Yankees lose to Rays, 3-2

Courtesy Reuters

For 6 and half innings, this was a great, great game for Yankee fans. Bartolo Colon who had struggled in his past two starts was masterful, pitching 6.1 innings with 9 strikeouts, 2 walks and one earned run. Robinson Cano hit a bomb to deep left center field. An awful, sloppy bottom of the 7th changed all that and the Yankees went down as tough luck losers a night after stealing one from the Rays.

For the first 6 innings, the main story was the pitching duel. Bartolo Colon and the Rays Jeremy Hellickson were dominating early on. In the 3rd, Hellickson gave up a double to Mark Teixeira and then a bomb to Robinson Cano to make it 2-0 Yankees. It was the last real mistake Hellickson would make. In the bottom of the 5th, Sam Fuld tripled and then was driven in a batter later by a Reid Brignac base hit to make it 2-1 Yankees.

Things got interesting in the 7th. In the top half of the inning the Yankees looked like they were piecing together an insurance run with 2 outs when Gardner singled, stole second and then Eduardo Nunez walked. After the double steal, the Yankees had runners on second and third with two outs and the captain up. Jeter couldn’t capture the moment however and hit a weak grounder to 1st to retire the side. The missed opportunity proved to be costly.

In the bottom of the inning, Colon got Upton to strike out before singles by Chirinos and Rodriguez knocked him from the game with only one out. Boone Logan was summonsed, ostensibly to face lefty Sam Fuld. Tampa elected to pinch hit for Fuld and sent Ruggiano, a right handed hitter to the plate. Then it got wild. Granderson lost a seemingly harmless fly ball against the roof, allowing it to drop and load the bases. The next batter, Elliot Johnson chopped a tailor made double play ball up the middle. Instead of letting it go through to start the DP, Logan tried to make a play on the ball, deflected it and suddenly Chirinos scores and the game is tied with the bases still loaded on still only one out. Damon batted next and hit a shallow fly ball to center. Granderson had to slide to make the catch, and with Sean Rodriguez on 3rd, he aggressively tagged up after seeing Granderson on the ground. He scored, the throw missed everybody and reached the backstop, allowing the runners to move up. The Rays took a 3-2 lead. The nightmare ended with Boone Logan striking out Matt Joyce to stop the bleeding. That’s all the Rays would need though, as Jake McGee and Joel Peralta came on in the 8th and 9th to shut down the Yankees and deliver a tough loss to Bartolo Colon.

You can take a few things away from this game. First, Bartolo Colon looked fantastic again. His last two outings were something less than expected from Colon who has been so good for the Yankees this year. Questions were fairly raised about what you could expect going forward from him who has been a real life winning lotto ticket for the Yankees so far. Seeing him pitch like that again was definitely a relief.

And then there’s the bottom of the 7th. Look, Boone Logan did not lose that game for the Yankees. An unfortunate stadium quirk and an error were all that was needed to sink the Yankees tonight. It happens. That doesn’t mean however that going with Logan in that spot was the right decision. The process can still be awful even if the results were not. This process was awful.

Logan is a LOOGY- Lefty One Out Guy. His career numbers back that up. While he HAS struggled against lefties at times this year, he really is pretty good at getting them out. That’s his job and he does it well. What he cannot do, is get right handed hitters out. At all. That’s not his job. Just like I cannot design a house or paint a portrait, Boone Logan cannot get right handed hitters out. Observe.

 

For comparison, Sergio Mitre has a 4.22 career FIP against RH batters in his career. Think about that. Hell, against LH batters, the RHP Mitre has a career FIP of 5.27. Boone Logan is worse at getting right handed hitters out than Mitre is at getting lefties out. That’s way below replacement level, below anything that should be acceptable to any big league team. So why is he facing more than one RH batter in a 2-1 ball game, in the highest leverage situation against the Rays? That’s inexplicably bad and Joe Girardi simply cannot allow that to happen. Logan is good at what he does. That is it. He cannot shut off a nuclear reactor, compose a symphony or get right handed hitters out. End of story.

As for the offense, I think it’s just a case of seeing some really good pitching from the Rays. Hellickson has been good all year and the same goes for Jake McGee and Joel Peralta. The Yankees had some chances but it just didn’t work out. What can you do? Frustrating but it happens.

Anyhow, game 3 is tomorrow- same time, same place. It’ll be Freddy Garcia against Rays ace David Price. See you then.

17 thoughts on “Yankees lose to Rays, 3-2

  1. I know this stuff can happen to anyone, and people gripe about Yankee Stadium all the time, but eff the damn Trop. Sure, Logan and the Yanks may well have still surrendered the lead, but that inning looks a hell of a lot different with men on 1st and 2nd and two outs instead of bases loaded and one out.

    The whole sequence in the bottom of the 7th was unreal — Granderson can’t see what should be a routine flyout; Boone Logan completely botches what appeared to be a tailor-made double-play ball, and Johnny Damon luckily skies a high pop-up to no-man’s land in shallow center field.

    I know these events happened, and that’s baseball and there’s nothing anyone can do about it, but I hope the Rays and their fans know that that was just about the luckiest inning I’ve ever seen.

    • Luck happens in baseball, as I know you know. It’s one of the more annoying losses we’ll have to endure (at least I think/hope so) and it’s in the past. It totally sucks but, as you said, so does that joke of a baseball stadium.

      Can we just move the effin’ Rays out of Tampa already? No one goes to those games, the ballpark is an abomination and the Rays themselves desperately want out of the AL East. Let’s get this done!

  2. e nadel

    Why does jeter remain at the top of the order? The yankees have Gardner who skills equal the lead-off hitter for the Red sox. And yet Jeter continues to lead-off. Maybe it explains why they trail Boston.

    • Duh, Innings!

      “Because he’s Jeter”, is the sad old tired line from people who are still living in 1996-2009.

      Captain Can’t Hit Anymore (CCHA) was the primary reason why the Yankees lost last night. If he just went 1 for 4, .250 BA for the game, and that hit drove in Gardner and Nunez in the 7th, it’d have been 4-1 Yanks. That weak out was symbolic of Gardner and Nunez outplaying, outhitting, and out-hustling Jeter all year. They double-steal and what does he do? Weakly punches one to 1B. He’s an embarrassment and now I think he is living in denial because how can he look at his BA, OBP, SLG, and overall approach at the plate and tell himself he is anywhere close to being the hitter – the force – he was before 2010 (or May 2010 if you want to be really specific)? A real captain would go into Girardi’s office and tell Girardi he should be dropped in the order because he’s not getting it done in the leadoff slot. Girardi doesn’t have to drop him, but I’m sure he’d seriously consider it if his captain wanted it.

      I’ve had enough of Jeter. His chase for 3000 hits is over and he’s making wayyyy more money than he’s worth. Time to either bench him or drop him to ninth, too bad if he doesn’t like it. What’s he gonna do, refuse to play? Then void his contract. Jake it? Ask for a trade? Complain publicly? He could retire tomorrow and I wouldn’t care. The Yanks clear a ton of money, Gardner bats leadoff, Nunez starts at SS the rest of this year and probably produces as much as if not more than Jeter, and the Yanks get Jose Reyes in the offseason. Even if Reyes got $20M a season, he’d be worth that more than CCHA.

      What is with this fear of Jeter from the Yankees front office? Drop him to ninth already. It is clear to see Gardner is a better hitter and all-around player than Jeter, and yet he is being wasted in the #8 or #9 slot because Jeter’s ego can’t be bruised.

      Jeter is lucky he didn’t sign a one-year deal. Doesn’t he know he’d be toast as a Yankee after this year if he did?

  3. MJ, yeah I just can’t figure out that move. I think Mitre has a clearly defined roll- mop up. Logan can do ONE thing well but you have to know what his limitations are.

    Just to clarify my point here, I think leaving Logan in to face a RH is okay in some circumstances. If the Yanks have a big lead, maybe if there are no runners on base there, the hitters Madden was sending up certainly were not very good. I’m okay with that in situations where the game is NOT 2-1 with multiple runners on base.

  4. Frank

    What’s so frustrating to me about last night’s loss was the fact the key hits/plays occurred with 0-2 counts on the batters. The Rays score their first run on a triple by Fuld on a 2-2 count, but Colon had him 0-2. Then Rodriguez gets a key hit on an 0-2 count in the 7th after Chirinos’ infield single. Finally, Rugiano and Johnson are each in an 0-2 hole when they hit the fly ball to Grandy and tapper to Logan, respectively. Those are 4 key ABs in this game, none of which went the Yankees way, which cost them the game.

  5. bornwithpinstripes

    logan and posada . gotta go..can’t carry a bunch of 230 and under hitters..tex has not stepped up..he should bat fifth ..gardner ..jeter..grandy..cano..tex..

  6. @Sean P.: I couldn’t agree with you more. I just don’t know why Girardi continues to pitch Logan vs. RHB when we’ve seen enough over the past two years to know better. How does Girardi not know better at this point?

    Then again, I don’t fully understand why Girardi and Cashman have such a lump in their pants for Sergio Mitre. Cashman has done a generally commendable job building his bullpens the past several years and Girardi, more often than not, does a good job of using his bullpen arms. Yet somehow Logan/Mitre represent two giant blindspots for these otherwise competent individuals.

    I just don’t get it.

  7. Last night’s loss was a bitter pill to swallow. I frequently mention when a loss doesn’t frustrate, such as the rare Mariano melt down, so allow me to be the first to say that an inning with two errors, at least one of which was stadium induced is precisely the kind of loss that drives me nuts.

    I can only assume David Robertson wasn’t available to pitch. Particularly after the bases were loaded that situation screamed for the Bombers’ strike out machine.

  8. smurfy

    I like Boone Logan, but Sean’s arguments are convincing. Here’s a goofy idea: since we are limited by a roster to carrying a single LOOGY, it would be ideal if he can switch to, say, right field, for a righty batter, then reappear on the mound to face another tough lefty. Like in the old days.

    If Boone isn’t up to it, I can think of an excellent prospect: Rick Ankiel. I think he warms the bench in Kansas City.

    • Duh, Innings!

      I think that’s against MLB rules or St.Louis would’ve done that with Rick Ankiel when he used to be exclusively a pitcher (or one who occasionally filled in in the outfield.) Ankiel doesn’t pitch anymore, hasn’t pitched for years. Some team would’ve tried that already. Or was it tried? It’s so bizarre a move I think I’d remember it if it was made.

      • bg90027

        It’s not against the rules. Billy Martin did that once putting Ron Guidry in Center for a batter and bringing someone (Goose?) to face a tough righty. Would you really want to lose Swisher’s bat late in a close game though, even leaving aside the fact that Logan probably hasn’t played OF in a long, long time.

        • smurfy

          Yeah, when the LOOGY returns to the mound, later in the same inning, Dickerson or Jones subs in. Logan would have to train, and the righty reliever would pitch the righty batter to avoid a hit to right. If Swish were due up, the manager might not employ the tactic.

          I see Ankiel is warming the Nats’ bench this year. He may jump at the last chance he will see. btw, he hit a sweet homer against us last year, lovely swing.

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  10. bg90027

    In fairness, we are talking about Justin Ruggiano and Elliott Johnson, who are among the worst hitters in baseball. I don’t have a problem with trusting Logan to get them out. It’s pretty much a tossup to me Wade vs better hitters in Fuld and Brignac or Logan vs those duds. Frankly, I probably would have just left Colon in.

  11. shimig

    in 1986 davey johnson once used roger mcdowell and jesse orosco as a righty-lefty combo one played rf while the other pitched then they switched.

  12. [...] Boone Logan is just fine as a LOOGY. I’m actually serious. When used properly, Boone Logan really is good against left handed hitters. This goes against my [...]

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