Price Wins 18th – Yankees Lose Opener to Rays

Yankees News

CC Sabathia is struggling in big games

Another largely important game, another Yankees’ loss. Just when New York got it together long enough to win two close games over a last place team, it figured out a way to lose the opener to the Rays.

This had all the makings of a 2012 Yankees’ loss:

1. Starting pitching incapable of holding a lead or ending a threat without a few runs of damage.

2. Excellent defense by the other team.

3. Costly defense by the Yankees.

4. An Alex Rodriguez home run ultimately meaning nothing.

5. A winnable game where there wasn’t even a real attempt in the ninth.

6. A lack of timely hitting.

This team is not enjoyable. It doesn’t have the fight of the 2009 Yankees. It doesn’t have the health of the 2010 Yankees. It doesn’t have the patience of the 2011 Yankees. This is a team where Curtis Granderson swings at the first pitch with the tying run in scoring position after the previous batter walked on four pitches.

This is a team where CC Sabathia cannot win a big game, or, as of recently, any game. Just for fun, he seems to have a lead every start to blow as well.

This is a team where Eduardo Nunez is starting at shortstop in September and makes yet another big error. It’s frustrating and tiresome. Outside of Derek Jeter, who flailed effortlessly at an 0-2 pitch from Fernando Rodney to end the game, there is not a single hitter or pitcher you can truly say you trust in a big spot.

And how could you? They have no wins when trailing after eight innings this year. They have five wins when they don’t hit a home run. They are 29-29 in the second half, and 34-32 since the first day of July. This team is 3-3 in extra innings, 18-22 in one run games and 10 games over .500 against the American League the entire season.

How did the Yankees score their runs?

Home run by Granderson (solo shot of course), two-run homer by A-Rod down three, and a single by journeyman Steve Pearce, who will not be on the playoff roster.

The Rays? A hit there, a walk here, a wild pitch by Sabathia (who had two in one inning), a home run by B.J. Upton (his 18th against the Yankees in his career), a ball that literally went under Eduardo Nunez‘s glove in the ninth inning of  a one run game with two outs, opposite field hitting, some bunting and a lot of steals. Three of them to be exact. Elliot Johnson took away a run when Rodriguez hit a soft grounder to second that almost got through but instead was nabbed with a finish to first base.

The Rays were faster, played better defense, were more patient, had the better starter David Price , and the superior bullpen. Now they have a 6-4 victory and have put the Yankees in danger of falling out of first place.

If the Yankees find a way to win the next two games (doubtful since they can’t seem to do anything except squeak two our of three against doormats), they can put Tampa away for the most part. If the Rays lose two out of three they will be five games behind New York with 16 games remaining. Of the 16, the Yankees would have 13 against teams under .500.


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4 Responses

  1. […] to match a big game once again Friday night when David Price outdueled him in a 6-4 loss. Sabathia was OK, throwing 6.2 innings and giving up four earned runs, but he blew a 1-0 lead and […]

  2. you are on the money 90 % here. However I don't see the need to knock Jeter about the last out. He has been the only clutch player n the team this month and realistically hes the only reason offensivly that they're still tied for first. Hes the only reason the team won 2 of 3 from boston. Granderson is the epitomy of what's wrong with the yankees. Hes the anti Bernie Wiliiams. Gaudy power stats and 3 HR games followed by aweful at-bats for 10 days. Bernie never managed 30 plus Hrs more than once but he always battled (as did all of the yankees of the torre years) in the late and close situations. Its not that complicated. Its about approach and nerves. Swisher has patience when games are tied, has the occasional Big game but day in day out OVERSWINGS and fails in these tight pressure games. Arod was in a way the beginning of the stat & sabermetric lead cashmen yankees but to his credit, hes been productive since his return. His 2 run Hr tonight wasnt meaningless. It brought the team to within 1 at home late in the game. However Joba did as every other Yankee bullpen pitcher who isn't named soriano has done in september=== couldn't hold the fort! the last run was the straw. And this yankee team worse than any other since 1993 (Bucks first triumph which began the Yankees run) simply cant comeback.Its odd they haven't done this by accident… Its easy to explain logically and statistically when you look at the team BA with Risp and Late & close. (other than Jeter) but Baseball is a game of Stats which do not dictate future outcomes typically. Sabermetrics can dictate fantasy drafts & salaries but don't equal wins. But this team seems like a last place team that has given up (except jeter). To Name the biggest PROBLEM You hit the nail on the head CC. Giradi can say innings may have caught up to him but look at the history! He never pitched well in tight playoff games for this team. Hes Basically a given to lose to tampa. His career playoff era is 4.60 ish? His september era is 6? Worst offense hes simply not clutch hes not a stopper. Hes not Andy Pettite. And unfortunatly, This teams last hope this year is basically on the aging injured HEART & WILL of DEREK JETER & ANDY PETTITE> IF THEY DOn't DELIVER HE NEXT 20 days, its over already. If they do deliver, it may not be enough!

    • Yeah, unfortunately I agree. It IS odd that the Yanks haven't just lucked into a late-inning comeback once or twice. Even the worst teams manage that a few times during the course of the year. The fact that they actually miss Jeter's okay-but-not-awesome defense at short speaks volumes. I still think they can win the division, but only because they play some sub-.500 teams in the final two weeks. A tie atop the East would not surprise me.

  3. Vince Mercandetti says:

    Thank you for the comments. Yeah, wasn't really intending on knocking Jeter, as I said he's the only guy on a potential 25 man roster I trust in a big spot. Really, I just felt like going down on three pitches and flailing at strike three was a perfect illustration of the Yankees' fight this year in general.

    New York has officially turned into a "middle of the lineup" team. The reason they were so great in the 90's and as recently as 2009 was because anybody top to bottom could hurt you in a number of ways. Look at the OBP by player this year. None of them really stand out. They have a few guys who can hit 30+ homers and that's it. Unfortunately, all three of them seem to grip the bat too hard in big spots.

    A friend of mine mentioned the sails seemed to come out of the team when Mo went down. The timeline doesn't add up since they got red hot in interleague after that, but it definitely feels like some veteran "hunger" is missing. I'm not generally into intangibles but it's obvious there's a mental element missing to this team in 2012.

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