Yesterday, I said to my sister, "You know how managers go up to the mound to talk to the pitcher if they're getting wild? And the whole team gathers around them to show support and give him some pep talk help? Well, how come they only do that for pitchers? Like, your SS or RF makes a couple of crappy, bonehead plays in succession, I want to see the manager come out and do the same thing for him."
A.) This would be hilarious.
B.) This would be helpful.
2 good reasons, I think. And while we're at it, let's do it for the batters, too.
I am about 90% better, in terms of flu recovery, but unfortunately, it seems in the past week, the Yankees have had an inverse proportionate relationship with my health. The better I feel, the worse they look.
Last night, I was healthy enough to watch the whole game and not peter out, the first time since Sunday I've been able to do that.
And part of me wished I still had enough sick left in me to save me from what I saw.
It was the first time all season I was angry at the Yankees.
Sure, I've gotten disappointed over losses, but I usually maintain a "we'll get 'em next time, boys!" outlook. And while I still feel that the Yanks are far from--as many haters gleefully purport--DONE....(far, far, far from it!), I was not at all happy by what I saw.
The game was lost on one thing. One thing.
Swinging at bad pitches.
That's it. That's what it boiled down to.
I don't know if you could truly get the extent of it if you were just listening to the Sterling/Waldman broadcast, but watching it was like watching one of those movies like "Serendipity" where you just want to grab the characters through the screen and shake them and be like, LOOK! LOOK WHERE I'M LOOKING! YOU SEE???
The Yankees trail only the Sox in percentage of pitches swung at outside the strike zone over the course of the 2010 season. (24.8%)
In the last week, that number went up to 26.8%.
Yesterday, they averaged less than 4 pitches per at-bat.
Players like Cano who have seemed to shed their old overanxious plate discipline reverted to their old selves, giving James Shields wayyyy too much help last night. It was unbelievable. He's the type of pitcher that really doesn't handle adversity well at all. When the Yanks tied it up at 3, the guy looked like he was going to spontaneously combust on the mound.
So instead of riding that, the Yanks decided to calm him down a little and swing at everything that left his hand.
It was like they were a bunch of beer league softball players who would rather swing for the fences than take a BB.
WE NEEDED BASERUNNERS.
Overall, they were 2 for 8 with RISP, which isn't horrendous sounding, but when you think about it, that means there were only 8 opportunities when runners were actually IN scoring position, by design.
It's hard to bring people in when you can't get them on the basepaths in the first place.
I know, a 3-game skid is frustrating, but you can't go berserk, Yanks. Relax up there.
Pettitte had a horrible outing, giving up 3 dings, 9 hits, and 7 runs.
D-Rob showed marked improvement, and Chan Ho Park came in and demonstrated his spot-on imitation of Kyle Farnsworth by promptly allowing the Rays to tee off on him. The first 2 outs were by the grace of exceptional fielding by the warning track. The 3rd out wasn't as easy. Park gives up a homerun and induces me to text Kevin, "Has Chan Ho Park gone a single inning this year without giving up a homerun? Serious question."
He responded: "Early on against the Sox. Since then his diarrhea has blown up."
(That, in turn, induced the query what the hell he was talking about. He tells me to google "Chan Ho Park diarrhea." I did so, with a LOT of reticence, but it was absolutely worth it. Can't believe I hadn't seen this before.)
So there's that.
The Yanks, unsurprisingly, made a late game comeback, and I almost called it to a tee. Right after Park logs his mandated HR quota, I said to my sis, "Great. Now the Yanks are gonna score 3 runs, make it a 1-run game, and we're gonna have to listen to Kay say about 18 times, 'And now that HR in the top of the 8th is realllly looming large.'"
(Lauren's response: "Why do announcers even exist anymore? There's like 5 things they say. Can't they just have all those things on recordings, like on the subway or like those annoying sound effects on radio shows?")
So my irritated prediction wasn't too far off. With 2 outs, Jeter knocks in a 2-run double, which he needed since he's been a little in the "without" department lately. A buck late and a day short.
Yanks lose 8-6. Horrible loss.
I swear, another loss might demand a riot act. Even my MOM said, "Well not to worry, they're playing the Mets this weekend." And she doesn't harbor any ill will towards opposing teams, she just calls 'em like she sees 'em.
And tonight, we better see a W. Think of it as vengeance for the horrible injustice of the denied protest.
I don't care how you get it. Just get one.