Teixeira Headed to DL ?
There’s an old Baseball belief a starting pitcher has a handful of starts where all of his “stuff” is working, a handful of starts where “nothing” is working and a season is decided with all of the starts inbetween.
From a fan’s perspective, there’s a series of games that leave you “floating” and celebrating at the end, a certain amount of games where you want to cry, and then the season is decided by everything inbetween.
When a Yankees’ fan is ecstatic over a regular season win it’s either: a game with major implications, any time they beat the Red Sox, or a game they had no business winning but found a way anyway.
When it’s a loss like this, it’s because it shouldn’t have happened. Multiple times.
Since the All Star Break there have been far too many close games the Yankees’ probably should have won and Monday provided an extreme version. New York lead 1-0, then 4-1 and then 6-3. The Bronx Bombers lead 6-4 with one runner on, two outs and two strikes in the top of the ninth with Rafael Soriano facing Rajai Davis. Davis singled then Colby Rasmus homered to give the Blue Jays a 7-6 lead.
That would have been a painful enough loss, but Yankees’ Captain and “clutch hit” specialist, Derek Jeter, slugged his 14th home run to lead off the bottom of the ninth and tie the game. New York would lose 8-7 in 11 innings on a ground out.
The following is what transpired in the ninth inning and beyond:
- Rafael Soriano blew his third save and gave up his second home run all season. It was his first blown save since July 22nd in a 5-4 loss in Oakland. That was also Soriano’s last time he surrendered a long ball until Monday night.
- Soriano last blew a save at home on June 10th against the Mets, a game the Yankees would win, 5-4, during their season high 10 game winning streak.
- Derek Jeter entered the ninth inning without ever having a hit against Blue Jays’ closer, Casey Janssen. It was also Janssen’s third blown save of the year. The home run would prove to be moot as the Yankees would never threaten again, officially losing when Nick Swisher was controversially called out looking at a “strike” a few inches off the plate.
- The two out, two-strike, single by Rajai Davis was his only hit of the game.
- The Yankees lost when pinch-runner Mike McCoy scored on an infield ground out. Of course, to gauge the pain level of the play you have to understand the rest of the inning. Derek Lowe threw the ball away on a pickoff attempt, allowing Mccoy to freely roam from first to third with no outs in the frame. Following the blunder was a strike out and then a softly hit grounder to Jayson Nix. With no outs, it made complete sense for Nix to try his hand at first and hope Eric Chavez can throw home in time to beat Mccoy.
With one out, Nix should have pump faked and tried to draw Mccoy into a rundown. Instead, Nix followed through and Mccoy, who never fully returned to third base, was able to score easily when the throw went to first. The worst case scenario to Nix pump-faking is that Mccoy returns to third and the runner is safe at first, still leaving a double play ball in order for sinkerballer, Derek Lowe.
- Of course, Jayson Nix wouldn’t have been playing third base if Eric Chavez hadn’t moved over to first. Chavez wouldn’t have been playing first if Mark Teixeira hadn’t left the game with a Grade 1 strain on his ankle. Derek Jeter missed around three weeks with the same injury last season. Teixeira is likely headed to the disabled list and will return around mid-September when rosters have expanded. Make no mistake, if the Yankees have any chance of making noise in the playoffs, it comes down to the health and effectiveness of Mark Teixeira, Andy Pettitte, CC Sabathia, Alex Rodriguez and Joba Chamberlain. All of whom have missed large chunks of time but have a chance to return and/or play large roles by October.
The Yankees resume play against the Toronto Blue Jays again tomorrow. With the loss to Texas, the Rays have dropped three straight and fallen into third place, half a game behind the Orioles. The Orioles beat the White Sox and are now 3.5 back of the Yankees, despite a 143 run, run differential between the two teams.