May 26th will always be a day that stands out to me on my personal Yankees calendar. It’s not because of some on the field result, player news, or front office move, etc. It’s because the first time my kids ever went to a Yankees game was on May 26th (of last year).
So, as I was looking at the Yankees schedule this morning, May 26th caught my eye – being a special date, etc. And, I noticed that the Yankees have now lost four of seven since May 26th (this season). That’s not good. But, “how” they have lost these games is worse. The rundown:
May 26, 2008: Yanks trailing, just 1-0, heading into the bottom of the 7th inning. La Troy Hawkins and Jose Veras imploded in that inning and, bam, the Yankees are now in a 6-0 hole with 6 outs left. They lose the game 6-1.
May 27, 2008: This one hurt. The Yankees led 4-0 after one and a half – and Ian Kennedy allowed 4 in the second to tie the score. Then the Yankees led 8-4 heading into the bottom of the 5th – and Ross Ohlendorf allowed four in that frame to tie the score. Then, the Yankees take the lead in the 11th, 9-8, only to have La Troy Hawkins blow the game in the bottom of that inning. They lose the game 10-9.
June 1, 2008: The Yankees trail, 3-1, heading into the bottom of the 6th inning. Darrell Rasner was tired – having thrown 92 pitches in the first five innings. He’s left in the game for the 6th, and, by the time he’s thrown his 111th pitch of the day, and thanks to some bad outfield defense, the Yankees are down 4-1. Scott Patterson allows another run in the 7th inning. New York can never catch up. They lose the game 5-1.
June 2, 2008: This one was like May 27th. Yanks lead, 2-0, after one. Then the game is tied at two after three. Yanks pull ahead, 4-2, in the 6th inning – but allow the Twins to tie the game that inning (4-4). Yanks pull ahead again, 5-4, in the 7th inning – but allow the Twins to tie the game that inning (5-5). Each time the Yankees had the lead, Andy Pettitte allowed the Twins to come back in the game. When Pettitte blew the lead in the seventh, it was on a homer to Joe Mauer – off Pettitte’s 92nd pitch of the game. Next, Kyle Farnsworth allows a double-bunt-double combo in the 8th inning inning. They lose the game 6-5.
The Yankees lost these four games because their pitchers either could not keep a close game close or because their pitchers could not hold a lead when it was presented. Sure, you cannot win everyday. But, it’s not a reach to say that the Yankees should have won at least one of these four recent losses – and maybe two.
The key has been the bullpen. If the Yankees had better arms in the pen then maybe a tired Rasner and a tired Pettitte do not allow those late inning runs (in their losses). And, maybe you don’t allow guys like La Troy Hawkins and Kyle Farnsworth to blow games for you too.
If things don’t turn around soon, then, for the last five seasons now, Brian Cashman deserves an “F” on the “bullpen” section of his report card.