Hiroki Kuroda has been brilliant of late, but asking him to win a game in which the offense plates just one run is a little ridiculous. The bats did the club’s most effective starter this season no favors on Saturday, a tough luck loss against a team that lost their last nine games. Let’s recap…
- A Tale of Two #HIROKs: Five of the first nine hitters Kuroda faced reached base — including a three-run homer by Michael Brantley — and then just three of the final 21 hitters he faced reached. Hiroki was clearly off in those first two innings, leaving a lot of pitches out of the zone and throwing just 23 of 43 pitches for strikes (43%) in those two frames. Forty-eight of his final 65 pitches went for strikes (74%), so a drastic difference. You’ll take eight innings and three runs from your starter every time out, but once again the offense didn’t bother to score any runs for Kuroda.
- Stranded: The Yankees have scored a total of five runs in their last 26 offensive innings thanks to some absolutely abysmal production with men on-base (again). At one point six of nine and nine of 16 Yankees reached base from the fifth through seventh innings — including two bases loaded situations — and they managed just one run on a Mark Teixeira sacrifice fly. The suddenly cold Eric Chavez and Russell Martin get some slack for hitting the ball right at people with the bases juiced in the sixth, but otherwise it was an awful job of finishing off the rally. The Bombers do a phenomenal job of getting men on and creating pressure, but they are absolutely miserable at converting those chances into runs.
- Leftovers: The top three hitters in the lineup went a combined 5-for-11 with two walks while the other six hitters in the order went 2-for-22 with a walk. The bottom of the order has done very little of late, which tends to happens with a lineup full of platoon hitters getting irregular playing time … there really isn’t much more to add here. Very straight forward game. The starting pitcher did his part, the offense didn’t. Generic loss.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. The Rays lost to the Athletics, so the Yankees blew a chance to expand their AL East lead. It remains at four games over both the Rays and Orioles, though the magic number did drop down to 33. The Bombers will hope good Freddy Garcia shows up for Sunday afternoon’s rubber game while the Tribe will hope for good Ubaldo Jimenez.