(Hey look! Another Yankee getting hit by a pitch! Courtesy of The AP)
It had already been a frustrating game for the Yankees before they came to bat in the top of the 8th inning last night. They had failed to capitalize on a litany of opportunities given to them by a not-so-sharp Felix Hernandez and found themselves trailing in the game after Freddy Garcia gave up just enough runs to the horrible Seattle lineup. But all of that went out the window when Alex Rodriguez was hit by a pitch in the 8th and went down in pain, clutching his left hand. It didn't look good, it didn't sound good, and the diagnosis after the game was not good. The Yankees lost the game last night, but the loss of A-Rod could prove to be far more devastating.
- Curtis Granderson got things started in the top of the 1st with a solo HR to make it 1-0 New York. A-Rod walked but was quickly erased by a Robinson Cano GIDP.
- The lead didn't last long, as Michael Saunders took Freddy yard on a 1-0 fastball in the bottom of the 1st to tie things up. It was about as horribly as one could locate a fastball, belt high and right over the middle of the plate.
- The Yankees got another 1-out walk in the 3rd, and just like in the 1st they immediately erased it with an inning-ending DP. That's 4 inning-ending double plays in the first 12 innings of this series, if you were wondering.
- Freddy struck out the side in the 2nd, but gave up what would prove to be the game-losing runs in the 3rd. An infield single off a deflection, a groundball single through the right side, a soft liner single to right, and a sac fly. Nothing that major, but well placed and effective to make it 3-1 Seattle.
- The Yankees loaded the bases with 1 out in the top of the 4th on a pair of singles and a walk to Mark Teixeira, but could not plate a run as King Felix got the next 2 batters out. Like I said, tons of missed opportunities.
- There was nothing to suggest that the A-Rod HBP was intentional, nor the one to Jeter earlier in the 8th inning or Ichiro earlier in the game, but if I'm Ivan Nova I'm laying a fastball in Michael Saunders' back tonight. You just can't let 3 of your guys getting hit go like that, especially when one of them ends up on the DL because of it.
- As for the rest of the 8th inning, the Yankees once again had the bases loaded with 1 out, and scored a run on a Teix sac fly to make it 3-2. But Joe left Raul Ibanez in to face a lefty (WHY??????) and Ibanez predictably struck out swinging to end the inning.
- After giving up the 3 runs early, Freddy settled down and actually retired the next 15 batters he faced in order before giving way to the bullpen with 1 out in the 8th, including 4 swinging strikeouts. What started out looking like another disaster turned into a pretty solid outing for Garcia.
- Unfortunately, the mix-and-match crew in the 8th couldn't pick him up. The infield RBI single by Kyle Seager was a fluke, but the 3 walks to load the bases weren't. The call to intentionally walk Jesus Montero with 2 outs was also questionable. Ballgame over, Yankees lose.
- C-Grand: 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K, 2 LOB. The only guy in the lineup with multiple hits and the only guy who actually drove in a run with a hit.
- Garcia: 7.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, L. Freddy deserved a better fate last night. Only 2 of the 5 hits he allowed were well hit, and 1 of them never left the infield. He actually had his slider and splitter working well last night, and mixed in his fastball well for strikes once he started to find his groove in the middle innings. A tough loss to take if you're Freddy.
- Ibanez: 0-4, 2 K, 5 LOB. Never should have been left in to hit in the top of the 8th, and didn't do squat against a shaky Hernandez earlier in the game.
- Joe: Second time in 3 games I've put Joe down here, so that tells you what kind of job he's doing lately. The decision to let Ibanez hit was stupid, the decision to pull Freddy might have been stupid, but the decision to intentionally walk Jesus Montero with 2 outs was definitely stupid. It was a knee-jerk reaction to Ackley stealing second base and the wrong reaction. You can't put more runners on base in that situation when you're down in a close game.
The Yankees will soldier on without their fallen Horse, and probably start working the phones for some trade possibilities, so fire up your trade proposal machines, people! The final game of this series is this afternoon, with Ivan Nova getting the start for New York.