I only had a short conversation about it, but apparently some sort of water pressure valve triggered a series of automatic safety measures at Yankee Stadium tonight. Among those safety measures was a disconnection of the stadium’s sound system, which meant those last few innings were met with even more silence than usual. The silence fell in three waves.
Bartolo Colon walked off to a standing ovation, having going toe-to-toe with Clay Buchholz. He was pulled after a leadoff single, with the score tied. Four batters later, Joba Chamberlain had turned that tied game into a three-run Red Sox advantage. His fastball showed a ton of velocity, but it was also the fastball that Adrian Gonzalez drove for a deep sac fly and Kevin Youkilis drove for a two-run homer.
“I felt good, it was just the location,” Chamberlain said. “The fastball to Gonzalez, I don’t think it was a terrible pitch. The one to Youkilis wasn’t a great pitch at all. I knew it wasn’t a good pitch as soon as I let it go.”
Daniel Bard was throwing hard, but Curtis Granderson tripled and scored on a wild pitch, then a gutsy double steal by Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano put the tying run in scoring position with one out. Nick Swisher struck out swinging, Jorge Posada grounded to second and that was it. Rally over. Opportunity wasted. Posada had been ahead 3-0 in his at-bat, but he took two strikes before hitting a 101-mph fastball on the ground.
“A lot of things (to think about ahead 3-0),” Posada said. “Got a base open, and I’ve got Russell righty on righty (up next). So that was in my mind that whole at-bat, especially 3-0. He’s got to throw three strikes… You’ve been in the situation before and you just keep on looking what the pitcher’s trying to do against you, and that’s all you can do.”
Down to their last out, the Yankees got back-to-back singles from Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson to pull within a run. The tying run was on base for Mark Teixeira, who had already popped up in two of this three previous at-bats. He swung at the first pitch, another popup. That was the end of it, another deflating loss.
“I’ve got to get the head out, really,” Teixeira said. “My strength is pulling the ball and sometimes when you try to stay up the middle too much, you don’t get the head out and a couple of those pitches tonight, I popped them up because I should have pulled them.”
Here’s Joe Girardi’s postgame audio.
• Apparently Chamberlain’s pitch selection was questioned during the broadcast. Chamberlain said he felt good going with his fastball to both Gonzalez and Youkilis. He was trying to work away to both of them. “I felt strong going away,” he said. “(Youkilis) hit a fastball that was up in the zone. There’s not much you can do about it. You can’t second-guess your pitches.”
• Girardi’s take on Chamberlain’s pitching selection: “If I was to question it, I wouldn’t tell anyone in this room. Scouting reports are near and dear to our hearts and we don’t share them with the public.”
• Girardi said Cano never got a good grip on the ball when he looked to turn two on Jacoby Ellsbury’s ground ball in the seventh. It didn’t help that the Yankees were playing to protect against the bunt, meaning Cano was positioned so that he could cover first. “He was further away from double-play depth where you’d normally be in that situation,” Girardi said. “I don’t know if he can turn that, because he’s in a dead sprint across the bag.”
• Most of the talk about Buchholz was about the sink on his fastball. Several Yankees said he had more fastball movement than they’d ever seen from him. “It was a tough night to hit,” Teixeira said. “But at the same time, we had our chances.”
• According to Elias, Colon has not allowed a stolen base in 159.2 consecutive innings, the longest active streak in the majors. Seriously, those guys keep track of everything.
• This was the first time since June 1, 2008 that Colon reached 100 pitches. He threw 103, 68 or strikes.
• Russell Martin’s home run snapped a streak of 45 at-bats without a homer. It also snapped a 1-for-18 skid. He still leads all big league catcher with seven homers.
• Brett Gardner went 1-for-4 and is batting .474 in his past five games, and he’s hitting .422 in his past 17 games dating back to April 26.
• Buddy Carlyle was optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. I’m often stunned at some of the guys who have options remaining, and Carlyle is one of them. Definitely would have expected him to have burned all three.
Associated Press photo