We’ll get to the game in just a bit, for now there’s a little more information on Dave Robertson…
After taking a train to and from New York earlier today, Robertson was back in the Yankees clubhouse tonight. His socks were pulled high as if he were going to pitch.
“It’s really disappointing,” he said. “Because it was something I was hoping would just be a real quick recovery, and in two or three days, hopefully I’d be back. It just hasn’t gone away. I went and got it checked out today, and it turns out there’s a reason why it’s not going away.”
A strained left oblique has landed Robertson on the disabled list for the first time in his career. He called it “weird,” but he said the doctors have told him it’s realistic to think he could be back as soon as the 15 days are up. He won’t pick up a ball for six or seven days, but the strain was caught pretty early, before Robertson did significant damage.
“They said it’s very mild,” Robertson said. “But it’s one of those things where if I kept pitching on it, it’s likely to get worse. If it gets worse, I could be out for six to eight weeks or something like that. That’s the last thing I want to do.”
Robertson said he’ll be able to do some workouts this week — he’ll try to keep his shoulder strong — but he won’t throw and won’t do his full workout routine. He has to give it time to heal. As for rust from what should be roughly two weeks away from the game:
“I don’t think it should be that big of a deal,” Robertson said. “I’ve had to sit before in September at times just from soreness and pitching a lot, and I’ve been able to bounce back from that fairly quickly. … I’m not sure of what the date is that I’m allowed to be placed on the DL retroactively, but I’m hoping to be back as soon as that day is up.”
As for the game…
• CC Sabathia wasn’t sharp today. His sinker wasn’t sharp and his command was off. He limited the damage, but 12 base runners — eight hits and four walks in six innings — were too much. “The two-seamer was a little off,” Sabathia said. “I feel like I had a good one early but it kind of went away from me. The fastball command and the four walks killed me. … Normally, in the last couple of starts, I’ve been making pitches when I need to. Like I said, the four walks, and fastball command wasn’t there.”
• Sabathia wasn’t particularly good, but holding the Orioles to four runs was enough to keep the Yankees in it. Problem was, the offense went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and hit into three double plays. “Sometimes you hope that you can shut the other team down,” Joe Girardi said. “Or sometimes you get some gifts, and we just didn’t take advantage of opportunities tonight.”
• The Yankees won Wei-Yin Chen’s major-league debut earlier this season — Chen took a no-decision — but the Orioles have won each of his starts since. Tonight he didn’t allow an extra-base hit until the seventh, and Curtis Granderson’s two-run homer later that inning accounted for the only Yankees runs. “It’s not like he’s throwing changeups like Moyer, you know what I’m saying?” Derek Jeter said. “He gets it up there 91, 92. He hits his spots. He knows how to pitch. It’s a little unfair to say he’s not overpowering because he mixes in his offspeed stuff and his fastball gets up there pretty good. He knows what he’s doing.”
• The Yankees best chance for a late rally came when they drew back-to-back walks to start the eighth, but Granderson grounded into a fielder’s choice and Robinson Cano hit one back to the mound to start an inning-ending double play.
• Granderson’s 13th homer of the season got just over the wall in left field where Xavier Avery seemed to think he would have made the catch if not for fans sitting in the front row. “It looked like it was over the fence from my view point,” Girardi said. “I thought they might review it. I thought Buck might go out – I probably would have – but from where I was it looked like it was over the fence and a fan caught it. I’m not sure the kid couldn’t have caught it, but if it’s over the fence it doesn’t matter.”
• The other disputed play came in the bottom of the eighth when Chris Stewart seemed to throw out Adam Jones stealing second. Jeter argued, which rarely happens unless Jeter’s positive he’s right. “From where I was, I thought he was clearly out,” Girardi said.
• The call led to a run because Chris Stewart allowed his second passed ball of the night later in the inning. “The first one didn’t do what I thought it was going to do,” Stewart said. “Just spun out there, and I gave it a little more credit than I should have, and it just tipped off my glove. The second one, I just botched it. … That’s inexcusable. I just thought I had more glove than I did. The ball tipped off, and went to the backstop. That just can’t happen.”
• Freddy Garcia struck out three and allowed one hit through two innings of work. He’s actually pitched pretty well since moving into the bullpen.
• For whatever it’s worth, Ivan Nova seemed to be moving around much better in the clubhouse after the game.
• Of course, Sabathia took the blame for tonight’s loss. “If we don’t score runs, it’s time to pick them up,” he said. “If we score runs, give up less than we score. So, I wasn’t able to do that tonight.”
• Hard not to notice, though, that the Yankees seem to have an all-or-nothing offense, and tonight was one of the nothing nights. “It’s consistent at-bats,” Girardi said. “There’s good pitching in our division. There’s no doubt it about, there’s a lot of good pitching in the American League and you’re going to see it day in and day out and you’ve got to sometimes find ways to score runs.”
Associated Press photos