The Yankees are lucky the season is only 20 games old because they have some very serious starting pitching problems and will need plenty of time to sort this mess out. Here’s a recap of the latest starting pitching embarrassment/game…
- Unacceptable: Freddy Garcia can’t make another start for the Yankees, at least not anytime soon. It’s that simple. They didn’t take advantage of Thursday’s off day by skipping him and were rewarded with a six-run, five-out start. You don’t get to keep your job with a 12.51 ERA after four starts, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing this or how gritty of a veteran you are. Thanks for last year Freddy, but you’re of no use to the team now.
- The Answer: The obvious candidate to take Garcia’s place is David Phelps, who faced the minimum in three scoreless innings of work and only threw 31 pitches in this game. I would have liked to see him throw a few more innings to build up that pitch count, though he did just throw 53 pitches on Wednesday. Probably have to save him for the inevitable Phil Hughes disaster on Tuesday.
SmylyFrowny Face: While Freddy was busy getting his brains beat in, lefty Drew Smyly was busy shutting the Yankees’ offense down. He gave up a solo homer to Nick Swisher in the first, then retired 18 of the next 20 he faced before Alex Rodriguez ended his afternoon with a leadoff single in the seventh. Smyly struck out seven, walked two, and allowed just the two hits. He got his first career win in Yankee Stadium, which is pretty cool.
- Late Rally: The Yankees would not be denied though. They tagged the Detroit bullpen for four runs in three innings, including three off Jose Valverde. Despite being down six runs at one point, they managed to bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth. Pinch-hitter Eric Chavez juuust missed a game-tying homer, at least in terms of his swing. The ball landed in Don Kelly’s glove about ten feet shy of the wall. I always appreciate a late-inning rally, even if they lose. It’s good to show some fight and make the other club sweat, especially since the game looked over after two innings.
- Leftovers: I can only assume Cody Eppley will be sent to Triple-A in favor of a fresh arm after throwing three effective innings — the one run allowed was a solo homer to Miguel Cabrera, which is completely forgivable — and 37 pitches on Saturday afternoon, I just don’t know who would come up, there’s no obvious candidate … Swisher hit solo homers from each side of the plate, the 11th time he’s done that in his career. Only Mark Teixeira (13) has homered from both side of the plate on more occasions in baseball history … Curtis Granderson hit a solo homer off Phil Coke, his first against a lefty this year. And yes, Coke pointed at it like it a playable fly ball.
MLB.com has the box score and video lowlights, FanGraphs the advanced stats, and ESPN the updated standings. CC Sabathia will start the rubber game of this series against Max Scherzer on Sunday afternoon, and the Yankees really need him to come through with a strong outing. Lots of quality innings, please. RAB Tickets can get you into the park on the cheap if you feel like heading up to the Bronx.