The one hit that could have changed it all never came.
The Yankees once again came up small in the biggest moments of a game on Saturday, failing with runners in scoring position repeatedly in their 6-5 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.
In the ninth inning, with the potential tying and winning runs on base, the Yanks couldn't deliver the big hit on two occasions, as they fell for the fourth time in five games. All told they were 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position in the game.
"We just didn't get the last hit we needed to put them away," manager Joe Girardi said. "It's good we're able to come back but it's frustrating you get so close and you lose."
In their last 55 at-bats with runners in scoring position, the Yankees have just five hits. The team did manage to snap a 0-for-22 slump with a pair of knocks in the ninth inning, but it couldn't deliver the one extra hit to complete the three-run rally.
The Yankees had been just 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position before Nick Swisher and Jayson Nix each drove in a run to slice Cincinnati's lead to 6-5. With men on first and second with one out, Derek Jeter grounded into a fielder's choice, and Curtis Granderson ended the game with a grounder to first with men on second and third.
The Yankees are batting .231 with runners in scoring position on the season, which ranks them among the bottom-third of the American League.
"Any time there are guys in scoring positions you want to get the job done. Really don't think about numbers when you're up there hitting. Trying to get a good pitch," catcher Russell Martin said. "As of late, we just haven't been getting the job done but it just takes one day for that to change. We have great hitters on this team throughout the lineup so I don't think it's going to stay this way for too much longer."
Girardi mentioned that it's easy for his team to start pressing with the lack of results in these situations. Being asked about it constantly is a daily reminder, and once the game comes, there have not been the results to make the frustrations disappear.
Third baseman Alex Rodriguez said he thought the team did better on Saturday, and wants the offense to start focusing on scoring at least four runs a game. He stressed staying focused and having quality at-bats.
"I think everyone just tries to pick everybody up," Rodriguez said. "I'm very proud of the way guys went out today and swung the bats and we had a strong finish there in the eighth and ninth. Overall, hitting is contagious and guys are probably putting a little bit of pressure on."