Joe Girardi, rarely critical of his team in public, didn't try to hide his dissatisfaction after today's 1-0 loss that ended a 3-3 trip.
“It’s not what we wanted and we need to play better,” Girardi said. “We need to go home and play well and start winning series. Tying series is not good enough.”
Girardi wasn't happy with the Yankees committing three errors -- two by Francisco Cervelli -- and their inability to hit Bryan Bullington, who allowed two hits in eight innings. Bullington added his name to the list of first-timers -- pitchers the Yankees are seeing for the first time -- who have beaten them. The list includes the Orioles’ Jake Arrieta, the Indians’ Josh Tomlin, and the Angels’ Sean O’Sullivan [the Yankees have since beaten O’Sullivan, now with the Royals, twice].
“I get tired of talking about it, I know that,” Girardi said. “You look for the ball and you hit it, that’s the bottom line. I know when you haven’t seen a guy, you’re not exactly sure what he’s going to do to you, but we have a lot of good hitters in the lineup.”
Alex Rodriguez, who went 0-for-3 after hitting three homers Saturday night, credited Bullington, but wasn’t terribly impressed.
“This guy was very transparent,” A-Rod said. “He was very aggressive, was throwing four-seamers all over the strike zone. I think when you have a crafty lefty who can throw changeups and sink it and cuts it, that potentially can be an excuse. But today there’s not excuse. He got the best of us.”
A-Rod also wasn't happy with ending the trip with a loss, one that allowed Tampa to climb within one game in the East.
"Today would have been nice to put that one in the win column and go home 4-2," he said. "There's a big difference going home 3-3. It's not quite good enough."
A.J. Burnett was plenty good after a bad first inning, doing something he hasn't done much of, either this year or in his career -- battling through some rough early goings to post a quality start. Or, as was the case today, one of his best outings of the season.
"He did everything he needed to do to win," Girardi said.
Said Burnett: “Bryan obviously kept us off balance today and pitched a heck of a game. That’s basically the story. I gave up the one early and tried to keep anymore from coming across…when he comes out and throws the ball like that, you just try and match it.”
*** Girardi wasn't pleased with Cervelli's play in the sixth when he was slow in getting to Robinson Cano's errant throw in the sixth and then when he did, throwing the ball away into center, allowing Gregor Blanco to go from first to third.
"That shouldn't happen," Girardi said. "That's all I'm going to say."
Though he did say of Cervelli: "He's got to pounce on it, then he [Blanco] probably doesn't go."
And with that, the Yankees go home to face the Tigers and Johnny Damon starting Monday night, as it will be Javier Vazquez (9-8, 4.90) taking on Max Scherzer (7-9, 4.03).