No one can say they didn’t have their chances. Eighteen baserunners in nine innings is a pretty good recipe for scoring runs, but not when you go 2-for-11 with men in scoring position. Oakland did not have a 1-2-3 inning all afternoon and the Yankees had the tying run on base in each of the last three innings. It was there for the taking.
- The Yankees were so close to tying the game in that ninth inning; the tying run was on third with two outs and on second with one out, but Robinson Cano swung at a pitch out of the zone (surprise surprise) and grounded out harmlessly to end the game. He tried to call time before the pitch but it wasn’t granted, but that doesn’t mean he has to swing. It’s frustrating when he gives away at-bats like that, it really is what keeps him from being a true superstar.
- Nick Swisher and Russell Martin reached base to lead off the eighth, but Eduardo Nunez couldn’t get the bunt down (which shouldn’t have been called in the first place, you can’t give away an out when you have six left) and flew out, then Jorge Posada grounded into a rally killing double play as the pinch-hitter for Brandon Laird. It’s too bad Jesus Montero‘s OPS in Triple-A isn’t good enough to get called up. The Yankees had their chances every inning but especially the last two, but nope. Not today.
- Brett Gardner had a walk, Derek Jeter three hits, Curtis Granderson an 0-for-4, Mark Teixeira a single and a sac fly, Cano two hits, Swisher a long solo homer and two walks, Martin two hits, and Nunez two walks. Laird didn’t do anything except strike out with the bases loaded to end the fourth. He’s a rookie, it was his fourth big league plate appearance, it happens. Not going to hold it against him.
- A.J. Burnett put 11 men on base in 5.2 IP, plus he loaded the bases after getting two quick outs in the fifth by walking Conor Jackson (.325 OBP) and Landon Powell (.278). Give up a two-run homer to Josh Willingham in the third? I can live with that, it sucks but shouldn’t be the end of the world. But walking bad hitters with two outs is pretty terrible. Same deal as last night, blame the heat if you want, but I won’t. How many years did Burnett spend in the humidity of Florida? He’s been there. He has to do better than give the other team a rally out of nothing.
- Cory Wade allowed one of the runners he inherited from Burnett to score, but ultimately the difference in the game was Hideki Matsui‘s homerun off Boone Logan. Coming into the game, Matsui was hitting .213/.303/.285 (1 HR) against righties and .244/.299/.500 (6 HR) against lefties. Logan was holding righties to .200/.282/.200 (0 HR) but lefties had gotten him for .250/.324/.400 (2 HR). Joe Girardi knows that Matsui can crush lefties, but he went to Logan to get the platoon matchup anyway. Literally nothing says that was the move to make other than the silly left-on-left matchup. Don’t the Yankees have to call up J.C. Romero at some point just to see what they have before they make a deal for a LOOGY at the deadline? Logan’s not the answer.
- YES put a graphic up on the screen during the third inning (after Willingham’s homer) that said the Yankees have a 5.67 ERA in the inning immediately after they score, so called “shutdown innings.” I don’t know what that number is now (it had to go up with Matsui’s homer after Swisher’s blast) and what the league average is, but I have to imagine the Yankees are nowhere near it. I thought maybe the shutdown inning thing was just confirmation bias earlier in the season, but now it’s pretty obvious that Yankees’ pitchers have done a terrible job in those situations.
- Here’s the box score, here’s the WPA graph, here’s the standings. Just win series.
The rubber game will be played Sunday afternoon, when Bartolo Colon gives it a go against Gio Gonzalez. Bart’s already shut Oakland out once this year, hopefully he can do it again. If you want to catch the game, RAB Tickets can get you get there.