Sunday, July 12, 2009

Deja Vu Sucks

I could have sworn that I had seen this game before.

Turns out I did.

It was only Friday night that Joba Chamberlain squandered a four-run lead and imploded in the fifth on the way to a humbling loss.

Saturday it was Andy Pettitte's turn.

Pettitte couldn't hold a 4-0 lead, as the Angels scored seven in the fifth, and the Yankees dropped a second straight in Anaheim, 14-8. The Yankees are now two back of the Red Sox in AL East.

"They've done it twice to us,'' Joe Girardi said. "We have to be better than that. We have to be able to stop it. It's one thing to give them one, but you can't give them seven. You just can't do that. You have to find a way to stop it.''

Thanks for stating the obvious, Skip. Every Yankee fan watching this one was begging for it stop. Put that inning on the list of CIA-approved torture methods.

The Yankees have now surrendered 24 runs in two games to a lineup that's been without two of its top sluggers -- Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter -- and didn't have Juan Rivera Saturday.

And with the offense having scored 14 runs in the two games, the Yankees' trouble begin and end with their pitching.

Pettitte has now allowed at least six runs in three of his last four outings, going 1-2 with a 10.38 ERA. Saturday he allowed six runs on seven hits and two walks in 4-1/3 innings.

David Robertson, Brett Tomko and Phil Coke all followed in relief and they all stunk. Robertson allowed threes runs, Tomko one and Coke four.

For the love of all that is good, these guys have to start getting outs. It's just pathetic.

This team should never lose a game in which they hit five homers, including two apiece from Alex Rodriguez and Eric Hinske. Yet that's exactly what happened.

Once again, the Yankees jumped on the Angels in the first inning, with Johnny Damon drawing a one-out walk and A-Rod crushing a homer to left to tie Rafael Palmiero on the career homer list at 569.

Pettitte got through the bottom half of the inning without much difficulty, though not without controversy.

After Chone Figgins led off with a walk, Erick Aybar hit a low, sinking liner that Brett Gardner caught with a dive and came up throwing to try to double up Figgins, who had been running with the pitch. The ball beat Figgins and first base ump Brian Gorman called Figgins out, only be overruled by home plate ump Mike Everitt.

As I wrote Saturday, strange and bad things happen to the Yankees in Anaheim.

Hinske gave the Yankees a 3-0 lead in the second with his first homer of the game and the Yankees pushed across another run when A-Rod led off the fourth with walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch with one out and scored on Robinson Cano's two-out single.

Once again, the Yankees were looking as if they were primed to end the Anaheim Curse. Instead, they're 5-16 in their last 21 there.

Aybar doubled to lead off the fourth and scored on Bobby Abreu's single to make it 4-1, but Pettitte retired the next three to limit the damage.

Too bad he couldn't stop the bleeding in the fifth.

Howie Kendrick led off with a single to center and rookie Brandon Wood absolutely crushed a homer to center to make it 4-3. Unfortunately, Pettitte couldn't settle down. Robb Quinlan followed with a single, and after Figgins grounded into a fielder's choice, Aybar singled to put runners on the corners and set up the big inning.

Abreu followed with another RBI single and runners remained on the corners as Robertson replaced Pettite. Mike Napoli greeted Robertson with a double to score two more, and after Kendry Morales grounded out and Gary Matthews Jr. walked, Kendrick finished off the scoring with a two-run single.

Someone has to explain to me why Robertson remained on this team while Jonathan Albaladejo was sent down Friday. All Albaladejo did in his three appearances after he was recalled from Triple A was get out, while Robertson has struggled to command the strike zone, not prevented inherited runners from scoring and failed to get big outs. What what Brian Cashman thinking?

Robertson wasn't any better in the sixth as Reggie Willits struck out but reached first on a wild pitch ahead of Aybar's RBI triple to make it 9-4.

Hinske made it 9-6 with a two-run homer to right in the seventh. Since his trade from the Pirates, Hinske is 4-for-9 with three homers and four RBI. Now that's how you impress your new team.

But since no Yankee pitcher could keep the Angels off the scoreboard, any hopes of a comeback took a hit when Tomko served up a homer to Napoli in the bottom half.

The Yankees managed to tease us one more time in the eighth when A-Rod and Hideki Matsui hit consecutive homers to make it 10-8.

A-Rod's homer gave him sole possession of 10th on the career homer list and was his 35th at Angels Stadium, the most for any stadium that he hasn't called home. And in his last 16 games overall, he's 22-for-54 (.407) with eight homers, 22 RBI and 17 runs.

Too bad his two homers Saturday were wasted.

Coke extinguished all hopes of some Yankee dramatics as he got shelled in the bottom half, allowing a sacrifice fly to Abreu, an RBI double to Morales and a two-run single to Matthews.

It was a painful way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

I'm just praying we don't have another repeat today.

But this is Anaheim, so you never know. Stange and bad things happed to the Yankees here.

Runners In Scoring Position
1-for-4 (.250)
214-for-810 (.264)
Since A-Rod's Return May 8
148-for-538 (.275)
Vs. Red Sox
11-for-82 (.134)

Up Next
Sunday at Angels, 3:35 p.m., YES
CC Sabathia (8-5, 3.70 ERA) vs. John Lackey (3-4, 5.18)

Coming into this six-game trip, any Yankee fan would have signed up for 3-3. But after sweeping the Twins, that's not acceptable. Getting swept by the Angels would be disastrous and a horrible way to head into the All-Star break. So make no mistake, this is a huge start for Sabathia, the ace, the stopper. He needs another strong outing of at least seven innings so the Yankees can salvage some pride in Anaheim. The good news is Lackey is 4-7 with a 4.81 ERA in 15 career starts against the Yanks.


nord said...

C'mon... connect the dots. Pena and Cervelli sent down and Posada the everyday catcher once again. The team got older and the brains went north. Posada can't catch anymore. How many wild pitches went by him? How many runners went wild on the bases? How many hits were a result of his poor pitch calling?

A mix of young and old suits the other Joe in Dodger Blue, but not, it seems, for Yankee pinstripes.

Aviv said...

Not buying that nord. Agree that Pena should be here over Ranson, but that's backup job. Also Molina started on Friday and Posada has been the everyday catcher all along, especially during that 13 of 15 streak.

This is not about pitch calling, or blocking balls in the dirt or throwing out runners. It's about pitch execution and the pitchers have not executed, plain and simple.