Sunday, June 21, 2009

Another Series Lost

Last year on Father's Day, Yankees ace Chien-Ming Wang suffered a lis franc injury in an interleague game against the Houston Astros. He was lost for the season, and in some ways he is still lost. This year on Father's Day, CC Sabathia struggled through his first inning of work. Two batters into the second inning, Sabathia was removed with tightness in his left bicep. At present, it doesn't appear to be serious and CC says he'll make his next scheduled start on Frday. However, with the Yankees in a two week skid, the last thing they need is an injury to their best starting pitcher. Sabathia's early exit is at least cause for some concern.

The Yankees needed to get six and two thirds innings out of their bullpen today, and did so with mixed results. Easing the pain a bit is that everyone will get a day of rest with tomorrow's off day. But with Wang scheduled to start on Tuesday, the Yankee bullpen may need to be on early stand by again.

Alfredo Aceves relieved Sabathia, and Alf continued his impressive 2009 campaign, turning in 2.2 IP of one hit ball, with 2 Ks. He was relieved by Brett Tomko, who offered no relief at all. Entering the game with a two run lead, Tomko gave up a two out home run in both of his innings pitch, In the fifth, Hanley Ramirez launched a long two run shot to left to tie the game. Then in the sixth, Cody Ross blasted an ever deeper shot to left to give the Fish a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

Phil Coke and David Robertson combined to pitch the seventh. Coke retired the leadoff batter, then gave up a base hit as the top of the order came around. D-Rob came in and promptly recorded the second out. Following a walk to Hanley Ramirez, the Marlins struck for two out runs in the third consecutive inning. Robertson hung a 1-2 curveball that Jorge Cantu laced for base hit to leftfield. A great throw from Melky Cabrera could have ended the inning at the plate. Instead he uncorked a bad one that tailed far enough up the third base line that it eluded both Jorge Posada and David Robertson, allowing the sixth and final Marlin run to score. It would prove to be decisive.

On the offensive side, the Yankees had another listless afternoon. They plated three runs in the third with a two out rally, to take an early 3-1 lead. Derek Jeter beat an infield single that was followed by a Nick Swisher walk. Mark Teixeira drove Jeter in with a double, then A-Rod broke his 0 for 16 slump by driving both Swish and Teix in.

The Yankees managed only one more hit until the ninth. Once again, the action came with two outs. Jorge Posada singled on a liner to rightfield, then moved to third on a seeing-eye single from Melky Cabrera. Brett Gardner then drove a triple deep to right center, cutting the deficit to a single run. Johnny Damon pinch hit for Robertson and worked a walk to put the go-ahead run on base, but Derek Jeter grounded the first pitch he saw to shortstop to end the game.

It was a frustrating loss, which has become a theme over the last two weeks. I'm not about to lose my head over a rough stretch in June. But, I hope the team isn't falling back into the funk they were in for much of the early part of the season. Things happen; sometimes a team will drop a series to a team it should beat. But, losing back-to-back series to the Nats and Marlins is not good. Here's hoping the off day tomorrow will give the team a chance to recharge their batteries and start fresh against the Braves on Tuesday.

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