The Yankees certainly had a chance to win this game. They were facing a bad Twins team using a pitcher who entered the game with a 6.75 ERA, Phil Hughes was cruising through six innings, and they had a 3-1 lead going into the seventh.
Then suddenly Hughes fell apart, he needed 27 pitches to get just two outs and left with the bases loaded. Then Joe Girardi went with lefty Boone Logan to face lefty Denard Span. A move not terrible on the surface, but Clay Rapada has actually been better of late and overall against lefties this season and Span actually hits lefties better than righties. The result was a double by Span that gave the Twins a 4-3 lead en route to a tough 5-4 loss.
Back to the pitcher with a 6.75 ERA. Not only has Esmerling Vasquez been struggling this season, he was demolished in his only other appearance against the Yankees, and on top of that looked extremely nervous on the mound. As a result, he held them to just two runs over six innings – a very poor showing.
To make things worse, the Orioles lost. Now that’s somewhat of a good thing as the Yankees hold on to their 1.5 game lead in the AL East, but at this point, with just eight games left in the season, a 2.5 game lead is almost insurmountable. Instead the Yankees threw away what should have been, and could have been, an easy victory.
The Yankees now need to win tomorrow’s game to win the series against a very weak opponent. CC Sabathia will head to the mound against a pitcher who is having a bad season who I’m sure most Yankees fans have never heard of. It’s not a must win for the Yankees, but it’s hard to get excited by this team headed into October if they can’t.