Every once in a while, a game like last night rolls around. I’m sure you’ve already read our game recap, but here’s my take on what went down last night, mostly just the points of frustration (with some silver linings).
1. A whole bunch of #RISPFail The Yankees were 2-16 w/RISP last night. You’re not going to win many games when you strand that many runners. The team had 12 hits and walked eight times, yet scored only three runs. Level of frustration: hair pulling. Silver lining: At least there were 20 guys on base. This should all start balancing out some time soon. I hope.
2. David Robertson actually didn’t come through in a big spot. This is especially frustrating, considering how much praise Robertson garnered around the Yankee-blogosphere yesterday. But, we’ve got to remember that he’s not going to shut down every hitter in every big spot. Frustration level: cursing. Silver lining: He actually made a pretty good pitch to Wilson Betemit, but the former Yankee put a pretty good swing on it to hook the curveball into right.
3. Buddy Carlyle. I don’t think we’re going to see Buddy in pinstripes much longer. To be fair, though, he probably should not have been pitching. If the Yankees had just one or two more hits, Carlyle would not have been needed. Frustration level: pillow punching. Silver lining: Hmm…
4. The bunting. Oh dear God the bunting. The Derek Jeter bunt wasn’t awful in terms of strategy, considering the Captain’s groundball tendencies. However, the execution was just pitiful. Both pitches he bunted at–the foul ball and the bunt itself–were bad pitches to bunt at, and Jeter should’ve pulled back. Then there was the Gardner bunt against Joakim Soria in extra innings. I….I have no words for this bunt. Why this bunt was stupid:
a. Brett Gardner has been hitting well lately. Why not let him swing away? He’s also been taking a lot of walks lately; his .585 OBP over the last 14 days led the American League going into that at bat.
b. Brett Gardner is fast. Really fast. Even if he hits a grounder, chances are that he’s not going to get doubled up. Let him swing away.
c. Joakim Soria hadn’t thrown a strike when Gardner stepped up to the plate. Remember, he walked Russell Martin on four pitches before Gardner came up.
d. THE COUNT WAS 3-1 WHEN GARDNER BUNTED.
i. This is a fantastic hitter’s count, even for a guy like Gardner. He’s probably going to get a pitch to hit and Gardner’s probably going to make good contact on it.
ii. With the way Soria had been throwing, it’s likely that the plate appearance could’ve ended in a walk.
Frustration level: Baby animal punching. Silver lining: Maybe Joe Girardi will finally realize that bunting in every possible situation isn’t the right thing to do. Maybe. Hopefully.
Lost in this is the fact that A.J. Burnett was (more or less) decent again last night. He only gave up one hit–Eric Hosmer‘s first ML homer–but he did walk five guys, which should not happen, especially against the Royals. But the bottom line is that he didn’t let those runs cross the plate.
There is no other word for the game than frustrating. Hopefully tonight the Yankees can win the series to build up some form of momentum before the Red Sox pull into town.