Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Frustrating Thing and the Strange Part

Last night, David Phelps started for the Yankees, and we scored 6 runs.

The frustrating thing is, it wasn't enough.

The strange part is, it wasn't Phelps' fault. True, he also allowed 6 runs, but when the game was decided, he was off the hook.

This was the middle game of a 3-game series away to those pesky Toronto Blue Jays. Phelps struck out 7 and walked only 1 in 5 innings, but he did allow 6 runs, all of them earned.

Three of those runs came on a home run by Dioner Navarro. If that name sounds familiar, it's because he was a Yankee catching prospect, once considered the successor to Jorge Posada -- the original Jesus Montero, if you will. Instead, desperate for a lefthanded starter to counter the Red Sox' steroid-aided sluggers, on January 11, 2005, Yankee general manager Brian Cashman put Navarro, righthanded pitching prospect Brad Halsey and failed righthanded starter Javier "Home Run Javy" Vazquez to the Arizona Diamondbacks for future Hall-of-Fame pitcher Randy Johnson. The D’backs immediately traded Navarro, Beltran Perez, and minor-leaguers William Juarez and Danny Muegge to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Shawn Green. This 3-way trade was a completely waste. Aside from “the Big Unit,” who put together the 2 most useless 17-win seasons in Yankee history and was then sent on his way, none of these players made a significant contribution to their new teams, and most were out of the major leagues by the end of the decade.

Am I upset that Navarro hit a homer off the Yankees last night? Yes, but not because it was him. I'm upset that we lost.

Down 6-0 in the top of the 6th, we came back with a run, on Derek Jeter's 2nd home run of the season. Then, in the 7th, with 5 more to tie it. The Jays? As would be sung in soccer, "Six-nil, and you fucked it up!" (See also: "Atlanta Braves, 1996 World Series, Game 4.")

With 1 out, Brian McCann doubled, and Brian Roberts hit one out. In case you're counting: In home runs this season, Robinson Cano 4, Brian Roberts 3. 6-3 Jays.

Yangervis Solarte flew out, but Brett Gardner doubled, Jeter walked, and Ellsbury singled home Gardner. 6-4 Jays. Teixeira reached 1st on a throwing error that scored Jeter and Ellsbury. 6-6, tie ballgame. The error? By Jose Reyes, who still isn't a better shortstop than Jeter.

But that was it. Alfonso Soriano singled Teix over to 2nd, but Carlos Beltran grounded out to strand them. The Yankees went down 1-2-3 in the 8th, and wasted a leadoff single by Gardner in the 9th.

Dellin Betances pitched a perfect 7th, and got into trouble in the 8th, but struck out Munenori Kawasaki with the bases loaded to end it. Still 6-6 going to the bottom of the 9th.

Naturally, Joe Girardi's binder said, "Leave Betances in." Right?

Wrong: It said, "Bring in Adam Warren."

Sadly, Girardi did not have a Second Opinion Binder, which would have said, "Are you out of your fucking mind?"

The first batter Warren faced was Reyes, who doubled to right. The second was our old friend Melky Cabrera, who grounded to 3rd, and Solarte threw it away. There was no third batter.

Blue Jays 7, Yankees 6. WP: Casey Janssen (2-0). LP: Warren (1-4).

Yet another case where the player in question (Warren, not Solarte) should thank God that George Streinbrenner is no longer running the team, or he'd be in Scranton now.

The series concludes tonight, with a first pitch time of 7:07 PM. Hiroki Kuroda starts for the Yanks, Drew Hutchison for the Jays.

Then we have a day off to come back home, and then...

The Scum come to town. These next 3 are must-win games.

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