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Rafael Soriano Falters Again in Yankees Loss to A’s

Rafael Soriano (Nick Laham/Getty Images)

In the top of the 10th inning of the Yankees-Athletics game on Wednesday night, Coco Crisp (Coco Crisp?!?) hit a three-run, go-ahead homerun off Rafael Soriano. After scoring just once in the bottom of the inning, the Yanks lost their second straight game.

Soriano’s Manic Year

Prior to Wednesday night’s outing, Soriano had performed extremely well since his return from the disabled list in late July, allowing just 2 hits and 1 run in 7 1/3 innings. Before his stint on the DL, though, Soriano had a disappointing 5.40 ERA in 16 appearances. During that time, people seriously questioned whether acquiring the former Rays’ closer was the right move for the Yankees, despite his stellar 2010 numbers (he finished the season with 45 saves and a 1.73 ERA).

They had signed him to a three-year deal worth $35 million dollars with player opt-out clauses at the end of the first and second years. Throughout spring and into summer, it seemed as if the Yankees’ risk had not paid off. Soriano was poised to pick up $10 million in his second contract year, after falling well below expectations, which included a 60-day stay on the DL. In the last month, however, Soriano has shown that perhaps he can be that 2010 guy who the Yankees signed to (gasp!) succeed Mariano Rivera.

Even if Soriano is able to bounce back and maintain his August numbers into September and the postseason (which I realize is an enormous “if”), will he decide to test his worth on the open market? We all know that opting out didn’t work well for his teammate ARod in 2007, but it will likely yield a fat raise for ace CC Sabathia this offseason. Even if Soriano and agent Scott Boras market him as a top-notch closer (as opposed to a reliever), will any other team will be willing and able to pay him as much as the Yankees? Probably not. I expect to see him wearing pinstripes next year, and at this point, that doesn’t look to be such a bad thing.

Give the Guy Another Chance

Wednesday was the first time that Soriano allowed more than one hit in an inning since his return. It also marked the first time that he had pitched since August 16th, so he could have been a bit rusty. Everyone, even the Sandman, falters sometimes.

Yankees fans, myself included, are quick to judge new players, especially new players that don’t perform well and snub the media. But we will love you just as fast as we will hate you, and with his August performances, Soriano has earned  our forgiveness and our trust.  Let’s see if he can keep it.

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One comment for “Rafael Soriano Falters Again in Yankees Loss to A’s”

  1. New Post: Rafael Soriano Falters Again in Yankees Loss to A’s

    Posted by Sports of New York | August 25, 2011, 4:46 pm

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