Sunday, September 1, 2013

Bullpen Blows Chance at Sweep

After Ivan Nova gave the bullpen the entire game off yesterday they come back today in relief of Andy Pettitte and surrendered a three run lead, giving up seven runs in one inning in the process. Andy Pettitte was masterful for six innings but consecutive hits to begin the seventh inning made Girardi go to his reliable pen which had the best ERA in the majors for the month of August. The train wreck started with Shawn Kelley who did not record an out and immediately gave up two of Pettitte's runs and two of his own on an RBI single by a struggling Matt Wieters followed by a go-ahead three run home run by JJ Hardy that just barely cleared the right field wall. Joe Girardi then chose to go with Boone Logan who also could not get an out. He allowed a hit and a walk which was enough for Girardi to once again dip into his pen. Joba Chamberlain came in with the Yankees trailing 4-3 and promptly served up a three run home run to Adam Jones to straightaway center field to give the Orioles a commanding 7-3 lead which is the score they would go on to win by. Pettitte was sailing through six innings and after only throwing 86 pitches in his previous start, Girardi may have made a mistake by taking him out so quickly with 93 pitches thrown. Granted, it's easy to say what could have happened had Girardi left Pettitte in the game but his bullpen has been so strong for the entire season that it's difficult to second guess the manager in that situation.

The Yankee offense got to Chen early in the first inning, loading the bases for Vernon Wells who struck out looking at a pitch on the outside corner. It always seems that Wells comes up in the big situations and fails whenever the Yankees lose a game. The Yankees would go up 3-0 momentarily in the game but could not mount a comeback in the latter innings following the Orioles' seven run seventh. Cano had a horrific game, going 0-5 with three strikeouts. It's rare to see Cano with two K's in one game and today he had three. Brett Gardner was the only bright spot in the lineup, going 2-4 with two doubles, a bases loaded walk and an RBI. Gardner is quietly putting together a solid season, with 29 doubles on the year and a respectable .271 batting average.

The Yankees squandered a golden opportunity to go up another game on the Orioles but instead fall back in the standings behind the Orioles. As the games dwindle to a precious few, the Yankees find themselves losing critical games. They were able to pull off a series win against the Birds but when all is said and done, still failed to achieve their goal going into the final game of the series. Next are the White Sox who have been losing a lot lately. This is the Yankees chance to redeem themselves before a tough stretch against the Red Sox and once again, the Baltimore Orioles in Maryland.

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