Every game is starting to feel the same for the Yankees. Fielding errors by the defense. Missed opportunities by the offense. Assorted mistakes scattered throughout. The Yankees have lost nine of their past 12, and they’ve matched their longest home losing streak since moving into the new Yankee Stadium.
“It seems like when things are going bad, they’re going bad,” Joe Girardi said. “It’s going to turn around. Every team in our division, you talk about Tampa, they went through it. The Red Sox have been through it and now we’ve been through it, and we need to turn it around.”
Hard to say what should bother the Yankees most at this point, but my guess is that the steady assortment of defensive mistakes are the most disturbing. Every team goes through hitting slumps — granted, this one is pretty extreme, but hitters know they’re going to go cold from time to time — but the defense should be fairly reliable.
Girardi said the passed ball off Russell Martin’s glove was a split that had some unusual movement — “That’s going to happen,” Girardi said — but Alex Rodriguez said his error at third base was as much mental as physical. He tried to rush the play, thinking he could get two, and let the ball go right past him.
“In hindsight, the right play was to just get the one out,” he said.
The defense has been bad, but the Yankees had just two hits tonight after Curtis Granderson’s go-ahead two-run home run in the second inning (Mark Teixeira singled and Rodriguez doubled). If the defensive mistakes are the most disturbing trend, the offensive struggles are certainly the most noticeable.
“We talk about thinking little,” Rodriguez said. “And it seems like Boston came in here and did exactly what we do to other teams. They’re keeping at-bats alive. They’re fouling off pitches. They’re battling, and then they get the big hit.”
The Yankees haven’t gotten a big hit in a long time.
• Rafael Soriano said he’s going to throw a bullpen tomorrow, and if that goes well he’ll be available on Wednesday at the earliest. Girardi seemed to indicate that the Yankees might have to make a move if Soriano’s elbow doesn’t improve. “There’s decisions that we have to make,” Girardi said. “Hopefully he’s available to us soon.”
• Phil Hughes threw 45 pitches from 90 feet today, continuing a day-by-day progression of more pitches from more distance. He’ll have Monday off before resuming his program on Tuesday.
• Freddy Garcia was kicking himself for going ahead 0-2 against Kevin Youkilis in the third inning but eventually giving up the game-tying home run. “I got the guy 0-2, I should get him out,” he said.
• Garcia broke David Ortiz’s bat in the fifth inning but Ortiz still hit the go-ahead homer to right field. “This ballpark, that’s the way they play,” Garcia said. “Nothing you can do about it.”
• Jorge Posada pinch hit in the eighth inning and drew a walk. Girardi said he would have used Posada with runners on base in the seventh inning, but Nick Swisher’s strikeout took away the opportunity.
• Brett Gardner on the bad bunt: “Frustrating. That’s a big part of my game and something I need to get done every time. I can work on it all I want to in practice and do it right 100 times out of 100, but when it comes time to do it in the game, I’ve got to be better at it.”
• Rodriguez had his double tonight, but he also struck out twice. Just a few days ago he was talking about feeling better at the plate. “I thought so,” he said. “And then I ran into Beckett and Lester and that made me feel not so good.”
• Ten of the 13 runs Garcia has allowed as a starter have come on home runs. He lost to the Red Sox for the first time since 2002 when he was pitching for Seattle. He went nine starts without a loss against Boston.
• Andruw Jones hit his first home run since his first at-bat of the season.
• Granderson has five home runs in his past nine games. He now has six home runs off left-handed pitchers, his most ever in a single season.
• In case you missed it in the game post, the Yankees announced during the game that the team will not discipline Jorge Posada for not playing on Saturday night. Posada apologized to Brian Cashman, who passed word to ownership. “They have accepted his apology,” a team official said.
• Girardi on the fan response to Posada: “Jorge is loved in our clubhouse. Jorge is loved by the fans. Jorge has meant a lot to this organization. And I’m not surprised. This has been a great player for a long time.”
Associated Press photos