Well, so much for building off Friday night’s win. The Yankees lost to the Royals on Saturday because their starting pitcher didn’t provide a quality effort (again) and the offense did nothing in particular (again). They’ve lost four of their last five games, all to the Orioles and Royals. Yuck. To the bullet points…
- Hirok-a-nope: Hiroki Kuroda labored in the first inning (1-7 hitters), had an easy time in the second (8-1 hitters), labored in the third (2-7 hitters), and then had an easy time in the fourth (8-1 hitters again). You see the pattern? Kuroda didn’t make it out of the fifth, though I suppose he deserves a tiny sliver of credit for only allowing three runs (two earned) and not ten or something.
- Bright Spots: The Yankees didn’t do much on offense, but the two bright spots were Curtis Granderson (2-for-4 with two doubles) and Russell Martin (3-for-4 and a triple shy of the cycle). The Russ Bus has five hits in his last two games plus another one hit taken away on a great running catch at the warning track, so maybe he’s coming around. Other than that, the Yankees had no answer for Felipe Paulino — who was behind in the count to everyone in the first two of three innings — and various relievers.
- The Bad Pen: We got our first real look at how the Mariano Rivera injury impacts the bullpen, and it’s not in the late innings. Cody Eppley was pitching in what is usually a Cory Wade spot, and he ended up allowing two tack-on runs in the sixth after walking Chris Getz (on four pitches!) to start the inning. Boone Logan had a hand in that, giving up a booming double to lefty Alex Gordon. Freddy Garcia threw two nice innings late, but Yankees relievers walked three and struck out just two.
- Leftovers: Apparently the Yankees don’t have a scouting report on Jeff Francoeur’s arm yet, because Granderson got thrown out trying to go from scoring position to slightly better scoring position in the sixth … with just two walks and nine strikeouts on the night, the lineup has a 44/9 K/BB ratio in the last six games; that’s not Yankees baseball, get back to working the count fellas … MLB.com has the box score and video, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings.
The Yankees really need Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner to get healthy just to inject some life into the offense. I’m not asking for a miracle, just a placebo effect. Unfortunately, it appears as though we’re going to have to wait until at least Tuesday for those two. The series finale will be played on Sunday afternoon, when Phil Hughes gets the ball against Luke Hochevar. It feels like it’ll take a minor miracle to keep them from their fifth loss in six games and eighth loss in 12 games.