This game was not nearly as close as the 6-3 final score indicates. The Yankees were down three runs after the first inning, a deficit that feels close to insurmountable these days.
This was an unfortunate time for Kuroda to have his first bad start of the year. The Orioles were all over him even before he took a line drive to the calf, as four of the first six batters they sent to the plate hit the ball to the warning track or beyond. Two of those four hit the ball over the fence for homers, resulting in a three-run first inning deficit. Kuroda allowed two more runs before being removed in the third. His night ended with eight hits allowed (four for extra-bases) and 14 batters faced.
The good news is that Kuroda is apparently fine after the line drive. We saw Andy Pettitte go down for three months with a leg fracture on a similar play last year, so it was definitely a fingers crossed moment. Thankfully, it’s just a bruise and he’s expected to make his next start. Kuroda has been awesome this year and I consider this start just a bump in the road, nothing to be concerned about. Everyone will throw a dud now and then. Shake it off and do better next time out.
Daily Dose Of Runs (Three)
For the ninth time in the last 16 games, the Yankees scored no more than three runs. It was exactly three runs on Wednesday night, two from solo homers (Curtis Granderson and David Adams) and one from an RBI single (Robinson Cano). Granderson was the man on offense, going 3-for-3 with the solo homer and a walk. He was a triple away from the cycle. You could see he was on the verge of breaking out on Tuesday, when he hit a few rockets right at people. The Yankees really need his bat.
Other than that, there’s not much to talk about offensively. Non-Granderson players went 4-for-30 with two walks, both drawn by (who else?) Travis Hafner. Only two of the final 17 players they sent to the plate reached base, so they went out without a whimper too. Did you know the Yankees have the lowest OPS (.675) and wRC+ (79) in the AL over the last 30 days? They also have have the lowest ERA (3.22) during that time, but it goes to show how dreadful the offense has been. When a starter has a bad start like Kuroda did on Wednesday, they have little chance of winning.
Preston Claiborne finally allowed his first run as a big leaguer — the first batter he faced (Matt Wieters) clubbed a three-run homer to break the game open. The first two runs were charged to Kuroda. Claiborne allowed just the one run in two innings, then Adam Warren followed with four scoreless to close the game out. He’s been outstanding as the long man.
That’s … probably it, right? Not exactly an eventful game. No news is good news, I guess.
Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. The Red Sox beat the White Sox, so they are just one game back in the loss column now. The Orioles climbed to within three back.
The Yankees are off on Thursday, then they’ll head to Tampa for a three-game weekend set with the Rays.
Fausto Carmona Roberto Hernandez and David Phelps will kick that series off on Friday night.