Wednesday, August 29, 2012

CC Takes the Blame -- But Doesn't Fully Deserve It

"We haven't been playing well, and today was a day when we had the lead and I gave it up a couple times. What can you say? Everything is my fault."

So said CC Sabathia this afternoon.

CC is a man. Not a machine. Not a horse. Not a superman. A man.

A man who is, usually, a damn good pitcher.

This afternoon, he was not. 
But neither was he the biggest reason for the Yankees' 8-5 loss to those pesky Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium II.

The Yankees got right to it in the bottom of the 1st: Derek Jeter singled, Nick Swisher worked J.A. Happ for a walk, Andruw Jones singled Jeter home and Swish over to 3rd, and Curtis Granderson got Swish home on a groundout. 2-0 Yankees.

It started to go wrong in the top of the 3rd. Jeff Mathis led off the inning with a liner back to CC, which he couldn't handle, only deflect. Adeiny Hechavarria grounded to Jayson Nix, playing 3rd base in place of Alex Rodriguez. Nix bobbled the ball, and then Rajai Davis singled to right, to load the bases.

Mike McCoy grounded to Nix, who stepped on 3rd to eliminate Hechavarria, and fired home to eliminate Mathis. Men on 1st and 2nd, 2 out. But Edwin Encarnacion -- one of those Jays who always seems to be rather pesky toward the Yankees -- singled home Davis. Then Adam Lind, another player who always seems to play well against the Yankees, singled home McCoy. And Yunel Escobar doubled to left, scoring Encarnacion. 3-2 Jays.

The Yankees took the lead right back. With one out, Swish walked again. After another out, Jones walked. Happ threw a wild pitch, which ended up not mattering when Granderson doubled home both runners. 4-3 Yankees.

CC cruised for a while. But Lind led off the top of the 6th with a single, and Escobar hit one out. 5-4 Jays.

Joe Girardi took CC out for the 8th, and put in Derek Lowe. This would prove to be a rancid mistake. Lowe is done. As in stick a fork in him. The 1st 2 batters he faced were Escobar, double, and Kelly Johnson, bunt single. Girardi tried to correct this mistake by making them the only batters Lowe faced.

Of course, he brought in Boone Logan, which could well have compounded the mistake. Instead, Logan struck out Colby Rasmus. So he brought in Cody Eppley -- more Binder Ball. Mathis did the suicide squeeze, and that made it 6-4 Jays.

Raul Ibanez and Russell Martin hit back-to-back doubles in the bottom of the 8th to make it 6-5, but that was as close as the Yankees would get, and then in the 9th, Girardi played Binder Ball again. He replaced Nix with Eric Chavez, presumably for defensive purposes. But Chavez threw a grounder away, allowing McCoy to get to 2nd. Girardi ordered Encarnacion intentionally walked, to set up the double play (or at least a force). Then he pulled Eppley for Clay Rapada. Who promptly walked Lind. Then he pulled Rapada for Joba Chamberlain.

Hasn't it been sufficiently demonstrated that Joba came back too soon? And now Girardi has brought Joba in again?

Goose Gossage demands an explanation for this bullshit!

Joba gives up a double to Escobar. 8-5 Jays. And the Yanks go down meekly in the 9th.

WP: Happ (10-10). SV: Casey Janssen (17). LP: Sabathia (13-4).

The Yankees have tomorrow off, before starting a home series against the Baltimore Orioles, which is now far more important than anyone would have dared suggest on Opening Day.

Fortunately, the Orioles are losing 4-0 as I type this, so the Magic Number could go down to 30 tonight, anyway. But it's only the 4th inning. If they come from behind to win, they'll be just 2 games back in the loss column -- within the next series' margin of error.  In other words, if they win tonight and they sweep us, they'll be in 1st place.

This is unacceptable.

UPDATE: The Orioles lost to the Chicago White Sox, 8-1.

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