Friday, May 8, 2009

Leave My Blues At Home

Let's start with the positive:
  • Johnny Damon went 4-5 and chipped in 4 very timely RBIs
  • Derek Jeter picked up two hits and a walk in 5 PAs
  • Melky Cabrera continued to impress at the plate, reaching base on two walks and a single and swiping a bag.
  • David Robertson appeared in the game and didn't give up a run, which is more than any of the other pitchers can say. 
That's it. Everything else about that game was excruciating. Maybe we're just getting impatient, or maybe it's just getting a little late in the season to say "it's still early". 

Right out of the gate, the Yanks found themselves in a hole. Pettitte jumped ahead of lead off man Jason Bartlett 0-2, but Bartlett then turned a 1-2 pitch into an opposite field HR into the Yankees' bullpen. Yes, that would be the same Jason Bartlett that had one home run all of last year. Two batters later, Pettitte killer Carlos Pena hit an absolute blast which landed about halfway up the bleachers in right center. 

It was a terrible way to start a game that felt as important as any so far this year. Let this sink in: the Yankees haven't been ahead in a game in the fifth inning on Saturday. 41 innings without a lead. As a fan, when your confidence has been shattered by a losing streak, the worst feeling is to get behind early. It can't be much different for the players. 

The Rays added two more runs in the third inning courtesy of an Evan Longoria round-tripper that left over the manual scoreboard in right. Maybe it's just because the pitching has been shitty thus far, but tonight especially, it seemed like the balls were flying around the New Stadium. 

The Bombers scored three in the fourth, two from a Johnny Damon double, and one more in the fifth on a homer from Hideki Matsui, knotting the game at four apiece. Pettitte promptly relinquished the lead in the top of the sixth, allowing yet another homer, this time to Ben Zobrist. He had only given up one HR coming into this game and it was the first time in his career he had given up four home runs in a single outing. He went six innings, allowed 9 hits and was fairly lucky to only surrender 5 runs.

Throughout the night, just when it seemed like the Yankees had grabbed the momentum, the Rays would snatch it right back. 

Jose Veras gave up a run in the seventh, which set up Johnny Damon for another huge hit in the bottom of the eighth. Jeter poked a two out single to center and Damon cracked a two run homer to tie the game once again. The Stadium erupted, and for one of the few times in the night, there was hope.

Of course those aspirations were quickly dashed when Mariano Rivera gave up the first pair of back to back home runs he has ever allowed in his career to Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria. It was a night of "firsts" for Yankee pitchers and not in a good way. The YES cameras panned the crowd, capturing reactions of disbelief and shock. Rivera was sporting the same lost look.  

This was a tortuous loss at a very inopportune time. It was a brutal dicktease when I think we all could have used a little action. 

Now the Yankees will take to the road for six more divisional games in Baltimore and Toronto. A win last night would have taken a tremendous amount of pressure off of today's game in Camden Yards. CC Sabathia is going to be on the hill while A-Rod and Teixeria will be booed vociferously... three guys who haven't had the best track record of responding to pressure.

After going 2-5 on the homestand, perhaps some away games will cure what ails the Yanks. Perhaps they can leave their blues at home.   

You don't work, the man don't pay ya,
There ain't no saint to come and save ya, oh, puttin' your toll down,
Well if you ride, you pay the fare, with Satan on your back,
And he don't care where you come from or where you goin',
And before I get myself all down, I jump up and kick the door down,
And walk down on the street, and leave my blues at home.

All behind.


  1. It's getting tougher and tougher to watch this team. Not one lead since Saturday? No wonder no one is coming to the games.

  2. A little ABB is about the only good thing going this morning.

    I still believe that's it not too late to say "it's still early". But it's getting later each day. As good as things were last Saturday morning - four game winning streak with great starts by Hughes and Joba, and a nice comeback walk-off win - they're just as bad now. The vaunted rotation has gone through a complete turn without the team posting a single win. As the guys at BronxBanter said the other day, it feels like the team is already losing when the first pitch is thrown.

    Now A-Rod comes back. Does his traveling circus draw attention away from the team's struggles? Or does it only add to the problem? Or does he characteristically buckle under the pressure that will be put on him to get this team going?

    The Molina injury is bad. Now we're looking at catching tandem of Cervelli and Cash - neither of whom can hit. Which means when Berroa's gets DFA'd today his 40 man spot will go to Cash rather than another bat, and they'll still be stuck with a 3 man bench of guys who can't hit.

    Hey Cashman and Girardi - don't you think it's time to abandon that abortion of an eight man pen and add a bat to the bench? Given that they'll likely have to pinch hit for the catcher every night you might want to have a better option than Brett Gardner coming off the bench. DFA Veras or Claggett or Jackson or whoever. It's absolute sham that a team with this kind of payroll is sending Brett Gardner up as a pinch hitter. /end rant/

    32 days ago the season opened in Baltimore with Sabathia opposing Guthrie. Same story today. Hopefully the real Yankees season starts now. A-Rod's back. Maybe Tex starts hitting. Maybe CC starts pitching as he should. Maybe guys stop getting hurt every other day. Maybe the bullpen starts pitching.