Monday, September 3, 2012

Yankees Monday evening Postgame Notes after a loss in Tampa

Here are the Yankees postgame notes from Monday evening after another loss and their lead shrunk to one game.  The notes are courtesy of Lohud Yankees Blog and my thoughts mixed in. 

When Alex Rodriguez slid across home plate, popped to his feet and clapped his hands together, the Yankees seemed to have something going. That fourth inning was a show of life from this team, a three-run rally that gave the Yankees a lead and gave them a chance to build some momentum. By the end of the game, that inning was a perfect backdrop for just how poorly they played the rest of the game.

Fourth inning: Three runs on four hits.
Rest of the game: No runs on one hit.
James Shields is very good, we all know this. So is Fernando Rodney. There’s the obligatory tip of the cap. Certainly good pitching had something to do with it, but this offense was lifeless today. There was productive energy in the fourth. Otherwise, there was nothing. The Yankees didn’t get another runner into scoring position until Eduardo Nunez pinch ran and stole second base in the ninth inning.  The offense was all in that one inning and that was it period.  Their offense has been so bad, it would help if they were scoring some runs. 

“We all gotta do what we do,” Alex Rodriguez said. “The way you come out of things like this is by doing the little things and if we focus on doing the little things and become master at those we don’t have to worry about big things. And hopefully we’re on our way.”

“It’s frustrating, especially after the last outing, not being able to hold the lead,” Sabathia said. “Today I’ve just got to be a lot better than I was. … I felt like my stuff was good, I just didn’t make pitches when I needed to. Got into some bad counts and didn’t make the right pitches.”

There was some second guessing of Derek Jeter’s decision to throw to first, not home, on the game-tying ground out in the fifth. “What was there, nobody out?” Jeter said. “That would have been a tough one right there. Upton can run. If you don’t get him, you’re looking at two guys on and still nobody out. In that situation, what was it, the fifth, I think? You’ve got to go for the out.”  I can't disagree with Jeter, if you throw home and don't get him the inning could really blow up. 

Jeter did look home as if he were thinking about trying for the out at the plate. “I’m always looking,” Jeter said. “I looked up, but I didn’t think we had it. We maybe, possibly, could have had a chance, but in that situation, that inning, you don’t take a chance like that. Maybe in the 8th inning, 9th inning, something like that, it might have been a different story.”

Rodriguez said his timing was good and he felt good in his first big league game since late July. “Overall, I felt good,” he said. “Again, it’s a process. Today was another step forward. Saw the ball well, hand felt good, and I liked the intensity the team played with today. And tomorrow’s another day.”  It was good for the Yankees to get him back, hopefully Granderson tommorrow and then Teixeira by the end of the week.  These guys are going to have to carry them through September and into October and they should be able to do it. 

Rodriguez struck out in his final at-bat against Rodney. “I’m thinking about, Rodney’s got great stuff, just get a good pitch to hit, put a good swing on it,” Rodriguez said. “He gave me two good pitches to hit and I fouled them back, and the rest is history.”

Girardi didn’t seem upset at Cano for not running out of the box on that line drive that was dropped at third. “I think he thought he caught it, then he ran,” Girardi said. “That happens. Guys think a line drive is caught and then they kind of freeze.” If the Yankees weren’t in this situation — losing games and seeing their lead dwindle — it probably wouldn’t have been a big deal, but given this situation, it was ugly to see Cano miss out on a possible hit because he wasn’t hustling.  It is frustrating to see for the fans but the ball that got past him he said he felt tightness in his hip and that is why, it didn't look good though it shouldn't of snuck through. 

Sabathia on the home run pitch to Upton: “Two seamer away. It was up and he put a good swing on it. … (Trying to go) down and away. Trying to get a ground ball. He was in a hitter’s count. Just trying to make a pitch and ended up leaving the ball out over the plate.”

Sabathia has won just three of 17 starts against the Rays since coming to the Yankees. He has a 3.57 ERA in those starts, but he’s 3-7. Before coming the Yankees, Sabathia was a 7-1 with a 2.44 ERA in 11 career starts against the Rays (granted, those earlier Rays teams probably weren’t nearly as good).

Robertson on his outing: “I felt like I didn’t have my best stuff but I felt like I had good enough stuff to be able to get three outs. It’s unfortunate today that I wasn’t able to do that. … I fell behind a couple of times. Still, you want to make one good pitch and be able to get the outs you need. It seemed like I just couldn’t make a good enough pitch. Balls were finding holes and they were getting through.”

 Curtis Granderson pinch hit and struck out in the ninth. If he’d reached base, Granderson would have been lifted for a pinch runner.

No concerns about Ichiro Suzuki after his collision with Chris Dickerson. By the way, Dickerson is probably much bigger than most people realize. Dickerson was going to win that collision with no problem.

Final word goes to Jeter: “Yea, right now (things are going bad), but you can change it. We beat some teams early on, right? Baseball’s a funny game, a funny sport. Sometimes you struggle a bit, and then all of a sudden, things seem to change and you roll off a lot of wins. Hopefully we start that tomorrow. … Still got to have confidence. Unfortunately you can’t win every day. You’d like to — he approach is to win every day — but you’re going to go through highs and lows. You still have to have confidence, and we have a lot of confidence.”

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