Left-hander on the mound, NL lineup with no Travis Hafner … the Yankees didn’t have a prayer. The offense put up nothing in support of the pitching staff on a rainy Monday night, and the Rockies waltzed to a stress-free 2-0 win in the series opener. The Yankees have now lost three of their last four games.
Kuroda’s One Mistake
As the game progressed, I got the sense the only way the Yankees would win was if Hiroki Kuroda pulled a Clayton Kershaw by throwing a complete-game shutout and hitting a homer. Unfortunately, he did neither. The veteran right-hander had a splendid outing spoiled by one mistake, a middle-middle fastball to Carlos Gonzalez with a full count and two outs in the sixth. CarGo put the ball over the fence and into the bullpen for a two-run homer. Those were the only runs of the game and all Colorado would need.
Outside of that two-run homer, Kuroda was outstanding. He allowed six hits — four in the fifth inning — and one walk in seven innings of work, striking out three and getting 14 of his 21 outs on the infield. This was reminiscent of last year, when Kuroda would consistently pitch well but get little run support. Given the lineup around him, the lack of offense is a little more understandable this time around. Hiroki deserves better.
Now that Vernon Wells has crashed back to Earth, the lineup is basically Robinson Cano and a bunch of guys who might start for Triple-A Scranton. I guess we should cut Brett Gardner and Travis Hafner some slack, but neither started this game because matchups!!! and rules say the Yankees can’t use a DH against the Rockies, respectively. The offense put up very little fight on Monday.
The Bombers had four hits total — bloop singles by Jayson Nix, Ichiro Suzuki, and Chris Stewart plus an infield single from Nix — and their best chance to score came in the third, when Ichiro stole second and third bases with two outs. Nix struck out looking to end the inning and the threat. That was that. Just two of the final 14 hitters they sent to the plate reached base safely, and that was a walk and the infield single. Weak.
About the only thing the Yankees did well on offense was steal. They ran wild on Jorge De La Rosa, stealing four bases in his six innings of work. Ichiro stole two in that one inning while Nix and Stewart stole one apiece. Of course, Gardner was anchored to first in the seventh, which led to a Chris Nelson inning-ending double play. So it goes.
I don’t know what else there is to add, really. Stewart made a nice snap-throw to pick a runner off first base in the second inning and Shawn Kelley allowed a single in an otherwise uneventful and scoreless inning. That’s basically it. I wouldn’t call this the most interesting game in the world.
Weird little fact: the Yankees have scored a total of five runs in their last four games at Coors Field, dating back to the series in 2007. That’s … surprising.
The Yankees and Rockies will play game two of this three-game set on Wednesday night, when David Phelps gets the ball against Juan Nicasio. I’m guessing that one will feature a few more runs than this one.