The Yankees lost to Felix Hernandez and the Mariners but that’s not the biggest story of Tuesday night. Alex Rodriguez suffered a non-displaced fracture of the fifth metacarpal in his left hand on a hit-by-pitch and is headed to the DL. The team won’t have an exact timetable for his return until he sees the doctors in New York. This is obviously very bad, but injuries are part of the game and the Yankees are just going to have to roll with it. Let’s recap the game…
- Sweaty One: Freddy Garcia pitched pretty darn well even though he got saddled with a loss. He surrendered a solo homer in the first and two runs in the third on a broken bat bloop and a sacrifice fly, but he settled down in a major way after that. Garcia retired the last 15 men he faced and struck out a season-high eight while walking zero. It’s a shame this effort went to waste, because Freddy was pretty darn good. Frankly he should have been against that lineup in that ballpark.
- Two Runs: Curtis Granderson gave the Yankees a quick and short-lived lead with a solo homer in the first inning, but it wasn’t until the eighth inning that they scored again on Mark Teixeira’s sacrifice fly. They may have gotten more had Raul Ibanez not been left in to face rookie southpaw Lucas Luetge with two men and two outs. He predictably struck out to end the inning. The choice was the Ibanez-Luetge matchup or Andruw Jones vs. Brandon League. We’re not splitting atoms here, the preference is clearly Andruw-League. Unfortunately Joe Girardi disagreed.
- Overmanaged: Girardi would not rest until his fingerprints were all over this game. After the Ibanez fiasco he pulled Garcia with one out in the bottom of the eighth even though he had a manageable pitch count (89) and had retired the last 15 men he faced . That was so he could get the left-on-left matchup against Dustin Ackley, but it snowballed into a four-reliever, 34-pitch, one-run rally. That eighth inning was Girardi at his absolute worst.
- Leftovers: Robinson Cano has slowly gotten back into “swing at all the pitches!!!” mode in the last few games, which stinks. He went 1-for-4 and clanked into a first inning double play before popping up to third with men on the corners in the fourth … Felix hit three of the last five batters he faced and then Luetge nearly hit Ibanez in the head, so these Mariners guys were dangerously wild late … Granderson’s homer was the first Hernandez had allowed in eight starts … the 5-9 hitters went a combined 1-for-16 (an Ichiro Suzuki double) with two walks (one by Tex, one by Chris Stewart).
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. The Orioles lost but the Rays and Red Sox won, so New York’s lead in the division remains seven games over Baltimore and at least eight games over everyone else. The Yankees will play their final West Coast game of the season on Wednesday afternoon when Ivan Nova gets the ball against Hisashi Iwakuma.