Every time the Yankees fly from one city to the next, the players dress in suits and ties. No more t-shirts and sneakers. Today, the Yankees dressed for a showdown against Tampa Bay. They looked the part of a first-place team, even if they hadn’t played the part during a three-game sweep in Texas.
“They played better than us,” Derek Jeter said. “It was a tough three games, but we’re right in the position every team wants to be in. We control what happens. We play the teams that we’re tied with or are behind us, so we’re right where we need to be.”
Jeter, by the way, said a half-game lead is no different to him than a tie.
Dustin Moseley walked fewer batters than Cliff Lee this afternoon, but the Rangers turned each Moseley walk into a run. They advanced on fly balls to the outfield, took extra bases when given the chance and took the lead on Julio Borbon’s perfectly placed two-out bunt in the seventh inning.
“They did a lot of little things right that helped them win the game,” Moseley said.
The Yankees did a lot of little things wrong that cost them this series. Walks hurt the pitching staff and stranded runners killed the offense, but the Yankees managed to escape Arlington with smallest lead possible heading into their pivotal three-game series against Tampa Bay.
“I feel good about this team,” Joe Girardi said. “This team has worked hard to get to this point, where we are in the season. We still have some baseball left. I still believe that we are going to play extremely well down the stretch.”
Here’s Girardi’s postgame.
• Dustin Moseley pitched exactly one-third of an inning in the 12 days leading up to today’s start. Even so, he retired 11 of the first 12 batters he faced and allowed just one run through his first six innings. His undoing was that he walked two guys, both to leadoff an inning, both leading to runs. “When a guy has that kind of command, I’m sure it’s frustrating,” Girardi said.
• Even with a full bullpen, Girardi said he would have stuck with Moseley into the seventh inning. “I loved the way he was throwing the baseball,” Girardi said.
• Hard to believe Cliff Lee had been struggling and hadn’t pitched since August 31. He allowed two hits, though he did walk three. His leadoff walk to Derek Jeter was Lee’s first leadoff walk since June 24, 2009.
• Speaking of Jeter: The Yankees had five base runners today, three of them were Jeter who walked twice and doubled in the only run. “I thought today was a step in the right direction,” he said.
• Also speaking of Jeter: Before Borbon’s bunt single that scored the go-ahead run, Jeter actually went to the mound to warn Moseley that — even with two outs — Borbon might be bunting. “I had a feeling he might do it,” Jeter said. “But it was perfect. There was nothing anybody could have done in that situation.”
• Jorge Posada said he felt perfectly fine. “No problem,” with his might-be-a-concussion.
• Javier Vazquez was available out of the bullpen today, and Girardi said he’ll be available out of the bullpen again tomorrow.
• Girardi said there are no additional tests planned for Nick Swisher. “We’ll know more tomorrow,” he said.
• In case you missed it, Kevin Russo and Juan Miranda arrived today. They were available off the bench.
Associated Press photos of Curtis Granderson and Moseley