There is an excellent chance, as the old baseball axiom tells us, that this season every team will win at least 60 games and lose at least 60 games. In other words, the worst team will still manage to win 60 games, and the best team will still manage to lose 60. This really means that baseball is a 42-game regular season.
Last night, the Yankees held a 4-0 lead against the Twins heading into the 8th inning. CC Sabathia tossed seven shutout innings, retiring the last 17 batters he faced, but had thrown 104 pitches. In came, the middle guy of the Joba-Soriano-Mariano three-headed relief hydra, Rafael Soriano.
So, here’s the deal: I think it is very difficult for a guy who has been an excellent closer (he had 72 saves over the last two seasons) to come into hold situations. It is even harder for that pitcher to have the proper concentration when he holds a four-run lead. Soriano proved my point last night. Soriano gave up a single and three walks in two-thirds of an inning. The last walk forced in a Twins run and he left the bases loaded for David Robertson who then surrendered a bloop double that cleared the bases and tied the game, 4-4, when Nick Swisher too aggressively went after the ball and should have held the flare to a single and two runs scored.
Meanwhile the Yankee bats fell silent after Mark Teixeira hit another three-run homer, his third of the season, in the 1st and Andruw Jones homered in his first Yankee career at bat, in the 2nd. The Yankees finished the game with just six hits as Twins starter, Brian Duensing, Matt Capps, and Joe Nathan shut down the Bombers who have hit 13 homers in their first five games.
Boone Logan was charged with the loss after Joe Mauer hit a go-ahead single in the 10th to give Minnesota a 5- win. But in my mind this loss goes to Joe Girardi who never should have brought Soriano into the game particularly after he had struggled the night before throwing 19 pitches in one inning also against the Twins.
Mark that number one of 42.