WHAT IT MEANS: To be honest, we’re not sure. And until New York Yankees designated hitter Jorge Posada gives us some concrete answers, we can only speculate.
Posada is expected to reveal to the media why he took himself out of the lineup prior to Saturday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox.
The 39-year-old veteran, who is four for his last 25 at-bats and is hitting a paltry .165, was slated to bat ninth for the first time since May 14, 1999, but took himself out of the lineup an hour before the game.
New York Yankees
Rumors are swirling, because no one knows why except Posada himself.
There aren’t many times where the result of a Yankees-Red Sox game feels insignificant.
This is one of them.
But what we do know is that the Yankees (20-17) were shutout for the fourth time this season, have now lost four straight and eight of their last 11. And as the YES Network’s John Flaherty tweeted: “It feels like rock bottom for the Yankees.”
They still trail the American League East leading Tampa Bay Rays (23-17) by two games, because the Rays lost to the Baltimore Orioles, 6-0, but now they’re just two games in front of the third-place Red Sox (19-20) in the division.
Boston now has taken four of the first five games from New York in the season series.
YANKEE KILLER: Red Sox right-hander Josh Beckett continues to own the Yankees this season.
After throwing eight shutout innings and striking out 10 in a 4-0 Red Sox win on Apr. 10, Beckett blanked the Bronx Bombers for six frames and fanned nine on Saturday night.
In his two starts against the Yankees in 2011, Beckett has allowed just six singles -- four of them on Saturday -- and struck out 19 over 14 innings.
His ERA now stands at 1.75.
SOX’D: Left-hander CC Sabathia looked like he’d righted the ship after allowing the first two batters he faced to reach base, retiring the next 12 men he faced.
But it all fell apart after that.
New York Yankees
Sabathia gave up a two-run double to Red Sox leadoff man Jacoby Ellsbury in the top of the fifth. He had a 1-2-3 sixth, but was chased two outs into the seventh after allowing an RBI single to catcher Jason Varitek and a three-run home run by first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who deposited a 93-mph Sabathia four-seam fastball deep into the right-field seats.
Sabathia’s final line: 6.2 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO
The 30-year-old has now given up 11 earned runs in his last two starts, which span 12 2/3 innings.
E-JECTED: After taking the ball from Sabathia in the seventh, manager Joe Girardi had a few choice words for homeplate umpire Mike Winters, and was promptly run from the game.
He responded by kicking dirt over the plate, heading to the dugout, grabbing his binder and leaving through the clubhouse.
It was Girardi’s first ejection this season.
STREAK OVER: First baseman Mark Teixeira finally broke out of an 0-for-30 slump against Red Sox pitching with a seventh-inning single.
New York Yankees
Granted, he’d already inflicted enough damage on his own team by striking out with two men on in both the first and fourth innings.
Teixeira is just 1-for-20 versus Boston this season (.053). He ended 2010 in an 0-for-11 drought.
ANEMIC OFFENSE: Girardi tried to ignite his floundering offense by moving catcher Russell Martin and left fielder Brett Gardner up in the lineup, while moving right fielder Nick Swisher down to the No. 8 spot.
It didn’t work.
The Yankees mustered just seven hits all game, and were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Teixeira and third baseman Alex Rodriguez (0-for-4) combined to leave nine on-base.
Rodriguez is now 10 for his last 55 (.182). He saw a five-game hitting streak come to a close.
Center fielder Curtis Granderson was the only Yankee with a multi-hit performance. He went 2-for-4.
JETER METER: Shortstop Derek Jeter moved within 35 hits of 3,000 for his career after leading off the game with a single.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Yankees will send right-hander Freddy Garcia (2-2, 2.61 ERA) to the mound as they look to avoid a three-game sweep. He’ll be opposed by Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester (4-1, 2.96) when the AL East rivals clash on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.