I don’t know to make this one sound any better than it was besides saying “at least there wasn’t any three-hour rain delays tonight!” (Poor Mike) Okay, back to the sadness. The Yankees ran into one of the hottest pitchers in AL in the month of June and lost their best hitter very early in the game. CC Sabathia pitched well but everything pretty much fell apart in the eighth to make the win virtually unattainable. Last night, the Yankee offense at least showed some life. Tonight, offense was minimal. The final score was 7-1 Rangers.
Hard Luck CC
One of the more frequently-stated lines of the night was “CC pitched better than his line indicates” and it’s because it’s true. Sabathia had tough luck more than one way tonight. Not only did he not get support from his lineup, but also he was charged for six earned runs in seven innings. If you didn’t watch the game, trust me – he did much better than that.
CC wasn’t too sharp in the very beginning though. The Rangers struck in the very first inning. Ian Desmond got on first with a single and Adrian Beltre followed it up with a homer to the opposite field to make it 2-0 Rangers in the first inning. From then on though, Sabathia was just dealing.
From the second to seventh inning, he allowed only three baserunners and, of course, no runs. According to Brooks Baseball, he topped out at 94.3 mph, which is a good sight. He was hitting 93 mph in the eighth inning against Shin-Soo Choo, so it’s good to see that velocity maintained late as well. Speaking of which, that eighth inning spelled doom for not only CC but also the team.
Sabathia hit Choo with a pitch to start the eighth inning. On a 0-2 count, nonetheless. Desmond followed it up with a single on a grounder that deflected off of Sabathia. If these two outcomes were different, Sabathia could’ve had a nice line to exit with tonight. However, Beltre followed it up with a sharp single that deflected off Chase Headley‘s glove and trickled into center. Choo scored to make it 3-0 Rangers. Prince Fielder followed up with a double down the right field line that scored Desmond. Sabathia exited with a 4-0 deficit and once Anthony Swarzak allowed inherited runners to score, the big lefty was charged with six earned runs. Welp. Life ain’t fair.
Sabathia had a final line of 7 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 2 K’s and 1 HR allowed. His ERA rose from 2.71 to 3.17. Man, that’s rough.
Cole Hamels had been on a roll prior to tonight’s start. In the month of June, the lefty had pitched to a 1.82 ERA in five starts. But fear not, maybe guys like Carlos Beltran can make something happen! Except he exited the game early after hitting a single. In the first inning, Beltran drilled a liner that reached the left field wall that looked like a sure double. However, he stopped at first. He is not a fast guy but it seemed like he could have easily taken second. Joe Girardi and athletic trainer Steve Donohue came out to examine him and Beltran soon exited. Not ideal!
The Yankees had a chance in the fourth with one out and runners on first and second. Didi Gregorius hit a bloop single that barely missed Rougned Odor’s glove, and Chase Headley followed it up with a soft grounder for another base hit. The next batter, Aaron Hicks, hit a hard liner to left but it was right towards 3B Beltre. The third baseman caught it and doubled Didi off at second. Ouch. Two very soft hit balls set up the chance but once a guy hits it hard, the entire inning gets wiped away. Story of this team’s season.
Besides the first and fourth innings, uh, not much there to highlight besides that. Hamels pitched seven scoreless. The lefty threw to a 7.0 IP, 6H, 1BB, 7 K line – neat and tidy if you are a Rangers fan. RAB may have New York Rangers fans but probably zero Texas Rangers readers. So uh, a yucky showing by the Yankee bats.
As soon as Hamels departed the mound, the Yankee lineup immediately abolished the shutout. Jake Diekman, a hard-throwing lefty, came into relief in the bottom of the eighth. Jacoby Ellsbury hit a double to lead off and advanced to third on a Rob Refsnyder fly ball to right. A-Rod followed it up with a sac fly to center to drive Ellsbury in. A run! Sound the (moral) victory alarms! The Rangers still led 7-1, a score that would never change.
As mentioned before, Anthony Swarzak came into the eighth inning to somehow make a no out, runners on second and third situation better. Well, I’ll tell you what, Swarzak ain’t David “Houdini” Robertson. He ended up allowing both runners to score and, in fact, he added an earned run of his own! After starting the eighth with a 2-0 deficit, Yankees got out of the inning trailing 7-0.
Conor Mullee, who was called up earlier today, got the call to take care of the garbage time ninth inning. I don’t know how you saw it, but I thought he looked pretty darn good tonight. He struck out Choo and Desmond swinging and retired Beltre with a fly ball.
Box Score, Highlights, WPA and Standings
Will the Yankees get a win this four-game series? They will have Masahiro Tanaka on the mound versus Nick Martinez for the Rangers on Wednesday.