Jorge Posada, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson combined to go 0-for-9 with eight strikeouts tonight. Granted, no one was going to have a good night against Josh Beckett tonight, but those three stand out for one reason: Just a few days ago, there was reason to believe all three in for a terrific start to the season.
As of now, all three are hitting below .200 with only their string of home runs boosting their overall production.
“I’m looking for something positive and nothing is positive right now,” Posada said.
Fans never like to read or hear that a lineup’s struggles are because of a pitcher, but the truth is that Beckett was outstanding tonight. Derek Jeter said he couldn’t remember the last time Beckett looked so good, and Robinson Cano said it reminded him of the Beckett he saw when he first came up from the minors.
That said, only three everyday Yankees are hitting better than .219, and one of them was out sick tonight. The Yankees showed on Saturday that this lineup has the potential to be explosive – this lineup can still carry the team to a win – but that production has been erratic. Some players haven’t shown much since Day 1, and some showed something in the first few games and have seen their numbers plummet.
“You can’t make too much of a few at-bats,” Joe Girardi said. “You just can’t do it because early in the season you’re going to see guys have ups and downs. You’re going to see it, and then as they start getting more at-bats under their belt, they start to get more consistent.”
Here’s Girardi postgame.
• Girardi said Alex Rodriguez was legitimately unavailable tonight. Even if he wanted Rodriguez to pinch hit, Girardi wasn’t going to use him. “He’s sick. He’s got the flu,” Girardi said. “Hopefully the rest today and the rest tomorrow, he’ll be back to full strength by Tuesday.”
• Using Freddy Garcia in the eighth inning was simply to get him some work, Girardi said. If it were a closer game, one of the late-inning relievers might have pitched. “Freddy’s got a start coming up here and we just thought we’d get him in,” Girardi said.
• Not a great outing by CC Sabathia, but he gave the Yankees a shot. “I did what I could today,” Sabathia said. “But the stuff just wasn’t there.” Sabathia said his delivery was a little off, but he still managed to give up just one run through 5.2 innings.
• By the way, this was another Sabathia start that the Yankees could have won. He has yet to win a game. “You felt like he could pretty easily be 3-0,” Girardi said.
• On the last pitch to Mark Teixeira, which Teixeira argued quite a bit: “I thought the ball was low,” Girardi said. “I thought it was low. Tex thought it was low. It’s unfortunate you get rung up on a pitch like that, but it’s going to happen from time to time.”
• Jeter on Beckett: “He was probably as good today as we’ve seen in quite some time. It’s always a challenge when you face him, it’s never comfortable, today he was as good as I’ve seen him look since I don’t remember when.”
• Have to give a lot of credit to Boone Logan. Coming off some pretty bad outings, he did a nice job today of getting out of the seventh inning. The Yankees are going to need him to turn a corner because even if Pedro Feliciano is cleared to begin throwing this week, he’s going to be more than a day or two away.
• Joba Chamberlain got Sabathia out of that sixth inning jam, but his control wasn’t there in the seventh and the two runs he allowed really seemed to put the game out of reach. Scoring one was going to be tough tonight. Scoring three seemed impossible. “It was the two walks that hurt him,” Girardi said.
• Cano has now reached base safely in 16 straight games at Fenway, a streak that goes back to 2009.
• This is the third time Sabathia has carried an ERA below 2.00 through his first three starts of the season. He previously did it in 2004 and 2005 with Cleveland.
• The Yankees were shutout for the first time since September 13 of last year. They were held to two hits for the first time since August 15 of last year.
• Mark Prior has pitched today and yesterday for High-A Tampa. One hitless inning each time. Throwing on back-to-back days is a pretty significant step. “It was a step forward,” Prior told the AP. “My arm feels fine.”
Associated Press photos of Cano, Martin and Chamberlain