Trevor Cahill (4.13 ERA), who is coming off an All-Star season, in 2010, limited the Yankees to two runs through six innings, and the Bronx Bombers could not score enough runs off of the Athletics bullpen to prevent losing the game, 6-4 in extra innings, one day after the earthquake.
Robinson Cano upped his hitting streak to 15 in the fourth inning with a double between the centerfielder and right fielder that went to the wall. Later in the inning, with runners on second and third, Eduardo Nunez came up and hit a ball that bounced on home plate and dribbled ahead. He did not run thinking it was foul and was called out. He was mystified but the umpire was correct.
Francisco Cervelli was the next batter and he is somebody in particular who usually seizes the moment with ducks on the pond, but this time he did not convert.
However, Cervelli would make up for his blunder in the bottom of the fourth by throwing a bullet to Cano at second to get out Scott Sizemore who was trying to steal. Sizemore’s single was only the Athletics third hit of the game off of Sebathia, who rebounded well after a rocky first inning.
Over his last 12 games Jeter is hitting .521, but as a result of his wild swing at a pitch out of the zone in the fifth he failed at his attempt to finally reach .300. That is OK because he has been a totally new hitter since coming off the DL, hitting like he did in 2009 when he finished third in the MVP voting.
Jemile Weeks, younger brother of Milwaukee Brewers star Rickie Weeks, who has speed similar to Brett Gardner, led off the sixth inning with what appeared to be a triple, but Cano made a picture perfect throw to nail him at third. Curtis Granderson started the perfect relay with a strong throw to Cano.
Swisher hit what appeared to be a critical home run in the bottom of the sixth, into the Yankees bullpen, after falling feet away from being the hero last night. He is one player who did everything in his power to help the Yankees win as Cahill kept the offense off guard to that point.
Sebathia continued his stellar pitching as he retired the Athletics in order in the top of the seventh, on only six pitches.
With Hideki Matsui surprisingly playing left field and not DH, Eduardo Nunez hit a ground ball down the third base line that hit the indentation, for a double. Cervelli executed a perfect bunt for a single to set the Yankees up for a potential big inning. Cahill was then removed by A’s manager Bob Geren (and Bob Saget look-a-like), and Brian Fuentes would go on to retire the next three batters in order.
With two outs in the eighth inning, and Sizemore coming up to bat, Joe Girardi acted like he was going to bring in David Robertson but decided not to. He will probably regret that decision as Sizemore got his third hit tying the game at two.
To end the top of the eighth Matsui hit a hard line drive to Derek Jeter, who was able to double Weeks off at second. However, the damage had already been done off of the usually shutdown Robertson as he allowed a single to Crisp, which scored Sizemore.
The home run barrage over recent games would continue as Mark Teixeira smacked a very deep home run to right-center. This was the first run Grant Balfour had allowed in his last six appearances and with that mammoth shot he tied Granderson with the team lead. Posada continued his utter dominance against Balfour as he now five for six against the journeyman reliever.
Rivera would pitch a one-two-three top of the ninth and the Yankees would come to bat in the ninth with a chance at a walk-off victory and for a lucky player to receiver a pie in the face.
Soriano came in to pitch the tenth, but the inning did not start so well as Sizemore got his fourth hit to put runners on first and second. Crisp delivered a dagger off of Soriano, with two outs, which was his fifth RBI of the evening.
Nick Swisher would hit his third home run in his last two games to reduce the Athletics lead to two runs. Unfortunately, Andruw Jones would go onto strike out to end the game, meaning that the best the Yankees can do is win one out of three against the fourth place Athletics.
Sebathia has been a true work-horse for the Yankees, pitching seven innings or more in 13 out of his last 14 starts but, on this night, the relatively light hitting Crisp could not be contained. He is hitting a robust .414 against the Yankees this season, and almost single handedly defeated them. Crisp has been known for his uniquely amazing name, his 70’s style afro for a short period, as well as his speed but never really for his power.
It is not a good sign that the Yankees have already lost the series to the Athletics, who are 12 games below .500, even though they have a chance to salvage a game tomorrow. Soriano had his first truly forgettable outing since returning from the disabled list, as he had allowed only two hits and one earned run, in eight appearances since his return.
Granderson had a rare off day at the plate but was one half of the tandem that helped prevent Weeks from getting a triple. Once again, not hitting with men on base hurt the Yankees, as they had 11 hits but nine runners left on base. They also did not come through in the clutch four times with runners in scoring position and two outs, with Cervelli being the culprit twice.
It is also disappointing that the Yankees lost after a solid start from their ace while the Red Sox defeated much superior competition in the form of the Texas Rangers, behind their ace, Josh Beckett. The Yankees find themselves down by a game, needing a win during tomorrow’s matinee game against Oakland, behind Phil Hughes, who has two wins and a 3.87 ERA during his last three starts.