Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Yankees Lose Game of Missed Opportunties (Postgame Notes 03 June 2009)

Tonight's game wasn't lost when Andy Pettitte gave up three runs in the first in what might be considered his worst outing of the season.

Tonight's game was lost when Alex Rodriguez grounded into a double play with the bases loaded and one out in a game in which the winning team never led by more than three runs.

I know it's not fair to harp on A-Rod because, well, everyone does it, but tonight it really hurt the team.

No, Andy Pettitte wasn't any good, especially in the first couple of innings, but a 3-0 or 4-1 deficit is usually not considered the end of the world unless you're facing a Sabathia/Halladay/Santana type, and even then, if you work the counts well enough, you just have to wait for the bullpen.

Not having Mark Teixeira in the line up (banged-up ankle, DTD) certainly didn't help the Yankees, but the Yankees didn't lose because Brett Gardner was in the line up. They lost because, when the team needed them to, Rodriguez and Robinson Canó didn't come through.

To be fair, A-Rod did have an RBI knock in the bottom of the first, but this might be precisely what is most frustrating.

The one run there was great...but then, with the bases loaded, when some real damage could have been done, he was not able to come through.

Still, some things should not be lost, such as Brett Tomko's three scoreless innings in relief. Since the Yankees only used him and Robertson for one inning, there are plenty left in the bullpen--including Alfredo Aceves and Phil Hughes--that can give length if Wang falters tomorrow.

The Yankees didn't get blown out and kept themselves in the game, and in their last 21 games, it's only the second time the starter has been saddled with the loss.

You hope that Pettitte's not hurt (though this seems doubtful), let yourself bemoan for a little while the inability to hit with runners on base tonight, go to sleep and then wake up tomorrow ready to cheer on Wang's first win of the season.

That's the beauty of baseball.

Tomorrow's another day, and we get to play (or, in my instance, watch) again.