This was a total team loss. Bad pitching, bad hitting, especially bad defense. The Yankees have now lost eight straight games at U.S. Cellular Field (dating back to 2012) following Friday’s walk-off 6-5 loss. Let’s recap the heart-breaker:
- Early Runs: Former Yankee Hector Noesi came into this game with a 7.31 ERA, and that went up after Brian McCann clubbed a three-run homer in the very first inning. Derek Jeter singled and Mark Teixeira walked to set the inning up. McCann has been pretty bad this year, but that was his seventh homer, or one fewer than the Yankees got out of their catchers all last season.
- Chipped Away: Holy moly was the infield defense bad on Friday. I mean, it’s been bad all year, but it was especially bad on Friday. Kelly Johnson looked like he never played first base before — probably because he’s played 19 games at the position in his career — missing two scoops and failing to knock down a hard hit grounder. Those miscues extended several innings and drove up Hiroki Kuroda‘s pitch count, forcing him from the game with two outs in the fifth. He allowed four runs, the last two on an Alexei Ramirez homer. The bad defense hurt, but Kuroda also allowed eight hits to 25 batters. Ugly.
- Retake The Lead: Noesi managed to settle down after the first inning and wound up with a quality start. Down 4-3 in the seventh, the Yankees put something together against the ChiSox bullpen, loading the bases with two singles and a walk. There was a sacrifice bunt mixed in as well. The tying run scored on a wild pitch, thankfully, then the super-slumping Jacoby Ellsbury lifted a sac fly to center to plate the go-ahead run. The Yankees have put together a spirited two-run rally in the late innings of each of the last three games.
- Proctored: The poor bullpen is going to be toast come August. Because Kuroda was bounced from the game so early, Joe Girardi used his key late-game trio to get the final 13 outs. That meant four outs for Dellin Betances (20 pitches), five outs for Adam Warren (36 pitches), and one out for David Robertson (14 pitches). It would have been four outs had he not served up a two-run walk-off homer to Adam Dunn. It was his first blown save in ten tries this year. He was bound to blow one at some point. Sucks it happened on Friday.
- Leftovers: Jeter played short and Brendan Ryan played first for the second time in about a week. That has to be the most backwards thing any team has done this season … Roberts fouled a pitch off his right knee and hobbled around the rest of the game. He was lifted in the ninth inning, but that might have been for defensive purposes … the Yankees need their starters to go deeper into the game. It’s a must. They’re killing the bullpen. Betances, Warren, and Robertson can’t be asked to get 4+ outs each every other day.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some other stats, and ESPN has the updated standings. The good news: Vidal Nuno will be on the mound to stop the bleeding on Saturday afternoon. Wait, no. That’s the bad news. I don’t have good news. John Danks will be on the bump for the ChiSox in the matinee.