Yankees reliever Rafael Soriano chalked up his disastrous outing in the eighth inning Tuesday as a "bad day" at the office.
"I don't know what happened. I threw a couple pitches and I felt like I don't [have] balance," Soriano said Wednesday afternoon.
Soriano walked three hitters in the eighth. The last walk, to Joe Mauer, forced in a run. The next Twins hitter, Delmon Young, dropped in a bloop double off of David Robertson to tie a game the Twins went on to win, 5-4, in 10 innings.
After the game, Soriano left without speaking to reporters, leaving his teammates to answer questions about his poor outing.
Yankees president Randy Levine and general manager Brian Cashman called Scott Boras, Soriano’s agent, on Wednesday to discuss Soriano’s post-game now-show.
“Just to try to get ahead of this if there is an issue,” the Yankees GM said.
“He’s new to this market, so, like everything else, you live and you learn,” Cashman added.
Cashman said Boras was receptive to the Yankees’ concerns.
“He truly, sincerely, wants his players to do well,” Cashman said. “He wants them to justify their contracts.”
Soriano said Boras told him Wednesday that he has to address the media after the game. The reliever apologized to the media on Wednesday, explaining that he was too upset to stick around and talk after the game.
"I’m apologizing, I don’t talk to you guys last night," Soriano said. "The reason I don’t do it is because I get mad because I think that game [starter] CC [Sabathia is] supposed to win and that didn’t happen. That’s why I get mad so I don’t feel comfortable to talk to you guys."
Joe Girardi spoke with Soriano on Wednesday before the game.
“He understands that he has a responsibility to the media. He knows that,” Girardi said. “But there are days after games when you just don’t feel like talking. And it can be difficult, you feel like you’re not going to say the right thing in a situation like that. And you know, you step away. But he understands he has a responsibility, and I think he knows what he’s supposed to do.”
Cashman was optimistic that all parties involved, particularly Soriano, have learned from what happened on Tuesday.
“This is not a market to come to if you’re not willing to be accountable for the good and the bad. That’s it,” Cashman said.
Soriano signed a three-year, $35 million contract with the Yankees in the offseason to become the setup man to closer Mariano Rivera. His first two outings had been spotless. He entered Tuesday’s game with the Yankees up, 4-0. He said he didn’t have a problem with being inserted into the game in a non-save situation.
"I have to be ready. Last night I think I’m ready to go and I tried to do the best that I can and nothing happened," the reliever said. He later added: "I’ll [pitch] in the six, seventh, eighth or ninth. It don’t matter. I’m here to win."
Girardi lifted Soriano with two out in the eighth with the bases loaded and the Yankees up, 4-1. Soriano admitted he would have liked to stay in the game. But he added that he accepted Girardi’s decision.
"He’s the boss," he said.
Soriano was so upset on Tuesday that he ignored a call from his mother after the game.
"She called me and I don’t answer my phone too," Soriano said. "Because I don’t feel comfortable to talk to her. So I feel like that. So I said all right, let me go home and let me relax."
He answered the phone when his mother called again Wednesday morning.
"She told me, 'Hey what happened, you don’t feel good last night?'" Soriano said. "She see how I throw the ball and she knows I don’t throw the ball like that. She said [is it] too cold for you?"
Soriano laughed as he told the story, clearly in better spirits than he had been Tuesday evening after he wasted a stellar seven-inning effort by Sabathia, the Yankees ace.
"CC was supposed to win that game … I feel bad," Soriano said.