Last night I got together with Cliff, Jay Jaffe, Mark Lamster and SI.com's Jacob Luft for a bite to eat. We caught the game--or at least portions of it--and obviously, it was a devastating night for the home team. Both Cliff and I got home way too late to be able to write a thorough recap of the nights events, which is too bad because it was an absorbing game. The Yanks lost 5-3, with Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter contributing key defensive errors, but the critical moment of the game came early when Hideki Matsui fractured his left hand trying to make a shoestring catch.
Anyone who saw the replay knows how bad the injury instantly looked. It might not have been Joe Theisman/Jason Kendall horrific, but it was painful to watch (oddly enough, it was a night for highlight reel injuries--we must have seen the replay of Philadelphia's Aaron Rowand crashing into the centerfield fence 58 times). Matsui's consecutive game streak--which dates back to his days playing Japan--is over (1,768 straight). Godzilla is scheduled to have surgery today and after the game Yankee GM Brian Cashman commented that it is possible that Matsui could be lost for the year. According to Tyler Kepner in the New York Times:
"It's going to be a long time," General Manager Brian Cashman said. "Whether we get him back before the season's over, we won't know for a while."
With Gary Sheffield still out, the $64,000 question for the Yankes is who will replace Matsui? The lines are open. What do you think?
Bubba Crosby and Johnny Damon both made outstanding catches at the wall, and it looked as if the Sox were not going to be able to get a break (they stranded 15 on base for the game). Their luck would change however as they took advantage of New York's fielding mistakes and good pitching from Tim Wakefield, Mike Timlin and Jonathan Papelbon for the win. The Yankees' fortunes continued to go south. Both Jeter and Williams reached second base in the late innings, making up for their errors, and both were stranded when their teammates could not drive them home. Mariano Rivera allowed a run in the ninth. He was livid with himself when he left a fastball over the plate which Kevin Youkilis drove into center for an RBI single. To make matters worse, Damon hurt his shoulder and right foot when he robbed Doug Mirabelli of extra bases.
In the end, it was a painful night in the Bronx. And losing to the Sox was the least of it.