|photo courtesy of NY Post|
But what the Yankees didn't have was Rafael Soriano to pitch the 9th inning and that's when the Yankees met their Waterloo. Rather than start the inning with David Robertson, Joe Girardi stayed with Cody Eppley, who had entered the game in the 8th inning. When Eppley allowed a lead off single to Alex Rios, Girardi opted for lefty Clay Rapada to face left-handed hitting A.J. Pierzynski.
Rapara got just what he needed, a groundball right at him. But instead of starting a 1-6-3 double play, Rapada threw well wide of Derek Jeter, who was covering second base on the play, and the ball sailed into centerfield. Instead of two out and none on, the White Sox had runners on the corners with no one out.
Girardi then went to Robertson, who promptly served up a gopher ball to Dayan Viciedo and the Yankees trailed 4-3 just like that. Dewayne Wise reached on a lead off single to start the bottom of the 9th against White Sox closer Addison Reed, but Eric Chavez and Andruw Jones both made outs without advancing the runners.
Derek Jeter gave the fans a momentary reason to roar when he ripped a line drive to deep right field, but Rios playing deep in a no doubles defense, snared the ball in front of the wall. Game over. 5 game winning streak over.
Robertson said after the game that he prefers to start the inning, but admitted he's come in these situations before and he didn't get the job done. It was a toss up for who felt worse, Robertson or Rapada, whose face sank when Jeter made the last out.