Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Yankees' defense rests on Wednesday
By Ian Begley
It was this kind of afternoon for Andruw Jones.
Joe Girardi found plenty of things to dislike about the Yanks' sloppy loss to Toronto on Wednesday.
Somewhere near the top of the list was the Bombers' awful defense.
How bad was it?
The Yankees allowed the Jays to score four unearned runs in an 8-5 loss, courtesy of three costly errors.
Third baseman Jayson Nix misplayed Adeiny Hechavarria's slow roller in the top of the third, which gave Toronto runners on first and second with none out.
Four hits later, Toronto had three runs on the board against CC Sabathia, erasing an early 2-0 Yankees lead.
"It's unexpected," Russell Martin said of the Yanks' sloppy fielding. "I feel like we've been playing quality baseball lately, for the most part. Things like this happen. We've just got a shake it off."
His adventurous day in right ended with his left hand heavily bandaged thanks to a botched fly ball.
Well, two actually.
Jones' first misplay came in the fifth on Adam Lind's liner to right. Jones appeared to catch the ball but it popped out of his glove. He said he hurt his wrist on the play when he glove jammed in the ground. Lind later scored on Yunel Escobar's homer to left, which gave the Jays a 5-4 lead.
Jones' second misplay really hurt the Yanks.
With New York down 6-5 in the top of the ninth and the bases loaded, Escobar hit what looked like a catchable fly ball to right. But Jones -- because of afternoon shadows and Escobar's inside-out swing -- had trouble reading it.
"I froze," the 10-time Gold Glover said.
Jones got a glove on the ball, but it ultimately ended up on the grass, allowing Toronto to plate two more runs.
"It was a tough ball to read. You're working with shadows," said Jones, who believes his minor wrist ailment won't force him out of the lineup. "But if you get your glove on them, you've got to make it."
That's a baseball maximum most players live by. On Wednesday afternoon, it was one the Yanks couldn't live up to.