The Yankees saw Julio Borbon drop a perfect bunt on them last season, and when Joe Girardi went to the mound in the sixth inning, he wanted to make sure his infielders were ready for another bunt tonight. There were no outs and runners at the corners, which meant Mark Teixeira had to stay at the bag to hold the runner. It was the perfect squeeze situation.
“Tex has got to charge hard and try to get there,” Girardi said. “He made a bunt where Tex couldn’t get it and Booney had to get it, and so they scored… They had to execute. It’s a gutsy call with no one out.”
Mitch Moreland was running from third on the pitch, which left Logan no time to get the out at the plate. It was the play that scored the go-ahead run, but the bigger issue was Logan’s inability to retire the two batters before Borbon.
Logan had wiggled out of a tight spot in the fifth, and he was the natural choice to pitch the sixth with three straight lefties coming to the plate. Moreland doubled, Chris Davis singled and Borbon did exactly what he was trying to do. As Logan said, he essentially didn’t do his job against any of the three.
“It’s frustrating because I’m the only lefty in the pen, I need to get my lefties out,” Logan said. “That’s what I’m frustrated about. I don’t want no one to give up on me because I feel good, it’s just a real minor detail that’s kind of a big deal now that I need to correct.”
That minor deal is Logan’s slider, which he said is too loopy. He doesn’t have his hard, tight slider and he needs that pitch. Without it, left-handers are hitting .364 against him this season. He’s let only one of eight inherited runners score — I guess that’s some sort of silver lining — but he hasn’t been the same guy the Yankees saw late last season. And that’s a problem, because Damaso Marte and Pedro Feliciano are on the disabled list and the Yankees system doesn’t offer a proven alternative.
Girardi has been very patient with struggling players, but it’s one thing to stick with a veteran like Teixiera last year or a veteran like Jorge Posada this year. It’s something else to show that sort of faith in a guy without a long track record like Logan.
“It’s different,” Girardi said. “It’s a different feeling because they don’t have the history to tell you that they’re going to get it done, eventually it’s going to turn. But I saw a lot of good things about of Booney, and we have to get him going.”
Here’s Logan, talking a lot about that slider that’s causing him so many problems.
• For the first time this season, the Yankees saw Bartolo Colon really struggle. Girardi said the problem was one of location. Too many fastballs were left in the middle of the plate. “It was very difficult for me to control (the two-seamer) today,” Colon said. “And I wasn’t throwing it for strikes either.”
• Colon threw only 76 pitches, but with David Murphy coming to the plate with two on in the fifth, Girardi had seen enough and went to Logan, who got out of the jam. “I think it was right to take me out of the game,” Colon said. “Because Texas was hitting every pitch I was throwing.”
• Andruw Jones was pulled strictly because Girardi preferred Brett Gardner’s defense and the Rangers had already burned a lefty. Jones is not injured.
• The Yankees seem to have already seen quite a few squeeze plays this season. Girardi said it was a baseball trend, not so much a beat-the-Yankees trend. “Managers are going back to it,” Girardi said. “I don’t think you’re seeing quite the power that you used to in the game, and it’s a situation that some managers are going to.”
• This was Logan’s explanation of what’s wrong with his slider: “It’s kind of looping in there a little bit. It’s not doing what it’s supposed to do and I’m throwing it too much in the zone as it is and not being able to put away hitters.” He said, the way his slider is now, he has to do a better job throwing it in the dirt when he’s ahead in the count.
• Really nice running catch by Nick Swisher in the fifth. “I told Tex I felt like I ran a half marathon trying to catch that ball,” Swisher said.
• The Rangers announced that Dave Bush will start in place of Alexi Ogando tomorrow.
• Derek Jeter had two hits, trying him with Wee Willie Keeler for 30th place on baseball’s all-time hits list.
• Reggie Jackson was here for whatever reason.
Associated Press photos