Hideki Matsui’s outfield play has regressed each season, but he is usually flawless mentally. Saturday night, Matsui made a boneheaded decision in the ninth inning of the Yankees 6-5 loss to Minnesota. With a runner on first and no one out, Matsui chose to try and throw out the runner heading for third instead of throwing to second to prevent the winning run from getting into scoring position. When Justin Morneau singled with two outs, both runs scored and the Yankees had lost again.
Matsui also failed with the bat, coming up with one out and runners on 2nd and 3rd and failing to get a run home. Matsui wasn’t the only Yankee to fail in the clutch as A Rod, Damon, Sheffield and Posada all missed opportunities to drive home runs with less than two outs.
The ninth inning breakdown wipes out what would have been the best win of the season. After a terrible performance by Jaret Wright, the Yankees battled back with Derek Jeter going 3 for 3 with 3 RBI’s and Scott Proctor providing three innings of shutout relief. But Mariano gave up two hits to start the ninth and the Yankees are now under .500 again.