Yanks no match for A’s; drop series opener 6-4By
The final score is very misleading. The Athletics completely outplayed the Yankees both in the field and at the plate on Tuesday night, though some late garbage time runs make it seem like it was a fair fight. Maybe the O’Neill Theory will be in affect tomorrow, though I wouldn’t hold my breath with this offense. Let’s recap the 6-4 loss:
- No Ace: For the fourth time in his last five starts, CC Sabathia allowed at least four runs. He’s up to a very average 4.07 ERA (3.87 FIP) on the season, which is the best way to describe his year: average. Sabathia gave up a leadoff homer to Coco Crisp and a three run homer to Derek Norris, raising his season total to 14 dingers allowed, the fourth most in baseball. He struck out three and walked one in six innings of six-run ball, and it’s becoming more and more clear with each passing start that he’s no longer the pitcher he was even two years ago. That’s a scary proposition for a team for a team unable to win with anything less than a very good pitching performance.
- Blown Chance: Bartolo Colon came into this game with six walks allowed on the entire season, but he walked two of the first four men he faced to setup a bases loaded, one-out situation for New York. Rather than capitalize, the corpse of Kevin Youkilis popped up into foul territory and Lyle Overbay flew out to end the inning. Needless to say, that inning hurt. Scoring a run or two there changes everything and forces the A’s to play from behind before they even bat.
- Late Runs: For the first seven innings, the Yankees did nothing. They put three men on first from the second through seventh innings before singles from Mark Teixeira and Vernon Wells plated a pair of runs in the eighth. Teixeira singled in two more with two outs in the ninth, and Travis Hafner kinda sorta almost came close to tying the game when he hit a ball to the warning track with a man on base for the final out. It was good to see some signs of life late, but unfortunately they were too little, far too late.
- Left0vers: Preston Claiborne and Joba Chamberlain each threw scoreless innings in relief in Sabathia … the wrap-around 9-1-2-3 portion of the lineup went a combined 8-for-17 while the other four spots went 2-for-20 … Brett Gardner extended his hitting streak to eight games with a first inning single … Robinson Cano went 2-for-3 with two walks, which is hopefully a sign that he’s coming out of his slump and ready to go on a tear. They need him … the A’s had to use their top three relievers in what appeared to be a blowout early on, so I guess that’s a consolation prize.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Orioles won while the Rays beat the Red Sox, so the Yankees remain one back of Boston, one up on Baltimore, and two up on Tampa Bay in the loss column. Phil Hughes and Dan Straily is your pitching matchup for game two of this three-game series on Wednesday night.