The plot twist: Torre was this time in the opposing dugout. New York robbed the Dodgers of a series victory on Sunday night at Dodger Stadium, 8-6, with six runs in the final two innings, including four off Jonathan Broxton in the ninth.
"I thought it was frustrating. We had it where we wanted it," Torre said. "I feel for the guys. I feel bad. My managing is over with -- you bring your closer in, your managing is done. That makes it tougher for me. There's nothing you want to do or can do."
The loss overshadowed Clayton Kershaw, who for the first time in his career did not issue a walk. Kershaw went seven innings, allowed four hits and struck out five, his only mistake -- and until the ninth, the Yankees' only runs -- a two-run homer to Alex Rodriguez in the sixth.
"I got to some 3-2 counts and just made them get hits instead of walks, I think that's a sign of maybe some progress," Kershaw said. "We got to come to the park tomorrow and get after it. The Giants, we got to beat them."
After Broxton failed to protect the 6-2 lead, George Sherrill's second pitch of the night in the 10th went for a Cano two-run homer to the left-center.
It was Loney's decision-making in the ninth, though, that let the tying run score. Broxton started the inning with a four-pitch strikeout of Mark Teixeira.
Nothing else went quite so right. Rodriguez singled and Cano doubled for the first run. Jorge Posada hit the 10th pitch he saw for a single to right. Curtis Granderson, the potential tying run, drew an eight-pitch walk to load the bases.
Up strode Chad Huffman, a rookie with just one hit in eight career at-bats at the start of the day who had only come into the game in the fourth because Brett Gardner was hurt. Huffman singled in two runs, and the tying run was 90 feet away.
Up strode Colin Curtis, a rookie with just two hits in four career at-bats entering the night. Curtis had a 10-pitch at-bat, too, the third of which Torre thought could have been a strike.
"It was a ball. He called it a ball, so it's a ball," Broxton said. "It doesn't matter what happened, today, yesterday or whatever. If you had a good game yesterday, today, you got to put it in the past."
Curtis ended up grounding out to first base. For the first baseman Loney, however, that might have been the problem.The ball stayed parallel with the first-base line and Loney picked it up near to the bag, but instead of firing home immediately to cut down Granderson, he stepped on first for the second out and his throw home was both late and to the wrong side of the plate.
"James, he could have done one of two things," Torre said. "He could've gone straight to the plate or gone for the double play. Unfortunately, once he stepped back, he lost his momentum to the plate. That was certainly a bad decision."
Just an inning earlier, Loney had turned a tricky inning-ending double play. Both he and Yankees manager Joe Girardi thought a good throw could've gotten it done at the plate in the ninth.
"It happened so fast," Girardi said. "To me, it looked like it was right on top of the bag. I believe if he makes a good throw, and he's very, very accurate, [Granderson] is out. It was a chance and it didn't work."
After an intentional walk, a strikeout and 48 total pitches for Broxton, the inning was over. The Dodgers went 1-2-3 in their half, and Ramon Troncoso came on for the 10th. He let up a single to Teixeira. Rodriguez hit into a forceout, bringing up Cano and in Sherrill.
"[I wanted it] a little further down and it was out there, but I just didn't get it down enough," Sherrill said.
The only scrap Rivera allowed the Dodgers in the game's final two innings was a soft leadoff single to center from Loney.
Two of the three Dodgers Rivera struck out, Garret Anderson in the ninth and Russell Martin in the 10th, were thrown out of the game by plate umpire Chris Guccione. Martin lightly threw his bat in the direction of Guccione to prompt his hook, while Anderson's infraction seemed to be at worst a comment as he walked back to the dugout. They were the second and third Dodgers to be thrown out arguing Rivera's strike zone this series.
"I don't think I ever heard Garret Anderson use a curse word," Torre said. "I had complimented [Guccione] earlier on letting [Andre Ethier vent after a strikeout]. I thought he should have just ignored or it turned around."
Torre, perhaps even more than Girardi, was familiar with the scenario. The last time the Yankees overcame a four-run ninth-inning deficit was in April 2007, Torre's final season in New York.
"Well, good, they take me off the books now," Torre joked. "It's terrible to watch, but it goes back to what I said. I'll go to war with these guys, I'll go to war with Jonathan Broxton every day."
Early in the game, the Dodgers had their fundamentals while the Yankees kicked the ball around. Andy Pettitte was knocked out after five innings, and though one of his five runs was unearned, he contributed to that one as well.
The Dodgers bunted three times in a row in the third inning, two of which went for Pettitte throwing errors, and opened the scoring with three runs. They added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth, one on a Ronnie Belliard's second home run of the season, a solo shot. The Dodgers had five sacrifice hits in those two innings.
"You have to remember one thing, there's not a lot of bunting that goes on in the American League," Torre said.
They sure can put together comebacks, though.