Thursday, August 30, 2012

Yankees postgame notes following a Wednesday matinee loss

Here are some Yankees notes from Wednesday afternoon/evening after a loss.  The Yankees had their ace on the mound playing a last place team.  They figured that even after the tough loss on Monday they could take the seris with this game.  It didn't work out the way they wanted as Sabathia wasn't great.  The notes are courtesy of the Lohud Yankees blog with my thoughts mixed in.

CC Sabathia tried to take all the blame for today’s debacle. As reporters gathered around his locker, the Yankees ace was blunt.
“It’s definitely disappointing,” he said. “I feel like this game is all my fault, obviously.”  This is why he is an ace.  He should of pitched better but it isn't all of his fault. 

Actually, it wasn’t obvious at all. Sabathia gave up a lead twice, so he deserved some of the blame, but the Yankees were 3-for-17 with runners in scoring position. They made three errors, and that’s not counting the two diving catches that fell out of Andruw Jones’ glove. They lost two out of three against the worst team in the division, and next they have to face the second-place Orioles.

“You show me a manager or player who’s happy to lose a ballgame, and I’ll show you a loser,” Joe Girardi said. “We didn’t play well today. We had plenty of opportunities to win that game and we didn’t get it done. You have to get it done. … We had chances offensively and didn’t get it done. We had chances defensively and didn’t get it done. We didn’t make pitches when we had to. We just didn’t play.”

True, true and true. This was a game the Yankees should have won for all sorts of different reasons, mostly because the Blue Jays are a bad team and the Yankees are supposed to be  a World Series contender. There are plenty of excuses – Sabathia’s defense let him down, the Yankees made some good plays to make up for some of their mistakes, the lineup is missing key pieces – but Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira aren’t coming back any time soon, and the Yankees have to beat teams like the Blue Jays.

Today was a bad game. It was a bad game for Sabathia, it was a bad game for the lineup and it was a bad game for the Yankees.

“Ain’t nobody that likes losing before off days,” Nick Swisher said. “Tough series for us, man. We’ve got to put it behind us. That off day for us couldn’t come at a better time. We’re a little banged up right now. We’ve just got to keep going out there. We’ve got to find a way to win games. That’s it.”

The Yankees actually did have some good luck on their side. They scored two runs when Rajai Davis misplayed Curtis Granderson’s fly ball, and they scored another when Russell Martin’s bouncing ball hit the third-base bag and skipped into the outfield. “There’s a lot of times you say, ‘Hit the bag,’ and it never does,” Girardi said. “Today was one of those days it hit the bag, (but) it seemed like a few times we had runners on second with nobody out and weren’t able to get them home. That’s probably what cost us the game.”  It is true in this game but not for much of the season. 

Andruw Jones nearly made two good catches, but with each diving attempt, the ball rolled out of his glove when he hit the ground. “The first one, I had it,” he said. “I just kind of rolled over my wrist a little bit and wasn’t actually (hurt) that bad. But the second one, I got my fingers caught up into the ground and rolled over a little bit. Those are tough plays, but if you get your glove to them, you’ve got to make them.”

Jones clearly hurt his glove hand on the second diving play, but he said he was fine. “It’s alright,” he said. “It’s just my fingers went back a little bit. But it’s alright I guess.”

Ichiro Suzuki is known for an ability to handle the bat, but he failed to get a bunt down today and it seemed to cost the Yankees. “Obviously in baseball you just have a lot of momentums,” he said. “And I wasn’t able to get that bunt down to create that momentum. Obviously in this important stretch, the run down the stretch, obviously we need to get things done and I need to do better.”  He is such a fundamentally sound ballplayer you are shocked when he doesn't do something like that.  He is a lot like Jeter in that way. 

 The Yankees were held homerless in back-to-back games for the third time this season. It’s the first time they were back-to-back games without a homer at home this season.
  It is a little strange not watching them pound the baseball over the fence.  It is a little harder without Rodriguez and Teixeira though. 

The Yankees reached base in six of nine innings and matched their season-high for at-bats with runners in scoring position in a nine-inning game. Of their eight hits, six were doubles, their most doubles in a game since July 30, 2011.

 Derek Jeter’s first-inning error was his first since July 8, snapping a 38-game errorless streak. According to Elias, it’s his longest error-free streak since a career-high 52 games in 2010.

Sabathia’s day started to go bad when he gave up three runs with two outs in the third. Jayson Nix made a nice play to turn two and put Sabathia on the verge of ending the inning, but things started to unravel with a hit by Edwin Encarnacion. “I just think obviously it was 3-0 just trying to make a pitch,” Sabathia said. “He put a good swing on the pitch. I just think the two-strike pitches killed me today.”

Sabathia on the homer to Escobar, which came on a hanging slider: “I was just trying to make a pitch and not walk him. I should probably be smarter than that.”

 Some of the Blue Jays damage came on broken bat hits, but Sabathia couldn’t care less. “It really doesn’t matter,” he said. “They’re line drives to score runs. It’s up to me to make pitches and get out of the inning, and I didn’t do that tonight.”

 Make no mistake, Sabathia said he was fully healthy and had good stuff. “Just frustrated at actually having my stuff and not making the pitches,” he said. “Obviously you have to give them credit for putting together good at-bats, but I need to make better pitches and I didn’t do that today.”

 Final word goes to Girardi: “At times we haven’t hit during this little streak. We haven’t scored as many runs as we have in the past. Up until today our pitching wasn’t too bad. Today it was a combination of a lot of different things. You have to put it behind you. That’s all you can do. This day is over with, so put it behind you and move on.”  There is no choice, they are in front so the other teams have to catch them.  The Yankees have to start winning some games though and getting some distance between them.  The next three series are against the teams competing against them for the playoffs. 

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