Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Missed It By That Much

No one appreciates the post walk-off pie in the face more the Yankees' Nick Swisher. The Yankees entertaining right fielder stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the 9th last night with a chance to get a special delivery from A.J. Burnett.

It was Swisher's 8th inning 3-run home run that had cut the Oakland A's 6-0 lead in half. The Yankees had already scored a pair of runs in their last at-bat against A's closer Andrew Bailey and had the bases loaded witht two down. Bailey quickly fell behind 2-0 and had to come in with a strike. Swisher knew it, the crowd knew it, heck, even Michael Kay knew it. Swisher jumped all over Bailey's pitch and the ball soared into the night sky towards right-center.

A roar quickly went up from the crowd, but just as quickly died as centerfielder Coco Crisp settled under the ball, just shy of the wall, and closed his glove around it for the final out. There was no pie celebration.

The loss combined with the Red Sox win over the Rangers put the two teams back in a tie atop the AL East, though technically the Yankees are ahead by .002. Bartolo Colon struggled and appears to be tiring down the stretch. It wouldn't be surprising to see Colon find his way to the DL when Freddy Garcia returns. One guy who wasn't tired last night was rookie Brad Allen, who hit a pair of tape measure shot to ignite the A's offense. His 2nd inning blast reached the third deck in right and his 8th inning monster off of Hector Noesi proved to be the difference in the ball game. Fellow rookie Eric Sogard also hit his first Major League home run against Colon.

The story of the game though was A's starter Brandon McCarthy, who is enjoying his best season in the Major Leagues. The win matched McCarthy's previous career high of seven and it was his sixth victory in his last eight starts. The Yankees had at least one base runner on in all but one of McCarthy's 7.2 IP, but couldn't come up with a clutch hit. That included the 5th inning when Jorge Posada reached on a lead off double and was stranded there. Posada also ignited the 9th inning rally with a solo home run and Robinson Cano picked up an RBI when he walked with the bases loaded. But there was no joy in Pieville.


Derek Jeter enjoyed a perfect night, going 3 for 3 with a walk and a sacrifice bunt, and raised hit batting average to .295. Though Jeter has a tendency to hit into double plays, it was a curious decision by Joe Girardi to bunt his hottest hitter in the 9th with two on and none out.

Alex Rodriguez had his hand taped/bandaged up after jamming his left thumb in Minnesota on Sunday. X-Rays were negative and A-Rod is listed as day-to-day.

No comments:

Post a Comment