The New York Yankees finally got hits with runners in scoring position, back-to-back in fact, but they were not enough as a ninth inning rally fell just short in a 6-5 loss to the Cincinnati Reds at Yankee Stadium.
Heading into the bottom of the ninth inning the Yankees were down by three runs. Raul Ibanez led off the inning with a double off Reds closer Sean Marshall. Nick Swisher brought him in with a single, the first hit the Yankees had managed in their last 22 chances with a runner in scoring position. Russell Martin, who homered earlier in the game struck out. Andruw Jones was next and he lined a single to center moving Swisher to third. Jayson Nix, who also homered in the game, singled in Swisher putting the Yanks down by a run with runners on first and second and only one out.
Jose Arredondo came in to replace an ineffective Marshall and faced Derek Jeter. The Yankees’ captain bounced into a force play third base to second. Jeter raced down the line to beat the throw from second and keep the inning alive. Curtis Granderson was the Yankees last hope. He ran the count to 3-0, but Arredondo got back to a full count and got Granderson to bounce out weakly to first base to end the game.
The Yankees were put into the deficit by starting potcher Ivan Nova, who had one of the more interesting stat lines you’ll see. He gave up five earned runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out twelve batters. Yes, that’s right he struck out twelve but still gave up five runs. He made one big mistake to Reds first baseman Joey Votto, a three-run blast into right field bleachers.
The Reds scored once in the first and once in the second to take a 2-0 lead, but the Yankees scratched back into the game behind Martin’s fourth homer of the season in the third and a RBI-double by Ibanez in the fourth.
Votto’s homer put the Reds up 5-2 in the top of the fifth, but Nix got the Yanks back within two with his solo shot in the bottom half of the inning. The Reds added an big insurance run in the eighth inning on an unfortunate misplay by rookie reliever David Phelps. With runners on first and second and no one out, Todd Frazier tried to sacrifice the runners over with a bunt, but he popped it up and Phelps made a fantastic diving catch. He got back to his feet and fired to first trying to get the double play, but the ball went wide and scooted into right field allowing Brandon Phillips to move to third base. Mike Costanzo hit a sac fly to center scoring Phillips which ended up being the difference in the final score.
- Mark Teixeira was out of the lineup again as the Yankees have decided the best course of action to rid him of the month long cough is rest. He is likely to sit out today’s game as well.
- David Robertson is still feeling the effects of his strained left oblique according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.
- Despite the two hits with RISP in the ninth inning yesterday, the Yankees are 5-for-55 in their last seven games.
- Brett Gardner was set to be evaluated yesterday to determine if he is ready to swing a bat.
MY TWO CENTS
For what it’s worth, this is the type of game the Yankees are paying CC Sabathia $23 million this year for. Coming off a tough loss, where they showed some life for the first time in a long time, Sabathia needs a shutdown performance in order to gain the series win and get the Yankees back in line.
The start is also important because of Reds starter Johnny Cueto, who has been a very good pitcher dating back to last season and virtually untouchable so far this year. Cueto has very good numbers against the Yankees in two starts as seen above, so Sabathia is going to have to match him.
Of course, this isn’t all on Sabathia. The Yankees need to produce hits if they are fortunate enough to get runners in scoring position. Wasted chances against Cueto will come back to haunt them.
Hopefully yesterday’s ninth inning rally is a glimpse of what is to come. It will be difficult against Cueto, but if they can scratch a few runs across, the Yankees can lean on their ace to do the rest.
Topics: Andruw Jones, Brandon Phillips, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Cincinnati Reds, Curtis Granderson, David Phelps, Derek Jeter, Ivan Nova, Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto, Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees, Nick Swisher, Russell Martin, Sean Marshall, Yankee Stadium, Yankees