2. Sabathia's difficulties with Kurt Suzuki continued as he walked him on 4 pitches to begin the bottom of the 4th. Jake Fox grounded a ball to short that Jeter fielded and flipped to Cano, but his throw was somewhat rushed by an incoming Suzuki and he sailed it into the Yankees dugout. Cano's first error of the year put Fox on second with one out. Kevin Kouzmanoff rapped a ball up the middle that Jeter stopped but didn't have time to make a play on. Next up, Adam Rosales swung at the first pitch he saw, lofting a ball to shallow left. Nick Swisher made the catch and a strong throw home but it wasn't quite in time and the A's expanded their lead to 4-0.
3. Marcus Thames got that run back in the top of the 5th with his first home run of the year, a solo shot to left-center field on an 86mph fastball from Dallas Braden to make it 4-1 A's.
4. Mark Teixeira added a solo shot of his own off of Braden in the top of the 6th. The pitch was called a screwball by pitchFX, only the 20th classified as such this year and Braden's second. Singleton and Flaherty both thought it was a changeup and it probably was, but it was so slow that it fooled the system. Either way, Teix hit it a long way to left center, over the 389 sign and almost to the windows suite level. A-Rod followed with a single but Cano rapped into an inning ending double play. 4-2 A's.
5. To begin the bottom half of the inning, Sabathia gave up a single to Daric Barton and a walk to Ryan Sweeney, bringing up his nemesis, Suzuki, to the plate. Sabathia would have the last laugh this time as Suzuki rapped into a 5-4-3 triple play. The ball was hit right at 3rd base, A-Rod stepped on the bag, made a strong throw to Cano, who fired to Johnson in the nick of time (/nudges you with elbow). It was the Yanks first triple play since June 3rd, 1968, at which point I was negative 16 years old.
6. The Yankees went down quietly in the final three frames, their only baserunner coming in the form of a two out single by Cano in the 9th. Nick Swisher followed that with a chopper to first and that was the ballgame, A's win 4-2.
IFs, ANDs & BUTs
From here, the Yanks head south to Anaheim for a 3 game set in the Big A, beginning with a 10PM start tomorrow night.
- Suzuki has five hits off of Sabathia and three of them are homers. But now he has a triple play, which like, totally negates all of that. Suck it, Kurt!
- The Yanks had gone 6,632 regular season games without a triple play. Bobby Cox was playing third base for the Yankees and Mickey Mantle was at first while Harmon Killebrew led off the inning for the Twins when it last happened. It came in the same year the A's moved from Kansas City to Oakland. The A's hadn't hit into one since 1994.
- Although Sabathia wasn't especially sharp and had 6 walks (tying his career high), he controlled his pitch count (97, 51 for strikes). A lot of that had to do with the fact that four of those walks came on exactly 4 pitches and the other two took only 5 and 6. Also, the double play, triple play and inning-ending pickoff certainly helped.
His final line was 8IP, 4H, 4R, 3ER, 6BB, 5K and took the complete game loss. It was the second time in a row he got the CG without throwing 9 innings. It was only the 9th time in franchise history that's happened, the first since Melido Perez in 1992. In the process, he also became the first Yankee since David Wells in 1998 to throw back to back CGs of any sort.
- Jeter swung at the first pitch of the game, flew out to right, and only swung three more times in his next three at bats, making contact each time. While it seems that Jeter has been impatient at times this season, part of the problem is that he is too damn good at making contact and has mostly been hitting it weakly when he does.
- Somehow, Frankie Cervelli continues to provide more than just defense in his starts (although he made a nice throw to nail Kouzmanoff drifting off of 2nd to end the 4th). Frankie picked up a couple of singles today and is now 5 for 9 on the season with four of those being singles.
- Dallas Braden apparently yelled at A-Rod after the 6th inning because he ran across the pitcher's mound on the way back to the dugout. Somebody call a wahmbulance.
- In the 8th inning Rosales gave Jeter a taste of his own medicine as he fielded a grounder up the middle and executed a jump throw back towards first.
- The game completed in an extremely economical 2:07, far and away the quickest of the Yanks' season.
- The Yanks' six game winning streak came to an end, but there were still things to be encouraged (Teix and Thames both homering, CC hanging in there and saving a depleted bullpen) and entertained (TRIPLE PLAY!) by.