The Yankees experienced highs and lows in last night's walk-off loss to the Oakland Athletics.
A pair of late inning home runs by Russell Martin and Robinson Cano weren't enough to help the Yankees stave off a second consecutive defeat in Oakland. Instead of finishing off a comeback that would have given the Bronx Bombers their first come from behind victory in the ninth inning or later, the Athletics increased their league leading walk-off win total to 10.
In addition to losing the game, the Yankees also suffered another injury when Nick Swisher was forced to leave the game in the seventh inning with what was later diagnosed as a mild hip flexor strain. During the post game press conference, Joe Girardi labeled Swisher as being day-to-day, and the outfielder himself was optimistic he'd be back in the lineup in a couple of days. With the outfield already depleted by Brett Gardner's season ending surgery, the Yankees can ill afford to lose Swisher for an extended period. Regardless, the Yankees should be in the market for another outfielder.
With two hits, Robinson Cano extended his hitting streak to 23, tying Michael Brantley for the longest string of the season. The last Yankee to have the season's top hitting streak was fellow second baseman Joe Gordon, whose 29 game stretch was tops in 1942.
By scoring only two runs, the Yankees snapped an in-season franchise record 43 consecutive games with at least three runs scored. The only other team with a longer streak was the 1994 Cleveland Indians, who scored three or more runs in 48 straight.
One of the main culprits behind the Yankees' lackluster offensive showing was Andruw Jones, who struck out four times, becoming the first Yankees' batter to do so in exactly four at bats since Jorge Posada wore the Golden Sombrero on June 23, 2009. Last night's game marked the 14th time Jones has struck out at least four times in one game, but the first since October 1, 2009.
Andy Pettitte is still over one month away from returning to the mound, but the left hander will be traveling with the team until his anticipated rehab assignment begins sometime in August. Joba Chamberlain, on the other hand, is much closer to returning. The right hander worked two innings for the Yankees' Tampa affiliate, and, despite surrendering two runs in his outing, there is increasing optimism that Chamberlain could be activated some time next month.
On Sunday, the Hall of Fame will welcome Barry Larkin and Ron Santo (posthumously) into the fold, but Yankees fans will probably be happiest to know that Yogi Berra will be among the existing members in attendance for the induction ceremony.