Game 158: Royals 3, Yankees 4

Bronx Cheers:
Coke: In .2 innings, Coke gave up one hit and one earned run, though he was absolutely responsible for two. His error and his mental error (getting the out at first and not home) could have saddled AJ Burnett with the loss in a game where he truly did not deserve it.

Gardner: Brett went 0-4. He’s been slumping at the plate quite a bit lately, going 4 for his last 22.

Damon: Johnny went 0-4 and also seems to be slumping. Since going 3-4 on September 18 and September 19, Damon is 2-22.

Curtain Calls:
Burnett: AJ put together another good outing, giving hope that he will pull it together for the playoffs. He went 6.1 innings and gave up three hits and only one earned run, walking three and striking out eight.

Teixeira: The Yankee first baseman went 2-4 with a homerun. He also made some nice defensive pick ups, helping out his fellow infielders.

Miranda: With the game tied and two outs, the youngster delivered a big hit for the home team.

Robertson/Bruney: They gave the Yankees two innings of scoreless ball, keeping the Pinstripes in the game. Girardi is going to have some tough decisions to make when he sets the Yankees playoff roster.

Musing on Meaningless :
I had a conversation with a Red Sox fan friend of mine last night about how our respective teams were finishing up the season. He was wondering in the Red Sox were even trying anymore (after last nights loss they have lost five straight and seven of their last nine). When the Yankees clinched many Red Sox players made the very true statement that everything starts over in the playoffs. Regardless, there is something to be said about how you finish the season. The Red Sox are limping into the post-season and clinched the playoffs last night because Texas lost. Meanwhile, the Yankees seem to be playing with the same intensity that they have had all season long. They are giving their starters some rest, utilizing others to figure out the remaining roster spots, and the young players are still finding ways to win in dramatic fashion. Granted, the Yankees are playing the Royals, but the Red Sox struggled against the Royals prior to their series against the Yanks and are struggling against Toronto now. It may not matter once the playoffs start, but I am feeling a lot better about the playoffs than my Red Sox fan friend.

In the On Deck Circle:
Joba Chamberlain (9-6, 4.72) will try to pick up where he left off as he takes the mound against Kansas City tonight. He held the Red Sox to three runs in six innings, striking out five and walking only one on Friday. The Yankee batters will face Robinson Tejeda, (4-2, 3.41). Tejeda melted down against the Twins last Friday, when he gave up seven walks in 4.1 innings. He has had a solid year in the bullpen and is transitioning to a starting position. He had 2.2 scoreless relief innings against the Yankees in April. First pitch is at 7:05pm in the Bronx.