Yanks Lose in Extras, Go 8-2 at The Stadium
The Yankees got 8 strong innings from a starter, amassed 13 hits, including another clutch 9th inning RBI single by Melky Cabrera…and lost?
The Yanks dropped the rubber match to the Phillies 4-3 in 11 innings today, thanks largely to Philadelphia catcher Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz doubled off of Brett Tomko and drove home pinch hitter Chase Utley with 2 outs in the top of the 11th. The Yankees just couldn’t get Ruiz out this series. The catcher collected six hits in eight at bats in the two Yankee loses. It would make it easier if Howard or Utley or Ibanez beat the Yankees, but Carlos Ruiz? It’s like trying to pick up chicks at the bar; if you strike out with the 3 hottest girls early in the night, no big deal. The night is young, there are plenty of other fish in the sea, and you half expected it anyway. But if you get shot down by the wasted broad with the missing tooth at half past Last Call? That sucks.
The Yankees looked like they were going to get their 18th come from behind victory and 7th walkoff win of the season when Cano lead off the bottom of the ninth with an infield single. Down 3-2, pinch runner Ramiro Pena stole second, and Melky Cabrera singled him home to tie the game 3-3.
After Mariano took care of the Phillies in the top of the 10th, Jeter and Damon led off the bottom half with singles. It was looking good for the Yanks, until Teixeira rolled over on a 3-2 offering from Clay Condry and grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. With Pena on deck behind A-Rod the Phillies made the smart move and intentionally walked Rodriguez, then got Pena to fly out. Utley scored the winning run in the top half of the 11th, and Melky, Matsui, and Cash went down 1-2-3 to end it. Cue Sinatra.
I’m upbeat though. The Yankees went 8-2 on the home stand and showed a lot of character. Their starting pitching looks great, the bullpen is throwing better, and the Yankees got a season’s worth of clutch hitting from the offense. CC was good but not great today, but if he gives the Yankees 3 runs over 8 innings every time out, I’ll be happy.
1. Offense: Posada is still on the DL. When he comes back, the Yanks can field a lineup of Jeter, Damon, Teixeira, A-Rod, Posada, Cano, Matsui, Melky, and Gardner. Jeter has been picking it up lately, Damon has been great, Tex has been one of the best hitters in baseball since A-Rod returned, Rodriguez (10 hits, 7 HR since returning) is only going to improve, Posada will be huge in the five hole, Cano can go on a 20-40 streak at any given time, Matsui is streaky too but as his knee improves so should his numbers, Melky took his demotion from center field in the best way possible and has been a nice suprise this season, and Gardner is Gardner. That’s a dangerous lineup.
2. Pitching: The Yankees have allowed 4 runs or fewer in eight of their last 10 games. Baseball is an easy game when you have good pitching, and this lineup should be able to knock in 5 runs a game. Starters are going deeper into the game and pitching better, which means the bullpen can work less often and rest up. A bullpen always appreciates it when they aren’t constantly coming in to pressure situations and/or down 7 runs in the 4th.
It’s a good thing the Yankees pitching is improving, because they are going to continue to see tough offenses for the next few weeks. Tomorrow New York heads to Texas for 3 games, then to Cleveland for 4, and then they get Texas and Tampa Bay for 3 and 4 in Yankee Stadium before heading to Boston for a huge 3 game showdown.
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