As long as Andy Pettitte was on the mound, the Yankees were in control of this game. As soon as the bullpen began sending a series of relievers into unfamiliar spots, a five-run lead was destroyed and the Yankees were left with another devastating loss, this one 12-8 against the Red Sox. The Yankees will wait for Tampa Bay to finish a west coast game to determine whether the latest collapse cost a game in the standings. Pettitte lasted six innings — and each time he allowed a run in the top of an inning, the Yankees responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning — but Pettitte rarely throws more than 100 pitches these days, and he left the bullpen three innings to keep an 8-3 lead.
That lead lasted seven batters.
Phil Hughes made his first relief appearance of the year and let four of five reach base, then Boone Logan got a big strikeout of David Ortiz but couldn’t put away Mike Napoli. Logan made five attempts at strike three, but on the fifth, Napoli hit a game-tying home run off the top of the wall in right field. In the eighth, it was Preston Claiborne who allowed Shane Victorino’s two-run homer, and it was Joba Chamberlain who walked in a run and allowed an RBI single. Hard to imagine Logan facing Napoli, or Dave Robertson not getting the ball in the eighth, had the Yankees been playing with a full bullpen. But after three straight one-run games, including that brutal 10-run loss last night, the Yankees needed the B-Team relievers to finish off a perfectly winable game. They couldn’t.
Associated Press photo