"We're two games out, and we feel we should be up," said Johnny Damon, who had an infield hit in five at-bats. "We've had a lot of games this year where we just came up a little short. We've got to do a better job with runners in scoring position."
For the second consecutive game, the Yanks were involved in a pitcher's duel. Again, they came up short, as Brett Meyers struck out 11 and the Phillies beat the Bombers, 4-2. For his part, Randy Johnson pitched very well in defeat. A one-out boo boo in the fourth by Robinson Cano (scored as a hit, but a play that should have been made), followed by a walk to Chase Utley set the stage for Pat Burrell's line drive double to left. Aaron Rowand later added an RBI double and Kyle Farnsworth's wild pitch with the bases loaded in the eighth (which just so happened to strike David Bell out) led to another run.
It was all Philadelphia would need. The Phillies were able to get out of big jams when they needed to, and were aided by two wonderful diving plays--one by Abraham Nunez, who robbed Randy Johnson of a game-tying single, and another by Jimmy Rollins, which helped preserve the lead in the seventh.
In all, it was a frustrating night for the Yankees, an even more frustrating time for Yankee fans, but as my writing partner Cliff pointed out, this was a well-played game. Unfortunately, the Bombers have lost 8 of their last 11 games. New York left 11 men on base but some credit must go to Philadelphia's pitchers. Jason Giambi had three hits including a solo home run, and Alex Rodriguez had a double and two walks. Melky Cabrera is in the middle of a growing slump (he's 1 for his last 18), and Joe Torre will most likely give the kid a rest. The Bombers have now lost three in a row.
Octavio Dotel's comeback was stalled Sunday when he felt discomfort behind his right elbow while playing catch. Dotel, who had reconstructive elbow surgery last June, was found to have tendinitis. He was pitching for Class AAA Columbus and had been aiming to join the Yankees this weekend. Instead, he will report to Class AA Trenton on Thursday to throw on flat ground. "Of course I worry about it," Dotel said. "Tommy John surgery is not an easy surgery." Dotel said the doctor who performed the operation, James Andrews, assured him tendinitis was normal and not a cause for alarm. ... The Yankees released the veteran right-hander Scott Erickson.