GAME 55: David Robertson had a day to forget and Phil Hughes had one to remember. Once known as ‘The Franchise’, the pitcher who the Yankees let walk without a contract offer came back to exact a measure of revenge, looking like the player New York always hoped he would be. Outside of allowing 2 runs on 3 hits in the fourth inning, Hughes was perfect. He didn’t allow a base-runner after a Brian McCann walk in the 4th.
The Yankee’s 2-1 lead after four held up until the fateful night inning. After another lights-out performance by Dellin Betances (who struck out five of the six hitters he faced), and a scoreless eighth inning by Adam Warren, it had all the makings of another 1-run victory for New York.
Second Blown Save By Robertson
And this one was a doozy. On Robertson’s first pitch in the top of the ninth, Josh Willingham blasted a home run to left, tying the game at 2. After getting 2 outs on strikeouts, the floodgates opened. It was a blur of walks, doubles and a single, and when the dust settled Minnesota had put 6 runs on the board. Included in the barrage was a decisive 2-run double by old pal Eduardo Nunez. Five where charged to Robertson, who in addition to his second blown save of the season was tagged with his second loss.
GAMEDAY NOTES: While Hughes had great stuff today, he did catch the Yankees in a stretch where the offense is on hiatus. As the bats continue to be MIA, the patchwork starting rotation is really holding up it’s end of the bargain. Chase Whitley turned in another outstanding performance, and was poised for his first major league win until D-Rob’s meltdown. While David Phelps and Vidal Nuno have been on and off, the trio has kept the Yankees in games, but with scant run support the team is treading around the .500 mark and slipping in the standings.
Here’s the box score and recap. The Yankees fell to 29-26, and 3.5 games behind the still hot Toronto Blue Jays.
Not A Good Day for Closers
MEMORY LANE: 37 years to the day, on June 1, 1977 the Yankees faced these same Minnesota Twins at old Metropolitan Stadium — and the same thing happened. Gene Mauch’s Twins were off to a hot 30-17 start that year, and beat Ron Guidry and Yanks, 4-3. The Billy Martin-led Bombers were 26-21 coming into the game, 1.5 games behind the first place Baltimore Orioles. New York led 3-1 going into the bottom of the 9th, but the Twins scored 3 times off of Guidry and Sparky Lyle. That was during the height of the ‘Bronx Zoo’ era, where the cast that day included Reggie Jackson, Thurmon Munson, Willie Randolph, Graig Nettles, Chris Chambliss, Bucky Dent, and more. The Twin’s squad included the great Rod Carew, future Yankee Roy Smalley (1982-84), and Butch Wynegar. The Yankees would go on to capture their 21st World Series championship that season.