Yankees hit official midway point with loss to Rays


With a runner in scoring position and the Yankees desperate for a run in the seventh inning, Brett Gardner took a high called strike.

Immediately after finding out that the pitch was called strike two, Gardner stepped out, turned around and put his hands on hips to question plate umpire Will Little. Manager Joe Girardi circled around in the dugout, started yelling and clapping in Little’s direction.

To say the Yankees were frustrated would be an understatement. The feeling might also be the theme of a mediocre first half that ended with a dispiriting 4-3 loss to the Rays in a game that involved their two best relief pitchers and was eventually decided on a go-ahead single by Logan Forsythe with two outs in the 12th.

Three pitches after Gardner expressed his displeasure, he lined a slider from Chris Archer into an inning-ending double play. Moments later Dellin Betances allowed consecutive two-out walks and closer David Robertson gave up the go-ahead single to catcher Ryan Hanigan.

“Today was one of those days. I couldn’t make pitches with two outs,” Betances said.

“I didn’t have any trouble getting loose,” Robertson added. “I just didn’t have great command today. It was one of those days.”

That was not the only frustration for the Yankees (41-40), who are one game worse than they were last year through 81 games. The only difference is that a majority of their massive payroll was injured last year. They have struggled to get production from free-agent imports Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran this season.

McCann threw out Desmond Jennings stealing twice but also went 1-for-5 as his average remained at .221. The one hit was an eighth-inning single to left field that popped out of Brandon Guyer’s glove and one that might have scored the tying run had Jacoby Ellsbury not briefly stopped at second.

Three pitches later, Beltran fouled out to Hanigan, making the Yankees 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and 2-for-12 with men on base, a mark they’d extend by not being able to score after Brian Roberts hit a game-tying home run with one out in the ninth off Joel Peralta.

“They were able to get the big hit at the end and we’ve had two extremely tough losses so far on this homestand,” Girardi said. “We had a couple of chances and we just weren’t able to do much tonight.”

The loss came hours after Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman offered assessments of the first half that did not sugarcoat the mediocrity.

Cashman said the Yankees were fortunate to be two games out in the AL East and Girardi assessed the first half as being up-and-down.

It was on display Monday as the Yankees went from the highs of hitting a game-tying home run to the lows of not coming through in extra innings.

“We fought, we got a huge home run, we just couldn’t get one more big hit,” McCann said.
 “A loss is always hard to take. We didn’t get that big hit late that we needed.”

It’s a lament the Yankees have had all too frequently recently.

Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.


Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking


K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.


Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.


Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.


Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.


Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…


Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.


Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.


2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…


Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.


Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.


Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.


Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.