Three games later, the Yankees have fallen from a one-game lead in the American League East to a two-game deficit. They’ve been swept at home by the Red Sox for the second time this season, and along the way they seem to have lost their setup man for the season.
“The old saying, when you’re going good you’re not as good as you think, and when you’re going bad you’re not as bad as you think,” Mark Teixeira said. “They just came and beat us. They swung the bats really well, scored a lot of runs and pitched pretty well, pitched when they needed to. Not much you can do about it. They just beat us.”
Thing is, the Yankees had this game won. Curtis Granderson had homered off Josh Beckett (payback for Beckett hitting Derek Jeter one batter earlier) and CC Sabathia had drilled David Ortiz (payback for the Red Sox beaning six Yankees this series and Ortiz flipping his bat in the opener). The Yankees carried a 2-0 lead into the seventh, which had to be the most deflating inning of the season.
“That’s the outing,” Sabathia said. “We lose the game and get swept. I take total blame for everything that happened in the seventh inning, and I’ll be back out there in five days.”
These teams don’t play one another again until the first weekend in August.
“There’s a lot of baseball to be played until we see them again,” Joe Girardi said. “How we play the next month and a half or two months until we see them is going to have a lot to do with where we’re at. It’s not how you wanted it to end tonight, but it did. You have to move on.”
And here’s Teixeira.
• I wasn’t in the Red Sox clubhouse, but apparently Ortiz blamed the media for him being hit tonight and refused to answer any questions.
• Three Yankees were hit by a pitch tonight, matching the most by an American League team this season. The last time the Yankees had three players hit by a pitch in one game was June 15, 2010 against the Phillies.
• Girardi said he had no problem with Beckett not being ejected for hitting Granderson with a curveball in the fifth. Both benches had been warned, but a curveball in that situation isn’t going to get a pitcher ejected.
• Girardi and Teixeira thought the key at-bat in that pivotal seventh inning was Jed Lowrie’s triple that went right past Teixeira into the right field corner, where Nick Swisher misplayed it and fell down. That hit came immediately after Ortiz singled to lead off the inning, and that made a difference. “That’s one of the craziest plays because if it’s anyone but Ortiz (at first base), I probably am closer to the line,” Teixeira said. “But because I know Ortiz isn’t going to run, I can get off a little bit quicker and I’m one extra step in the hole, and I dive down the line and can’t get it. It goes off the tip of my glove.”
• Sabathia pointed to a different hit as the turning point of that inning: “I think Mike Cameron on that at-bat,” he said. “Just not making a pitch being able to get an out right there, I think, really hurt.” Cameron doubled in Lowrie instead of making the second out of the inning.
• In 21 innings against the Yankees this season, Beckett has allowed only two runs (the Granderson two-run homer). He’s 3-0 against the Yankees, 2-2 against the rest of baseball. “He never gives in,” Teixeira said. “We go down and look at the video a lot, look at where the pitches are. I think he might have left one or two balls over the middle of the plate all game, and one of them was Curtis’s and Curtis made him pay. After that, he didn’t give up much.”
• No one seemed to have an issue with Ortiz doing the Rangers’ claw gesture at second base after his two-run double. Even Robinson Cano, who plays second, said he didn’t see it.
• The Yankees have lost 10 of their past 14 at home.
• The Yankees are now 28-5 when leading after six innings. The seven runs in the seventh marked their highest single-inning total allowed this season. Six straight home losses is the longest single-season home losing streak against Boston since 1912.
• Sabathia matched his season-high for runs allowed and equaled his total earned runs for his past four starts combined. Last time he allowed six runs was his previous start against the Red Sox.
• Derek Jeter moved within 10 of career hit No. 3,000.
• Jeff Marquez made his second major league appearance and first with the Yankees.
Associated Press photos