Wednesday, May 27, 2009

That Was Kind Of Painful

When Kevin Millwood threw out the first pitch of last night's game, it was already 10:30 EDT and there was still a faint drizzle coating the field. Ken Singleton first estimated that the delay would only last about an hour when the game was scheduled to start and a thunderstorm cell was moving through the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but as I periodically refreshed the radar, it seemed to have stalled out right over the park. It didn't start raining for more than an hour, but when it did, chunks of hail and bolts of lightning caused the Rangers to ask fans to clear the upper decks. The final length of the delay: 2:24.

Derek Jeter busted a single to left-center to start the game, but the Yanks failed to get anything going in the first. The bottom half of the inning was significantly more eventful, and not in a good way for the road team. 

Ian Kinsler, the first Ranger to come to the plate, took a 2-2 pitch out to deep center field. Melky Cabrera tracked it, came close to making a nice catch, but couldn't slow down and face planted into the wall. 

He came away clutching his shoulder as his right arm hung limp. He still managed to throw the ball back towards the infield with his left hand, but Kinsler had already reached third with a stand-up, lead-off triple. It seems as though the Yankees simply can't make it through a series in the state of Texas without suffering an injury. Brett Gardner came in as a replacement, and the latest word on Cabrera is that he had sprained his shoulder and is day to day.

With Kinsler standing on third, Michael Young came to the plate and pulled one to A-Rod, who was standing about 10 feet from thrid base. Alex looked at Kinsler, who stutter-stepped over towards home, and instead of throwing to first, A-Rod made a dash and narrowly tagged out Kinsler at third. 

The aggressive, heads up play gave Joba some breathing room, but it was short lived.

There were two outs and a man of first after Chamberlain retired Michael Young on a force out to second base and it looked like Joba was poised to escape the inning unscathed. But Nelson Cruz laced a double to left, then David Murphy worked a walk. With the bases loaded, Marlon Byrd knocked a base hit and the Rangers grabbed the lead 2-0. 

In the second, Brett Gardner hit a one out single and proceed to steal second and third with Hideki Matsui at the plate. Matsui stuck out, Swish worked a walk and Gardner was stranded after Frankie Cervelli grounded out to second. 

The Rangers plated another run in the bottom of the 4th via a Chris Davis homer, his tenth of the year. True to his nature, Davis also struck out twice last night, bringing his league-leading tally to 66 in only 162 plate appearances. Joba made it through the fourth, but that was where his night would end. He had only thrown 84 pitches, but the combination of having to wait out the rain delay and his obvious ineffectiveness (4H, 4BB) cut his night short.

Mark Teixeira finally put the Yankees on the board with a deep blast in the the right field upper deck in the bottom of the fifth that the announcers somehow estimated at only 391ft. I demand a recount. It was his 14th of the year putting him in second place in the AL

Trailing 3-1 entering the 6th inning, Brett Gardner led off with a single and promptly swiped second, Gardner's third and Yankees fifth base nabbed from the battery of Millwood and Saltalamacchia last night. 

Matsui capitalized on this robbery and drove Gardner home with a double. Godzilla scored two batters later on a Cervelli single. 

Appearing for the second night in a row, Alfredo Aceves came on in relief of Chamberlain. He worked a scoreless fifth inning, but coughed up the lead in the sixth. AA allowed a single and a double to begin the 7th and was replaced by Phil Coke, who allowed both inherited runners to score. Coke served up Chris Davis' 11th homer of the year in the 8th before David Robertson pitched a scoreless frame in his first outing since being recalled from Scranton. Final score: Yanks 3, Rangers 7.

Between the rain delay, the injury to Melky and Joba's struggles, this was a particularly excruciating contest to sit through. Play was sloppy and the contest didn't wrap up until 1:39AM, although the outcome felt like it was decided when Coke couldn't clean up for Aceves about a half hour earlier. You win some, you lose some, and some kind of suck. I think we know which two apply to this one. 

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