Sunday, September 6, 2009

An Ugly End To An Otherwise Lovely Road Trip

Ooof. Where to begin? This was an ugly one with four errors, four runs forced in by three walks and a HBP with the bases loaded given up by the Yanks. It was close until the fifth when a strikeout swinging that got away from Jose Molina ended up leading to the Yanks undoing. A lone bright spot, Derek Jeter picked up three hits and a walk, pulling within 5 hits of Lou Gehirg for first place on the Yankees' all-time hits list.

It was sloppy from the get-go with errors by Jerry Hairston Jr. and Robinson Cano to begin the first two innings. The Jays scored 3 in the 1st but Mitre escaped the second without any further damage. The Yanks came back to tie it up in the third with two outs on a single by Hideki Matsui and double by Nick Swisher that scored Matsui from first base.

Matsui scoring from first base? How is that possible, you might ask? Well the count was 3-2 so Matsui was running on the pitch and the "double" was really just an incredibly high pop up that somehow found a space between the Jays outfielders down the third baseline. While anyone else on the team would have scored easily, Matsui looked like he was running underwater and was only safe at home because he knocked the ball out of Rod Barajas' glove with his slide. He was initally called out and 3rd base coach Rob Thompson had to yell to home plate umpire Bob Davidson that the ball had been dislodged before the call was reversed.

The Yankees actually lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning 5-4 on a two run shot by Nick Swisher but gave back the lead in a major way. Sergio Mitre started the inning by giving up a single, and then got Vernon Wells to ground into a fource out. Edwin Encarnacion struck out swinging but Jose Molina couldn't hang on to it and it got far enough away from him to allow Encarnacion to reach first.

From there the flood gates opened with four straight singles, followed by two bases loaded walks, the latter by Mark Melancon. He just faced 4 batters, walked two and recorded only one out before being replaced by Josh Towers. The first batter he faced was Randy Ruiz, who he hit directly in the side of the face with an 0-2 pitch, forcing in yet another run. Ruiz was removed from the game but walked off under his own power.

Towers was supposed to be used for bullpen depth for tomorrow's double header but instead mopped up the final 3 1/3 innings today. Considering the final score, it's fortunate that the brunt of the impact was absorbed by just two pitchers. That said, it wasn't the kind of game the Yanks needed heading into the double header against Tampa tomrrow. At least it's a short flight home.

1 comment:

  1. Rough game all around. Yanks looked like a last place team with all the miscues. Luckily they have a large enough lead to handle a game like this.

    Scary moment there on the Ruiz play. The Blue Jays broadcast showed him spit out a mouthful of blood. Props to Cito Gaston to understand that it was unintentional and not retilate (especially since the Yanks had hit so many batters in the first few games). Had this happened against the White Sox, I am sure something would have happened.