Strong outing by Colon wasted
Maybe the bright side for the Yankees Friday night is that they did not have to play extra innings for the third day in a row, even though going extras was their only shot at pulling out a victory after they were retired in the ninth with the score 1-1.
There were actual bright sides for the Yankees in the 2-1 loss to the Angels, but not many. The Yankees got to play in ideal weather conditions for a change in the blissful climate of Anaheim, Calif., after two long games on wet tracks in the Bronx and Baltimore.
The Elias Sports Bureau pointed out that the Yankees’ back-to-back losses to the Orioles at Yankee Stadium Wednesday night and at Camden Yards Thursday marked the second time in major-league history that a team lost in extra innings on consecutive days to the same team in different ballparks. It also occurred April 19 and 20, 1900 when the Boston Beaneaters (now the Atlanta Braves) lost to the Philadelphia Phillies, 19-17, in 10 innings at the South End Grounds in Boston and at Philadelphia’s Baker Bowl the next day, 5-4, in 11 innings.
The recent toll on the bullpen left the Yankees vulnerable as manager Joe Girardi trusted the ninth inning to Aaron Laffey and Luis Ayala. The Angels loaded the bases against them on two singles and a hit batter with none out, which allowed pinch hitter Maicer Izturis to win the game with a sacrifice fly to medium center field. Curtis Granderson didn’t even attempt a throw to combat speedy pinch runner Jeremy Moore. Curtis should have thrown home anyway. You never know; Moore might have tripped or fallen down.
Granderson’s career-high 11 assists are the most by a Yankees center fielder since 2007 when Melky Cabrera had 14. Granderson had two assists Thursday, the first Yankees center fielder to do that since Omar Moreno in 1984
The Yankees’ failure to generate any kind of offense against American League Cy Young Award candidate Jered Weaver wasted a strong pitching performance by Bartolo Colon, who remained winless in seven starts since July 30. Colon is 0-3 with four no-decisions and a 4.19 ERA during this stretch, but he was flawless Friday night allowing six hits and a walk with five strikeouts in seven innings. The only run he allowed was not earned due to a throwing error by Derek Jeter.
The shortstop’s wild throw in the fifth that proved costly when Howie Kendrick got a two-out, RBI single marked the sixth straight game in which the Yankees have committed an error. The Yankees have 11 errors in nine games in September, one more than they had in all of August (28 games).
Jesus Montero continued his sizzling September (.350 in 20 at-bats) with a long home run to left field off Weaver leading off the third inning. It was the third home run for Montero, all of which have come off right-handed pitchers. Girardi started Montero as the designated hitter against a righthander for the first time. Expect that to happen on a regular basis.
Andruw Jones, who usually is the DH against righties, played right field because Nick Swisher is down with a painful left elbow. The switch-hitter is a left-handed thrower, so the situation bears very close watching.
Montero was the only Yankees batter to get past first base against Weaver, who gave up two other hits, both singles, and two walks while striking out 11 in eight innings. He was stuck with a tough no-decision as well. The victory went to rookie closer Jordan Walden, who pitched the ninth. He walked Alex Rodriguez with one out, but the Angels guessed right on a pitchout and catcher Jeff Mathis nailed pinch runner Eduardo Nunez trying to steal second base.
The Yankees’ three-game losing streak is simultaneous with that of Boston, so their lead in the AL East remains 2 ½ games over the Red Sox, which counts as a bright spot.