Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Yankees Waste Wang Effort

Mariano Rivera knew that his "perfect" season would end some time, he probably just wished it hadn't been tonight. The Yankees wasted another great start by Chien-Ming Wang and lost to the Tampa Rays 2-1 in 11 innings. The win was the Rays 6th in a row and 11th straight at home. It also moved them into sole possession of 1st place in the AL East after Boston lost to Baltimore.

The bomberless Bombers managed just 6 hits against Edwin Jackson and the Rays bullpen. One of those hits was a game tying home run by Hideki Matsui in the 9th inning against closer Troy Percival. It was Matsui's 5th home run and Percival's 2nd blown save.

The Rays had pushed a run across in the 4th against Wang on a double by Carlos Pena and a single by Erick Hinske, who came into the game hitting .444 in 27 at-bats versus Wang. But Wang would scatter 7 hits and 3 walks over 7 innings and not allow another run. But for the second time this season Jackson made the Yankees look sick.

The Yankees had a base runner on in three of the first four innings with nothing to show for it. The Yankees biggest failure came in the 6th inning when Derek Jeter raced to 3rd with a 1-out triple only to be stranded there.

This all points to a problem with this Yankees team that isn't any different from the teams of the last few years. They are still a station to station team. When a team fails to score runs they should be attempting to steal bases, putting on hit and runs, etc.. While the lack of some offensive spark falls in part to the makeup of the team (e.g. Jason Giambi and Jose Molina won't be winning any foot races), some of it also falls on manager Joe Girardi for not putting small ball plays on during the game.

Rivera escaped trouble after allowing a lead off single to Carl Crawford in the 10th, but couldn't manage to make like Houdini in the 11th. Cliff Floyd singled through the right side to lead off the inning before being replaced by pinch-runner Jonny Gomes. Gomes promptly stole 2nd Base, his third theft in two nights. Gabe Gross then lined one back through the middle to easily score Gomes ahead of Melky Cabrera's throw.

News and Notes

Mariano Rivera last gave up at least one run in a regular season game in the final contest of the 2007 season.

Jason Giambi (.194) continued his climb towards the Mendoza line with a 2-2 night. He also walked twice.

Shelley Duncan struck out looking pinch-hitting for Alberto Gonzalez in the 7th inning and is just 6-32 (.188) on the season. Melky Cabrera is in a 6-31 slide while Jose Molina has just 3 hits in his last 41 at-bats.

New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, DH5010010 .271
Derek Jeter, SS5010021 .305
Bobby Abreu, RF4000112 .287
Hideki Matsui, LF5111003 .319
Jason Giambi, 1B2020200 .194
Melky Cabrera, CF4010013 .269
Robinson Cano, 2B4000002 .183
Alberto Gonzalez, 3B2000001 .290
a- Shelley Duncan, PH1000011 .188
Morgan Ensberg, 3B1000000 .219
Jose Molina, C4000010 .203

a-struck out for Gonzalez in the 7th
3B - Derek Jeter (3, Jackson)
HR - Hideki Matsui (5, Percival)
RBI - Hideki Matsui (18)

New York Yankees
Chien-Ming Wang 7711320 2.90
Joba Chamberlain 1100100 2.76
Kyle Farnsworth 1000100 2.84
Mariano Rivera (L,0-1) 1311010 0.56
Pitches-Strikes - Chien-Ming Wang 101-67, Joba Chamberlain 15-6, Kyle Farnsworth 12-5, Mariano Rivera 17-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chien-Ming Wang 14-3, Joba Chamberlain 2-0, Kyle Farnsworth 1-2
Batters Faced - Chien-Ming Wang 29, Joba Chamberlain 4, Kyle Farnsworth 4, Mariano Rivera 6

Tampa Bay Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 2B5020001 .263
Carl Crawford, LF4010111 .287
B.J. Upton, CF4000113 .287
Carlos Pena, 1B4110112 .210
Evan Longoria, 3B5010002 .222
Cliff Floyd, DH4020102 .391
Jonny Gomes, PR-DH0100000 .225
Eric Hinske, RF3011002 .259
Gabe Gross, RF2011000 .214
Dioner Navarro, C3020100 .375
Jason Bartlett, SS3000003 .242

2B - Carlos Pena (2, Wang)
SH - Jason Bartlett (3)
RBI - Eric Hinske (18), Gabe Gross (8)
2-OUT RBI - Eric Hinske (4)
SB - Jonny Gomes (5, 2nd base off M. Rivera/Molina)
Team LOB - 11
DP - Longoria-Iwamura-Pena, Iwamura-Bartlett-Pena

Tampa Bay Rays
Edwin Jackson 7500150 3.47
Dan Wheeler (H,9) 1000020 1.29
Troy Percival (BS,2) 1111101 2.40
J.P. Howell (W,3-0) 2000100 2.67
WP - Edwin Jackson (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Edwin Jackson 111-72, Dan Wheeler 11-9, Troy Percival 24-13, J.P. Howell 23-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edwin Jackson 9-6, J.P. Howell 3-2
Batters Faced - Edwin Jackson 26, Dan Wheeler 3, Troy Percival 5, J.P. Howell 6
Game Information
Attendance - 16558
Game Time - 3:32
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Ron Kulpa, First Base - Rob Drake, Second Base - Dale Scott, Third Base - Dan Iassogna

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