Saturday, April 25, 2009

Yankees late failures leads to late loss

Prior to last night's New York Yankees - Boston Red Sox game, David Ortiz sent a verbal warning to Joba Chamberlain to not go head hunting. Ortiz was specifically talking about Chamberlain's propensity for throwing at the large noggin of KevinYoukilis. Perhaps the Yankees bullpen should have taken a shot at it. Youkilis singled in the 9th to set up the game tying rally against Mariano Rivera and then hit a game winning home run atop the Green Monster off Damaso Marte in the 11th. The home run gave the Red Sox a 5-4 win in the first of the three game series.

The Yankees had taken a 4-2 lead in the 7th inning on an RBI single by Mark Teixeira and a sacrifice fly by Robinson Cano, but it was Cano's failure with the bases loaded and no out in the 9th that fans will be talking about today. With a missed opportunity to break the game open, the Yankees relied on Mariano Rivera to get a four out save. Rivera had entered the game in a unique situation in the eighth inning. With a man aboard, two outs, and an 0-1 count onJacoby Ellsbury, Joe Girardi pulled Jonathan Albaladejo from the game in favor of Rivera. Had Girardi made this move after July 1st it might have made sense, but such a move in April wreaked of panic. Rivera allowed a single to Ellsbury before catching Pedroia looking for a called third third strike.

The Yankees loaded the bases in the 9th when Javier Lopez hit Mark Teixeira and walked Jorge Posada and Nick Swisher to start the frame. But Cano's woes with the bases loaded continued (.244 average). With the infield playing in, Cano hit a grounder right to Pedroia, who started a home to first double play. Lopez got out of the jam when he retired Melky Cabrera on a foul pop.

A slumping Ortiz struck out, the third of four on the night, to open the 9th, but Youkilis buzzed Mariano with a head high line drive to center field for a single. J.D. Drew grounded out, but Jason Bay crushed a pitch to center for a game tying 2-run home run. It was the 12th blown save by Rivera in 90 appearances against the Red Sox and the first this year.

The Yankees had chances to take the lead in extra innings, but Teixeira struck out to end the 10th and Cabrera bounced into a double play in the 11th. Damaso Marte struck out 3 of the first 4 batters he faced before Youkilis launched his game winner with one out in the 11th.

Game Notes

Brian Bruney was unavailable due to a sore elbow and will be placed on the DL today. Mark Melancon is expected to replace him. To make room on the 40 man roster, Humberto Sanchez was designated for assignment.

Brian Cashman stated that Chien-Ming Wang's problems are due to an abductor strain in his hip. How convenient. Phil Hughes will most likely start in Wang's place on Tuesday, but for now the Yankees called up reliever David Robertson.

Cody Ransom injured his quad sliding into second base and left the game after he reached third. He was placed on the 60 day DL and Angel Berroa was recalled to take his place on both the 25 and 40 man rosters.

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