Rapid Reaction: Rays 6, Yankees 4
September, 14, 2012
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com
WHAT IT MEANS: The Yankees are out of first place in the American League East, a half-game behind the Orioles pending Baltimore's game in Oakland. Plus, David Price continues to own CC Sabathia as the Yankees fall 6-4 in the Bronx.
BROKEN RECORD: Tell us if you've heard this before, but the Yankees handed Sabathia a lead and he gave it back. For the fourth straight time, Sabathia failed to hold a lead and lost. A one-run advantage turned into a 3-1 disadvantage in the fifth. No. 7 hitter Chris Gimenez (a double) and No. 9 hitter Elliot Johnson (an RBI single) had two of the big hits.
CC gave up another run in the seventh and left in that inning. He gave up four runs in his 6 2/3 innings. Again, the ace was not good enough.
Sabathia has beaten Price only once in five decisions. Price went seven innings and gave up just two runs. Price is the better lefty. At age 27 and 803 innings into his career, compared to Sabathia's 32 years and 2,540 1/3 innings.
SAY HEY: Move over, Willie Mays, Derek Jeter is now No. 10 on the all-time hits list. Here is the news story.
A-ROD GOES YARD: In the eighth, down three runs, Alex Rodriguez launched his 18th homer of the year, a two-run shot. The long ball, off righty Joel Peralta, was a vintage homer, including the look-at-me stare into the dugout. A-Rod also passed Lou Gehrig on the all-time runs list.
Next, Robinson Cano walked, and Joe Maddon turned to Fernando Rodney for a five-out save. Rodney struck out Russell Martin before a walk to Raul Ibanez. With two outs and the tying run in scoring position, Curtis Granderson grounded out to second.
GRANDY GOES YARD: "Mr. All or Nothing," Granderson was all in the fifth. He got CC a run back with a solo shot off Price.
MISSED CHANCE: The Yankees could have had more in that fifth. Eduardo Nunez nailed a shot that should have been a double, but it hit umpire Jerry Meals -- yes, that Jerry Meals, the one from last week's missed Mark Teixeira call -- and Nunez ended up with a single. After Jeter's infield single to pass Mays, Nick Swisher and Rodriguez failed with runners in scoring position. Swisher flied out. Rodriguez hit a grounder in the hole at second that Johnson made a nice play on and got A-Rod. A younger A-Rod probably would have beat that throw.
THERE IS NO E IN NUNEZ ... WELL, AT LEAST IN THE THIRD: In the third, Nunez -- yes, Nunez -- ranged into the hole not once, but twice to make two impressive plays that resulted in him showing off his gun. At the end of the inning, Rodriguez and Sabathia went out of their way to give the defensively challenged Nunez a glove-five.
THE E IN NUNEZ RETURNS IN THE 9TH: With Joba Chamberlain about to protect a one-run lead in the ninth, Nunez played a hard-hit grounder to the side and swung and missed. The error allowed an important insurance run to score. The guy's confidence can't be high.
FIRST THREAT: In the first, Cano came up with two men on. It was the type of situation in which Cano needs to lift this club on his back. Instead, he hit into an inning-ending double play.
ON DECK: Ian O'Connor will have a postgame column on the Yankees being so bad, only an old Jeter on one leg can save them. Ian Begley and I will fill up the blog and have all the postgame news. Begley, never taking off his Knicks hat, also got an exclusive with Shaquille O'Neal. O'Neal, sporting a Yankees cap, had some interesting things to say about the Knickerbockers.
Plus, I'll be on 98.7 FM in New York around 11:30 p.m. ET and ESPN Radio after midnight. I'll also being doing a "SportsCenter" TV hit at 12:15 p.m. Saturday.
QUESTION OF THE NIGHT: What do you make of Carsten Charles Sabathia?