Girardi: Absolutely in a must-win situation

September, 22, 2013
9/22/13
7:42
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Earlier this week, Joe Girardi said the Yankees were "darn close" to being in "must-win" territory.

The manager updated his team's status after Sunday's loss to the San Francisco Giants.

"We are absolutely in a must-win situation," the manager said.

The 2-1 loss to San Francisco on Sunday pushed the Yankees four games back of the second wild card spot with six games to play.

New York hosts wild card-leading Tampa Bay for three games, starting Tuesday, then closes with three games at Houston.

So they are dangerously close to being mathematically eliminated from the postseason. The Bombers have missed the playoffs just twice in the last 19 seasons.

ROBERTSON SHOULDERS LOSS: He may not have been tagged with the loss, but David Robertson felt he let his teammates down by giving up the go-ahead double in Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Giants.

With the game tied at 1-1 in the eighth with a runner on third and one out, Robertson yielded a double to right field that put the Giants ahead for good.

"I threw a good curveball. He hit it. That was just a bad break today. I feel like I let everybody down. I let Andy down," Robertson said. "That was a tough situation but [I have to] find a way to get out of it."

Robertson entered the game after Andy Pettitte allowed a double to start the eighth. A groundout moved the runner to third with one out, setting up Robertson against Tony Abreu. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Abreu struggled with curveballs, and Robertson is lethal with that pitch.

On the first pitch of the at-bat, Abreu hit a curve to plate the run.

CANO TURNS ANKLE: Robinson Cano turned his ankle while trying to score in the eighth inning but said he's fine, according to Girardi. Cano stayed in the game.

[+] EnlargeRobinson Cano
Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY SportsRobinson Cano turned his ankle trying to score in the eighth inning Sunday.
In the eighth, Cano tried to score from second on a single by Eduardo Nunez and was thrown out at the plate. After the play, Cano came up gingerly and bent over seemingly in pain. Girardi said he believed Cano turned his ankle while sliding into the plate.

"He said he's OK," Girardi said. "We'll see how he is Tuesday."

Third-base coach Rob Thomson had no reservations in sending Cano.

"If that was the last out of the World Series I'd send him every time," Thomson said.

Cano was the second Yankee thrown out at home that inning. With runners on second and third with no outs, pinch-runner Zoilo Almonte was tagged out at home after going on a grounder to third. Nick Noonan had to dive for the ball but recovered to easily get Almonte.

"Initially he did the right thing when the ball was hit to third, but when he saw him dive he thought he could make it and it was a bad read," Girardi said.

GOING TO MISS THEM: Derek Jeter, who came up with Mariano Rivera and Pettitte, called Sunday's ceremony honoring Rivera "great," and also applauded the fans' appreciation for Pettitte.

"I'm going to miss them a lot," Jeter said. "These guys are brothers to me, been through quite a bit together. Pretty much everything you can experience on the field. My whole professional career I've been playing with at least one of them. I'll definitely miss them."

RIVERA DOES HIS PART: Rivera made his sixth appearance this season of one or more innings on Sunday when he threw 1 2/3 shutout innings against San Francisco.

"He does everything he possibly can to be successful to help the team," Girardi said. "In our lifetime, I don't know if we'll be able to say another pitcher did what he's done at 43. We have watched something that is truly special."

ROMO TIPS CAP TO MO: Giants closer Sergio Romo appreciated being at Yankee Stadium on the day of Rivera's tribute.

"I can only imagine what it was like to hear [Cal] Ripken's speech or [Lou] Gehrig's famous speech ... it's just fun to see somebody really enjoy everything and appreciate everything around them," Romo said.

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

Ian Begley

ESPN New York Writer

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.271 16 70 71
OTHER LEADERS
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
WM. Tanaka 13
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146