Joe Girardi’s words might have been obvious, but they were also absolutely true.
“This is the group that we have right now so they have to get it done,” he said. “That’s the bottom line. We have to pitch better as a whole out of the bullpen.”
It’s hard to look internally and find an obvious solution for the Yankees unreliable bullpen. You expect a bullpen to be shaky, but the Yankees bullpen ERA in the bottom half of baseball. And that’s with Mariano Rivera’s 0.86 ERA in the mix. ERA isn’t an especially good way to measure a reliever, but aside from Mo, the Yankees don’t have a regular reliever with better than a 4.60.
Maybe there’s a better eighth-inning option than Rivera, but Dave Robertson has allowed a run exactly as often as Chamberlain — 28.5 percent of his appearances — and Damaso Marte is the only left-handed option. Jonathan Albaladejo has been outstanding in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but he’s far from a sure thing.
“You have to be more consistent,” Chamberlain said. “We have to do a better job down there in the bullpen as a whole. We have the best leader. We lean on him and understand what he does to teach us to make us better.”
• Dave Robertson allowed one run through nine innings in June, but he was asked to go more than an inning — one and a third — only once that month. “I don’t think that had anything to do with it,” he said. “I didn’t perform well today. I stunk today and it cost us the game.”
• Chan Ho Park does his interviews without a translator, so it’s hard to know how much of his emotion is lost in his own translation, but here’s what he said after the game: “Just keep throwing. I made some good pitches. I’m just trying to focus on I made some good pitches. Two pitches I didn’t like… I’m not thinking I’m struggling. Just missed the pitch.”
• The Yankees offense has come and gone this season, and Girardi called his one of the periods when they’re “scuffling,” a word he’s used before. “You can’t get frustrated with it,” Nick Swisher said. “You just have to come back tomorrow ready to go. I think when you get frustrated, that’s when it really snowballs.”
• Bases loaded with no outs in the sixth inning, Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano struck out, Jorge Posada grounded out. “That’s probably the difference in the game,” Girardi said.
• Girardi said he was impressed with A.J. Burnett’s fastball command to both sides of the plate. Burnett said pretty much the same thing, and said his mechanical issues felt much better. “I felt like I was able to throw it where I wanted to better,” he said. “I pulled off on only a handful of pitches.”
• What a catch by Brett Gardner to start the eighth inning. The game might have been lost in that inning if not for Gardner.
• Mark Teixeira’s hitting streak ended at 12 games.
• Brian Cashman on how much longer Marcus Thames will rehab: “If he’s rusty then we’ll keep him going. If he isn’t rusty when we’ll take him. I know if a left-hander is coming down the line, that will probably play into it as well.”
Associated Press photos of Park and Gardner.