(#staytucked. Courtesy of The AP)
Yesterday's loss was a bad one, no other way to say it. The Yankees had a 4-0 lead in the 4th inning, appeared to have former teammate Bartolo Colon's number, had their ace on the mound, and still managed to lose their 4th straight 1-run game to Oakland. The offense went completely to sleep after the 4th inning, scoring 0 runs for the rest of the game, Colon started to get things together long enough to give his team a chance to come back, the ace started giving up runs, and the bullpen completed the collapse by blowing the save in the 9th and giving up the winning run in the 12th. It had already been a tough series for the Yankees, but yesterday's loss made it even worse.
- After the teams traded scoreless frames through 2, the Yankees struck with a barrage of 4 straight singles to start the top of the 3rd, the last one an RBI knock for Mark Teixeira. An Alex Rodriguez 2-run double with 1 out gave the Yankees an early 3-0 lead.
- That lead was extended on Curtis Granderson's solo homer in the top of the 4th inning and the Yankees looked like they were off and running. They were jumping all over Colon's 2-seamer and it looked like only a matter of time before he completely caved.
- The A's finally got on the board in the bottom of the 5th, thanks to a pair of solo homers by Brandon Inge and Kurt Suzuki. CC had been leaving some offspeed pitches a little higher in the zone than he wanted and it finally caught up to him, although there's no excuse for giving up a HR to Suzuki.
- After CC put a couple more runners on in the 6th, Jayson Nix's inability to smoothly turn 2 led to another Oakland run. Nix was starting for Derek Jeter at short and bobbled the transfer before getting the ball to Robinson Cano for the throw. 4-3 Yanks.
- Despite the lack of offense after 4, the Yankees were still in position to win in the bottom of the 9th, but just as Sabathia had done, Rafael Soriano left a slider up just enough and Seth Smith hit it for a game-tying home run.
- The offense had 2 runners on in the 10th and 12th innings and could not bring anybody in. After putting up 4 runs on 7 hits and 1 walk through 4 innings, the Yankee lineup mustered just 4 hits and 2 walks in 8 scoreless innings from then on.
- David Phelps came in for the 10th, got 2 strikeouts to start the 11th, and then was inexplicably removed for Clay Rapada to face Smith. Going lefty-lefty for 1 batter in extra innings is a questionable move, regardless of what Smith had done earlier, and Phelps deserved to stay out there longer.
- The matchup game would come back to haunt the Yanks in the bottom of the 12th, when Joe went to Cody Eppley to replace Rapada and immediately watched Eppley repeat his Friday night performance, giving up 2 hits and the game-winning one to lefty-hitting Coco Crisp to finish up the sweep.
- C-Grand: 2-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K. Solid all-around day at the plate for Curtis, who was hitting from the leadoff spot with Jeter sitting.
- Soriano: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 K, BS. Only Soriano's second blown save since taking over the closer role, but in the context of this game and this series it was a really rough one.
- Joe Girardi: The decision to remove Phelps after just 1.2 innings and 19 pitches was completely asinine. What the fuck was the kid sent down for to stretch out if this is how he's going to be used??? Phelps was good for 5+ innings yesterday and he was the best reliever available. What a waste.
I never thought I'd be glad to get out of Oakland. The Yankees were swept by the A's for the first time since 1972, and they find their 10-game division lead down to 6 as they had to Seattle for 3 games starting tonight. They'll likely be without Nick Swisher for this series as he recovers from his hop flexor, so somebody or somebodies in the lineup needs to step up. Hiroki Kuroda will be tonight's starter.