"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Just Short . . . Again

Give the Yankees this: they’re in a team-wide slump right now, but they’re still not boring. Even in a game in which they look listless, they’re almost a sure bet to put together a late-inning rally that falls just short of the necessary number of runs to qualify as an actual comeback.

They did it again Sunday night. For the third time in his last four starts, CC Sabathia was off his game, his pitches staying up in the zone, two of them leaving the park. Sunday night it was Jason Bay who turned around, in Joe Girardi’s words, “a changeup that cut” and a sinker that was up in the zone, tripling his home run output on the season. Those two blasts, one over the 384 sign in the left-field gap, one more than 400 feet to the opposite-field gap, plated three Mets runs. Prior to Bay’s first shot, in the second inning, a single by lefty Alex Cora, a last-minute sub for the aching Luis Castillo at second base, plated the Mets’ first two runs. After Bay’s second shot in the fifth, rookie lefty Ike Davis singled and was driven in by a David Wright double.

That made it 6-0 Mets and prompted me to comment in my liveblog from the pressbox, “I’m calling another just-short late-inning rally tonight.”


Johan Santana gave up three singles in the first three innings, but only CC Sabathia, who singled to lead off the third, got past first base. From the third through the seventh, Santana retired 13 straight Yankees. Then in the seventh, the Yankees finally broke through when Nick Swisher worked a two-out walk, and Francisco Cervelli hit a ball off the top of the left-field wall, inches below the foul pole for a long single.

Down, 6-1, the Yankees loaded the bases on a pair of walks and a Mark Teixeira slump-busting single in the eighth as Santana passed 100 pitches, but Jerry Manuel brought in side-arming lefty Pedro Feliciano, who got Robinson Cano to pop out to strand all three runners.

Finally, the Yankees put an honest-to-goodness rally together in the ninth against Ryota Igarashi, a first-year Japanese import fresh off the disabled list. Another Swisher walk was followed by a Cervelli single, Kevin Russo fielder’s choice, Juan Miranda pinch-hit RBI single. That forced Manuel to go to his closer, and Derek Jeter greeted old foe Francisco Rodriguez with a big RBI double to make it 6-3. Brett Gardner followed with an RBI groundout to third, failing to get a close call, though replays showed he was out by the tiniest of margins.

Teixeira followed with a flare that dropped in front of Cora for a hit, putting the tying run on and bringing up Alex Rodriguez for a big time confrontation with K-Rod. Rodriguez battled Rodriguez for eight pitches, getting ahead 2-0, then 3-1, fouling off four pitches in the at-bat, two of them with the count full, but once again the Yankees fell short. The third 3-2 pitch in the fourth full count of the inning was a changup in the zone that dipped just below Alex Rodriguez’s swing for strike three.

Mets win the game, 6-4, and the series.

The Yankees take a travel day and head to the new ballpark in Minneapolis. Here’s hoping they don’t run out of gas in St. Paul.

Categories:  Cliff Corcoran  Game Recap

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1 NYYfan22   ~  May 24, 2010 12:37 am

Great job with the liveblog tonight, Cliff, and a quick postgame write-up, too. Can't wait to see the pics. Sucks the Yankees couldn't take the series and pull outta town with a W. Everyone was calling for a sweep from the outset, but the Mets always seem to step up when facing the Yanks. We probably bought Jerry Manuel a few more days in a Mets uniform.

2 Alex Belth   ~  May 24, 2010 8:52 am

1) Yeah, but the Mets play the Phils next so...

Frustrating weekend to cap off a frustrating week for the Bombers. My wife had to scold me for being so negative last night. Guess that means the season has begun!


3 rbj   ~  May 24, 2010 10:09 am

Bad funk the team is in.

Tonight the Mudhens face Strasbourg, and it's hot out, so I'll be on the veranda (ok, a concrete slap) finishing up potting the garden.

Not much else going on today.

4 Diane Firstman   ~  May 24, 2010 10:46 am

Tonight is the series finale of '24'

(guess I'll watch the last five minutes or so)

5 OldYanksFan   ~  May 24, 2010 10:51 am

Certainly Yankee-wise, it's been a bad 2 weeks. This team still has more then enough talent to Win it all (including the Division), but that, of course, is on paper.

Both Upton (.213 .291 .381 .671) and Pena (.187 .303 .360 .663) are having terrible years so far, so if/when they get going, TB will be very tough. Wonder how Crawford's contract year will play out (.324 .381 .506 .887).

Some of the issues that may make the difference:
1) Is Jeter slumping but still on his way to a .825 OPS, or is he truly/finally in decline?
2) Miranda has been great so far, but a healthy, productive NJ in the #2 hole from Aug. on will make a big difference in the lineup. Brett is best off at double lead-off... batting 9th.
3) Teix has to post at least an .850 OPS. He could have single handedly won a number of games we have lost. We need our #3 hitter to be productive.
4) Will Po still be an impact hitter when he gets back.

Actually, as badly as we miss Posada, if he gets healthy in a month, he will be very well rested and hopefully productive for the rest of the season.

Phil and Andy will regress, but there is plenty of room for CC and JV to improve. I'm sure AJ will end up slightly better/around league average.

Brains has played WAY over his head (.354 .426 .451 .877), but even with Jesus and Romine in the pipeline, he could be a great BUC, posting a .700 OPS or better, for a long time to come.

With Grandy, Gritner and Brains, it's been a great pleasure to see when our Defense clicks. I love the big bats, but Po, Thames and Winn have really demonstrated how important defense is.

The Yankees almost always play better in the 2nd half.
As good as TB is, I give the nod to a healthy Yankees team.

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