Yankees waste Kuroda’s strong start, lose 2-1 to Rays

DotF: Judge's grand slam leads Tampa Yanks to blowout win
2014 International Free Agency Open Thread

The losing streak has hit four and the Yankees are back at .500 with a 41-41 record. This is the latest into the season the team has been at or below .500 during the Joe Girardi era. Tuesday night’s 2-1 loss to the Rays was a fairly straight forward “they just couldn’t get the big hit” loss.

(Rich Schultz/Getty)
(Rich Schultz/Getty)

Wait, They Scored How?
When I write these recaps, I tend to jot down notes while watching so I don’t forget stuff. Many of those notes don’t even make it into the recap, but you never know. I was at this game though, so I needed to look over the gamelog when I got home to remember exactly what happened. I remembered they scored just the one run and the box score says they went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, but wait … the one hit didn’t even score a run. Then I remembered how they scored.

David Price was not necessarily on cruise control, the Yankees did make him work a bit, but he held them scoreless in the first three innings before Derek Jeter led off the fourth with a booming double to center. The Cap’n just destroys Price for whatever reason. Jacoby Ellsbury followed with a soft line drive single to center — that was the lone hit with runners in scoring position, Jeter had to hold up because Ben Zobrist almost made the diving catch — to put runners on the corners with no outs.

Great situation, right? Well, it was until Mark Teixeira flew out to shallow right (too shallow to score Jeter) and Ellsbury got picked off first. He was dead to rights between first and second, but Zobrist’s throw hit Ellsbury in the back and allowed a) him to slide into second safely, and b) Jeter to cross the plate without a throw. That’s how the Yankees scored their one run on Tuesday. Ellsbury got picked off first and Zobrist hit him in the back with a throw during the rundown. Sigh.


Deserved Better
It was not his prettiest start of the season, but with a short bullpen, Hiroki Kuroda gave his team eight innings of two-run ball. Logan Forsythe singled in a run in the third and James Loney hit a solo homer in the sixth, and that was it. Kuroda stranded runners on first and second in the fourth, on the corners in the fifth, and on second and third in the eighth. He had to grind a bit, yet at the end of the day he plenty effective and good enough to win.

All told, Kuroda allowed just those two runs on nine hits and one walk. He struck out seven and threw 69 of his season-high 109 pitches for strikes (63%). Twenty-one of his 24 outs were recorded on the infield. It wasn’t Kuroda at his best but in a sense it was a microcosm of his MLB career: reliable, effective, unrewarded. This poor guy never gets run support — he didn’t with the Dodgers back in the day either — yet he keeps plugging along. Kuroda now has a 3.58 ERA in his last eleven starts, by the way. He’s bounced back well from his poor April.

Blown Chances
As usual, the Yankees did have some opportunities to plate the go-ahead or game-tying or whatever run. Teixeira lined out to left to end the first with Brett Gardner on second. Carlos Beltran and Alfonso Soriano flew out and struck out, respectively, with a) Ellsbury on second to end the fourth, and b) Jeter on second and Teixeira on first to end the sixth. And finally, Yangervis Solarte grounded out to first to end the game with Ichiro on second and Kelly Johnson at first. The four through eight hitters went a combined 0-for-17 with three walks. Gross.

Who are you and what have you done with David Huff? (Presswire)
Who are you and what have you done with David Huff? (Presswire)

Jeter had two of the team’s four hits. His fourth inning double was the 534th of his career, which tied him with Lou Gehrig for the most in franchise history. As Jeff Quagliata points out, Price has now given up Jeter’s 3,000th hit, the hit that moved Jeter into a tie with Willie Mays on the all-time list, the hit that tied Jeter with Gehrig for the most in Old Yankee Stadium history, and the double that moved Jeter into a tie with Gehrig for the most in team history. “I feel like if I had (to face) a lineup full of 40-year old Derek Jeters, I might not make it through the fifth,” said Price to Bryan Hoch after the game.

The Yankees struck out eleven times as a team and it was only their third time with double-digit strikeouts in their last 25 games. That includes extra-inning games. Strikeouts are at an all-time high right now but the club has an 18.5% strikeout rate overall, the fifth lowest in baseball. Putting the ball in play isn’t a problem. The quantity of contact is fine, the quality of contact is not. Price struck out nine and had his streak of consecutive starts with 10+ strikeout snapped at five. The last to do that was vintage Johan Santana back in 2004.

Kuroda’s eight innings spared the bullpen one day after the 12-inning game. David Huff was the only reliever used and he retired the side on 15 pitches. He hit 95.0 mph (!) with his fastball according to PitchFX. What in the world is that about? Maybe it’s time to see what Huff can do in a one-inning, air-it-out role? Maybe he’ll turn into the left-handed version of Adam Warren.

Last but unfortunately not least, the Yankees are now 18-22 at Yankee Stadium this season. They’ve been outscored 186-144 and out-homered 57-45 in the Bronx. I shouldn’t be looking forward to seeing this team go out on an extended road trip at the end of the week, but here we are.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some additional stats, and ESPN has the updated standings. Both the Orioles and Blue Jays won, so the Yankees are 3.5 games back of Toronto and 2.5 games back of Baltimore. They’re four games back of the second wildcard spot.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The Yankees will look to avoid being swept on Wednesday afternoon — yes, it’s an afternoon game — in their final home game before the All-Star break. Vidal Nuno and Jake Odorizzi will be the pitching matchup. If you want to see that one live, head over to RAB Tickets.

DotF: Judge's grand slam leads Tampa Yanks to blowout win
2014 International Free Agency Open Thread
  • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Dr. Martin van Nostrand

    As of 6/22/2013, the Yankees were 25-14 against the Rays at NYS.

    That record has dropped to 27-24.


  • Paisa

    Ever since the proverbial ‘rival gm’ mentioned that “the Yankees can never be below 500” it’s been a compete tailspin for this team. Thanks, man.

    Also, not really sure how to interpret that price quote.

    • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Dr. Martin van Nostrand

      that’s not true.

      hilariously, last time this team was at .500, they promptly won eight of their next ten games. how did they follow up on this? they lost eight of their next ten games.

      this team inverts every single positive stretch they have, and this can be proven by the fact that they have a .500 record. it’s quite incredible.

      • JLC 776

        I thought for the longest time that, from an empirical standpoint, this was completely true. Every positive run seemed like it would flip and they’d end up treading water.

        It’s now 100% officially and quantitatively true. They are back to .500.

        Now that they’ve reset the clock on the season, maybe Beltran, McCann, and Soriano (at a minimum) can do the same?

    • Mike HC

      Nice comment … I basically had those same thoughts. That Price quote is definitely a back hand compliment.

  • Slap-Ass

    Nice to see Kuroda keeping his trade value up in case the Dodgers come calling.

    • Mandy Stankiewicz

      The reason why he turns down the QO is so he can resign with a NTC, like he did the last two seasons.

  • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

    This team stinks. Get Pirela up here at the very least.

  • Swampmonster

    I get that Soriano couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat right now, but why is Joe pinch hitting for him for a guy whos been just as bad with McCann might as well roll the dice in hopes that he runs into one. With that being said this team needs a shake up in the worst way, but idk what that could possibly be.

    • MB923

      Binder says

    • Mike HC

      The shake up is easy. We have guys in the minors hitting and the guys in the majors are not. It is not even so much a shakeup as it is just playing our best players.

  • dalelama

    As predicted the stench of this squad is overpowering. So much for the geniuses who advocated letting Cano walk.

    • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Dr. Martin van Nostrand

      remember how you insisted all season long in 2013 how it was 1965 all over again? that one sure played out exactly like you predicted, so much so that the team…never even fell below .500 at any point during the season.

      good call there. that.

    • WhittakerWalt

      Ummm, I thought you hated Cano?

      • Old Man Time

        Who doesn’t he hate? The only player, coach, or FO person I’ve never seen him trash is Jeter…and that’s probably because I haven’t looked enough.

    • Old Man Time

      Remember when you were a “genius” and advocated Chone Figgins and Crawford?

      dalelama says:
      November 6, 2009 at 6:58 pm
      The most ridiculous reason I hear for letting Matsui go is so Posada can DH. If I were Cashman I would try to move Jorge before letting Damon or Matsui go. Jorge doesn’t hit as well as Damon or Matsui, can’t throw anyone out, kills us on the base paths, can’t call a game, can’t block the ball in the dirt, and just irritates the hell out of me with a bonehead plays almost every game. Is Carl Crawford available or can Chone Figgins play the outfield. Both would really help us add speed and get younger. Assuming no one will take Posada’s bloated contract I would drop Damon keep Matsui and try to get Crawford or Figgins. Or keep all three and just add Lackey if money is the issue.

      • FIPster Doofus

        The Posada bashing immediately after the team won the World Series is hilarious, not to mention he had a .378 wOBA in 2009. Now I’m reminded how much I miss Posada and how sad an offensive state NYY’s catcher position has been in without him.

        • Deep Thoughts

          Yes. He was an exceptional, off-the-charts offensive catcher. From both sides of the plate. Power and average. It was a treat to have so much exceptional talent up the middle for so long.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  • BigBlueAL

    What has really annoyed me about this season is how nothing with the lineup changes. Its the same thing every game. In the past they would have never put up with this long a stretch of horrible offense. I mean they pulled the plug on Tony Womak after 1 month for crying out loud. They would always try something, call up guys, trade for scrubs but at least they wouldnt keep the status quo if they were struggling this bad for a few weeks let alone more than half the season already.

    This season nothing has changed at all. They called up Sizemore on 2 separate occasions but didnt give him a chance, called up Almonte for no reason and thats it. Same lineup day after day after day. The only thing they constantly shuffle is the mop-up arms in the bullpen. Dont give me the what do you want them to do stuff either. Just try something. In the past they would always call up guys who were hot at AAA. It usually doesnt pan out (Shelley Duncan kinda not whithstanding) but hell try something different. Thats how Melky and Gardner got their starts. Thats how Cano got his call-up. Guys like Andy Phillips and Bubba Crosby didnt turn out to be good MLB players but they got chances and had their moments here and there.

    Just for the love of God do something different lol.

    • CRU

      Unfortunately, baseball doesn’t lend itself to be a “try something” kind of sport. There is usually no rhyme or reason why or when player x will get hot or cold. You let the baseball people make the baseball decisions and let it ride. Have the Yankees done that is the question.

      It’s just hard to take this anemic offense the last few years when your stadium is suited for power. If somebody would have said soriano, beltran, and McCann would all have that type of first half on the winter, I wouldn’t believe it. It’s crazy how bad of luck they have with these types of guys. Obviously soriano sucks, but I expected much more from the other two.

      They need to start looking at this hitting problem as a trend since it’s been a few years and find the actual problem. I’ve become indifferent to their games since last year, like many others. Part of it is probably because I have no confidence they take the correct and obvious route to hit reset with this team. It’s laughable when you step back and think a team with over a 200 million dollar payroll rolls out Brian Roberts, Kelly Johnson/Solarte, and a 40 year old Jeter on a daily basis. If I was a fan of another team, I would be laughing at what a big piece of shit organization this is. There is nothing special about the Yankees being the Yankees anymore. Those days are gone, unfortunately.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        “Trying something” does sometimes have unpredictable effects. From Joe’s post-game interview, in which he was asked “why are they not hitting?” about 345 times, responding with “I don’t know” each time, it doesn’t really seem like he feels he has any choice but to play the guys he was given. The commenters here have more faith in the AAA fodder hitting well at that level than the organization does.

        That’s not to say that a Sizemore or a Refsnyder or whatnot couldn’t provide a different look and who the hell knows where things go from there.

  • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Dr. Martin van Nostrand

    I know I often go back to 2011 when I delve into my constant game of #arbitraryendpoints, but I would kill to see those 2011 or 2012 teams again. It’s cliche’ to say this, but it’s so easy to take for granted solid 95+ win rosters that can win the World Series, when all of a sudden you don’t have those calibre of rosters anymore.

    The Yankees didn’t spend a day below .500 in 2011, and they weren’t below .500 at all after the fifth game of the 2012 season. Even in 2013, they weren’t below .500 at any point after the seven game mark, and were at .500 at any point after the ten game mark. What’s happening here in 2014 is unprecedented for Girardi’s Yankees, and the last time we saw anything like this was in 2007, when that team limped to the ASB at 42-43. In the second half of the season, they went 52-22 (.675). With all due respect, I will never post on RAB ever again if the Yankees have a 52-22 stretch in them this season.

    • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Dr. Martin van Nostrand

      52-25, and I made the mistake of saying 52-22 twice. The Yankees went 52-22 post-ASB in 2009, so that’s where that comes from.

      • Kosmo

        2007 ! Yanks played great baseball in the 2nd half, they also had a murderers row for a lineup. NY hit .290 as a team and led the league in virtually all offensive categories. Pitching was a wee bit suspect.

  • Michael

    Mediocre GM = mediocre team. Talent acquisition skills of BC are quite below average. What did this team get for Quintana, Kahnle, Hughes, Nunez, Pearce, Chamberlain, etc. You can make a case for each of them to go, but you can’t make the case for what we got back. Oh, and he did draft Culver and Angelini to ultimately replace an aging shortstop. Short of signing veterans to big contracts, his performance is below average and this team for the past few years reflects that. He’s very good at blaming other factors for bad decisions (George made me do it, Hal made me do it, Hank made me do it, etc).

    • The Great Gonzo

      Absolutely ZERO is what we got back for any of those guys we saw walk away via FA or traded for pieces we needed. THAT said, every single one of those guys were not adding value when they left.

      Funny how you (most all of you, actually) have this selective memory about moves that Cashman makes. Really? Pearce? Scrap Heap who caught a little fire this season. Quintana? SUCKED A DICK in High A ball, also caught a little fire last season.

      Joba/Hughes/Nunez? If someone had told you 8 months ago that you’d be sitting here criticizing Brian Cashman for letting these three guys walk and not getting anything for them, you’d a slapped the shit out of them. Now? Fuck it, #CashmanFailed.

      He hasn’t drafted well. Fine. Also not an exact science, and I am about 90% positive he doesn’t make the call there all alone. But drafts under his regime have not been stellar or Cardinal-like…

      But the rest of this shit is just you nit-picking out of frustration.

      • Derek Jeter

        They should of got somthing for Cano last year, espically if they had “soft” plans on bringing him back. Just because we are close in the standings DOES NOT make this team a playoff team. Even if they somehow make the playoffs, who see’s them winning anything. There comes a time when you HAVE to put your life jacket on instead of plugging too many holes of this sinking ship.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Actually, being close in the standings is exactly what defines you being a potential playoff team. It’s literally the only thing that defines it. There’s no intervening variable that changes that.

          In order to “win anything,” you have to make the playoffs first. I think everyone se’e’s that.

        • Evan3457

          The decision to sell, or in this case, not to sell, and concede the season, is made above the level of Cashman.

          This organization never concedes a season unless it has absolutely no choice. Selling off Cano was never an option.

        • The Big City of Dreams

          Even if they somehow make the playoffs, who see’s them winning anything.


          They will be embarrassed if they make the post season.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      MMMMM. Those are some yummy cherries you just picked. Didn’t know they were in season already. Can I have one?

  • Bavarian Yankee

    is it bad to root for a loss just to prevent the Yanks from being buyers at the deadline? Or will they do even more desperate moves then? We know they won’t sell even if they lose all games in July but I just hope they ride it out instead of trading prospects for 2 month rentals or overpaid veterans with longer contracts. Of course that’s as unreal as it gets, the desperate moves will happen anyway. Trade that farm for Hammel, McCarthy, Byrd and Headley!

    • Derek Jeter

      I’m with ya. Losing now so the team doesn’t rape the farm team in desperate trades only helps the teams future.

  • Robert

    Turning point of the year will be the Tanaka pitch to Napoli !!!!!

    It depressed the already depressing lineup!

    • MB923

      Well it’s not like they had the lead in that game.

    • The Great Gonzo

      Funny. When Napoli, I thought we had awoken the Sleeping Red Giant. Then, Chicago came to Fenway and put them back in their place.

      So much for my ‘Prophecies’ (H/T dalelama)

  • Jamy

    Before making any trades isn’t it time for a shake-up? at a minimum shouldn’t they bring up Sizemore for Solarte and Pirela for Sorianio?

    I would play Pirela everyday and put Ichiro on bench. Then Sizemore for Johnson against lefties and spell Roberts at second. Then after the break if Ref hitting Roberts goes. If Pirela struggles the out with Ichiro and up with Almonte keeping Pirela for platoon and to spell Gardy in left.

    at least it would give me a reason to watch

    • LarryM Fl

      I understand your point but we are only a few games from the playoffs. But the ship is taking water.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      No faith in Pirela being a difference-maker. I’ll drive Solarte down to Scranton myself.

    • The Great Gonzo

      Why would you spell the only consistent hitter this season?

  • LarryM Fl

    This is an example of a possible contender for a playoff spot on paper. As little or no ability to rebound from injuries and poor play. The team as constructed in ST had a chance to contend but has no ability to fix issues from within. The fixes are problematic because the farm system has no MLB talent ready to move up or be traded for a fix.

    We are in a downturn and it will be here for a few years until the within fixes are available because the FA contracts are usually players on the downturn also.

    Watch the games and try to enjoy as hard as that maybe!

    • LarryM Fl

      I stand corrected. We do have Almonte and Murphy. There just at the wrong positions, unfortunately. Rysnyder is getting much attention as of late at second base. If he can put together the fundamentals of playing second base, quickly. He may get a call.

      The system is not ripe with guys ready to jump into the MLB.

    • JLC 776

      International Free Agent signings begin today! Our farm might become one of the best in baseball overnight.

  • JLC 776

    So, I’m curious – just how bad is this offense from a Yankee-historical perspective?

    For example, I randomly chose 1992 because that year was awful from a record standpoint.

    Runs per game:
    1992 – 4.52
    2014 – 3.98

    1992 – .261 / .328 / .406
    2014 – .251 / .316 / .379

    Obviously there was no interleague play in 1992, and I’m only randomly picking one year to compare to because I don’t want to spend an hour compiling data… but I’m very curious to see just where the 2014 squad ranks in the annals of Yankee history.

    • LarryM Fl

      Hopefully, forgettable.

    • Kosmo

      try 1965-1975 for comparisons. you´l find many.

      • trr

        stirring my childhood memories….

    • MB923

      MLB Team averages in those years

      1992 – .256/.322/.377 & 4.12 Runs per game

      2014 – .251/.316/.390 & 4.12 Runs per game

      The 1992 Yankees were an Above Average offense. The 2014 Yankees are exactly at the average mark as far as AVG/OBP go but are slightly below league average in slugging percentage, and as we all know, play in a park that normally is a slugfest, and are below average in runs scored

      As Mike posted, Kuroda has pitched very well. Tanaka is an ace. Phelps has pitched well except for the start against Toronto (which looks better than his stat line indicates because of the Jeter miscue that lead to 3 runs which all should be unearned). Nuno is pitching like a backend starter. Whitely was good except in his last 2 stars

      It’s the offense that is killing this team.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Thank you.

      • JLC 776

        Without a doubt – can’t win if you can’s score runs. And this team can’t score runs.

  • Alphonso Sorieddardo

    Three straight series L’s to our division rivals and they are counting on Vidal Nuno to avoid dipping below .500. Even the 08 Yankees finished above .500. Even last year’s club kept it above .500. And last year’s club didn’t have Jeter, didn’t have Teixera, didn’t have Ellsbury, didn’t have McCann, didn’t have Beltran. How are they so much worse? Injuries, Cashman and bad managing. Time to sell and rebuild for the future. Fire Cashman, Klong and all other coaches except Rothschild.

  • nord

    A losing record at home. Without 2, maybe even 3 left-handers on the starting staff, that short, flat right-field wall is coming back to bite the Yankees in the ass. Time to move it back a bit or get Price from TB. And find out who signed off on the stadium design and run them out of town on a rail.

  • Dirk Diggler

    I can’t watch this team seriously until Ellsbury and Gardner are batting first and second in the lineup on the daily. I’ve been a big supporter of Joe and the staff throughout the years, but at this point I wouldn’t be opposed to their firing. Seems elite type players come here and decide it’s acceptable to suck. Ellsbury, McCann, and Beltran have all been massive disappointments.

    • MB923

      Ellsbury has a higher BA and OBP batting 3rd than he does 1st, though it’s not a large difference

      Those 3 players (Gardner, Ellsbury, Jeter) lead the team in wRC+ hte last 14 days

      Gardner – 160
      Ellsbury – 121
      Jeter – 99

      At the bottom, Alfonso Soriano with a -6 (yes, Negative 6)

  • Vern Sneaker

    Who should we not trade from our system? My list is Refsnyder, Sanchez, Severino, Judge, Jagielo, Clarkin, DePaula, Avelino, Bird, Katoh. To me, they are our potential impact players at a mix of positions. We are rebuilding and it takes time, jettisoning the potential future for a maybe-spot in the playoffs when you’re not going to win the World Series anyway makes no sense. There are other decent low-minor propsects but I see less potential in them — I’m sure others can make good arguments for other names. Murphy is legit trade bait, he’s major league-ready and stuck behind McCann.

    • Vern Sneaker

      And Lindgren.

      • Kosmo

        A good list. I´d add Andujar. He´s 19 at Charleston. Could turn out to be a good one.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Judge, Clarkin, Severino, and Jagelio would be the closest to untouchable for me, but I’m certainly hugging Judge the tightest right now.

      Depends on the deal, honestly. I’d say pretty much anyone’s available, except for Judge, in the right circumstance.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Kuroda pitched great, and I was RIGHT in the game thread: this WAS David Huff’s night. ;) Everything else has been said before.

  • Rolling Doughnut

    It could be worse. Their Pyth record is 37.3 – 44.7. Team straight up sucks. When dynasties end, it is not pretty.

  • MB923

    Tex and Ellsbury are both out of today’s lineup.

  • ChuckIt

    The offense is NOT killing this team. It doesn’t HAVE AN OFFENSE !

  • Ku

    Just a thought as I mentioned last year about trading Cano.
    What about if the Yankees trade Kuroda? Seems it’s going to be his last year. Yankees can trade him to a team that’s PS bound and wants that extra push and are willing to give away a good piece in return or possibly two for a WS win?


    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I’d say talk to me closer to 7/30.

    • trr

      He’s been pitching MUCH better of late, and I do believe he would have value on the trade market, especially if we ate a little of his salary. If we do truly fall out of contention in July, it should be strongly considered, but personally I don’t think the team would do it, as it would send the wrong message to the fan base. But as Mike mentioned, the team will increase the “Season 2 Remember” drumbeat and will still probably draw well in September regardless.

  • BNJ

    Time to trade John Ryan Murphy for a 35 year old starting pitcher with an injury history.