After all of the yelling and screaming and finger pointing, the Yankees still had no one to blame but themselves tonight.
“We had plenty of chances to win this game,” Joe Girardi said. “We just didn’t get the job done.”
Twelve runners left on base, 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position — that’s a tough game to win, no matter what the umpire calls in the seventh inning. Mark Teixeira left runners at the corners in the first inning. Robinson Cano left a runner at second in the third inning, and he popped out with the bases loaded in the ninth. Curtis Granderson struck out and Alex Rodriguez popped out with runners at second and third in the seventh.
Those are the Yankees 2-through-5 hitters, supposed to be the most dangerous part of one of baseball’s most dangerous lineups, and they each let opportunities slip away.
“We’ve just to got to go ahead and try to get one across from time to time because they add up,” Granderson said. “No matter what inning you happen to get them, a run is a run.”
Said Girardi: “We couldn’t get the hit. We were patient. We got the walks. We got the hit by pitches. We just never got the hit, and that was kind of the story of our whole night.”
Of course, that wasn’t the only story of the night. Joe Girardi and Kevin Long were both ejected in the seventh inning after home plate umpire Bob Davidson called a first-pitch strike to Granderson. The pitch seemed to be low, and Girardi said things only got heated because Davidson seemed to be looking for trouble.
Here’s Girardi’s version of what happened:
“You saw the call on Curtis in a 2-1 ballgame, second and third, first strike. You can probably assume that we didn’t like the call. Then there was the popup over towards our dugout, toward the on-deck circle, that went into the stands. Bob Davidson chose to look right at K-Long opposed to turning over his right and going back to home plate. Now, this is a game of emotion. You’ve got one of the most prolific home run hitters in the game right now, second and third, one out. And you get a call like that? We’re going to be upset. He said, ‘Don’t talk to me that way. I’m not going to let you talk to me that way.’ To me he should have turned and went the other way and he didn’t, and I question what he did.
“… K-Long proceeded to say something to the fact that, what do you expect (after) a call like that? And he threw him out. And that really got me hot, because if he turns over his right shoulder and goes back, we probably don’t say anything. But that’s what he chose to do.”
Girardi, Russell Martin and Granderson all said they believed this to be an isolated incident. They didn’t think it had anything to do with Martin’s comments about Laz Diaz a few days ago.
“I definitely thought it was down,” Granderson said. “I asked him, I said — I had asked him about a pitch earlier in the game — and he goes, ‘The one earlier in the game I might have missed, but that one I have as a strike.’ He said that, I went and looked at the replay. Camera angles are always a little different, but from that view it didn’t look like it. That’s what got Kevin and Joe a little upset.”
• For whatever it’s worth, and it’s probably not much at this point, Hiroki Kuroda was awfully good tonight. Miguel Cabrera hit him hard a few times, but Kuroda went seven innings allowing two earned runs. He walked one and lowered his ERA to 3.82. “If your team doesn’t win, it doesn’t matter,” Kuroda said.
• Girardi said he doesn’t second guess his decision to pull Kuroda after just 86 pitches. “I don’t,” Girardi said. “He had a 45-minute rain delay. I don’t second guess that. He did a good job. Cabrera hit everybody hard tonight.”
• Dewayne Wise said he was running on his own when he stole third base in the ninth inning. When he stole second, that was a hit-and-run on a pitch that Derek Jeter couldn’t offer at.
• The Jeter bunt in the seventh inning was called from the bench. “I put it on because I had Curtis coming up,” Girardi said.
• Girardi on David Phelps coming into that tied-game situation in the bottom of the ninth: “It’s tough, but I have confidence, “Girardi said. “He’s pitched well for us this year.” Phelps allowed two hits, got one out and took his second loss of the season.
• The Yankees are still winless in games without a home run this season. They’re 0-12 in such games.
• Martin actually said he thought the zone was pretty consistent when he was behind the plate tonight. Granderson saw things differently from center field. “It was changing,” Granderson said. “That’s the one thing as players we want, we just want it consistent. Whatever it happens to be, if it’s consistently big or consistently small, just be consistent across the board.”
• David Aardsma threw 20 pitches today. He quietly continues to recover from last season’s Tommy John surgery.
Associated Press photos