Fifty-five games into the season, Mark Teixeira is hitting .215 with 34 RBI. He had three hits in the previous two games, but seemed to hit a new sort of low with five strikeouts tonight.
“I had a bad day,” he said. “The last couple of days felt really good. I just didn’t see the ball today.”
Hardly any of the Yankees seemed to see the ball today. The heart of the order — Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano — went 1-for-18 with seven strikeouts. They played 14 innings and scored only on Derek Jeter’s two-run homer in the fifth. Aside from Jeter (2-for-6), Nick Swisher (double and two walks) and Brett Gardner (reached base four times) it’s hard to say any of the Yankees had a good day at the plate, but the numbers are worst for Teixeira.
“He’s our 3 hitter,” Girardi said. “We haven’t talked about changing anything. And when he was on fire in the month of May, no one was saying anything. He’ll get hot again.”
Why the faith in Teixeira? “His track record and I have seen some good things,” Girardi said.
How much longer would the struggles have to continue to lose faith? “We have to go a lot longer than this,” Girardi said.
Here’s Teixeira talking after the game.
And here’s Girardi.
• Because this was a road game, Girardi said he never considered using Mariano Rivera with the game tied. “It’s not something we like to do,” he said. “If you’re going to go two innings with him, it’s something you might do, but I wasn’t going to use Mo for two innings today.” To win the game, the Yankees were going to have to use someone other than Rivera anyway.
• Andy Pettitte said he had some trouble keeping his ball down in the early innings. “I had a big wind in my face and the first couple innings,” he said. “Some of my four-seamers were running like two-seamers, and that never ever happens to me. Me and Cervi were trying to figure out what we needed to do out there, and I settled into a pretty good rhythm for sure.”
• The home run by Vernon Wells was up and away, not a bad pitch Pettitte said. The home run to Alex Gonzalez was the one that bothered Pettitte. “It was actually exactly where I wanted to go with it,” Pettitte said. “But anytime you’ve got a one-run game and you’re leading and you get hurt on a ball inside, that’s not what you want to do. I felt like I was staying away an awful lot through the middle innings. I felt like I had to run some balls in, but he was one up on me on that.”
• Great night for the bullpen, with Joba Chamberlain, Damaso Marte, Dave Robertson and Chan Ho Park getting the Yankees into the 14th. That’s when Chad Gaudin walked the lead-off man and hung a slider. “You’ve got guys battling out there for 14 innings,” Gaudin said. “To let the team down like that, it hurts.”
• It was a cutter that Derek Jeter lined to second base in the seventh inning. There were runners at second and third with one out, and Jeter did exactly what he was supposed to do — hit a ball hard up the middle — but he lined into a bad-luck double play. “I would like to direct it somewhere else,” Jeter said. “But unfortunately you can’t do that.”
• Like Girardi said a few times after the game, you can’t blame the pitching for this one. Obviously Guadin took the loss, but this game was on the offense. “They’ve done a pretty good job, moving fastball in and out, throwing offspeed pitches, keeping us off balance,” Jeter said. “It’s not like they were pitching us all one particular way. They pitched better than us.”
• A friendly reminder: Online voting is underway for the Triple-A all-star game. Follow the link to vote.
Associated Press photos of Teixeira and of Pettitte during a meeting on the mound.