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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

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.

"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."

New York Sports