Take away the final 5 seconds of the game or so, when Jason Giambi put the Yankees in the win column, and this was an extremely disappointing game. In fact, if you looked at the notes I took during the game, you'd think the Yanks got blown out by double digits.
By my count, the Yanks lucked into 2 runs, coughed up at least 5, and left another on the table through managerial ineptitude and piss-poor execution. You aren't going to win many games like that.
Let's tackle the obvious one first. Melky, Melky, Melky...I go out on a limb for you, I defend you to anyone who will listen, and this is how you repay me? The top of the fifth inning should've ended in a 2-2 tie. You had a tailor-made double play, the runner fell asleep on the bases and you responded by falling asleep in the outfield. We can't have that.
Of course, 2 of the Yankee runs scored despite absolutely horrible coaching by Bobby Meacham. Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon both scored on sacrifice flies that they had no business running on. Neither of these plays were a case of "It takes a perfect throw to get him," I can live with those. In fact, I think you have to go on those in most cases. No, these were both absolutely routine plays, that were made, only the catcher dropped an easy throw both times. It's easy to slap him on the back when the runs are put up on the scoreboard, but 99 out of 100 times they're out at the plate. That brings Meacham's total bad decisions up to about 30 and we're only a little over a third of the way through the season. Does anyone want him coaching third in the post season when runs are at such a premium?
Which brings me to my final gripe. The Yanks are trailing 7-6 in the bottom of the eighth. Jorge Posada draws a lead off walk. Now, keep in mind that Joe Girardi is carrying three catchers on the squad, and Jorge Posada is just about the slowest guy on the roster, representing the tying run at first base. Does Joe pinch run for him? Well, no. First he puts the bunt play on twice. Cano doesn't get the ball down on the first, he takes the pitch for a ball on the second, then Joe decides it might be a good idea to put Shelley out there to pinch run. Did it just not occur to him before the third pitch of the at bat? What the hell was he thinking?
Sorry one last gripe, and this one goes out to two guys. First, Robinson Cano. Don't give me this crap about how he's always been a middle-of-order guy and he's never been asked to bunt. Bunting is simple. It's the easiest thing to do in the game. If he isn't good at it, it would take him an hour or so to learn how to do it properly. Here's a newsflash, you are not a number three hitter at this point of your career, you're going to be called upon to bunt, you have to get the job done. On a related note, Michael Kay's pure disdain for Cano bubbled to the surface again today.
Here are two successive quotes from Kay when Cano first didn't get the bunt down:
"He simply cannot bunt." In his exasperated tone, usually saved for when Al Leiter asks him if he likes tomatoes.
And then when he grounded into a double play after not being able to get it done:
"And there you go, there's a double play." In almost a whimsical, I-told-ya-so tone. Then he went on to say Cano shouldn't feel good about the two hits he had today because he didn't get the bunt down. I'd love to know what Cano did to get on Kay's bad side, my best guess is that he wouldn't agree to do an episode of Yesterdays, or one of the other 50 shows Kay hosts on YES.
There, that's all the residual vitriol I have left over from the first 53 outs of the game. Now that it's out of my system it's time for the Yanks to go on a real roll and leave that sub-.500 feeling behind them.