(You can't give up game-tying HRs to midgets. Courtesy of the AP)
I guess that off day came at the exact wrong time, huh? On Sunday the Yankees were hitting, they were fielding, they were pitching, and they were winning. Big. Last night they came out against a gutted, deadstick Fraud Sawx team and put on a display of all their recent problems for the Bahhston fans who hadn't gotten to experience them. They managed just 6 hits and 3 runs against a clearly-not-there Jon Lester and a cast of B-relievers, despite drawing 8 walks, they went 1-12 with RISP, their starting pitcher gave back the one lead the offense did get him, and the bullpen gave them game away in the 9th inning. Sprinkle in a little bad defense and bunting, which reader Mark was kind enough to remind me about, and you have another vintage 2012 Yankee "coulda, woulda, shoulda" loss.
- Things certainly got off to a good start offensively, when the Yanks worked 3 walks and a Nick Swisher double in 1 run. But as usual, it was only 1 run because they made outs on their run-scoring plays.
- Lester looked like he was fixing to walk the yard when he gave up free passes to Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano to start the 3rd. After Bobby V came out and blasted him, however, he was a different pitcher and retired the next 3 in order.
- Hiroki Kuroda had his first hiccup in the bottom of the 3rd when Pedro Ciriaco (who else) led off with a double and came around to score on a Jacoby Ellsbury single. Ellsbury scored after a SB and a single by Dustin Pedroia to make it 2-1 Sawx.
- Yanks got 2 more runners on to lead off the 6th, and this time they didn't let the opportunity slip by. Derek Jeter made great use of the Pesky Pole by bouncing a 2-run ground rule double right around it for a 3-2 lead.
- And this is where Kuroda's night went from potentially good to another "blah" outing. He left a 2-0 sinker up in the zone to Pedroia and Pedroia tied the game with on a HR to left. Shutdown innings, my ass.
- The 7th inning could have been a disaster, thanks to some bad defense by Russell Martin and even worse defense by Boone Logan that helped load the bases with 1 out. But in came Joba Chamberlain, seeing some real high-leverage work for the first time this season, and he shut the door. That's the one positive that can be taken from this game.
- It's tough to get on D-Rob when he got beat on 2 groundball singles, but he was still throwing too many cutters and not mixing his curveball well at all. Ellsbury was hot all night, so it was fitting that he got the game-winning single to win it in the 9th.
- Jeter: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 LOB. Had the biggest Yankee hit of the night, one that could have stood up as the game-winner.
- Joba: 0.2 IP. He's been better of late, but in a still very small sample size, so it was a tremendous show of confidence in him by Joe to be brought into a bases loaded, 1 out situation in the 7th. And to his credit, Joba rose to the occasion and delivered 2 huge outs.
- A-Rod: 0-4, 3 K, 1 BB, 3 LOB. Had opportunities to do damage, which is a great scenario for the Yankees with the he's been swinging the bat, but he didn't get it done yesterday.
- Curtis Granderson: 0-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 LOB. Came up with 2 out and 2 on in each of his first 2 ABs and couldn't drive in a run. Back to bench with thee!
Another series off to a bad start. This isn't one the Yankees can afford to lose. They should have a good matchup against Aaron Cook, but David Phelps has looked completely done in by the pressure in his last couple starts. I'm surprised to see him getting the ball tonight at Fenway, in a game the Yankees need, over Nova.