Things were looking up for the Yankees with their ace on the mound. Plus CC Sabathia loves pitching in the heat. But things spiralled downward for the Yankees as they lost their second straight series, 6-5 to the Florida Marlins.
Sabathia was taken out of the game in the second inning for what was later diagnosed as a bicep tendinitis. This will be evaluated tomorrow in Atlanta and Sabathia says he is day to day. Al Aceves came in on short notice and did pretty good, allowing only one hit and striking out 2 in 2.2 innings of work. Brett Tomko came in the fifth inning and blew open the game (more on that later), allowing the Marlins to score three runs on two homers, a two-run by Hanley Ramirez and a solo homer by Ross.
Phil Coke came in the seventh and allowed one hit and one run, bringing in David Robertson to pitch 1.2 innings. Robertson also allowed a hit and a run to make it 6-3 Marlins. Robertson did strike out four of the five outs he needed.
On the offensive side, the Yankees got their offense in two frames — the third and the ninth. In the third, the top of the Yankees lineup went on fire with two outs. Mark Teixeira doubled home Derek Jeter, advancing Swisher to third base. Then next, home-town hero Alex Rodrigued lined a two RBI single over the third base to bring home Swisher and Tex. That was all the Yankees could handle until Brett Gardner lined a two-RBI triple with two outs in the ninth. The Yankees were unable to score again.
A bizarre situation happened in the eighth inning that may reverse the course of the game, depending on the MLB offices. Here’s what happened:
The Marlins, Yankee manager Joe Girardi contend, made an illegal substitution in the eighth inning.
Relief pitcher Leo Nunez was placed in the first slot in the batting order. But Chris Coghlan, who was batting first, ran out to left field and was there for one pitch. That’s when Girardi went out to see the umpires.
The umpires made Florida take Coghlan out of the game. Girardi wanted Nunez taken out of the game.
The protest, in theory, could be upheld and cause the game to be replayed from that point. Whether this actually happens and gives the Yankees a second breath of air is up for discussion. I’m pretty sure the Yankees will address this with the Commissioner’s Office. Remember, Girardi is a smart manager, he knows the rules.
There were other issues up for discussion — for instance, why was Brett Tomko out there? Why not use Phil Hughes? Sometimes I just don’t get it.