Ellsbury Can’t Save Yanks
Yankees Home Woes Continue; Lose Fourth Straight
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 5- The Yankees continue to falter at their home ballpark. The 7-4 loss to Oakland on Wednesday night was their fourth straight defeat at home. They have lost 12 of their last 16 games in the Bronx. The combination of poor hitting, especially in the clutch, and lack of dependability from the relief corps has resulted in many recent defeats.
A base on balls to Ichiro Suzuki and three consecutive hits, a single by Brett Gardner, an infield single by Derek Jeter, and a three-run homer by Jacoby Ellsbury provided the Yanks with a four-run inning and a 4-0 lead at the end of three innings.
Unfortunately for the home team, the third was the only inning in which the Yankees scored. During their final five frames, the Yankees only managed two singles. To make matters worse for them, the Athletics scored seven unanswered runs to achieve a victory.
The versatility of Oakland is shown by the variety of ways their runs on Wednesday were driven in. Three were scored on solo home runs. Cuban native Yoenis Cespedes blasted his 11th of the season in the fourth and his 12th two innings later. Third sacker Josh Donaldson lifted his 16th into the stands in the seventh.
Three other runs did not need base hits to move an Oakland runner across the plate. Sacrifice flies by Jed Lowrie in the third, Alberto Callaspo in the sixth and Kyle Blanks in the ninth were as meaningful as the four baggers.
Another strange manner of scoring occurred in the ninth as Brandon Moss was hit by a pitch of Wade LeBlanc in his first game as a Yankee.
Yankee starter Vidal Nuño gave up two runs in 4.2 innings, but the relievers gave up five in 4.1. Matt Daley gave up two, Leblanc surrendered two, and in his major league debut, Jose Ramirez yielded a home run to Donaldson in the seventh, which earned him the loss.
Yankee skipper Joe Girardi said, “It’s a product of not having your bullpen set up the way you want it.”
The passing of Don Zimmer was of far more importance than the loss of a single ballgame. The feisty, colorful, knowledgeable and fun loving individual was a fixture in MLB for 66 years. He was remembered with much emotion by those who knew him well for his time as a Yankee coach.
After the game, Girardi recalled, “I was with him in 10 of my first 11 years. Wherever he went, I went. He was a close friend. I’m going to miss him. Our relationship was always close. He gave me my first opportunity. It’s going to be really strange not to see him.”
Another scene of the evening at Yankee Stadium that had greater meaning than the final score was the thoughtful treatment received by 12-year-old Matthew Miller of Queens and his family by CC Sabathia. Miller was severely injured and his 7 year-old brother Chris killed in a house fire at the start of 2014. Sabathia tried to provide some happy memories for the family who came as his guests for on-the-field activities.