Game 44. Yanks fall to .500.

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Sorry for the late post. I was at last night’s game and got home around 2 a.m.

As a result, there will be NO minor league report from Sunday’s games.

On a night when Bernie Williams’ #51 was retired, and Derek Jeter made his first trip back to Yankee Stadium since his retirement, the Yanks continued their funk, losing their tenth game in their last eleven (sixth in a row) to fall to 22-22, even .500. They remain in 2nd place in what is so far a weak AL East, 1 1/2 games back.

The ingredients for a loss were as follows: mental and physical lapses in the field (2B Jose Pirela), a starting pitcher who couldn’t give you five innings (Capuano), an offense that for the fourth time in eleven games gave you two runs in the first inning and nothing thereafter, and a bullpen that let a close game slip away.

Jose Pirela made a mental mistake on the first play of the game, and the batter almost reached because Pirela was too lackadaisical in fielding a ground ball. The play was only called an out upon review. Pirela then booted the next ball. When Prince Fielder doubled to score the run, it appeared as if there was a play at the plate, but Pirela’s throw home on the relay wasn’t good. Pirela was only charged with one error, but had made three bad plays, and Texas had an unearned run.

The Yanks got two in the first when Gardner (who has been slumping badly…down to .279, .196 since May 9)  reached on an error, then Headley singled. Gardner however, was thrown out at third on Headley’s single. Maybe it was a case of over-aggressiveness, of someone trying to make things happen while his team is in the midst of a losing streak, but there you have it. A-Rod singled, and after a ground out that moved up the runners, McCann singled in two runs to make it 2-1 Yankees.

But in the second, on a 2-2 pitch with two out and a runner on, Capuano gave up a 2-run HR that hit the top of the wall and bounced over. One strike away from getting out of the inning and …. …. I suspect Capuano, who in two starts has given a total of 7 1/3 innings, will be the one pulled when Tanaka or Nova become ready. The Yanks need a starter who’ll give more innings than Capuano has provided so far.

It remained that way, 3-2, for a while, but the Yanks’ offense (minus Beltran, who has the flu, the slumping Young (.240, 2 for his last 28, played CF and Garrett Jones was in RF)) couldn’t do anything and the Yanks’ bullpen gave up two in the seventh to seal their doom.

It is a good thing Girardi has some job security. I’m blaming none of this on him, it’s the players, but it may be a good thing if he (or Hal Steinbrenner, who was there for the Bernie ceremony) ripped into the players after the game. Hal, especially, should pull a page from his dad’s playbook. Losing ten out of eleven is not acceptable. A lesser manager than Girardi may be on the hot seat. But these players need to be held accountable, especially with some of the bad mental errors they are currently making out there.

It doesn’t get any easier. The defending AL champion Royals are in now, and the Yanks are heading west soon.

They have gone from 21-12 to 22-22. That should be a wake up call to tell them to pull their heads out of their you-know-where’s.

The good news is that in a weak division so far, losing ten out of eleven—even this early—hasn’t buried them. There is time to right the ship, and it needs to be done now.

Capuano (L, 0-2, 7.36) 4 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 8 H, 0 walks, 4 K.
Shreve 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 3.00
Wilson 1/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 5.79.
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 0.00
Carpenter 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 5.19.
Miller 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 0.93.

I was kind of hoping, but didn’t get, the MLB debut of Jacob Lindgren, who was brought up yesterday. Brandon Pinder was sent down after having thrown 48 pitches on Saturday.

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