Yesterday was easily the most frustrating loss of the season for the Yankees. Instead of recapping, I’m just going to list the things that frustrated me.
1. Andruw Jones’ beard. I don’t get the whole ‘regular-looking-facial-hair-on-my-chin-with-less-and-less-as-it-goes-up-but-it-doesn’t-reach-my-sideburns’ look. Oh, and he hit two homers off of Javy Vazquez yesterday. This may frustrate some because Jones has been a shell of himself since 2007, but make no mistake, he’s still got power. He slugged .459 and IsoP’d .245 last year with Texas and has hit for lots and lots of power this year. So, he’s still got that going for him.
2. Javier Vazquez’s “curveball”. Javy’s breaker was a “curveball” yesterday in that it moved and was slower than his fastball. Saying it moved is also being rather generous. His curve was so flat that I’m sure even Pedro Cerrano could’ve hit it, and the White Sox took advantage.
3. Jon Danks looked really hittable yesterday and the Yankees did not take advantage. They hit the bullpen well, but Danks didn’t have great stuff and still got through the start. The Yankees did do a good job of taking pitches and making him work, over 115 pitches in just five innings, but they couldn’t muster more than two runs against him despite having nine base runners in those five innings.
4. Curtis Granderson’s injury. There isn’t much to say here, really. It sucks big time and I wish him a speedy recovery. In the meantime, I guess we’ll be seeing a lot more of Randy Winn and Marcus Thames in left field. Moving Brett Gardner to center will bolster the defense out there, but the lineup takes a hit.
5. Intentionally walking the go ahead run. Is it just me or does this seem like a bad play? I know David Robertson didn’t look sharp, but Carlos Quentin has been pretty crappy this season. Granted, this move doesn’t look nearly as bad if Damaso Marte gets A.J. Pierhardtospell. More on this later.
6. Joe Girardi not pinch hitting for Thames in the eighth, only to do so in the ninth in a move that would’ve really hurt the Yankees if they went into extras. Thames had looked good at the plate, and did have a hit off of a righty, but I still think going to Nick Johnson in that spot would’ve been better. He’s in a slump, sure, but I still have a lot of faith in him getting on base. The way the pinch hit PA fell–Johnson for Winn in the ninth–would’ve either killed the bench or weakened the lineup had the game gone longer. Regardless, Johnson didn’t do his job when he grounded out to second.
7. Pinch running for A-Rod in the ninth. Seriously? A-Rod doesn’t need a pinch runner.
8. Back to the seventh inning of doom: here’s another case of how managers adhering to the save rule loses baseball games. In a perfect world, it’s Mariano Rivera (or any closer, really) who comes into the game with two outs and the tying and go ahead runs on base instead of the LOOGY. Sure, he likely can’t finish the game and get a save, but the game was in the balance at that moment. That is when the “closer” should be used.
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