Yankees fall to the Athletics, as Swisher just missed a multiple homer game

The Oakland Athletics edged the Yankees, 6-5, on Tuesday night, as the Yankees staged a late rally which fell just a few feet short.

With his single to center in the third Jeter achieved yet another multi hit game.   However, with runners on first and second Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixiera could not convert.  To end the bottom of the third inning Teixiera made a play that required cat like reflexes to reach for a line drive and double off Josh Willingham at first.

In the top of the seventh, with the Yankees down 3-0, and a runner on first, Russell Martin made an outstanding stop to prevent Cliff Pennington from getting to second.  Unfortunately, Kurt Suzuki would go on to hit a double down the left field line to move Pennington to second, knocking Colon out of the game.

The Athletics’ offense continued to hurt the Yankees pitching as pinch-hitter Scott Sizemore smashed a double off of reliever Boone Logan that drove in Suzuki and Pennington.  In recent outings Logan had been pitching very impressively so hopefully this does not last.

Derek Jeter was just about the only bright spot through eight innings for the Yankees as he led off the inning with a single.  If he is able to have a three-for-three game tomorrow his average will be all the way up to .300.  This is very impressive after his underwhelming start to the season.

However, later in the inning Nick Swisher came up in the nick of time as he hit a three run homer into the Yankees bullpen to force the A’s to go to their bullpen.  Then off of Andrew Bailey, the A’s closer, Jorge Posada hit a deep blast into the bleachers.  He has hit pretty well since being demoted, and in his last five games where he has at least one at bat he has seven hits and seven RBI.

Russell Martin hit a double to the gap and then Brett Gardner got on first because of third baseman Scott Sizermore’s fielding error.  It would have been a close play because of Gardner’s blazing speed but since it was in Sizemore’s glove and bounced out the error call made sense.  Bailey walked Granderson on a full-count to load the bases for Teixiera.

Teixeira popped out and Granderson walked, but Swisher came so very close to hitting a grand slam but it ended up being a very long fly ball that landed in Coco Crisp’s glove, on the warning track, in centerfield.  The Yankees left runners in scoring position with two outs five times, with Swisher twice being the culprit, so if they would have converted on one or two of these opportunities the outcome might have been different.

Part of the reason Bailey allowed two hits, a walk and homer might have been because he had extra nerves since he was pitching near his hometown in Voorhees, New Jersey and also where he went to college at Wagner in Staten Island.

Logan came into this game having not allowed a run in his last three appearances, the Yankees likely would have won.  This is because he gave up the double to Logan, which scored two runs, and gave Colon give five earned runs on the evening.

Colon really did not pitch that poorly because through six innings he had only allowed three runs and that is a quality start.  Two of those runs were solo home-runs but he has not won a game during the month of August.

Brandon Allen hit two solo home runs during the game and he has really taken advantage of his trade to the Athletics, on July 31st.  His first home run, in the second inning off of Colon, was a mammoth shot into the upper deck.  He is only the second player to launch one into the upper deck at the new Yankee Stadium.

The Athletics are not known for their offense, as they are 12th in the AL in runs scored.  They only scored 3.3 runs per game in the first half but have scored considerably more since then.

CC Sebathia, who is very reliable and a CY Young candidate, will try to revert Oakland back to their pre All-Star break form.  Trevor Cahill is slated to pitch for the A’s, who was an All-Star and in the top five in lowest ERA last season, but has struggled this season with a 4.17 ERA.

Since the Yankees lost last night and the Red Sox won they are now in a virtual tie for first place.  Boston is playing the Rangers tonight, and the Rangers are winning the season series 4-1.  Hopefully the Yankees will be able to take advantage of facing inferior completion for six more games before battling Boston.

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