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(2006) Yankees Fail to Hit in the Clutch as Randy Johnson Loses to Angels

Randy Johnson pitched a great game, using only 97 pitches in going the distance in Anaheim. He struck out 8 and walked 0. But baseball is often unfair, and when the Yankees aren’t hitting as they are not these days, Johnson and the pitchers have no margin for error. In the game’s key moment, with two and two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, Johnson made a bad pitch and Adam Kennedy delivered a two-run triple, putting the Angels ahead, 3-1. Los Angeles held on for a 3-2 victory. Johnson deserved better, but his one bad pitch cost him and the Yankees, and so he must absorb points (-.25) for the loss.

Johnny Damon and Jason Giambi Don’t Get on Base Before Home Runs

The obvious focus at this point in the season is the Yanks’ poor clutch hitting, which certainly continued in this game. Often overlooked are the culprits who failed to get on base before a big hit was subsequently delivered or rally started. Awarding points in these situations is a little trickier because if the culprits were to have reached base, it cannot be assumed that ensuing events would have remained the same (i.e., perhaps different pitches would be made, different approaches taken by the batter, possibly different pitchers in the game, etc.).

(2006) Yankees Fail to Hit in the Clutch as Randy Johnson Loses to Angels

Keeping these problems in mind, nevertheless, let’s go ahead and give points to those hitters who made the first out in the first and ninth innings just prior to solo homers hit by Derek Jeter and Hideki Matsui, respectively.

In the first, Johnny Damon (-.20) made an out prior to Jeter’s homer, and Damon is additionally penalized for his overall failure to jump start the offense with his 0-for-4 game. Likewise, Jason Giambi (-.10) made the first out in the ninth before Matsui’s homer. Giambi’s points are kept relatively low because of a wonderful 12-pitch walk he drew in the sixth inning, loading the bases.

Alex Rodriguez Tops Those Who Did Not Hit in the Clutch

Alex Rodriguez (-.15) had a tough night, twice getting robbed of hits. But the bottom line is he left three men on base and made the second out in the sixth inning just before Giambi walked to load the bases. A-Rod’s failure to deliver in the sixth was one of the keys to the outcome. Matsui (-.10) did hit a home run, so it is may seem that he is being graded rather harshly, but he made the third out with the bases loaded in the sixth, which ultimately had a greater impact on the game’s outcome than his solo homer in the ninth. Pinch-hitter Bernie Williams (-.10) also failed in the clutch, grounding out for the game’s final out with the tying run n second base.

The bottom of the order did not contribute much either. Designated hitter Jorge Posada (-.05) went 0 for 4 and catcher Kelly Stinnett (-.05), although he may have done a nice job with Johnson, struck out three times in a 0-for-3 night.

Still no Mariano Rivera sighting.

In summary, game points are distributed are as follows:
Randy Johnson -.25
Johnny Damon -.20
Alex Rodriguez -.15
Hideki Matsui -.10
Jason Giambi -.10
Bernie Williams -.10
Jorge Posada -.05
Kelly Stinnett -.05

The Yankees are now 1-4 for the season. The points awarded thus far this season are as follows:
Hideki Matsui +.05
Randy Johnson 0.00
Mike Mussina -.05
Kyle Farnsworth -.05
Jorge Posada -.05
Kelly Stinnett -.05
Jaret Wright -.10
Johnny Damon -.15
Bernie Williams -.20
Scott Proctor -.20
Chien-Ming Wang -.20
Alex Rodriguez -.25
Jason Giambi -.25
Derek Jeter -.25
Shawn Chacon -.35
Gary Sheffield -.45
Robinson Cano -.45

The season points add up tp -3.00, representing the Yankees current record of 1-4, three games under the .500 mark.