Well that was unfortunate. The Yankees battled back from a big-ish deficit against the Red Sox on Saturday night but where unable to squeeze out the win after going into the ninth inning tied. Bah, whatever. Let’s recap…
- Two Outs: CC Sabathia allowed six runs in six innings but the worst part is that five of the six runs scored with two outs. He left way too many pitches middle-middle in the three-run first, including the pitch Will Middlebrooks hit for a two-out, two-run double. The three-run fifth inning rally started with a dinky little two-out ground ball single from Pedro Ciriaco and ended with a hanging curveball that Adrian Gonzalez hit for a three-run dinger. Sabathia was fantastic in every other inning but that doesn’t really matter. He hasn’t had a even a decent start against the Red Sox since 2010. Might be time to tinker with the game plan, no?
- When In Doubt, Bunt!: The Yankees were down 6-1 in the fifth but the first four batters of the inning reached base, including a two-run homer by Jayson Nix. With men on first and second with no outs, Chris Stewart — who homered in the third — bunted the men over. Derek Jeter drove in one run with a ground ball and that’s all they got. You play for one run and you get one run, so mission accomplished. Swing the damn bat in the fifth (!!!) inning.
- Tie Game: The best part wasn’t Mark Teixeira‘s game-tying two-run homer off Vicente Padilla, it’s that he pimped it. The ball was very clearly gone off the bat and he walked out of the box, a good five or six steps. Teixeira never does that. Even better, after the game he said he just didn’t want to waste energy in case the ball went foul. Too bad they lost, that homer had Best Moment of the Year potential.
- Flopped: At the end of the day, the Yankees lost because Curtis Granderson is a poor defensive center fielder who got turned around on a fly ball/line drive (fliner?) from Ciriaco with a man on first and one out in the ninth, allowing it to fall in for a three-base error. Rafael Soriano didn’t help matters by walking Jacoby Ellsbury, one of the game’s best base-stealers, with one out in a tie game. Dustin Pedroia drove in the insurance run with a sacrifice fly but the damage was already done, Granderson has to catch that ball. If he does, the game is completely different.
- Leftovers: David Phelps bridged the gap between Sabathia and Soriano and looked pretty awesome, striking out three in two scoreless … the Yankees only had six hits, including the homers by Stewart, Nix, and Teixeira … Granderson very narrowly missed two homers in the same at-bat against Padilla, but both hooked just foul … Ichiro Suzuki singled during that fifth inning at-bat and has exactly one hit in all five games with New York … Nick Swisher pinch-hit in the ninth, his first appearance since suffering the mild hip flexor strain back in Oakland.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. The Orioles lost to the Athletics, so the lead in the division remains nine games. The Red Sox crawled to within eleven. The Yankees will look to take the rubber game behind Hiroki Kuroda on Sunday, the ESPN Night Game. Felix Doubront will be on the mound for Boston.