By Mike Steffanos
Yankees 6 - Mets 5 (11)
I've been steady in my support of Willie Randolph, but I won't let him off the hook for today's loss. Wagner has already shown a frightening fragility in pitching back to back games. Compound that with the fact that this was a day game after a night game. He had a 4-0 lead, and could have sent Duaner Sanchez back out to finish the game. He's supposed to be a guy that manages with his gut, but he pulled this one out of the Art Howe school of by-the-book, let my closer finish the game type management. Enter Sandman:
- Falls behind Giambi 2-0. Gives up single.
- Walks Alex Rodriguez on a 3-2 pitch
- Gives up a hit to Cano, Giambi scores
- Gets Cairo on a fly out after falling behind him 2-1 (Bad AB by Cairo)
- Walks Melky Cabrera on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases
- Walks Kelly Stinnett on 4 pitches to force in a run
- Hits Bernie Williams with first pitch to force in another run
I'm not letting Wagner off the hook for his disgraceful performance, but there was no pressing need to bring him back into today's game. Then it was obvious to everyone but Willie that Wagner had nothing, but Willie is going to live and die with his closer at this point. Finally even he can't ignore Wagner's complete meltdown. Too late, the Yankees tie when Damon beats a throw to first on a double play the Mets just miss turning, and win in extra innings.
I don't care that it was the Yankees, but this was a terrible loss for a team that struggled on their last road trip, and had the chance to right the ship with a couple of wins in a row in a series that had some juice. Bad job by Wagner for sure, but a really bad job by Willie, too. Pedro deserve better than both of you schmucks gave him. I need a drink...