The Yankees made three huge, and potentially fatal, baserunning errors in tonight's 4-2 loss to the Tigers but Jorge Posada's ill-fated decision to try to steal second with two out in the sixth inning and Andruw Jones at the plate particularly irked the manager, a reaction Joe Girardi didn't even attempt to conceal.
"Jorgie's play? It just can't happen,'' Girardi said. "It just can't happen. How does it affect the game? None of us will really know. But you hate to make foolish outs.''
Posada decided to take off on a 1-2 pitch to Jones, but Tigers starter Brad Penny spotted his move, stepped off the rubber and easily threw him out about 20 feet short of second base. "They weren’t paying attention to me and I was just trying to get into scoring position for Andruw,'' Posada said. "I thought I could sneak in there. I messed up, you know? Completely. I messed up. What can I tell you?''
Asked if he had spoken to Posada about the mistake, Girardi tersely said, "We talked about it. Just leave it at that. You can't go there. Bottom line is, you can't go there.''
Girardi was much more forgiving on a play earlier in the same inning, when Robinson Cano tried to advance on a pitch in the dirt that didn't stray far enough away from catcher Alex Avila, although he was not happy that Cano gave up halfway down the baseline and was easily trapped in a rundown.
"I thought Robbie's read was good,'' Girardi said. "But he's got to keep going. His decision to stop was not a good decision.''
And two innings earlier, Jones had been gunned down at the plate by right fielder Casper Wells when he tried to score on Brett Gardner's relatively shallow fly out. "It took a good throw and a good job by Avila blocking the plate.''
But in a game made considerably tighter in the eighth inning by Mark Teixeira's solo home run, squandering those scoring chances may well have been the difference between winning and losing.
"Those are the mistakes that cost you a game,'' Cano said of his own baserunning gaffe. "It should have been first and third and Andruw going to hit. Those are the kinds of mistakes you learn from. Next time, keep running.''