I guess you can’t blame the Yankees if they were less than focused for tonight’s game. Going from the White House to a game against the 3-16 Orioles can be somewhat anticlimactic. However, a manager’s job is to get the team focused for every game, and Joe Girardi failed to do that tonight. From impatient at bats to poor defense to awful base running, the Yankees seemed as if they weren’t ready to play tonight’s game.
Fortunately, Phil Hughes was on his game after some early struggles. After walking in a run in the second inning, Hughes induced a double play grounder from Adam Jones and then set about retiring 11 of the next 12. Yet, for some reason Joe Girardi inexplicably decided to lift him with two outs and no one on in the sixth. Just has he did on Sunday when he removed Alfredo Aceves despite his throwing 1 2/3 hitless innings, Girardi embarked on a game of bullpen roulette and the Yankees took another bullet. In the last three losses, Girardi’s poor use of the bullpen has figured prominently, continuing a pattern that developed last year.
While Boone Logan and David Robertson did most of the damage in the sixth inning, errors by Jeter and Posada in the bottom of the 8th inning wound up creating the eventual winning running. This being the Orioles, the Yankees did eventually rally in the ninth and put the tying run on third base, but Alex Rodriguez’ bid for an RBI single died in the glove of Julio Lugo. The late game rally aside, this was one of the more embarrassing efforts the Yankees have put forth in some time.