Saturday, September 11, 2010

Yankees need better effort vs Rangers

So I struggled to stay up hours after my bedtime last night to watch the New York Yankees lose in 13 innings against the Texas Rangers. I'm not as young as I used to be so these late games are quite a challenge. But the most frustrating part, except for the loss itself, was that the Yankees had multiple chances to win that baseball game and couldn't take advantage.

Let's start with the starting pitcher. Unless he's pitching a shutout, I better not hear any complaining from Javier Vazquez the next time Joe Girardi goes to the mound to get him. His inability to hold a three-run lead or get through the sixth inning does not bode well for his chances to stay in the rotation once Andy Pettitte comes back.

Of course, Vazquez should have had a much bigger lead to work with. The futility of the Yankee offense was mind boggling, particularly with runners in scoring position. Brett Gardner was the biggest culprit, though he had plenty of company in stranding runners on base.

It wasn't all bad for the Yankees. Phil Hughes pitched a perfect inning in relief, which ordinarily could be taken as a sign that he could be slotted into the bullpen in the playoffs if the Yankees didn't desperately need him in the rotation. Kerry Wood and David Robertson were spotless out of the pen. Mariano Rivera was Mariano Rivera, mowing down batters for two innings with wonderfully boring efficiency after a leadoff hit. Of course, the extra innings wouldn't have happened if Joba Chamberlain hadn't given up the first home run to Nelson Cruz, but I can't bust him too much for that since the lead should have been more than one run.

The Rangers are a possible first-round opponent for the Yankees. Tonight I'd like to see the Yankees act like it with a much better effort than they put forward last night. Although with AJ Burnett on the mound, that might be too much to ask for.

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