Normally, two losses in a row to a solid team like the Rockies (!) wouldn’t be anything to get too worked up over, but I think Yankee fans are still suffering from a certain amount of post-traumatic stress dating back to the first two months of this season – like a onetime gunshot victim, ducking every time a nearby truck backfires. Well, or possibly the team just stinks again and is doomed… but humor me here.
Andy Pettitte was great until suddenly he wasn’t, and the Yanks went down 6-1, leaving them six games back in the wild card and 10 in the AL East. This was one of those games where it’s hard to tell if the opposing starter, in this case Jeff Francis, was really that good, or if the Yankee offense was just that bad, but I’m leaning towards the former. Apparently so is Joe Torre: “You don’t want to take anything away from Jeff Francis,” he said after the game – though actually I do; can we start with his slider? – “…but we’re not swinging the bats like we’re capable of.”
Let me recap the Yankee scoring for you: they got a run in the 6th on consecutive doubles from Melky and Jeter, and… that’s it. Hey, that was easy! Hello silver lining.
Pettitte started out very impressively, economical and effective, but he led off the sixth inning by walking the pitcher, which is almost always the baseball equivalent of a climactic horror movie scene. Ball one… No! Andy! Don’t go into that house! Ball two… He’s got a chainsaw! Don’t open the door don’topenthedoordon’t– Ball three… oh my god he’s right behind you look behind you EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! The psycho killer was played by Matt Holliday, who hit an absolutely humongous two-run shot to the last rows of the left-field bleachers. Pettitte escaped the inning without further damage, but the wheels came off in the seventh, and the Rockies scored four more runs, which was plenty.
Francis, meanwhile, went seven innings, giving up five hits and striking out nine; the game was finished by LaTroy Hawkins and Jeremy Affeldt, better known to me as That Dude Kyle Farnsworth Once Tackled, Carried Ten Feet, And Hurled To The Ground (no, not that guy, the other one). I really wish Farns would have tried that again last night, just for the hell of it — sure he’d be suspended, but it would be wildly entertaining.
Of course, another wildly entertaining thing the Yankees might consider is scoring more than one run per game…