Adam Jones had a chance to win tonight’s game in the bottom of the ninth inning when the Yankees walked Nick Markakis intentionally with two outs to load the bases for him, but he struck out after chasing a pitch near his head to even the count, 1-1.
He was swinging from the heels, and he knew it was the wrong approach.
“Oh my God, I’m still thinking about that now,” he said. “I’m texting my brother about it. Just over-swinging. I need to stay shorter. Somebody told me, ‘Stop trying to hit the ball to San Diego. Just put the ball in play.’ That’s true. I just need to put the ball in play and make the defense make a play.”
Jones understood the strategy of walking Markakis with right-hander Rafael Soriano on the mound.
“Righty-righty, sets you up. I just didn’t come through for my team,” he said.
“We fought. We put ourselves in the situation. We came back and we just kept fighting, fighting, fighting. They had the big hit and we didn’t have the big hit. We had the opportunity to get it and we didn’t get it.”
Kevin Gregg was running out of gas in the 10th inning after retiring the side in order in the ninth.
“Yeah, I mean, two innings isn’t something I’ve done a lot of in the last few years, so it’s going to take something to get used to,” he said.
He didn’t locate his pitch to Nick Swisher, who crushed the ball for a tie-breaking, two-run homer.
“The ball just slipped out of my hand,” he said. “Slipped up there, left it over the plate and he didn’t miss it.”
Did Gregg think he was going to get out of the inning after Mark Teixeira’s two-out bloop double?
“I always think I’m going to get out of the inning,” he replied.
“I think it’s frustrating for everybody anytime you lose. We’re all competitors. We’re trying to win every single time we go out there, so it doesn’t matter if it happens in regulation in nine innings or it happens in extras. I think everybody kind of wears it the same.
“There’s some things we didn’t take advantage of, some things that didn’t go out way, but that’s part of baseball. Not everything is going to go your way.”
Teixeira couldn’t have run down the left field line and placed the ball any better than he did by swinging the bat.
“We put the shift on to defend his tendencies, and obviously I don’t think flipping a ball down the line is something he plans on doing,” Gregg said. “It’s something you’ve just got to turn the page on and work on next inning.”
Jake Arrieta gave up a leadoff double to Derek Jeter and a home run to Curtis Granderson after a 20-minute rain delay. Then he retired 11 in a row and 12 of 13.
“I wasn’t necessarily upset by it, but I finished my warm-up pitches and was ready to start the inning and then they decided to pull the tarp and put the tarp on,” he said. “It’s just one of those things you kind of have to adjust on the fly.
“Getting swept is tough, but we’re going to compete with those guys all year as well as the other teams in our division. The last two games were a pretty good example of that. I think it’s just a matter of making one more pitch or getting one more guy on base. There’s a lot of variables there, but we’re going to find ways to get it done. It’s just a matter of not letting this get to us too much. We’ve got to get on the road and, we’ve got to just put it behind us if we can.”