on last night’s game and not one word about Jones’s awful pinch-hit at bat in the 9th. It looked like he just woke up from a nap and was still groggy.

    • Cuso says:

      point. goose was cooked at that point, though.

      last night shows the dangers of starting Ibanez and Chavez in the same game. You want at least one coming off the bench “just in case”

  27. Joao says:

    Mike, what’s your problem with Nova? CC had worse games than that and you say things like he was good. Nova had some trouble? Maybe, but he scaped every single time. How many games, this year, CC was better than yesterday’s start? And CC is supposed to be the ace… So, maybe it wasn’t “stellar”, but more than a good start for a win. And it seems that you can’t give some credit to Nova

    • The Tenth Inning Stretch says:

      Mike was pointing out that Nova wasn’t really fooling anybody, that he got hit hard, which is a fact. The balls found gloves, though, which he also pointed out.

  28. HogWild says:

    Robertson didn’t start the 9th because Girardi doesn’t trust him to close. He was trying to get through the 9th with the other guys. He went to Robertson only after that planned backfired.

    my jokes: http://www.twitter.com/hogwild

  29. Cuso says:

    “What is it with pitchers and throwing to second?”
    Lots of times they’re throwing uphill but off-kilter. It’s an awkward position to make a bang-bang play.

    They’re professional athletes, so it’s not a “good” excuse. But it is an awkward angle/trajectory to throw in fairness.

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