Coke: He was awful…just awful. In fact, I may spend the rest of the day swearing whenever a commercial for Coca-Cola comes on. In .2 innings pitched, Coke gave up three hits for three earned runs, and effectively taking the Yankees out of the game.
Cano and A-Rod: Both left five runners stranded on base. Alex did pick up a hit, but he struck out twice.
RISP: The Yankees were two for twelve with runners in scoring position. Perhaps they were trying to even out last night when they were perfect in this category? There were twelve bombers left on base today.
AJ Burnett:Forgetting his one bad pitch to Ian Kinsler, Burnett had a phenomenal game going. His twelve strikeouts were a season high and he pitched four 1-2-3 innings. Burnett only gave up three walks and two hits during the outing, which was a big step in the right direction, even if the result wasn’t what he had hoped.
Teixeira: Mark went 2-5 and had both of New York’s RBIs.
Damon: Almost every time he got to bat, Johnny managed to find a way on base. He went 2-3, scoring one run and walking twice. He also had a stolen base, his tenth of the season.
Offense: Today seemed like the type of game where the Yankees were just waiting to bust out…yet somehow failed to pull it off. From the start the Pinstripes’ baserunners were aggressive, as Damon, Jeter and Cabrera each stole bases off Nippert and Teagarden. When Jeter stole third base in the fourth, it seemed like an odd decision, but it appeared to rattle Nippert enough that he gave up an RBI single to Teixeira. The Yankees are capable of stealing bases, which is nice to see as we move closer to the postseason.
Girardi and the Bullpen:Personally, I think Girardi is not a bad manager. I think he’s improved over the last year and while he occasionally makes a bad call (ahem…bunting Swisher) you cannot expect him to be perfect. Still, he continues to struggle in managing the bullpen. The players have to help him by performing, but it seems that Girardi fails to realize when someone is struggling before it is too late. It was clear early that Coke did not have it today. He was bad on the mound and he made a bad play off it. For a former catcher, you’d think Girardi would have a better handle on his pitching staff.
In the On Deck Circle:
Tomorrow night, CC Sabathia (15-7, 3.59) will try to stop the Yankees’ skid as Mark Buehrle (11-7, 3.92) and the Chicago White Sox come to town. CC has been perfect in August, winning his past five starts with a 2.65 ERA. That streak started when the Yankees travelled to Chicago and the Yankees won this same match-up by a score of 8-5. While CC has been perfect, Buehrle has struggled. He is searching for his first victory since he through his perfect game on July 23. He is 0-4 with a 6.21 ERA since that historic day. Buehrle has a terrible career record against the Yankees. He is 1-6 with a 6.84 ERA, and if I were him I’d be worried about how the Yankees bats will respond to a rather tepid offensive performance today. First pitch will be at 7:05pm at the New Yankee Stadium.