If you watched today’s game, you’ve undoubtedly started pointing fingers at different people for some pretty horrendous performances. You could point to Joba Chamberlain‘s meltdown in the 8th inning. You know, walking a guy then giving up consecutive two-out hits to score the tying run. You could point to David Robertson, who in his second inning of work let the first two hitters reach base, setting up the disastrous 11th inning. You could point to Chan Ho Park, who once again proved that no matter how well he receives ceremonial first pitches, he is never to be trusted in a game situation. You could point at Joe Girardi, whose decisions (letting Robertson start the 11th, bringing in Park) can certainly be questioned. (Then again, his decisions are often curious – and that’s being generous).
Yes, those were all pretty bad performances and you would be correct in pointing out all of those failures. But none of those are the reason the Yankees lost a game they should have won. In fact, the Blue Jays should never have even been in the game, had the real culprit done its job. None of those late-inning failures would have mattered had the OFFENSE bothered to show up. Frankly, the Yanks threw away scoring opportunity after scoring opportunity – and not just routine scoring chances, but chances to post some serious crooked numbers. Toronto’s starter not only was on the ropes for the whole day, he seemingly was one hit away from getting an early shower.
A hit that the imposters wearing pinstripes never could get…
1st Inning: After leadoff walks to Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher put two on with nobody out, Mark Teixeira grounded out, A-Rod flew out (scoring a run) and Robinson Cano followed with another fly ball. (Left 1 run)
3rd Inning: Jeter, Swisher and Teixeira all reached to begin the inning. Bases loaded, nobody out. A-Rod and Cano struck out, then Jorge Posada sent a weak grounder to second. (Left 3 runs)
So, by this point, a couple of hits and it’s 6-0 Yankees.
6th Inning: Posada singled and Curtis Granderson walked to lead off the inning. Two on, nobody out. Frankie Cervelli grounds into a twin killing and Brett Gardner pops out. Two more easy runs left on base.
Anyway, you get the picture. If this were a one-game occurrence, I would brush it off as blip on the radar. But this has been a problem all season. When the Yanks get men on base, they routinely fail to drive them in. Simply put, this team is one of the worst situational hitting clubs to play in the Bronx in years. Why? Too many people have placed the blame on Teixeira, but one man doesn’t a good baseball offense make. No. every time I watch this team one thing stands out: once men get on, everyone is trying to kill the ball; trying to hit the 5 run homer that travels 600 feet. I’m not sure when this began, but if this team doesn’t get back to doing the little things well – moving runners over, getting men in from third with less than two outs, taking the ball up the middle, working the count and pouncing on mistakes – this is going to be a long second half.