Monday, June 06, 2005

Yanks Suffer Another Horrible Loss

Just like a broken record, the Yankees continued to invent new ways to lose. Facing a familiar script against an inferior opponent talentwise in the Brewers at Miller Park, the worst team that money could buy lost in heartbreaking fashion 4-3 Monday night. It was their second consecutive loss and eighth in nine, dropping them back under .500 (28-29) and seven games behind first place Baltimore.

Becoming more of a season trend, Randy Johnson was just average. While he did throw 120 pitches over six innings striking out eight, once again, the Big Unit was hittable. After Doug Davis (8-5) kept the Yanks off the board in the first, Milwaukee quickly pounced on a shaky Johnson. Before he retired Geoff Jenkins on a deep fly to left, leadoff hitter Brady Clark had already come around to score on an RBI double by journeyman Jeff Cirillo. With one out, cleanup hitter Carlos Lee knocked in Cirillo with an RBI single. It was his 53rd run batted in of the season.

Trailing by two runs in the third, Johnson served up a leadoff homer to Cirillo making the deficit 3-0. After putting two more runners on via a hit batsman and a walk, he got out of further trouble by fanning Wes Helms and Junior Spivey.

Finally, in the fourth, the Yanks showed some signs of life by scoring three runs to tie the score. The rally started after Gary Sheffield struckout. After Alex Rodriguez drew a walk and Jorge Posada singled him to second, Jason Giambi came through with an RBI single to score A-rod and move Posada to third. Remarkably, that would be the final hit of the team's four on the night. Rookie Robinson Cano's RBI fielder's choice scored Posada to make it 3-2. With Giambi on third and Johnson at the plate with an out, a Davis wild pitch got away from Milwaukee catcher Chad Moeller allowing a hustling Giambi to tie the score. With the team looking for more, Davis buckled down by whiffing Johnson and Jeter to end the frame.

After Johnson held the Brewers off the scoreboard in the bottom half of the inning, a huge turning point occurred in the top of the fifth. Call it another typical Yankees moment. After Davis started the inning by loading the bases on three consecutive walks to Hideki Matsui, Sheffield and Rodriguez, somehow, the Bombers didn't take advantage. After Posada chased Davis' first offering out of the strike zone, he quickly put himself in a hole he couldn't get out of and K'd. A batter later, after Giambi worked the count full, he grounded into a killer four-six-three double play. Just like that, Davis got out unscathed.

Though Johnson would get his ballclub to the sixth tied, the Yankee bats had gone silent. When Spivey led off the bottom half of the frame with a dinger to left, just like that, Johnson (5-5) was on the losing end once again.

After the fifth inning threat, Bomber bats went silent when Davis and reliever Matt Wise retired 12 in a row until Bernie Williams drew a leadoff walk off closer Derrick Turnbow in the ninth. With Williams advancing to second on a wild pitch, it looked like the Bombers were in the driver's seat to knot the game. But just like the fifth, they came up empty.

First, Cano struckout swinging on a payoff pitch. Then, pinch-hitter Ruben Sierra grounded out to third for the second out. In his first game back after missing the last two with a severe chestcold; with half his team's production on the night and his team needing a two out hit, Derek Jeter swung at Turnbow's first pitch and lined a drive that seemed destined to fall into the right field corner for a clutch RBI double. But like how things have been going, it wasn't meant to be when right fielder Jenkins raced over and made a nice shoe string catch with little real estate to end the game. It was Turnbow's ninth save of the season.


Notes: Jason Giambi has hits in six of his last seven starts going 7-for-22 (.318) with three RBI's in that stretch.

Yanks are now a major league worst 0-21 when they fail to score four runs-or-more.

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