For the first time in history, a) the Athletics swept the Yankees in a four-game series in Oakland, and b) the Yankees lost four straight one-run games to the same team. It’s also the first time New York has been swept in a four-game series by anyone since the Blue Jays did the honors in 2003. What a stupid series overall. Let’s recap…
- Early Lead: The Yankees jumped all over Bartolo Colon for three runs in the third — Alex Rodriguez‘s two-run double was the big blow — and tacked on a fourth via Curtis Granderson‘s solo homer an inning later. Bart was pounding the zone with fastballs but the Yankees did a real nice job of fighting off the good ones and hammering the mistakes. The problem is they didn’t bother to score any more runs after Granderson went deep.
- Chipping Away: CC Sabathia looked mighty good early on, but the Athletics started chipping away with solo homers (Brandon Inge and Kurt Suzuki?!?) in the fifth. Oakland’s third run scored when shortstop for the day Jayson Nix couldn’t get a double play ball out of his glove and Inge beat out the relay. Sabathia struck out six in seven three-run innings that should have been two-run innings if not for Nix, at least theoretically.
- Blownpen: Aside from a dinky single, David Robertson looked fantastic in his scoreless eighth. The A’s didn’t take one good swing. Rafael Soriano blew his second save in 26 chances when he fell behind Seth Smith and hung a 3-1 slider. The solo homer tied the game and sent things to extra innings. Sucks, but it happens. Really can’t blame Soriano for the loss.
- Extras: David Phelps retired all five men he faced on 19 pitches before Joe Girardi inexplicably lifted him for matchup reasons. That’s right up there with intentionally walking Sean Rodriguez as one of his worst moves of the season. Completely illogical. Not only was he the best available reliever (either him or Boone Logan, it’s arguable but not worth it), but he was stretch out and capable of throwing like, five innings in relief. The matchup-ing worked until Cody Eppley got stuck facing a left-handed batter with the winning run in scoring position. This four specialists out of seven relievers stuff can’t last much longer.
- Leftovers: The Yankees went 7-for-21 with one walk from the start of the game through Granderson’s homer, then just 4-for-27 with two walks (one intentional) thereafter … Josh Reddick lost a Mark Teixeira popup in the sun to leadoff the 12th, but they Yankees couldn’t get him in from second thanks in part to Raul Ibanez‘s futility against left-handers … every starter had a hit except for Nix while Granderson, Teixeira, and Robinson Cano had two apiece … Cano was also the only starter not to strike out … the Yankees have lost four straight for the first time this season, the last MLB team to do so.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the advanced stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Orioles won again, so the lead in the division is down to six. The Yankees remain at least nine games up on everyone else. They’re off to Seattle for three games with the Mariners now, and Hiroki Kuroda will open the series against Kevin Millwood.