Alex Rodriguez began feeling something in his calf during the third inning. He felt it running out of the box on his single, and he felt it trying to get to second base on Robinson Cano’s double-play ball. There’s an off day tomorrow, and that should help, but right now he’s not entirely certain he’ll be able to play on Tuesday.
“I’m hoping we caught it before it got really bad,” he said. “Come in tomorrow, get treatment, and hopefully be ready to go. … I’ve had a calf injury before, and they’re tricky. They’re very dangerous. I’m hoping that I came out of the game before something really bad happened. Fingers crossed.”
Rodriguez has been playing through a bad hamstring for about a week, and he acknowledged that compensating for that injury might have led to this one.
“That (hamstring)’s getting better,” Rodriguez said. “I was hoping that I was ready to roll in Toronto. … It’s frustrating, especially because I feel so good up there and I feel like I’ve also missed playing third base, and I think it’s important for me to be out there playing third base. I think it makes our team more balanced. But I guess the good news is, we’re leaving Boston.”
That is the good news. The Yankees have lost seven of their past 11, but six of those losses have come against the Red Sox. This series finale was a pretty good snapshot of what’s happened to the Yankees against this team: Bad pitching, not nearly enough hitting, and even some defensive mistakes thrown in the mix.
“We stunk here,” Joe Girardi said. “We didn’t play well here. We’ve got an option; we can continue to stink or play better. If we play better, we have a shot.”
• Nova has gone through some pretty significant ups and downs in his career, but it was only last month that he was the American League Pitcher of the Month. Now he’s been pretty bad in three straight starts this month. “Whatever I did in the past stay in the past,” he said. “I got to focus in on (trying to) throw a good game every time I go out there. I also got to understand I’m not perfect. I try and I work hard in between my starts, you know, it’s just one of those days.”
• Five runs were a season-high for Nova, and he tied a season-high with four walks and a hit batter. He did that over four-plus innings that would have been much worse had Adam Warren not pitching out of a massive jam in the fifth. This was Nova’s first loss since July 27, snapping an eight-game unbeaten streak.
• Another problem tonight was, oddly enough, Ichiro Suzuki’s play in right field. He’s far from a perfect fielder, but he’s generally pretty reliable. “It just looked like he misjudged some balls tonight,” Girardi said. “I’m not really sure why. This is a team that you can’t give extra outs or they’re going to kill you.”
• The bright side to Ichiro’s night is that he went 2-for-4 to snap a 14 at-bat hitless streak.
• The vast majority of the pregame ceremony for Mariano Rivera was tremendous. The gifts were legitimately cool — the No. 42 from the scoreboard, the pitching rubber from the visiting bullpen — and the crowd was genuinely appreciative. But what was up with that opening video referencing the 2004 ALCS and the crowd mocking Rivera in 2005? “It’s not strange,” Rivera said. “It was good, though. They have all the power to do that. They beat us that year. Why not? You have a great time, you have fun and they did. All the power to them. … I think it’s well put. It was well put. They beat us that year and they deserve (it). It was great. The whole thing was great.”
• Maybe Rivera wasn’t bothered, or maybe he’s just too polite to rip the ceremony. Girardi was asked what he thought of the whole thing, including the video about ’04. “They gave him some nice gifts,” was Girardi’s only response.
• Then again… “Awesome. First class,” Rodriguez said, giving his review of the ceremony. “First-case organization for, for me, the greatest guy in the world. I love Mo like a brother.”
• Alfonso Soriano was pulled mid game, but only to keep him safe. No setback or anything with the thumb. “I don’t want him to re-injure it,” Girardi said.
• Mike Zagurski became the 56th player used by the Yankees this season. That’s a franchise record.
• The Yankees went 6-13 against the Red Sox this season, their most losses against Boston since going 4-14 against the Red Sox in 1973.
• Final word goes to Girardi: “We didn’t pitch well. We got in bad counts, and we didn’t hit well. We didn’t play defense at times. We just didn’t play well. Put the combination together and it’s trouble.”
Associated Press photos