When the pitching stats on your pitchers reads “6-6-6”, you know it’s not going to be a good game. (6 runs, 6 walks, 6 strikeouts total) And it certainly wasn’t. And the added injury issues aren’t helping morale during this last-minute push for October.
Chris Capuano took the start for this afternoon’s game. Throwing 85 pitches over his 5.2 innings, Capuano gave up 5 (of the Blue Jays’ 10 total) hits, 4 runs, and 4 walks, and struck out just 2 batters. Other than the 1st inning RBI double, Capuano was doing just fine, sailing along smoothly and getting through innings pretty quickly and efficiently, something you can tell by the fairly low pitch count into the 6th inning. But it was that 6th inning that kind of blew all his hard work out of the water, something the Yankees couldn’t really recover from. A lead off walk, a single, and another walk loaded the bases for the Blue Jays. A ground-rule double easily scored 2 runs, and a sacrifice fly scored a 3rd run for just that inning.
Chase Whitley came on to get the Yankees out of that troubled inning, but after giving up a lead-off solo home run in the 7th, he was replaced by Esmil Rogers, who fared quite a bit better than his last outing and closed the door on the advancing Blue Jays in the 7th.
Up until the 6th inning, the Yankees actually stood a chance. In the 3rd inning, with 2 outs, Jeter singled, advanced on a wild pitch, and then scored on a Brian McCann single. And in the 4th and 2 outs (again), Headley singled, moved to 2nd on Ichiro’s single, and then scored on Francisco Cervelli’s single.
But as the Bronx were singing “God Bless America” and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”, the score stood at 5-2 Blue Jays.
So it was David Huff to keep the status quo in the 8th, with a quick 12 pitches, by the way. And they turned the ball over to David Phelps to close out the 9th for the Yankees, who gave up an RBI single to push the Blue Jays up 6-2 going into that 11th hour half-inning that is the bottom of the 9th.
With 1 out, Gardner singled and ended up at 2nd on defensive indifference. Then Derek Jeter doubled and scored Gardner; leave it to Jeter to keep hope alive in the Bronx. But it just wasn’t going to happen. Two outs later, the Yankees lost to Toronto 6-3.
Now the injury report: Jacoby Ellsbury is on day-to-day with his strained right hamstring after last night’s game. Mark Teixeira came out of this afternoon’s game in the 5th inning with right wrist soreness (the same one that’s been bugging him for awhile); he wants to just play through the pain, getting his originally scheduled cortisone shot and just making that final push for October. And the doctors are weighing their options on Carlos Beltran and the bone spur in his elbow; the doctors are leaning toward shutting him down for the season and just operating now, but Beltran (like his teammate Teixeira) wants to just push through to postseason.
Also, there has been a lot of discussion about Jeter’s milestones, especially during these last few regular season games. Yes, I’m watching them happen, but I don’t want to take the time to comment on every single one. If I did, this year would have turned my blog into a Derek Jeter blog instead of just the Yankees. However, because he is a crucial part of both this season and the Yankees, I am saving all these important stats and milestones up for a single blog post to commemorate where he ended his career. For example, he got hit numbers 3,456 and 3,457, but as there are still 8 games left to play, I’m waiting until we get a final number of hits to see how close to number 5 on the hit list he gets (Tris Speaker has 3,515 total hits).