Ah, man, this is getting to be all too familiar.
One run game, another fuggin loss.
I got back to the Bronx this afternoon after spending the last week with family. It was a week of missing out on Yankee baseball, save some highlights and bits and pieces of the games against the Red Sox last weekend.
So I unpacked and settled in for the game tonight, watched a couple of innings when a call from an old friend pulled me away from the action. The Yanks were down 3-2 when I left and losing 5-3 when I returned, just in time to see Ichiro hit his first home run in pinstripes.
The wife was happy. I took one look at the score–5-4 Yanks trailing–and my joy was tempered. Even more so when I saw the replay of Mark Teixeira diving after a base hit and falling hard on his glove hand. The play was bad enough for Tex to leave the game. Never a good sign and we’ll hold our collective breath for the details on his injury.
Robinson Cano picked the wrong time to go into a slump and not only did he have poor at bats tonight but he botched the tail end of two sure-fire double plays (fortunately, neither led to a run).
In the ninth, Nick Swisher led off with a double and was replaced by Ramiro Pena. Raul Ibanez, who homered in the fifth, followed and whiffed on a 2-2 change up in the dirt. Eric Chavez, who also homered earlier–a long, whiffle ball-wet-dream-of a homer–walked which brought Ichiro to the plate:
Fastball low for a ball. Sinker, soft ground ball to short. They go to second for the out, no chance to double up Ichi at first. So, first and third, two out and Russell Martin stepped in as a pinch-hitter:
Breaking ball, 81 mph, called strike. Fastball, 95 mph, low, 1-1. Another breaking ball, Martin took a late, feeble hack, swung right over it, 1-2. Fastball outside, Ichiro takes second. I’m sitting at home thinking there is no way Martin gets a hit. No way…And I was right as he swung over a sinker.
The Yankees have lost eight times in their last eleven games. As we mentioned earlier, they’ve all been close games, these losses, but at some pernt that doesn’t mean Jack Boil Scratch. Their lead over Baltimore is down to six-and-a-half.
[Photo Credit: Bruce Stanfield; Jim McIsaac/Getty Images]