The Yankee bullpen coughed up a 4-1 lead against the Mariners on Sunday, and the Bombers lost to Seattle, 8-6. There are all different kinds of losses. The best way to describe how I felt after this one can be summed up in one word: fury. Derek Jeter told The Times:
"I just felt it was a game that we should have won," Derek Jeter said. "I'm sure if you ask anybody, they would have said the same thing."
At the end of the game, YES announcer Michael Kay correctly stated that the game was "odiously unmanageable." (Am I the only one who thinks that Kay himself has become odiously unmanageable too?) Even though neither starter, Jamie Moyer nor Roger Clemens were at the top of their game, they weren't terrible either and the game moved along at a reasonable pace. (The game marked the first time two 40-year old pitchers ever started against each other.) It's only when the bullpens took over that the game slowed down to what Kitty Kaat characterized as a "taffy pull."
My "loveable and huggable" collection of relievers, Jeff Nelson, Jesse Orosco, Osuna, and Chris Hammond got their tits lit but good. The M's pen faired better, and showed why the Benitez trade makes sense for them: they didn't even need to go to him.
For the third consecutive weekend, the Yanks have dropped 2 of 3 games when they should have won at least 2 of 3. About the only thing that made it bearable was the fact that the O's beat the Sox again in Boston (Nomar Garciaparra, who has been smoking hot, whiffed with the bases loaded to end the game). The Yanks lead remains three. But Joel Sherman thinks this is a disturbing sign for a team that is expected to go deep into October:
"This loss - like the other five during the past three weekends - was emblematic about why the Yanks should have October worries: Because they lost yet another close game due to missed opportunities on offense, missed outs on defense, misadventures on the bases and miserable relief pitching, especially miserable relief pitching."
...July and August may not be October, but the past three weekends have shown how the games will be played in the postseason and the Yankees have failed the test."
While the Red Sox begin a difficult two-week stretch, where they play 14 consecutive games against the A's and M's, the Yanks head to K.C. tonight to play the surprising Royals for the first time all year. The Sox were expected to make a dent into the Yankees' lead during the past few weeks and failed; but the Bombers have also failed to create any distance themselves. While it is easy to think the Sox will tank against the best of the west, I think they will hold their own. By the time the Yanks and Sox face off again at the end of the month, I bet the lead is still around three or four games in the east.