You know those times when it feels like any pitcher could throw a no-hitter against the A's offense? Well, this was kind of that night, except instead of blaming the A's offense in its entirety, I would have to give a lot of credit to Phil Hughes; he pitched a legit gem.
Although Sheets threw six innings himself, allowing only two runs (if the game had stayed at those two runs, it would be the lowest number of runs the Yankees had scored all year), it would be an insurmountable lead against Hughes, Joba and Rivera; the only pitchers the Yankees needed to secure the win.
Hughes had retired 20 straight through his seven innings of no-hit ball; while striking out 10 and walking only one. I was convinced at this point that the A's would be no-hit, but then Eric Chavez came to the plate leading off the eighth inning. When I say he singled off of Hughes; I literally mean he singled off of Hughes. Smacking Hughes in the glove, Chavez took his place at first base, and the no-hitter was gone. The A's would close the gap to 2-1 a few batters later. After Kouzmanoff struck out for the hat trick (hey, two nights in a row; don't EVEN get me started!), Gross walked, and Fox singled Chavez in.
It might have been a different story had the A's gone to the ninth down only the one run, but an unfortunate series of events (Blevins leaving the game in the eighth with an injury; two singles in the ninth for the Yankees), led the Yankees to score the insurance run and despite the A's pulling their patented teAse against Rivera (single by Sweeney, HBP for Suzuki), he closed the door on the Yankees' win. Kouzmanoff flied out to end the game with the tying runners on base (again, don't even get me started).
Because I'm angry, and because I think this was absolute crap, I demand to know how Geren didn't get himself tossed in the ninth inning. Ray Fosse certainly would have had he been closer to the umpire, but I honestly think this at-bat should be reviewed and someone should be fined. Derek Jeter "walked" after he TOOK A FULL SWING at two different pitches. The first swing was probably the most egregious check swing call I have ever seen. Do the umps really think the Yankees need that much help? If I had a screen shot, I would post it, but it was just under a full swing and it was called a non-swing. Ridiculous.
So the game ended 3-1 and the A's drop their third straight for the first time this season.They are now tied with Seattle (yes, Seattle) for the AL West lead.
In injury news (thanks Susan Slusser!), Blevins had a back spasm, and Buck's oblique hurts when he coughs. Not good.
The A's try to salvage the series tomorrow against CC Sabathia. I will be your host for the day game; see you then!
Yankees lead the series 2-0
WP: Javier Vazquez (1 - 2)
LP: Gio Gonzalez (1 - 1)
|3 - 7 loss|
WP: Phil Hughes (2 - 0)
SV: Mariano Rivera
LP: Ben Sheets (1 - 1)
|1 - 3 loss|