Second place is the first loser


Following a 10-8 setback to the Sox the Yankees fell a half game behind the Rays for the lead the AL East. I’m not too upset about the loss because the Yanks fought back from a 10-1 deficit and brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning; much can be said about that. Plus, they have a 6 1/2-game lead over Boston in the Wild Card standings with eight games to play (Sox have nine left). In theory, the Sox could sweep the final five games they have against the Yanks (God forbid) and still not make the playoffs (magic number is three). So barring a Metsesque collapse the Yanks will be in the playoffs this year.

All is not well in Yankeeland, though. Pettitte looked like shit on Friday, giving up seven runs (six earned) on 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings of work. The pitching has been shaky the last few games, as the Yanks have dropped three in a row, five of 10, 12 of their last 18 and are 26-24 over their last 50 games. Not a good way to head into the playoffs. But things could be worse: they could be the Pirates, who lost their 100th game of the season on Friday night.

Also, Girardi announced a few rotation changes over the final week-plus of the season — mainly Dustin Moseley will start in lieu of Philthy on Sunday against Dice-K. Hughes will instead start on Wednesday (his last of the regular season) in Toronto. The Yanks will send Ivan Nova to the bump against Jon Lester on Saturday, so it could be a loooong weekend.

The bats showed up Friday, as the team clubbed a season-high six homers (A-Rod 2, Tex 2, Swish Dog, Grandy) but still lost. It was the third time since 1920 the Yanks lost after hitting six dingers. Ironically, the last time the Yanks hit six homers and lost was in a game Pettitte started (7/10/99 vs. Mets).

Fun facts:

  • Cano, Berkman and Posada combined to go 0-for-12.
  • A-Rod passed Sammy Sosa for sixth place on the all-time home run list with his 610th HR. It was his 58th career multi-homer game and fourth this season. His 47 homers against the Red Sox are the most by any active player.
  • Tex snapped a 75-at-bat homerless streak with his first long ball since August 31. It was his 29th career multi-homer game and fourth this season. He recorded his 901st career RBI.
  • Jeter increased his hitting streak to 13 games.
  • Kerry Wood pitched 1 1/3 innings of hitless relief, and now has given up just one run in 23 innings for the Yanks (0.39 ERA). Heck of a pick-up by Cashman.
  • The team has hit nine homers in 26 innings this season off Yankee-killer Josh Beckett.