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Jun
23
2007

Yanks Leave a Win in San Francisco

This one hurt.

I have to admit, I missed most of this contest.  The weather was just too nice in New Jersey on Saturday afternoon and I spent it on the Pitch and Putt with my pals Vinny and Bert.  I shot a 91 on a par 54 course.  Yeah, I suck, but I did catch A-Rod's tying homer in the ninth on the radio and watched the rest of the ballgame at JR Cigar while devouring a pizza with pepperoni and roasted peppers.

Therefore, I can't go into great detail about the loss, but I know the Yanks threw this game away.  They blew a 4-1 lead, but were able to tie it on A-Rod's bomb in the top of the ninth.  The Yankees had a chance to take the lead in the 11th when Hideki Matsui stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and one out, but Matsui struck out on three pitches.  Then Robinson Cano grounded out to end the inning and the Yanks finally lost it on a bloop single in the 13th, 6-5.

 The Good, Bad and Ugly roundup will be very generic, but here goes:

The Good:

Alex Rodriguez.  A-Rod gave the Yankees new life when he belted his 28th homer of the season in the top of the ninth which tied the score at 5-5.  He also helped rally the Yanks in the 11th when he doubled with one out to set up runners on second and third.  A-Rod had four hits for the second night in a row and finished 4 for 6 with a walk, a double, 3 runs scored, a stolen base and the clutch solo homer.  A-Rod is batting a mind-boggling .579 in his last 7 games and is hitting an amazing .420 during the month of June.

The Bad:

Hideki Matsui.  I feel dirty putting Matsui in this category since he's been super-clutch with runners on third this season, but his strike out in the top of the 11th with the bases juiced was a killer.  But I have to be fair; it was a big spot and the Yanks needed him to come through.  It's strange, but according to ESPN, Matsui is batting a sizzling .833 (5 for 6) this season with a runner on third, but only .222 (2 for 9) with the bases loaded.  Odd.

The Ugly:

Derek Jeter exits early.  Jeter strained his left hip during the first inning on Saturday, but stayed in the game until the eighth.  The Yankees just don't seem like the Yankees when number 2 is out of the ballgame.  In fact, Jeter's absence was really felt in the 13th when Omar Vizquel reached on an infield hit.  Miguel Cairo ranged to his left to field the grounder, but didn't have the arm strength to gun out the hustling Vizquel.  There's no doubt in my mind that Jeter would have made that play.  Jeter is listed as day-to-day.   But, Jeter is Jeter so before he left he extended his hitting streak to 17 games and finished the afternoon 2 for 5 with a ribbie.  

The Yanks will try and capture the rubber game on Sunday and will send Mike Mussina to the hill.  The Moose has been solid in his last three outings and the team really needs him to deliver a fourth.  The Giants will go with lefty Noah Lowry who sports a stingy 2.74 ERA in San Fran this season and an impressive 3.74 ERA overall.

A loss will send the Yankees back under the .500 mark.

Two steps forward . . .

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