Getting shut down by Jamie Moyer is understandable. You aren't in the major leagues at 47 unless you've got a certain ability to pitch the baseball.
It's not the most impressive display of hurling you'll ever see but it isn't one that's going to make you wonder if the Yankees forgot how to play the game either.
You can't say the same about getting shut down by Kyle Kendrick. Oh, sure, he's a big league pitcher and, therefore, implicitly capable of throwing a pitch with a panache that most human beings aren't able to muster but he's the kind of pitcher that the Yankees tend to brutalize. A guy who walks too many hitters is usually meat for the patient, cautious Yankee hitters because eventually he's gonna have to throw a strike that they can load up on.
And, yet, Kendrick was even more effective than the elder statesman of the National League. He kept throwing the ball over the plate, the Yankees kept swinging and the ball kept settling harmlessly into the gloves of Phillies fielders. Four hits and a run were all that Kendrick would give up, making a hard luck loser of Andy Pettitte who gave up just two earned runs in the 7-1 Phillie victory.
The Yankees got just seven hits and three runs against Moyer and Kendrick over the final two nights of the series loss to the Phillies, totals that might have justified Philly's decision to trade away 2009 World Series hero Cliff Lee.
How in the world does that happen after crushing Roy Halladay on Tuesday night? One might be inclined to chalk it up to the simple vagaries of baseball, a game that can make heroes out of zeroes and makes a habit of humbling its greatest players at regular intervals. That's a little too coldly rational and logical, though, so let's find another explanation.
An alternate explanation may come from the team's decision to ban vuvuzelas from the Stadium on Tuesday night. One denizen of the bleachers brought the noisemaker heard round the World Cup to the game and blew it at various points throughout the game. That led to his ejection, as distracting noisemakers aren't allowed in the stands although exceptions appear to be made for cowbells, a guy banging a pot with a spoon and the occasional thick Jersey accent.
The sound made by the vuvuzela is just about the most annoying thing on the face of the Earth and you can't argue with anyone who would rather not have it anywhere near their ears. That said, it's very existence means that some powerful forces are working hard to enact some kind of nefarious plot. The Yankees crossed these forces when they banned the horns and now they are paying the price.
Preposterous? Sure, but so is Kyle Kendrick shutting down the Yankees.