Coke his own worst critic after allowing three-run HR

Phil Coke #48 of the New York Yankees

Phil Coke #48 of the New York Yankees pitches in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays. Photo Credit: Getty

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Even after Phil Coke talked to reporters about the three-run homer he allowed in the seventh inning of yesterday's 7-2 loss to Texas, he sat silently in front of his locker for several minutes, stewing over his mistake and brimming with frustration.

Coke entered the game with the Rangers leading 3-2, and five pitches later, it was 6-2.

After replacing A.J. Burnett to begin the seventh, he gave up a ground-rule double to David Murphy on his second pitch. When Taylor Teagarden dropped a sacrifice-bunt attempt toward the third-base side of the mound that Coke had trouble fielding, Teagarden had a hit, the Rangers had first and third with none out and Coke had his work cut out for him.

It got worse on his first pitch to lefthanded-hitting Chris Davis. When the lefthanded Coke left a breaking ball low and inside, Davis dropped the bat head on it and lined a three-run homer to rightfield.

"I did something stupid I shouldn't have done. I threw a pitch I wasn't committed to," Coke said. "It wasn't a bad pitch, I just wasn't committed to it, and I didn't do us many favors."


Coke said he would've preferred to start off Davis with a fastball away rather than the slider he threw, but he insisted he was solely responsible for the homer and that it had nothing to do with catcher Jose Molina.

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"I have complete trust and faith in Molina. It was just a complete lapse of intelligence," Coke said. "He made the right call, I just should've been committed to it like I am every other time I threw the ball."

Coke said if he had executed the pitch with conviction, the results could've been different. "Had I been committed,'' he said, "I probably would've gotten a swing-through instead of a three-run homer."

There also was miscommunication on the play that preceded the homer, as Coke and Alex Rodriguez both scrambled to field the bunt. "[Rodriguez] told me I had the third-base line on the bunt,'' Coke said. "[Teagarden] put down the bunt, and as I got over there and was leaning down to pick up the ball, Rodriguez called it, but it was already in the bottom of my glove."

He said he could've let A-Rod handle it but predicted he would've likely "botched it even further than I did."

Given the price of his three-run mistake, Coke was in a post-game self-deprecation mode he couldn't shake. "It bothers me that I was stupid," he said. "That's why I'm agitated. I'm very disappointed with myself."

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