Well that wasn’t fun. The amazing disappearing offense was a no-show against a pitcher who’s been out of the league for more than two years while Hiroki Kuroda was done in by one bad inning on Friday night. Let’s recap the 4-1 loss…
- Two Outs: After pitching around two-out doubles in the second and third, the wheels came off the Kuroda train in the fourth. Another two-out double spiraled into a four-run inning that featured a walk to Nick Franklin (#7 hitter), a walk to Kelly Shoppach (#8 hitter), and a two-run single by Brendan Ryan (#9 hitter). A two-run single by Jason Bay (#2) accounted for the other two runs. Kuroda was one strike away from ending the inning scoreless on two occasions. Four runs on eight hits and three walks in 6.1 innings is a decidedly un-Kuroda-like effort. Shake it off, Hiroki.
- LMAOffense: One run on four singles and one walk in 12.2 innings against Blake Beaven and Jeremy Bonderman. I wish I would say I was surprised, but I’m not. After forcing Bonderman to throw 51 pitches in the first two innings, the Yankees coaxed just 46 pitches out of him in the next four innings. You can file this one under “well-earned losses.”
- Death by Bunting: I know Reid Brignac is terrible, but I don’t get bunting on Bonderman (!) in the second inning (!!!) after the first two batters of the inning reach base. What’s the plan, set up Chris Stewart for the RBI opportunity? It’s super early in the game and Bonderman has been out of the big leagues since 2010. Swing the damn bats that early in the game. Strategy fail.
- Leftovers: The two through six hitters went a combined 1-for-19 (.053) with one walk, and the one hit was Kevin Youkilis’ two-out double in the ninth … Preston Claiborne threw 1.2 scoreless innings in relief of Kuroda and almost walked the first batter of his big league career, but the would-be ball four pitch hit Shoppach in the arm. Claiborne still has yet to issue a walk in 18.1 innings.
Go to MLB.com for the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs for some other stats, and ESPN for the updated standings. The Red Sox were rained out while the Rays beat the Orioles, so the Yankees are two back of Boston and one up on Baltimore and Tampa (in the loss column). Andy Pettitte will get the ball against Joe Saunders in game three of this four-game series on Saturday afternoon.