Sometimes it’s the little things, sometimes it’s the big things, but most of the times it’s a combination of the two that add up to a loss.
CC Sabathia took the mound against one of his former teams tonight and had some trouble with command. The Brewers seemed to find some sweet spots that allowed them to collect 8 hits, 4 runs (3 of them home runs), and a walk off Sabathia in his 5.1 innings. In the 1st inning, Sabathia allowed a lead-off home run to put the Brewers in a quick lead. They came back in the 3rd and got a quick 2 outs before a fielding error by Brendan Ryan (in his 2014 debut) set the table for a back-to-back 2-run home run and a solo home run, pushing the Brewers further ahead.
In the meantime, the Yankees collected a couple of their own runs to try to salvage the game. In the 3rd, with 2 outs, Ellsbury reached 1st on catcher interference (always an oddly fun call) and then easily scored on Brett Gardner’s really nice triple. Gardner then scored on Carlos Beltran’s single.
And in the 6th, Mark Teixeira hit a lead-off home run. Well, originally, the Brewers tried to pass it off as an off-the-wall double, but after a brief umpire conference, it was ruled a home run. And it definitely helped (just not enough).
So when Dellin Betances took the mound in the 6th, with 2 men on base and just one out, Betances did what he does best — shut them down. He threw just 7 pitches and struck out the next two batters. Flawless as usual.
The Yankees tied up the game in the top of the 7th. A walk and a single put runners on base before an Alfonso Soriano single scored the tying run. But a double play ended the inning swiftly, halting a budding Yankee rally.
Alfredo Aceves was charged with the 7th and 8th innings, but it caused him a bit of trouble. In the 7th, 2 outs and a man on base with a double, that runner advanced to 3rd on a balk (another odd call) and then scored on a single. This pushed the Brewers ahead 5-4, and there they stayed and there they won.
So it was errors, a balk, and home runs that handed the Brewers the ultimate victory, but it was still a rather hard-fought game. I rather enjoy a back-and-forth game, but I didn’t like the things I listed in the title as it seemed to just hand the Brewers the game. Without giving up those runs or making a fielding error or that balk, the Brewers aren’t really strong enough to overcome that for the win. I wouldn’t really call it an “off-day” for the Yankees, more just sloppy. And of course, we all have those from time to time. I just don’t have to be happy it. So you learn from your mistakes, grow, strengthen the weaknesses, and move onto the next game tomorrow. It happens, and fortunately, with the Yankees, it doesn’t (or shouldn’t) happen often.