CHICAGO -- If there were a menu of pitches that Adam Dunn could have ordered down 0-2 in the ninth inning Friday night, his top selection would be a belt-high fastball.
"I was trying to put a fastball down and away," Robertson said after the 6-5 loss to the White Sox, the Yankees' third in four games in the Windy City. "It seemed like that one was left up in the zone and it cut right to his barrel and he goes deep."
Robertson, with his first blown save in the post-Mariano Rivera Era, joined a long line of Yankees who missed opportunities. His was the most glaring because it was at the end. Before he let Dunn slip away 0-2, he allowed Dayan Viciedo to knock an 0-2 single.
"I just had nothing to put them away with," said Robertson, who was being asked to complete a four-out save. "It is frustrating when you have a game like that."
Robertson picked up his first loss, but the "L" was on everyone. The Yankees (24-23) now are one game over .500. The solace of being atop the AL East standings is gone as they have drifted into third, two games behind the first-place Blue Jays.
The issues with this team are becoming more glaring with each loss. It starts with the bats. Hector Noesi was supposed to be the antidote for the Yankees' poor hitting when they could lean on the fact they had faced Chicago's best from Jeff Samardzija to Chris Sale.
In the first, after Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter picked up hits and Brian McCann nailed a three-run homer, it appeared the bats might get right. Instead, Noesi escaped trouble throughout the night and left after six with no more scratches on him besides McCann's long ball.
Still, the Yankees' inefficiency in their roster keeps showing up. Even with Mark Teixeira's health in question to begin the year, the Yankees do not have a legit backup first baseman.
Kelly Johnson was asked to give Teixeira a rest on Friday -- and Johnson, inexperienced at the position, failed miserably. He missed a ball in the first for an error that cost the Yankees a run. He couldn't make a pick on a low throw from Brian Roberts. Roberts picked up the error, but it is a play that Teixeira or maybe just an average defensive first baseman could have made. Girardi said he will play Johnson there again.
This left Hiroki Kuroda playing by new rules, having to pick up four or more outs in innings instead of the customary three.
"We didn't help him," Girardi said of Kuroda, who was done before he could complete five innings. "We made him work harder than he had to. The first two runs we didn't make the plays behind him and that is unfortunate.
Girardi added, "We gave them extra outs."
The bullpen has been great all year, Robertson included. It just can't be asked to be perfect.
"We had the game where we wanted it," Girardi said. "We had it in Robbie's hands."
Robertson put it on a tee for Dunn. He knocked it out of the park and, in the process, made all the Yankees' issues even more glaring.