Sour end to what might have been a sweet night
This was an ugly way to end a game that for a while there appeared as if it would be another uplifting victory for the Yankees. After a six-run seventh inning turned a 7-2 deficit into an 8-7 lead, the Yankees could not put it away against the Red Sox.
At fault were bullpen breakdowns by Mariano Rivera, who blew the save in the ninth, and Joba Chamberlain, who gave up the deciding run in the 10th. Wayward base running by Alfonso Soriano in the bottom of the ninth did not help, either. He was picked off first base and got away with it when pitcher Craig Breslow made a lousy throw to first base. Then Sori got picked off second base and was out in a rundown.
“You can’t get thrown out there,” Yanks manager Joe Girardi said somberly.
Chamberlain got thrown out, too, of the game. First base umpire Joe West gave Joba the heave-ho when the reliever beefed coming off the field about a check-swing call, or non-call. Chamberlain gave up a one-out single to Jacoby Ellsbury, who then stole second base. On a 1-2 slider to Shane Victorino, he tried to hold up his swing. The Yanks appealed to West, who ruled no swing. Replays seemed to disagree. Victorino lashed the next pitch into right field for a single that scored Ellsbury with what proved the deciding run.
“The replay speaks for itself,” Chamberlain said. “Obviously, I’ve got to make a better pitch after that.”
Obviously, he did not. Chamberlain was the seventh of eight pitchers used in the game by Girardi, who felt he was his only right-handed option. Shawn Kelley has an inflamed right triceps. Phil Hughes, Girardi thought, was not up to the situation having just gone into the bullpen from the rotation.
A sad way to end what might have been a stimulating night.