Some days you’re just going to get beat, and that’s what happened Saturday afternoon. The Yankees lost 3-0 to the Indians in a game in which they were out-pitched and out-hit, though I wouldn’t say they were out-defended. It happens. That’s baseball. Let’s recap:
- Klubot: The Yankees hit three balls out of the infield — two of the four hits he allowed were infield singles — and only hit one ball hard during Corey Kluber’s six shutout innings. That one hard-hit ball was Jacoby Ellsbury’s double to left in the fourth. That’s it. The team’s best chance to score came in the sixth, when Derek Jeter and Ellsbury singled with no outs, but Kluber rebounded to strike out Carlos Beltran, Chase Headley, and Stephen Drew. He flat out dominated them. Ten strikeouts, one walk, one double, three soft singles. This is one of those days when I’m perfectly fine tipping my cap. Kluber’s a top 10-15 pitcher in MLB and he showed why on Saturday.
- De Facto Ace: Brandon McCarthy’s only real mistake was leaving a first pitch fastball up in the zone to rookie infielder Jose Ramirez, who hit a cheap Yankee Stadium two-run homer in the second inning. It was his first career long ball and it just barely cleared the wall. Other than the homer, McCarthy held the Indians to six singles and no walks while striking out eight in 6.1 innings. The homer stunk, but McCarthy once again gave the Yankees a good and winnable start.
- Bullpen: Rich Hill and Chase Whitley combined to pitch out of a bases loaded jam in the seventh — Headley made a nice play to get the force out at home — before Whitley allowed a solo homer to Michael Brantley in the eighth. That gave the offense six outs to score at least three runs against Cleveland hurlers. Even though Kluber pitched well, they did a nice job of running up his pitch count. Brett Gardner (double) and Ellsbury (fake hit-by-pitch) reached base to give Beltran and Headley a chance to tie the game in the eighth, but they struck out. The Yankees went down in order in the ninth.
- Leftovers: Jeter’s sixth inning infield single was his 3,431st career hit, moving him ahead of Honus Wagner for sole possession of sixth place on the all-time list. He won’t catch Tris Speaker (3,514), but sixth all-time is pretty awesome … rough third inning for the battery. McCarthy was hit by a line drive in the foot and Frankie Cervelli took a pitch to the ribs. Both stayed in the game … Gardner, Jeter, and Ellsbury went 4-for-11 (.364) while the rest of the lineup went 1-for-21 (.048) … the Yankees went 0-for-9 with six strikeouts with runners in scoring position … they set a season-high with 15 strikeouts after coming into the game with the fourth lowest strikeout rate in MLB (18.2%) … the Yankees were shut out for only the fourth time this year and the first time since June 22nd, 41 games ago.
Head over to MLB.com for the box score and video highlights. FanGraphs has some other stats and ESPN has the updated standings. The Blue Jays won this afternoon while the Royals, Orioles, and Mariners all play later tonight, so as of right now the Yankees are 5.5 games back in the AL East and one game back of the second wildcard spot. Hiroki Kuroda and Carlos Carrasco will be the pitching matchup for Sunday afternoon’s series finale. RAB Tickets can get you in the door if you want to catch the final game of the homestand live.