New York Yankees: Adam Dunn

D-Rob? More like Tee-Rob on Friday

May, 24, 2014
May 24
videoCHICAGO -- If there were a menu of pitches that Adam Dunn could have ordered down 0-2 in the ninth inning Friday night, his top selection would be a belt-high fastball.

As if placed on a tee by New York Yankees closer David Robertson, Dunn received the pitch of his dreams, crushing a two-run homer into the seats to end the game.

"I was trying to put a fastball down and away," Robertson said after the 6-5 loss to the White Sox, the Yankees' third in four games in the Windy City. "It seemed like that one was left up in the zone and it cut right to his barrel and he goes deep."

[+] EnlargeDavid Robertson
AP Photo/Nam Y. HuhDavid Robertson picked up his first loss of the year.
Robertson, with his first blown save in the post-Mariano Rivera Era, joined a long line of Yankees who missed opportunities. His was the most glaring because it was at the end. Before he let Dunn slip away 0-2, he allowed Dayan Viciedo to knock an 0-2 single.

"I just had nothing to put them away with," said Robertson, who was being asked to complete a four-out save. "It is frustrating when you have a game like that."

Robertson picked up his first loss, but the "L" was on everyone. The Yankees (24-23) now are one game over .500. The solace of being atop the AL East standings is gone as they have drifted into third, two games behind the first-place Blue Jays.

The issues with this team are becoming more glaring with each loss. It starts with the bats. Hector Noesi was supposed to be the antidote for the Yankees' poor hitting when they could lean on the fact they had faced Chicago's best from Jeff Samardzija to Chris Sale.

In the first, after Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter picked up hits and Brian McCann nailed a three-run homer, it appeared the bats might get right. Instead, Noesi escaped trouble throughout the night and left after six with no more scratches on him besides McCann's long ball.

Still, the Yankees' inefficiency in their roster keeps showing up. Even with Mark Teixeira's health in question to begin the year, the Yankees do not have a legit backup first baseman.

Kelly Johnson was asked to give Teixeira a rest on Friday -- and Johnson, inexperienced at the position, failed miserably. He missed a ball in the first for an error that cost the Yankees a run. He couldn't make a pick on a low throw from Brian Roberts. Roberts picked up the error, but it is a play that Teixeira or maybe just an average defensive first baseman could have made. Girardi said he will play Johnson there again.

This left Hiroki Kuroda playing by new rules, having to pick up four or more outs in innings instead of the customary three.

"We didn't help him," Girardi said of Kuroda, who was done before he could complete five innings. "We made him work harder than he had to. The first two runs we didn't make the plays behind him and that is unfortunate.

Girardi added, "We gave them extra outs."

The bullpen has been great all year, Robertson included. It just can't be asked to be perfect.

"We had the game where we wanted it," Girardi said. "We had it in Robbie's hands."

Robertson put it on a tee for Dunn. He knocked it out of the park and, in the process, made all the Yankees' issues even more glaring.

Who should Cano pick for HR Derby team?

July, 8, 2013
Who should Robinson Cano select to participate in the 2013 Home Run Derby? You can see the selections announced on "SportsCenter" at 6 p.m. ET.

Here is the ESPN Home Run Tracker analysis of the top choices.

Mark Trumbo, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Although Trumbo ranks ninth in the AL with 19 home runs, nine of those went at least 425 feet, the most in baseball. His average home run distance is 417.7 feet, fourth in the majors (minimum 10 home runs), and all but three of his home runs would have been out of Citi Field.

His 475-foot home run off Dan Straily on April 29 is tied for the longest home run of the year.

Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles

Davis leads the majors with 33 home runs, showing power to all fields.

Davis has not hit a home run longer than 440 feet this season, but seven have gone at least 425. His eight home runs to center field are the most in baseball.

Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers

Cruz has 22 home runs this season, including ones that went 450 feet and 445 feet. Nineteen of those homers would have been out of Citi Field.

Although Cruz's average home run distance is 410.4 feet (12th among players with at least 10 home runs), his average home run distance is 419 feet when excluding his opposite-field home runs.

Other AL options:

Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers: It is hard to keep Cabrera off this list, as he is second in baseball with 27 home runs. However, his average home run distance is "only" 406.7 feet, 25th in the majors (minimum 10 home runs).

Raul Ibanez, Seattle Mariners: Ibanez has 21 home runs, but his average home run distance is 383.6 feet, the lowest in the AL (among those with at least 10 home runs). Only four of those 21 were longer than 400 feet, and nine would not have been homers at Citi Field.

Adam Dunn, Chicago White Sox: Despite having 23 home runs, including six of at least 430 feet, Dunn ranks 17th in average home run distance.

Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Trout has the third-highest average home run distance in baseball (419.5 feet), but his 14 home runs were not enough to make the top three.

Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays: Encarnacion has 23 home runs, but only one over 430 feet.



Jacoby Ellsbury
.271 16 70 71
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
WM. Tanaka 13
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146