Me and my big mouth... again. After I opened today's preview talking about how well things have gone for the Yankees of late, they went out and turned in a clunker of a game in which seemingly every break went against them.
The afternoon didn't start off that poorly. The Yanks took an early 1-0 lead in the second on a Ramiro Pena bunt single and double by Derek Jeter, giving him the all-time record for hits by a shortstop. On the other side of the ball, Joba Chamberlain needed just 26 pitches to retire the first seven batters he faced.
From there, things started to head south. Chamberlain loaded the bases on two walks and a single, then Jose Lopez ripped a two out double down the left field line, giving Seattle a 2-1 lead. The Yankees retook the lead in the top of the fourth, when Nick Swisher crushed a two run homer to dead center, but that would be the last good news for the Yankees on the day.
In the fifth, Seattle plated two more two out runs, ending Chamberlain's day. He went five innings, gave up seven hits, four earned runs, three walks, and struck out only two. He threw just 57.8% of his pitches for strikes and recorded first pitch strikes to just 13 of 25 batters faced. He'll have a lot of time to think about this performance, as he's not due to take the mound again until August 25th.
Alfredo Aceves followed Chamberlain. Alf worked around a single and double to work a scoreless sixth, but the wheels came off for him and the Yanks in the seventh. He allowed a single and a double to start the inning. After recording a ground out, he hit a batter, then got a K. With the bases loaded and two outs, Alf plunked another one, making it 5-3 and ending his day.
Chad Gaudin, in need of work before his start Wednesday, relieved Alf, but didn't offer much relief. He allowed two singles and a double to the first three batters he faced, ruining Alf's line and letting the game to get to an out-of-hand 9-3. Gaudin would give up a two out homer in the eighth just for good measure. At the very least, Gaudin shouldn't be quite so rusty when he starts Wednesday night.
It's hard to complain about losing this one. The Yanks have still took 3 of 4 in the series, still have won 12 of 14, and still have a 7.5 game lead in the AL East. Things had gone so well for so long, it's almost as if the Yanks were due to miss a few breaks: things like giving up all ten runs with two outs, or Johnny Damon getting thrown out by a hair to end the seventh when an infield single would have tied the game, or Damon just missing a flyball in the seventh that could have prevented a five run inning. Hopefully they got all the bad breaks out of their system today and will start fresh in Oakland tomorrow. We'll see you then.
Open Thread: February 24th Camp Notes
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