One item I should have mentioned yesterday was how poor the umpire was (both ways).
Last night, the umpire was good, but the guy changed against us when Soriano came in. Soriano’s and the games biggest pitch was the one where he hit Quentin in the 8th inning. Not only did it bring up the go ahead run and put the tying run on base, but down by a run Ozzie Guillen pinch ran for Quintin to get more speed and unfortunately much better defense into RF (more on this in a moment). Back to Konerko who is up with a man on first. After strike 1 Soriano delivered what I thought was strike 2. It was a little low, but the ump had been calling it and I thought it was a strike; so did the Yanks. The next pitch was grooved and Konerko hit a 2 run homer and gave Chicago the lead. After that, the ump would not give anything close to Soriano and honestly it was total BS, especially when the same pitches were called strikes for the opposing pitcher. It didn’t cost us more runs, but either way it was wrong.
After the Yanks didn’t hit well again (this time I felt the pitcher deserved more credit than the previous night) the Yanks tried to make a run in the 9th inning. Jeter got one of his Jeteresque hits…no I am not talking about the line drive to RC, I am talking about the swinging dribbler down the 3rd base line. With Jeter on 1st Granderson bunted him over. Normally I don’t like that move, but I had no issue with it last night. Tex got the count in his favor at 2-0 and proceeded to swing at a pitch that was way inside. This has been the issue of the Yanks the last 2 nights; swinging at a ton of balls. Chicago has been smart as they have resisted throwing the fastball unless they really felt it was the right pitch…and the Yanks have not adjusted. A perfect example of this is Swisher; they simply throw him curves 80% of the time and then the fastball is on top of him when they throw it. Until he learns to hit the curve, he will struggle.
Anyway, Tex walked anyway and up came ARod. On a 2-1 count, ARod lined a pitch to the wall in RF and the RF’r Lillibridge, who only came in because he pinch ran for Quintin, made a fully outstretched arm catch right against the wall saving the tie and possible win right there. It was a heck of a play. The only problem was the next play was a hard hitting sinking liner down the line by Cano and Lillibridge made an even better full out dive to save the game. The guy made 2 great plays off the bench to seal the victory.
The issue was too little too late for the Yanks. Once again, their defense was a little shoddy when Granderson failed to make a catch on a sinking liner that he should have made. Cano also has seen his glove fall off so far this year failing to turn 2 a bunch of times and not being smooth with the glove on a few more. Last night he missed a throw on a SB and got eaten up on a wicked over spin shot, but even so you expect Cano to get some of those. He did make a heck of a play later on when he tagged out a runner after getting a short hop throw at least. One other play was a popup where Jeter was the only one who could get to it and he wasn’t able to make the play, by the opposing dugout. Jeter had a long way to go, but he really looked slow. In fact, I said to myself Chavez is really slow…and then I realized it was Jeter because they moved Chavez to the right side of the field in a shift and left Jeter at SS (which make sense by the way).
At least Girardi managed well and Nova pitched well. Robertson did his job and if I am correct didn’t throw a single curveball.
Soriano now has an ERA of 7.84…that is awful. Think about this; last year Soriano only allowed 12 ER all year; he has already allowed 9! I think the main issue is that his control has stunk. He is missing spots on most every pitch. He has 8 walks; last year he had only 14 all year (in 62 innings). He better get his head on straight!