Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
Unfortunately for the Yankees, Kenny Lofton is not headed for Japan like that TV commercial says. Nope, he's still in Cleveland. Formerly an outfielder for the Yankees (who blocked Bubba - boo!), he left New York in less than amicable circumstances, and perhaps had something to prove tonight. He was 3 for 4 with 4 RBIs - enough to win the game all by himself.
But he wasn't all by himself. His teammates chipped in, too, and in the end, it was Cleveland 12, Yankees 3.
It was a rough night to be a Yankee fan. I didn't assume a win - not with CC Sabathia on the mound. But I didn't expect a massacre, either. Both Sabathia and Wang struggled at first. Sabathia eventually settled down, but Wang continued to leave pitches up in the zone. And eventually paid for it.
Still, the Yankees were only down by 3 runs when Wang was pulled with two outs in the fifth. Torre put in...Ross Ohlendorf?
That seemed really unfair. The kid was just called up in September. He's played all of six games on the big league level. And you throw him out there in the first post-season game? With a runner already on?
Not surprisingly, he didn't do well, and ended up taking one for the team. He's now the owner of a 27.00 ERA.
I know I'm always griping about Torre and his veterans, but I really wished there was a veteran in the pen tonight. Someone who could go long and take one for the team without having his confidence destroyed. A Villone, or an Igawa.
The funny thing is, Torre ended up using Phil Hughes in the 8th inning. What the heck? Why use Hughes when the game is hopeless? Why not put him in when we were only three runs down?
The only thing I can figure is that Torre didn't want to put Hughes in with a runner on. But jeez, Ohlendorf is much greener than Hughes at this point. If it's a bad situation for Hughes, it's a worse one for Ohlendorf.
OTOH, Hughes didn't look that great, either. He gave up a home run, as well a couple of hard-hit fly balls that were close to being homers.
The Yanks' pitching is suspect. And tonight, they weren't hitting, either. Damon and Cano hit homers, and Abreu hit a clutch RBI double. Duncan and Giambi got pinch-hit singles. And that was it: just five hits all night.
Shelley Duncan ended up being subbed in for Minky early. I think it may have been due to injury more than anything else. A YES cameraman fell on Minky today. There was some concern about whether he would even start, because his ankle was injured. (The cameraman was fired.)
It will be interesting to see who starts tomorrow. I think Giambi may get a start, either at 1B or DH. Melky is terrible at the plate these days, but may be worth keeping in the lineup for his glove. Matsui is also in a deep, deep slump. He may be the one benched for Giambi.
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