I’m sure it doesn’t mean much after a night like this, but there were some stand-up guys in the Yankees clubhouse after the game. As soon as the media finished talking to Joe Girardi, there were three Yankees standing by their lockers ready to talk: Marcus Thames, Mariano Rivera and Joba Chamberlain.
In 24 hours, he went from hero to goat, from walk-off home run to game-changing error. “What happened yesterday is over with and today’s a new thing,” Thames said. “And I made a bad error today.”
Girardi argued that the weather might have played a role in the late-inning mistakes, but Thames said otherwise. He had no problem with any other ball hit his direction. “I’ve got to make that play,” Thames said. “He made his pitch. That’s what I’m out there for. I’ve got to make play… I took my eye off the ball. I looked at Robby, then I looked back up and the ball was on me. I called for the ball.”
Clearly the error hurt, but Rivera was still one out away from ending the inning when Jeremy Hermida hit his two-run double. “I got a chance to still do the job,” Rivera said. “Get this guy out and nothing would have happened. That’s part of the game. I just didn’t do the job.”
Rivera said the pitch to Hermida was a good one. He felt like the strike zone had been tight, but he wasn’t upset about the pitch to Hermida. “You don’t want to be in that situation,” Rivera said. “We had the opportunity. We had two shots and we didn’t do it. That’s the way it is. You cannot pinpoint just one thing that happened.”
The decision went to Rivera, but Chamberlain saw things differently. “This is my loss, it isn’t anybody else’s,” he said. “If I do my job and make better pitches, we’re not in that situation.”
Chamberlain said “it doesn’t” when asked if a first-batter error changes the inning for a pitcher. “I just wasn’t locating my pitches,” he said. “If you throw strike one, it allows you to do a lot more things at the plate. These guys are too good to be able to fall behind. When you fall behind, you’re playing behind and you’re margin of error is a little bit smaller.”