This was a game the Yankees could’ve won, should’ve won but didn’t win because they played atrocious defense and gave Boston far too many chances to score. In the end, the Yanks lost Game 2 of the doubleheader 7-6 in 10 innings, a reversal of fortune from Game 1 played just a short while earlier.
Although this didn’t turn out to be the key play of the game, AJ Burnett’s momentary lapse of reason in the bottom of the fourth inning will be this game’s most memorable moment. After Lance Berkman bobbled Josh Reddick’s grounder and then rushed his throw to the covering Burnett, first baseman Brian Runge called Reddick safe at first. A stunned Burnett turned around to argue the call, turned his back on the advancing Daniel Nava and Nava scored on a bit of heads up baserunning. It was reminiscent of Chuck Knoblauch’s own brain fart in the 1998 ALCS against Cleveland where he famously yelled at the first base umpire while Cleveland took advantage of a sleeping defense to steal a run.
Burnett (6 6 4 2 2 5) has been bad enough this year that he’ll get no quarter from the fans or the press but, really, this loss cannot be pinned entirely on him. It seems like there’s just a bit of bad luck following AJ around these days.
So, here we are, down to game 162 for all the marbles. In the unlikely event that Kansas City can beat Tampa and the Yankees can propel Dustin Moseley to victory, it will mean another division title. Sure makes you wonder what could’ve been if Girardi hadn’t pseudo-forfeited all those games earlier this month when he was managing with one eye towards a playoff spot he hadn’t yet clinched. Chad Gaudin, I hold you responsible.