Monday, June 2, 2014

Bullpen Meltdown Aids Minnesota Comeback

The finale of the Yankees' home series with the Minnesota Twins looked to be in the bag. After all, weren't the Twins starting Yankee castoff Phil Hughes?

Hughes pitched 8 innings, allowing only 2 runs. Why couldn't he do that 3 times out of every 4 for the Yankees?

But it looked to be enough, as, between them, rookie starter Chase Whitley, Dellin Betances and Adam Warren pitched 8 very strong innings, allowing 1 run on 6 hits.

So we went to the 9th, leading 2-1. Enter Sandm--

Oh, that's right.

No problem: David Robertson has been great this year, notching 12 saves in 13 opportunities.

No problem... right?

Josh Willingham led off the top of the 9th for the Twins. Boom: Long drive to left field, game-tying home run.

Okay, that might not have been too bad, if D-Rob could prevent any more runs, and the Yanks could win it in the bottom of the 9th. Or in extra innings. And he did strike Jason Kubel out right after than.

But then he walked Kurt Suzuki. Uh-oh... But then he struck out Eduardo Escobar. One out to go.

But then he walked Aaron Hicks. And then he allowed a double to Brian Dozier. 3-2 Twins.

He was ordered to walk Joe Mauer to set up the force play. And then...

And then Joe Girardi looked in his Binder, and pulled Robertson, for Matt Daley.

On his first pitch, Daley allowed a double. To the Twins' shortstop.

EDUARDO NUNEZ!

Losing a game because of Phil Hughes and Eduardo Nunez coming through for the other team. For Pete Sheehy's sake...

5-2 Twins. That was the only pitch Daley threw. Girardi looked in his Binder under, "Fuckups, Your Own." Rather than read, "See, you never should have consulted me in the first place, you dope!" he saw, "Bring in Matt Thornton."

Thornton allowed a single to Oswalda Garcia. 7-2 Twins.

Thornton got Josh Willingham to fly out to end the carnage. But the Yanks went quietly in the bottom of the 9th.

WP: Hughes (6-1 -- that's right, six wins, one loss). No save. LP: Robertson (0-2).

It's not worth pointing out the day's "Yankee RISPfails," since this was a total bullpen meltdown in the 9th, not the 10th or later.

If Whitley and his replacements had allowed 7 runs over the first 8, I would have understood. Not this.

In about half an hour from now, the Yankees will host the Seattle Mariners in the makeup of a rainout from about a month ago. Tomorrow night, the Oakland Athletics come in for 3 games, before the Yankees had out on a long Western roadtrip to Kansas City, Seattle and Oakland.

David Phelps starts tonight, against Felix Hernandez. Oy vey: Not only is Phelps starting against one of the better pitchers in baseball, but we have to hear a lot of crap about how this guy who's never seen a postseason MLB game except on television, let alone pitched in one, is a "king."

It's worse than hearing about Henrik Lundqvist being a "king."

This is going to be a long next 2 weeks.

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