Yanks once again play tie game into 9th inning, lose

CC doing an impression of me watching a slumping Yankee offense. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

For the fifth time in their last nine games, the Yankees played to a tie against their opponent into the ninth inning and lost, this time by a score of 5-4 to the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre. Two days after giving up a walkoff home run to Luis Rodriguez, Cory Wade again surrendered the game-winning hit to a light-hitting part-timer in the form of former Yankee Jose Molina. Of course.

The loss dropped the Yankees to 20-23 in one-run games on the season, and while one’s record in games decided by one run is inherently random, one curious aspect of the Yankees’ recent stretch of shoddy play has been Joe Girardi‘s bullpen deployment. I’m all for resting key guys down the stretch with a playoff berth all but assured, but as many have noted, Girardi has made a rather strange habit of late of deploying his top relievers early and then going with the seamy underbelly of the bullpen after the Yankees don’t score. If you’re going to punt a game, may as well bring the crap in for the 7th and 8th instead of wasting Rafael Soriano and David Robertson.

However, in spite of the questionable bullpen usage, the blame for these late-game one-run losses really lies squarely on the offense. Coming into this game the Yankees were hitting just .230/.312/.398 in 14 September games. With a measly five hits against the Blue Jays tonight the team’s BA on the month fell to .226. Additionally, the lack of late-game scoring — something I touched upon earlier this season — has been killing them, as the Yankees have scored TWO total runs from the sixth inning on in their six losses this month. That’s two runs in THIRTY late-game innings. So if you’re wondering why the Yankees have been playing a ton of tied and or one-run games of late and losing them, there’s your answer.

CC Sabathia had kind of a rough outing in this one, needing an uncharacteristic 120 pitches to get through six innings, striking out eight but putting 14 baserunners on and giving up four runs. The Yankee offense was provided by Nick Swisher (RBI double and game-tying single), Eric Chavez (two-run homer) and Robinson Cano, but the Yankees couldn’t even get a runner on base over the final three innings, something that’s been a rather common occurrence of late.

Part of the reason the team’s struggled to score runs of late are the dual slumps of the team’s biggest bats in Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira, who combined to go 0-7 with a walk in this one. Coming into this game Tex was at .234/.288/.362 in September and Curtis at .188/.278/.292; they’ll come out of it soon enough, but it’s been pretty tough to watch their at-bats of late.

For his first start against the Yankees in more than three years, Dustin McGowan fared pretty well, going five innings and giving up three runs

6 thoughts on “Yanks once again play tie game into 9th inning, lose

  1. Duh, Innings!

    What if the Yanks re-signed Eric Chavez to start at 3B and made A-Rod the full-time DH/backup 3B next year? Montero further develops his catching game. Cervelli and Romine battle for the backup catcher job in spring training.

    Chavez at 3B would be an upgrade from 2011 A-Rod if Chavez surpassed 2011 A-Rod’s HR and RBI while A-Rod at DH would be an upgrade from 2011 Posada. Chavez would already be an upgrade from A-Rod and certainly Nunez defensively. I don’t know if Chavez could equal or better A-Rod’s .284/.367/.475 slashline for 2011, but I’d be happy with .270/.350/.450 from Chavez if he posted 20 HR and 80 RBI I think he’s capable of if healthy and that’s not too shabby for a #8 hitter.

    Gardner/Jeter/Granderson/Rodriguez/Cano/Teixiera/Swisher/Chavez/Martin would be my 2012 Yankees Opening Day starting nine / batting order (I have Granderson and Teixiera switch places when Teixiera shows me he can hit .280 or better again because .250 isn’t cutting it in the #3 slot.)

    If Chavez can’t get it done with the bat, A-Rod takes over 3B and Montero is called up to be the DH.

    Starting Chavez is a total low-risk high-reward move. Re-sign him for a year and $3M base where he makes more based on number of at-bats, making the All-Star team, and awards won. He’s aok with me if he produces a 2012 somewhere between 1998 and 1999 Scott Brosius closer to ’98.

    • bornwithpinstripes

      i would deff, keep chaves, one thing he only plays vs RHers.. he looks bad vs lefties..but great vs righties. cuts down on his chances to get hurt alex needs to play third, he has too many years left on his contract to BE a full time DH.. montero should be the EDGAR martinez for the yanks..swisher is a brutal RFer and i would deff. not resign him.tex dropping in the line up should have been done by now..cano should hit third. arod 4..tex is hitting lefties well.. or i would have him hit sixth on who is pitching..you are on the right track..cervelli is done..it is romine time..mitre , proctor..jones, and all these bums cash finds should not be in our future .lets have the kids try and do it..

  2. Duh, Innings!

    Anyone who says “What if Chavez can’t stay healthy all year for 2012?”, well, what if A-Rod can’t? You really want Eduardo Nunez who has no power or Brandon Laird who barely has any MLB experience starting at 3B if A-Rod falls to injury again? Who could they get via trade?

    I say bring back Chavez and at least give him April and May to show what he can do. Again, low-risk, high-reward.

    If Chavez doesn’t think he can play every day, then he could come back as the backup 1B/3B for slightly more than what he made this year, Rodriguez 3B, Montero DH.

    • If Chavez is willing to play the same role he played this year, I’d happily bring him back. But under no circumstance would I be counting on him to play a full healthy season. I also don’t think there’s any way Russell Martin doesn’t come back, and I imagine he will be the starting catcher barring injury.

      • bornwithpinstripes

        my opinion he is not a full time guy..when he plays fresh he is very good, but you can see as soon as he gets several days in a row or five six times a week..he hits like a bum..he has a winners mentality but he wears down fast..yes i would sign him but only as a part timer..we have a lot of catchers in the pipe line coming up

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