The Yankees lost 4-3 to the Tampa Bay Rays last night after journeyman Dan Johnson blasted a pair of two-run home runs off of Phil Hughes, and the Yankees offense was held in check by “Big Game” James Shields.

Here are some highlights:

  • The Yankees offense wasn’t exactly absent, but they failed to get timely hits with men on base. There were 10 runners stranded during the game.
  • Derek Jeter scored on a Curtis Granderson home run in the 7th after some theatrics got him on base as he faked being hit by a pitch.
  • Rays’ manager Joe Madden was ejected after arguing Jeter’s performance.
  • Aside from the two home runs, Hughes pitched a very good game getting into the seventh inning for the first time since July 9th.
  • It’s fashionable to hate on Austin Kearns today as the backup left fielder went 1-for-4 with three strikeouts and was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double.
  • Andy Pettitte, groin, should be back Sunday. Brett Gardner, wrist, could be back tomorrow. Nick Swisher, knee, has no timetable, but this weekend is a possibility.

The Yankees have been in one of their worst slumps, certainly of this season, and probably since 2008. Out of their last eight losses though, five have been by just a single run.

So it’s not like they’re in a deep freeze; losing that many one-run games is really based on a lot of luck—or in this case, bad luck.

The Yankees have an off-day today and then a three-game series against the Orioles. The O’s have been better of late, but they are still beneath the Yankees and need to be beaten.

If the Yankees don’t win at least two of three, it should be considered a failure.

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