One mistake made all the difference for Sergio Mitre last night.
With a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning, Mitre misfired while trying to turn a double play on Jose Bautista's comebacker, allowing Lyle Overbay to score and the Blue Jays to tack on two additional runs before the end of the inning. Had it not been for Mitre's error - originally charged to second baseman Robinson Cano - the Yankees might have had the chance to win their eighth straight game.
"It changed the complexion of the game and his outing," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "A miscue cost us the game."
Mitre, who took responsibility for the play, said Bautista's sharp grounder was difficult to handle.
"The ball was hit hard and got to me pretty fast. I turned to throw and there was nobody there. So I double-pumped and got underneath the ball," Mitre said.
Of all three mistakes that Mitre made - he also gave up two solo home runs, one in the third inning to Aaron Hill and one in the fifth to Overbay - the botched double play was the most costly.
"If we had made that double play, the game is 4-2," Mitre said, referring to the two runs the Yankees would score later in the fourth inning.
Girardi said Mitre pitched well in his fifth start of the season.
Mitre gave up six hits, five runs (three earned) and lasted only five innings and had a season-high six strikeouts. Since his first start against Baltimore on July 21, when he got his only win of the season despite giving up eight hits and four runs, Mitre has yet to give the Yankees more than five innings.
Contrast Mitre's disappointing outing with the superb pitching performances the Yankees enjoyed the previous three games, in which A.J. Burnett, CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte all went at least seven innings without allowing a run and you'd think Girardi would be itching to give recently acquired pitcher Chad Gaudin a chance to compete for a starting spot.
But Girardi expressed faith in Mitre and said he will make his next start as scheduled.
Said Mitre, "That's a big boost of confidence for me."