Man, this was a tough one. Phil Hughes was pitching rather well until he ran into trouble in the sixth. Armed with a scant two-run lead on a Nick Swisher home run, Hughes gave it all back and then some as Matt Joyce pumped a three-run bomb with two outs. Though Hughes ended up tossing a quality start (6 IP, 3 ER), the outing was a bit tarnished. Not to take anything away from Joyce, but a veteran starter probably doesn’t surrender a go-ahead bomb with two outs.
Alex Rodriguez went 0-4 and jawed with the umpire a bit on a called strike in the top of the ninth that could’ve gone either way. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like A-Rod’s really been getting crushed by the umps on that same borderline strike call during the past week. Looked like a ball from here.
In positive news, the Joba Chamberlain Redemption Project made some progress, as Joba pitched two scoreless innings of relatively high-leverage ball with three strikeouts.
The Rays are now only a game out of first place for the first time since Sunday, June 20. Not that the division will be decided this weekend, but you wouldn’t be able to tell by the Rays’ reactions, who acted as if they’d just won the World Series. I know they’re riding a hot streak right now and the Yankees are the only team ahead of them, but a little restraint would be nice. Hopefully the Yankees can bounce back Saturday night and get that game back.
In transactional news, the Yankees have acquired both Lance Berkman and Austin Kearns in separate deals, and supposedly have a third deal in the works. We’ll have more on the new acquisitions soon; if you need immediate info our friends at RAB have it covered as usual.
Photo c/o The AP