Sloppy game brings the Yankees’ win streak to an end

With one out in the top of the sixth, Donaldson hit what should have been a routine ground out to short. Nunez fielded the ball, spun around awkwardly and flung the ball well past Swisher, allowing the runner to advance to second. Pennington connected with a RBI single, and the A’s had the lead once again. The Yankees had a few chances to get the run back, having two runners on in the bottom of the sixth, and with Martin taking a leadoff walk in the eighth. A-Rod just missed a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth, as the ball was just short of the wall in right. Cano struck out to end the game, with the A’s taking the 5-4 win and the Yankees streak ending at seven games. Luckily, the Orioles fell to the Red Sox, keeping New York in first in the AL East.

I generally try to shy away from complaining about umpires. After a couple decades of playing competitive sports I have always felt that, while bad officiating can be incredibly frustrating and can no doubt have an impact on the game, it is usually on the players to make the plays, coaches to make strategic decisions, etc. I tend to find people who constantly complain about officiating to be tiresome. As an athlete you know you need to adjust to your officials, whether it is a wide strike zone or making sure you don’t lose your focus due to a missed call. Today’s technology may be capable of minimizing these officiating mistakes, but at this point it isn’t being used so to act like it is would be fruitless.

That said, the umpires in this game did a pretty awful job. The strike zone was bizarre, whether it was A-Rod getting called out at a strike in mid-shin or Swisher watching a pitch completely avoid home plate and getting sent back to the bench. Did these plays (and others) impact the game? Absolutely, especially the call at first that resulted in an early 3-0 lead for the A’s. Were the umpires at fault for the Yankees losing? Nope, Kuroda was not at his best and struggled early on, their defense (Nunez, I’m looking at you) was sloppy and they failed to capitalize on various opportunities throughout the game.

Bronx Cheers:
Eduardo Nunez: Nunez may have been yesterday’s hero, but that will quickly be forgotten after his miserable performance today. He had two errors, one leading to a crucial run for Oakland. He also went 0-4 at the plate, stranding three runners, striking out once and picking up one RBI.

Alex Rodriguez: A-Rod almost came away as the hero when he almost got a ball into the short porch. Instead he went 0-5 with three Ks and a pair of runners left on base.

Hiroki Kuroda: The Yankees’ starter went just 5.2 innings and gave up five runs (four earned) on seven hits, three walks and five Ks. He struggled to get strikes with his splitter and while he made some adjustments, it wasn’t enough to get him deep into the game.

Curtain Calls:
Nick Swisher: Swish went 2-3 with a run scored, two RBIs, a walk and a homer.

Raul Ibanez, Derek Jeter: Both went 2-4, with Ibanez driving in a RBI and a double. Jeter drew a walk and gave the Yankees chances out of the leadoff spot, but they couldn’t seem to bring him home.

The Bullpen: Clay Rapada, David Phelps, Boone Logan and Cody Eppley combined to give the Yankees 3.1 innings of scoreless baseball. Phelps gave up one walk and one hit in his inning of work, while Logan struck out two in his 1.1 innings.

10 thoughts on “Sloppy game brings the Yankees’ win streak to an end

  1. Bill

    We might want to take a step back and reconsider the role Kuroda is going to play in October. He has shown himself to be as unreliable and anyone you want to name in the rotation. CC's start on Friday is a glimmer of hope, Hughes' efforts may not always be pretty, but they're usually successful and Pettitte is Pettitte. Kuroda will probably be the 2, but do you really have faith after what you've seen the last five starts or so?

  2. uyf1950

    Please oh please keep Nunez off the field defensively. In my humble opinion the time has come to stop making excuses for his defense. He's had plenty of playing time between the big leagues and minors to fix whatever his problem is. And neither he or the Yankees have been able to do it. Either use him as a full time DH or trade him. I say trade him this way you remove the temptation to use him defensively. That's just my opinion.

    • Andrew

      There just aren't enough thumbs in the world to describe how much I agree with this.

    • Tamar

      I was saying the same thing to someone on twitter today. Nunez has had plenty of chances to prove himself and continually fails. I also thought he was pretty disappointing in Triple-a this season which continues to make me doubt his ability to stick.

      • Doyle Woodard

        Genius Joe continues to place Nunez in a position where can NOT be successful. If the blame game is to be played who should shoulder this. Hint it is not Nunez. D Woodard

        • Steve

          If Girardi had made me the starting SS, that would've been putting someone in a position where they could not be successful. Instead he wisely chose to give a professional baseball player the starting nod, professional baseball player of course meaning someone who gets paid to play baseball. But you're right it was wrong of Girardi to ask a professional baseball player to play baseball, no less at the position the professional baseball player has spent almost his entire minor league career and most of his major league career playing. HOW DARE GIRARDI!

  3. Jacques

    Even though Nunez played poorly, I hope this does not encourage Girardi to keep Nunez out of playoff roster. I hope Girardi still inserts Nunez over Jones when facing a left-handed starter. Nunez can also be a pinch runner.

  4. OldYanksFan

    Nunez in our BU-SS. To blame him for our loss, when ARod, Granderson and Cano, the guys WE COUNT on keep failing, is silly. The other day, Nunez caught a liner that maybe saves the game.

    For September:
    Cano: .234/.337/.403/.740
    Grandy: .186/.265/.475/.740
    ARod: .292/.346/.444/.790

    Last 7 days:
    Cano: .222/.276/.296/.572
    Grandy: .111/.280/.167/.447
    ARod: .280/.321/.280/.601

    It's amazing we're still in this thing.
    ur September heros have been Ichiro, Martin and Raul. Think about that.
    Jeter needs to seriously kick Cano in the ass, and hopefully he'll land on Granderson.

    • uyf1950

      OldYanksFan, I agree with you to a degree about both Cano the last several games, Granderson for the better part of the 2nd half of the year and about A-Rod far more recently. But please don't cherry pick such a short period of time for guys that have a "body of work" behind them as some sort of justification for Nunez's performance. Let's be honest with ourselves if nothing else. Nunez has pretty much stunk defensively ever since day one. To pick one or even a few isolated instances where Nunez did something defensively as some sort of saving grace on his behalf is just plain wrong. I'm sure you're familiar with the saying "even a broken clock is right 2 times a day". I can think of nothing more appropriate then that saying to describe Nunez defensively.

  5. jay_robertson

    If someone could please refresh my memory – WHY weren't the Yankees "in" on Cespedes? Somehow I feel that would have worked out better than Ibanez & Jones. Plus, we wouldn't be dithering on whether or not to be bringing back the strikeout king and being forced to give Swisher big money…

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