Oh well, scoring eight runs in back-to-back games was fun while it lasted. The Yankees are back to scratching out a handful of runs per game and hoping it’ll be enough for a win. On Saturday afternoon, it wasn’t. Let’s recap the 4-1 loss:
- Homerun Phil: This was a really good start for Phil Hughes … until Pedro Florimon hit his final pitch out to right for a two-run homer. Just like that, two runs in 7.1 innings became four runs in 7.1 innings. Much uglier. Hughes allowed five hits, including three homers. He struck out ten and walked just one. The first two solo homers were overcome-able, but that third homer was a back-breaker.
- LOLffense: Of course, Hughes or any other starting pitcher would have had to throw a shutout to get the win on Saturday. The Yankees scored just one run against Samuel Deduno, and that came when Robinson Cano singled in Ichiro Suzuki in the very first inning. Nine of the next ten and 13 of the next 16 Yankees made outs. They actually had a runner on base in every inning but the second, yet only three runners actually made it to third base. Gross.
- Botched: The team’s best chance to score came in the fourth, when Luis Cruz had runners on the corners and two outs. Zoilo Almonte got caught stealing at second as part of a weird double steal to end the inning. That screams of “we need to generate offense but have no idea how to actually do it.” Very silly play considering Almonte and Vernon Wells were the runners.
- Leftovers: The top three hitters in the lineup went 4-for-12 (good!), but the bottom six went 4-for-21 (bad!) … Shawn Kelley and Joba Chamberlain were fine in relief, though both allowed a base-runner … Travis Hafner came off the bench to provide a pinch-hit double late, his first action in two days after fouling a ball off his foot in the batting cage … the Yankees scored two runs or fewer for the 31st time this year, almost exactly one-third of their games and two fewer times than all of last season. It was the 19th time they scored one run or less, one more than last year. Hate this lineup.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Rays won and the Orioles lost, so the Yankees remain tied with Baltimore and drop to two back of Tampa in the loss column for the second wildcard spot. CC Sabathia and rookie right-hander Kyle Gibson get the ball on Sunday afternoon, the final game before the All-Star break. Check out RAB Tickets if want to catch the team live for the last time in a long time — they’ve got a seven-game road trip right after the break.