As you may have guessed from the title, the Yanks showcased some serious moxie during last night’s bout only to ultimately taste the bitter pangs of defeat. Let’s see if we can briefly relive that exhausting experience one more time.
Just as the old (and slightly obvious) baseball adage states, the outcome of the game generally begins and ends with the quality of the pitching. Needless to say, Bartolo Colon didn’t have his best stuff and it cost him early. During the bottom of the first, Michael Young began his offensive onslaught with a home run.
Later in the second inning, David Murphy sent a line drive into the stands forcing the score to 2-0. Mitch Moreland singled; Chris Davis walked; and then, Julio Borbon drove the proverbial dagger straight through the heart with a bases clearing triple that split the gap between Granderson and Swisher.
Finally, Ian Kinsler sent a sacrifice fly all the way to the wall (which Andruw Jones managed to catch) that brought about the fifth run. The damage could have certainly been worse though had Elvis Andrus (who had singled earlier) not gotten himself caught running the bases after yet another Young hit. Honestly, I was exhausted heading into the game, and by this point, wasn’t feeling especially positive about the outcome (the Yankee win expectancy according to Fangraphs was 9.5% at that point). The final line for Colon was 4.1 innings pitched, nine hits, five earned runs, one walk, and four strike outs (3.86 ERA). Meh; it was bound to happen.
Fortunately, the (rather bigoted) “Fat Lady” hadn’t sung just quite yet. The top of the third inspired some good ol’ fashion rallying. Jorge Posada worked a six pitch walk but was quickly erased by a Russell Martin double play. That didn’t discourage the troops though. Derek Jeter delivered what very well could have been his best hit of the season on a sixth-pitch slider that he shot to the left field wall resulting in an honest double. Curtis Granderson then worked a seven pitch walk. Mark Teixeira singled thusly allowing Derek Jeter to score; Alex Rodriguez walked; and then, Robinson Cano tripled on a line drive to center field. All of a sudden, the scoreboard displayed a one run deficit as the score was now 5-4.
Nick Swisher took it upon himself to tie the match up after working six pitches out of Texas reliever, Brett Tomko. The seventh pitch was a poorly located 91 mile per hour four seam fastball which was crushed into the right field stands. Sadly, the Yanks weren’t able to muster any further offense against Rhodes, Oliver, and Feliz (predictably).
Instead what Yankeeland did get to witness was a classic bullpen breakdown in the bottom of the sixth. Last night’s goat was none other than Boone Logan. Immediately, Mitch Moreland doubled on a fly ball to left field (ironically right after Brett Gardner was subbed in for Jones for a defensive upgrade) with no outs. Chris Davis then singled on a line drive to right field driving Moreland to third base – still no outs. Borbon then executed – you guessed it – a perfect sacrifice bunt allowing Moreland to score. Out went Logan; bring in David Robertson. A few batters later, Young continued his Yankee punishment with yet another single and another run batted in – final score, 7-5. Fun times! As a side note, Logan has allowed left handed batters to hit .316/.409/.526 (.935 OPS) thus far. That’s simply not what a lefty specialist is hired for…
The rest, as the say, was history. But hey, that was then and this now! Today’s a new day and with the series tied up at a game a piece, the Yankees will send CC Sabathia (2-2, 2.68 ERA) to the mound to face off against David Busch. First pitch is slated for 2:05PM EST on YES. We’ll be watching and so should you!