I want to say that I didn’t like Girardi’s lineup from the beginning. The bad news is Gardner had to be put on the DL; his sliding catch appears to have also hurt his throwing arm slightly (although another source said his right arm). This is hurts the team even more because Ibanez is a poor OF’r and now not keeping a Maxwell type of player hurts. Ibanez had very little action (we were lucky) and a ball that hit on the warning track could have been caught by a better RF’r. Not sure if Swisher would have made the play or not, it would have been close. But Jones (who played left) was not able to get to a few plays that I think Gardner would have. Knowing Gardner was not in the lineup giving ARod the day off was silly, especially when the announcers said he felt great in batting practice and was hitting bombs.
Now this is what I felt at the start of the game and in hindsight, Chavez was 1-2 so maybe not a huge deal, but Girardi did choose to pinch hit ARod in the 9th inning but he grounded out.
If someone looked at the box score they would conclude Kuroda pitched like garbage. I think he was very unlucky in the first inning (where he allowed 4 runs). He actually made a lot of good pitches and they blooped and broken batted themselves to 4 hits. He did make one mistake on a first pitch strike to Morneau that he homered on. But he was throwing fine; his sinker wasn't sharp, but he wasn't as bad as the box score. In contrast, the Yankees offense should have been embarrassed that they didn’t score more off of Marquis. He was throwing mistake after mistake and we took advantage of some in the 1st inning as we scored 3, but got unlucky as Chavez ripped a one hop line drive DP with the bases loaded and one out. With the score 4-3 I felt we would win this game as Marquis had nothing and wasn’t hitting spots and I felt Kuroda would not be as unfortunate.
Neither team scored in the 2nd (Marquis made more bad pitches) but in the 3rd Morneau singled and moved to 3rd after the double to RF I felt a better RF might have caught. After a soft single to left on a good pitch scored another run it was 5-3. Kuroda did not pitch as well in this inning, but it wasn’t very bad either.
The Yanks countered when Cano homered off another bad pitch by Marquis (there was at least one an AB).
Granderson had some good chances but was not able to come through; he was kind of the goat on offense, but many guys missed hittable pitches. He also didn’t get to a ball I think he could have earlier in the game.
The Minnesota lineup had a ton of lefties so this was a prime situation to use our two lefties correctly. After Kuroda struck out Willingham to start the 5th, I said to myself this is where Girardi decides to let Kuroda throw to 100 pitches because he felt he was throwing well enough or just say it was one of those tough break games and bring in the lefty with Morneau up. When he stuck with Kuroda I understood he was going to let him pitch, unless he allowed 3 hits in a row or something. Anyway, after falling behind 2-0, he tried to back door a slider (2nd failed time Martin called for this pitch) and he leaked it out over the plate and unlike the Yankees Morneau crushed it for a 6-4 lead. This was a bad pitch and to Morneau’s credit he crushed it, but Girardi then pulled Kuroda. I think he should have pulled him prior to Morneau who had his number. Rapada and Logan kept us in the game as the lefties got us through 3 and 2/3 innings with no runs.
Unfortunately, the Yanks offense did not hit well as they did not take advantage of the opportunities given them. We did get a tough break when Cano was called out on a DP that he was clearly safe on, but what bothered me was Cano did not run right away and if he did the ump couldn’t have blown the call; it was still a bad call though.
For some reason, Girardi brought in Nunez to bat and play 3rd for Chavez when a lefty came in for Marquis. With a man on and 1 out I would have brought in ARod to try and tie the game. Nunez popped out
The Yanks got another run in the 9th when Jeter homered (he has been swinging great), but lost the game 6-5. The offense should have had at least 8 runs this game, but don’t get too down on Kuroda, with some average luck, he would have allowed 3 runs instead of 6.
One last comment, Cano made a terrible tag on a SB attempt by doing what I usually say Jeter does poorly and that is take the throw in front of 2nd base. Basically, Cano was falling a little toward home and couldn’t snap the tag and reach the back of the bag and the runner avoided the tag when the throw beat the runner by a lot. This was a bad play by Cano and combined with him not running right away on the DP wins Cano the Lazy Award for the game (no this is not some official award program I will be starting up).