The Yankees have fallen into mediocrity.
The Colorado Rockies completed their three-game sweep of the Yankees with a 4-3 victory at Coors Field on Thursday afternoon. The loss drops the Bombers back to the .500 mark with a 35-35 record and they now sit 10.5 games behind the idle Red Sox.
Hideki Matsui. Matsui doubled the Yankee offensive output from the first two games with a two-run clout in the second. It was Godzilla's 8th homer of the season and it gave the Yanks a very short-lived 2-0 lead. Matsui finished 1 for 4 with the homer, a run scored and the 2 ribbies.
The Bullpen. The pen kept the Yankees in the game. Scott Proctor inherited a first and third one out situation in the fifth and gave up a run on a sac fly, but that run was charged to Clemens. Four relievers combined to pitch 3.2 innings of shutout ball. Yes, even Kyle Farnsworth contributed.
Roger Clemens. The Yanks gave Clemens a 2-0 lead in the top of the second, but Roger Dodger gave it right back as he allowed two solo homers in the bottom of the frame. Clemens pitched in and out of trouble all day and Torre yanked him with the Yanks down 3-2 with one out and a runner on first in the fifth. Quick hook? Maybe, but maybe Torre remembered that he stuck with Andy Pettitte a bit too long on Wednesday night. In any event, Clemens was subpar and fell to 1-2 with this: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 6 K, 2 HR.
Derek Jeter. Jeter had a tough afternoon. Jeter was caught stealing after working a walk in the first. It looked like Bobby Abreu missed a sign, but Jeter was still erased. Jeter doubled to start the sixth, but was gunned out trying to advance to third on a ground ball to short. These aren't horrible plays, but Jeter doesn't usually make base running mistakes.
Borrowed time. Johnny Damon may take great pride in never landing on the DL, but he's really just a whisker away. Damon is nursing a strained rib cage, but he started the game in center. He didn't misplay any balls, but you can tell that he's hurting out there. Damon later moved to first and was charged with an error when he couldn't corral a throw-over from Farnsworth. Farnsworth didn't need to gun it in an attempt to keep catcher Yorvit Torrealba and his zero stolen bases close, but Damon should have made the catch. Damon also isn't tearing it up offensively as he finished 0 for 4 and is marred in a 6 for 33 funk. Playing hurt is one thing, but playing injured is another.
Next up for the Yanks is a trip to San Francisco to take on Barry Bonds and the Giants for a three-game set this weekend. It will be the first ever regular season visit for the Bombers in San Fran and the first meeting between the teams since 2002. Kei Igawa and his reconstructed pitching motion makes his return to the big club and will pitch the opening game. The Giants counter with their version of Andy Pettitte -- righty Matt Cain -- who somehow is 2-7 on the season despite an ERA of 3.15.
The road toward a winning record begins.
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