The Yankees, to their credit, have finally embraced the idea of giving young players a chance. But that occasionally comes at a price.
Let us count the ways today:
Brett Gardner: He butchered a line drive to center by Asdrubal Cabrera in the fifth inning, costing the Yankees a run. Gardner thought it was off the end of the bat and it wasn’t. “If I step back instead of ahead, I catch that easily,” he said. Then Gardner failed to steal second as ordered in the ninth inning. He saw the sign, he just didn’t run. Gardner explained he was worried about being picked off.
“I cost us the game,” he said.
Not so fast …
Phil Coke: He walked No. 9 hitter Trevor Crowe to start the bottom of the ninth inning. Crowe is a .170 hitter. That’s inexcusable. Then Coke complained about the call after the game. This just in, you’re Phil Coke. You think the umpire is giving you borderline strikes?
Dave Robertson: He came in with a runner on second and walked Ben Francisco. Then he fell behind 3-1 to Jhonny Peralta and had to come in with a strike. Bang, game over. “I need to throw strikes,” Robertson said. “I don’t know what I was thinking.”
Phil Hughes: He deserves little blame. But four runs in five innings against a lineup missing Grady Sizemore and Victor Martinez is not a good job. Even if you toss out that last run because of Gardner’s poor play, three run in five innings is not remotely pitching well.
The good news? Chien-Ming Wang said he hasn’t felt this good since before he got hurt. He said he could throw 80 pitches in a start if given a chance and then get to 100 the time after that. Girardi said they’ll evaluate the situation and that the team still considers Wang a starter.