The pressure is on the Yankees and it shows. Our boys are cracking. They are flat, they are pressing. Pick any cliche you like. Most any one will fit.
Against Glen Perkins, a soft-tossing left-hander (okay, he can throw 92-93, still, he's not throwing cheese), they were hacktastic, seemingly without an offensive game-plan. As John Flaherty mentioned time and again on the YES broadcast, the Yankee hitters looked frustrated as they swung early and often, putting themselves in the hole, before Perkins put them away. The Yankee hitters just missed a host of pitches--Nady, Sexson, Cano...Pudge Rodriguez had at least three good hacks at fat pitches that he couldn't put in play. Perkins threw eight shut out innings; while stuff is not overly impressive, he worked quickly and threw strikes. Joe Nathan struck out the side in the ninth.
The Yankees had four cruddy hits as they lost 4-0.
The closest thing they had to a rally came in the second when Cano singled to start the inning and then advanced to third on a wild throw by Perkins. Sexson walked but Pudge Rodriguez popped out and couldn't bring the run home. Melky Cabrera swung at the first pitch he saw and bounced into a 6-4-3 double play.
The futile offensive showing stings even more when you consider that Sidney Ponson actually threw a nice game. He gave up a two-out walk in the second and then a two-run homer to Adam Everett. The Twins manufactored another run in the sixth (double, sacrifice bunt, sacrifice fly), and then hustled another one across the plate in the eighth. Otherwise, Ponson worked quickly and efficiently.
Joe Girardi's decision to sit Johnny Damon in favor of Justin Christian (0-4), a move that was openly questioned by the Yankee broadcast team of Flaherty and Michael Kay, will be fodder for blogs, tabloids and talk radio tomorrow. "It's getting hard to explain what's going on," said Kay when it was all over.
Honestly, there is plenty to be vexed about if your team is the Yanks.
At least it was brisk. The game took two hours and fourteen minutes to complete. I can't tell if that's a good thing or just something else to be furious about.