Thursday, August 13, 2015

When You Feel a Little Out of Place (First Place)

On July 28, the Yankees led the American League Eastern Division by 7 games.

Last night, just 15 days later, they fell out of 1st place.

There's plenty of blame to go around. The owners. The general manager. The field manager. The hitters. The pitchers? No, not lately, but earlier in the season, they blew some games they shouldn't have.

There is no way the Toronto Blue Jays should be in 1st place on August 13. They are not a good baseball team.

But they've won 10 straight games, including 3 over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium II last weekend, and the Yankees have lost 5 straight.

That's why we Yankee Fans are feeling a little out of place tonight. Out of 1st place, where we belong.


Last night, against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field, again, it was the Yankees' anemic bats that were to blame.

CC Sabathia, whose career began in Cleveland, pitched well: 6 innings, 2 runs, 9 hits, 2 walks. It should have been enough to win. And the Yankees did have their chances.

Here is a list of all the Yankee baserunners from last night:

* Chase Headley drew a walk with 1 out in the 1st inning -- and was erased on a double play.

* Brian McCann hit a home run in the 2nd, his 19th of the season. That would be the only Yankee run on the night.

* Carlos Beltran drew a walk. If only his walk had come right before McCann's homer, instead of right after it. It would have made a huge difference. There was 1 out. He was stranded on 1st.

* Chris Young drew a walk with 2 outs in the 5th. He was stranded.

* Brett Gardner led off the 6th with a single. He then tried to steal 2nd, and was caught. What a difference that made.

* Mark Teixeira led off the 7th with a single.

* After an out, Carlos Beltran doubled. That should have tied the game, but, of course, Teix can't run, and was stuck at 3rd. They were stranded.

* Gardner drew a walk with 1 out in the 8th.

* Headley then drew a walk. But a double play ended the inning.

* With 1 out in the 9th, McCann struck out, but a wild pitch allowed him to reach 1st with the tying run. But he was stuck.

Indians 2, Yankees 1. WP: Danny Salazar (10-6). SV: Cody Allen (23). LP: Sabathia (4-9, and he's pitched better in some of his losses than in his wins).

The series concludes tonight. Nathan Eovaldi starts for the Yankees, Trevor Bauer for the Tribe.

The Jays have already won this afternoon, making it even more important that the Yankees win tonight -- because, next, they go to Toronto, in what is suddenly the most important regular-season series for the Yankees since the 2009 World Championship season, and for the Jays since September 1993.

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