Archive for Game Stories
Make it 15 straight wins for the Yankees over the Blue Jays in Yankee Stadium. Geez. The Jays don’t just lose in the Bronx either, they lose and get hurt. Brett Lawrie left Wednesday’s game after taking a pitch to the left hand, though x-rays came back negative. Still. Injury to insult. The Yankees clinched the series win with a 7-3 victory.
In Play: Run(s)
Brian McCann has had a few big games this season. He hit two homers off John Lackey in April, had three hits including a double against the Red Sox later that month, and picked up three hits including a homer against the Mets in May. Wednesday’s game was his best as a Yankee because of the circumstances — they were playing the Blue Jays team they are chasing in the standings. Yeah, it’s only mid-June, but these head-to-head games are crucial when you’re trying to make up ground.
McCann had the team’s two biggest hits of the night. In the fourth, he swatted a go-ahead two-run homer off Mark Buehrle to cap off an excellent ten-pitch, six-foul ball at-bat. It was a cheap Yankee Stadium homer, but hey, that’s why the signed him. The Yankees brought him on board because they believed his dead pull lefty swing would result in a lot of Yankee Stadium cheapies, and that’s what they got in this game.
Later on in the seventh inning, McCann tripled (!) into the right-center field gap to clear the bases and plate three huge insurance runs. Colby Rasmus’ dive came up juuust short. McCann came into Wednesday’s game with 4,595 career plate appearances. That was his third career triple and first since 2009. Add in a walk and he reached base three times and drove in five of their seven runs.
Against what is by far the best lineup he’s faced as a big leaguer, Chase Whitley gave the Yankees a quality outing and held the Blue Jays to two runs in five innings. They worked him hard (98 pitches) as they did Masahiro Tanaka on Tuesday, but Whitley held his own and limited the damage in a two-run fourth inning that could have easily spiraled out of control. Toronto had only five singles, one walk, and one hit batsman against the rookie righty. This was not an easy assignment but Whitley got the job done. Remember, we’re talking about the Yankees’ eighth starter here.
In Play: Out(s)
Joe Girardi used five pitchers on the night (including Whitley) and all five were homegrown. Adam Warren came in and retired all six men he faced in the sixth and seventh innings — the sixth inning was three strikeouts while the seventh was three grounders to second — while the lead was still one run. Once McCann broke it open, Girardi went to Jose Ramirez, who faced two batters, allowed two hits, and was yanked. Dellin Betances cleaned up the mess and retired all three men he faced.
If you want to nitpick, you could argue Girardi should have used Betances to start the eighth inning if Ramirez’s leash was going to be so short. Betances had already warmed up and Melky Cabrera, Jose Bautista, and Edwin Encarnacion were due to hit. Let Betances get through them with the five-run lead, then let Ramirez face the bottom of the order in the ninth. Instead, Ramirez allowed a run on those two hits and Girardi wound up having to use David Robertson in the ninth. Robertson retired the side in order in the non-save situation. These games are pretty important and I have no issue with using Robertson there once Ramirez and Betances pitched in the eighth. Four relievers, all homegrown, held the most powerful offense in the league to one run on two hits in four innings. Well done.
The Yankees scored their two non-McCann runs when Alfonso Soriano poked a two-out single through the shift in the first inning to score Brett Gardner and pinch-hitter Ichiro Suzuki drew a bases loaded walk ahead of McCann’s triple in the seventh. So all seven runs were driven in by the catcher and right field positions.
Gardner went 4-for-5 and could have easily been 5-for-5 — the one out was a line drive snagged by Encarnacion at first. Derek Jeter doubled off the right-center field wall and Jacoby Ellsbury, Mark Teixeira, and Carlos Beltran also chipped in base hits. Yangervis Solarte drew a walk and Brian Roberts was the only starter who did not reach base.
For Wednesday’s HOPE Week event, the Yankees signed Quinn Ostergren (age 4), Ryan Tucker (12), and Sean Callahan (11) to one-day contracts and had them spend the day with the team. They are all battling pediatric brain cancer and going through chemotherapy. They’re with an organization called Friends of Jaclyn, which helps improve the life of pediatric brain cancer patients. Here’s the Friends of Jaclyn website, here’s more on the day, and here’s the HOPE Week video archive.
Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
MLB.com is the place to go for the box score and video highlights. FanGraphs has some other stats and ESPN has the updated standings. The Yankees are now only 2.5 games back of the Blue Jays for first place in the AL East. There are a ton of games left, but the sooner they catch up, the better.
For the 14th straight time, the Yankees beat the Blue Jays in Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night. Toronto has not won a game in the Bronx since August 2012 and they’ve won only two of their last 25 games in Yankee Stadium overall. Crazy. Tuesday’s series opening win came by the score of 3-1.
Second Look? No Problem
In his very first MLB start, Masahiro Tanaka allowed a solo homer to Melky Cabrera, the first batter he faced. In his second career start against the Blue Jays, Jose Reyes hit his first pitch out of the park for a leadoff homer. Two starts against Toronto, two leadoff dingers. Other than that, there was no indication seeing Tanaka once before helped the Blue Jays hitters. Maybe he should change it up and throw a first pitch splitter next time out to keep them honest.
Anyway, the Reyes homer was the only run Tanaka allowed on Tuesday night. He held the Jays scoreless over the next six innings, striking out ten while allowing two walks and five hits. It was his fifth double-digit strikeout game of the season, second most in baseball behind David Price’s six. Tanaka did not allow a runner to reach third base following the homer and only one made it as far as second. He is down to a 1.99 ERA on the season. On June 17th. In the AL East. Pitching his home games in Yankee Stadium. He could give up leadoff homers all year for all I care if he keeps this up.
Three Runs Is Enough
Brett Gardner‘s first-inning at-bat was very indicative of how rookie Blue Jays hurler Marcus Stroman’s night would go. The Yankees’ leadoff hitter grounded out to second — Munenori Kawasaki made a nice play on a ball to his right — but not before fouling off seven pitches as part of a 12-pitch at-bat. The Yankees forced Stroman to throw 98 pitches in 3.2 innings, fouling off 25 of those 98 pitches. Nineteen of those 25 fouls came in two-strike counts. Hughesian.
The Yankees made Stroman work all right, but it wasn’t until Kelly Johnson doubled into the right-center field gap with one out in the third that they recorded their first hit. Gardner followed that with a two-run homer, his second dinger in as many games. It was a total Yankee Stadium cheapie off the bottom of the right field foul pole. Gardner went deep in the final game against the Athletics and hit two balls against the Mariners that would have been out in the Bronx (one just foul, one to the wall at Safeco Field). He’s showing some pop lately. I dig it.
The two runs were all the Yankees would score off Stroman, but getting into the bullpen early in the first game of the series is a positive. They went 1-for-8 with a walk against the young righty the first time through the order and 3-for-7 with two walks thereafter. A Jeter infield single, a Jacoby Ellsbury ground ball, an Aaron Loup wild pitch, and a Mark Teixeira single back through the middle created New York’s third run of the night in the fifth inning. The Yankees did not have a hit after Teixeira drove in that run but three runs were all they needed. They even had one to spare.
Jeter continued his torrid stretch with two hits, and he’s now 12-for-27 (.444) with two walks and one strikeout since the start of the Mariners series. Johnson had two hits (why isn’t he playing more?) while Gardner and Teixeira had one apiece. The five through eight hitters went a combined 0-for-12 with three walks (Brian Roberts and two by Carlos Beltran). I don’t think three runs will be enough to beat the Blue Jays in the final two games of the series, but Tanaka is the kind of pitcher who can make that stand up.
Goliath & David
Tanaka was very good, but the Jays have a tough lineup and they did push his pitch count up to 104 after only six innings. Rather than try to squeeze another few outs out of him, Joe Girardi went to Dellin Betances for the seventh inning and it was the right move, both at the time and in hindsight. Betances retired the side on eight pitches in the seventh before doing the same on 13 pitches in the eighth. He cut right through Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, striking them both out on nine pitches combined. Those two were 1-for-7 (flare single to right by EE) with five strikeouts on the night. Mercy.
I love that Girardi stuck with Betances for the eighth inning for two reasons. One, he is the team’s best reliever and I want him facing Bautista and Encarnacion. Two, he only threw eight pitches in the seventh and has shown he can work multiple innings per outing. Use him for the two innings and leave Adam Warren and Shawn Kelley fresh for Wednesday’s game. Perfect. Loved the way Girardi used Betances. David Robertson got the ninth inning and pitching around a Gardner-aided triple for his 17th save. He struck out two and now 36 of his last 47 outs are strikeouts. Gardner slid for a Kawasaki line drive, missed it, and it rolled to the wall for the triple. A rare defensive misplay by Brett.
In addition to the awesome pitching, Tanaka also made two stellar defensive plays. They were nearly identical — hard-hit ground balls back up the middle that he slowed down with his glove, then hustled to grab from just behind the mound and fired to first for the out. The first ball literally knocked his glove off. Tanaka’s gonna end up winning Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, MVP, and Gold Glove this year. At all nine positions. He’s that good.
It appeared Brian McCann was hit by a pitch when he squared around to bunt in the fifth inning, but the Yankees elected not to review it for whatever reason. Replays made it look like it hit him on the way by. That would have made it first and second with one out, but instead McCann struck out and it there was a runner at first with two outs after the at-bat. Not sure why bench coach Tony Pena gave Girardi the “don’t challenge” signal. Maybe they didn’t see the same replay angle they showed on YES.
Jeter scored the team’s third run and it was the 1,900th run scored of his career. That is the 11th most in history. He’ll jump past Alex Rodriguez (1,919) and into the top ten relatively soon. Stan Musial (1,949) would be next and that seems like it’ll be doable before the end of the season. It’ll be close. The win was Girardi’s 600th as Yankees manager, by the way.
Last, but certainly not least, this week is HOPE Week. The Yankees honored Career Gear on Tuesday, an organization that “provides professional clothing, mentoring and life-skills to help men in poverty become stronger contributors to their families and communities.” Here’s the Career Gear website and here’s the HOPE Week video archive.
Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
For the box score and video highlights, go to MLB.com. FanGraphs has some other stuff and the updated standings can be found at ESPN. The Yankees have climbed to within 3.5 games of first place with five more games against the Blue Jays coming up over the next week. Plus, you know, there are still more than 90 games left in the season.
Same two teams on Wednesday night, in the middle game of this three-game set. Rookie Chase Whitley and grizzled veteran Mark Buehrle will be the pitching matchup. Head over to RAB Tickets if you impulsively want to catch the game live.
Well that was not how I hoped the generally successful nine-game road trip would end. The Athletics pounded the Yankees on Sunday afternoon, sending them back to New York on the heels of a 10-5 loss. That score is deceptively close too — the Yankees scored their final two runs with two outs in the ninth. They still won five of nine games on the trip overall (with one rainout). Let’s recap:
- Nunonono!: I’d like to thank Vidal Nuno to putting this one out of reach early, allowing me to focus on other stuff Sunday. He served up a three-run homer in the first inning (Derek Norris) and a three-run homer in the second inning (Coco Crisp), finishing the afternoon with eight runs on eight hits and one walk in three innings. Even the outs were hit hard. Nuno came into the start with a 1.80 ERA on the road and that jumped all the way up to 4.18. Statistical correction ain’t always pretty.
- Garbage Time: The Yankees scored all five of their runs after the Athletics scored their ten runs. Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira hit back-to-back doubles for the first run, Carlos Beltran hit a solo homer for the second, Jeter lifted a sacrifice fly for the third, and Brett Gardner clubbed a two-run homer for the fourth and fifth. Old buddy Jim Johnson allowed Gardner’s homer. I miss having him in the AL East. Five runs are pretty good, but they were ultimately meaningless. Game was over already.
- Bullpen: Long man David Huff threw three innings on Saturday, forcing Joe Girardi to use his regular relievers after Nuno. That meant one inning for Jose Ramirez (two runs on three hits and a walk), one inning for Shawn Kelley, two innings for Adam Warren (four strikeouts), and one inning for Matt Thornton. I was really hoping we’d get to see Ichiro Suzuki pitch, but alas. He wants to do it, you know. Hopefully some time before the season ends.
- Leftovers: Beltran and Ichiro both had two hits while Gardner, Jeter, Teixeira, and Kelly Johnson had one each. Alfonso Soriano came off the bench to pick up a hit as well … Beltran forgot how many outs there were following a fielder’s choice in the eighth inning. He simply walked away from first base and back to the dugout. That’s an out for abandoning the base … Teixeira, Jeter, and Jacoby Ellsbury were all lifted in the late innings to get some extra rest. Girardi confirmed everyone is healthy.
For the box score and video highlights, get over to MLB.com. For some other stats, FanGraphs is the place to go. ESPN has the updated standings. The Yankees return home and open a three-game series against the first place Blue Jays on Tuesday night after enjoying an off-day Monday. Masahiro Tanaka and rookie Marcus Stroman will open the series. Check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch any of those games live.
If you knew nothing about baseball and decided to watch Saturday night’s game out of boredom, I’m pretty sure it would have turned you off from the sport forever. There wasn’t much offense, both teams played bad defense, Hiroki Kuroda was very wild, and play was delayed 38 minutes because the lights at the O.co Coliseum wouldn’t turn on. The Yankees lost 5-1 to end their four-game winning streak.
New York’s lack of offense — they had three hits and three walks, and the final 15 men they sent to the plate made outs — had more to do with the Athletics’ pitching staff being really good than their offense being bad, I thought. Scott Kazmir was pretty sharp and the Dan Otero/Scott Doolittle combination is quietly one of the best in the game. The Yankees scored their only run on a throwing error by shortstop Andy Parrino. They had another runner thrown out at the plate on the contact play.
Kuroda, on the other hand, was as wild as I’ve ever seen him as a Yankee. He threw two pitches to the backstop, bounced a bunch of 55-footers, and was generally all over the place. It’s surprising he managed to throw 55 strikes out of his 93 total pitches. Kuroda had no idea where the ball was going at all. A two-out rally in the second and some terrible defense in the fifth led to four runs in 4.2 innings. Kelly Johnson picked up a weak grounder that appeared to be rolling foul and John Ryan Murphy allowed two passed balls. Everyone can now use that inning to justify sending him down for Frankie Cervelli next week.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. That might have been the worst game of the year in terms of watchability. The Yankees wrap up their ten-game turned nine-game road trip on Sunday afternoon, when they send Vidal Nuno to the mound in the rubber game against righty Jesse Chavez.
Minor League Update: Here is the scoreboard for Saturday’s games. Here’s the box score for the High-A Florida State League All-Star Game. 2B Rob Refsnyder went hitless again, C Peter O’Brien homered, OF Aaron Judge had two hits, LHP Manny Banuelos threw three scoreless innings in the rain-suspended game, and RHP Luis Severino struck out eight in six innings. C Gary Sanchez remains glued to the bench for disciplinary reasons.
Four straight wins! It’s been a while since they’ve done that. Almost exactly a month, in fact. Since the Mets and Pirates series. The Yankees rode a quality pitching performance and some well-timed base hits to a 7-0 win over the powerhouse Athletics in the first game of their weekend series on Friday night. Let’s recap the dubya:
- Strike First: Early runs have become something of a habit on this road trip. I approve. Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter, and Jacoby Ellsbury opened the game with three straight singles for a quick 1-0 lead, then Mark Teixeira followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0. Just like that, boom boom boom (boom), the Yankees had the lead. A single (Brian Roberts), a walk (Kelly Johnson), and another single (Gardner) led to the team’s third run an inning later. Six of the first ten men they sent to the plate reached base against Sonny Gray.
- Two-Hit Wonder: David Phelps had some early breathing room, and he must have been real comfortable because he carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning. Derek Norris broke it up with a single to left. Phelps allowed a double to Jed Lowrie in the seventh to end his night. His final line: 6.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K. Very, very nice. I thought it was the best he looked all season both stuff and location wise. The Yankees have been getting some very good starting pitching of late and Phelps kept it going Friday.
- Strike Second: Tack-on runs? What is this sorcery? The Yankees scored … ready for this? … four runs in the eighth inning to make a comfortable lead a really comfortable lead. All four runs were driven in with two outs too. Ichiro Suzuki (infield single), Roberts (single), and Johnson (single) had the key hits. These late extra runs are something the club has not been able to get at all this year. It was refreshing to watch the rally unfold.
- Leftovers: Ellsbury’s first inning single extended his hitting streak to 17 games. That’s the longest by a Yankee since Robinson Cano in 2012 (23 games) … Dellin Betances and Jose Ramirez combined to record the final seven outs (three strikeouts). Hooray for homegrown arms. Include Phelps in that too … Carlos Beltran was the only starter without a hit while Gardner, Jeter, Ichiro, and Roberts all had two apiece … the 12 hits were the team’s most since the middle game of the Twins series at the end of last month. They went 6-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
For the box score and video highlights, head over to MLB.com. FanGraphs has some additional stats and ESPN has the updated standings. These same two teams will play the second game of the series on Saturday night — yes, a 10pm ET start on a Saturday. I can’t wait for California to break off and sink into the ocean — when veterans Hiroki Kuroda and Scott Kazmir get the ball
That was a fun series. The Mariners came into the Bronx and swept the Yankees earlier this year, and this week the Yankees returned the favor with a sweep of their own in Seattle. Thursday night’s 6-3 win clinched it. Let’s recap the club’s third straight win:
- Ace Whitley: Chase freakin’ Whitley, man. What a beast. As I noted on Twitter, he is basically pitching like Michael Pineda, only with way more ground balls. Whitley held the Mariners to two runs in 7.2 innings on Thursday, striking out six and walking zero. I know he’s a recently converted reliever and all that, but I don’t get why he was lifted at only 82 pitches. He threw 87 last time out. Don’t you have to get him up to 95 or so? Especially since the Yankees had a four-run lead with the bases empty and two outs in the inning? Whatever. Whitley’s a damn stud. What a story.
- Two At a Time: The last time lefty Roenis Elias started against the Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury took him deep for a leadoff homer. Ellsbury took him deep again on Thursday, this time with Derek Jeter on base for a two-run jack in the first. I love early runs. Two innings later, Alfonso Soriano‘s bat rose from the dead and drove in two with a double into the left-center field gap. Jeter and Ellsbury scored. An inning after that, Jeter sliced a single to right to plate two more runs. Roberts and John Ryan Murphy scored on that hit. The six runs are the most the Yankees have scored since the final game of the Cardinals series two and a half weeks ago. Geez.
- Bullpeners: Matt Thornton came on in relief Whitley to face Robinson Cano and, of course, he walked him. Kyle Seager followed that with a fly out to end the inning. Lefties have a .342 OBP against Thornton this year, which is entirely too high for a guy whose only job is to get lefties out. Shawn Kelley faced three batters in the ninth, allowed two doubles, then gave way to David Robertson. It was Kelley’s first appearance since coming off the disabled list. Robertson struck out two to close out the win.
- Leftovers: Ellsbury’s homer extended his hitting streak to 16 games. He later left the game with tightness in his hip … Jeter had three hits and a walk. He went 7-for-12 (.583) with two walks in the series … everyone in the lineup reached base at least once except Brett Gardner and Yangervis Solarte … Ellsbury, Gardner, and Ichiro Suzuki all made nice jumping catches at the wall to take away extra-base hits … the Yankees swept a three-game series for the first time this season.
MLB.com has the box score, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees are now heading south to Oakland for a three-game weekend series against the Athletics. David Phelps and Sonny Gray will be the pitching matchup for Friday’s opener.
Now this was a game that made staying up late worth it. The Yankees very nearly shut the Mariners out on Wednesday before Robinson Cano hit a two-run homer in the ninth (his first in Seattle as a Mariner!), so they had to settle for a 4-2 win instead. I’ll take it. Let’s recap the team’s second straight win:
- Cy Tanaka: We’ve seen Masahiro Tanaka be very good this season, but I think this was his best outing of the year. My favorite part was when the Mariners were sitting on the splitter the second and third through the order, so Tanaka started painting the corners with fastballs for called strikes. It was awesome. The Cano homer ruined the shutout, but otherwise Tanaka still held Seattle to six scattered hits in his second complete game of the season, striking out eleven and walking one. The Mariners had one batter reach third base before the dinger, and that was in the eighth inning. Ain’t even mad about the homer. This guy is amazing. Just a brilliant performance.
- Three Runs, One Swing: Jacoby Ellsbury singled in the Yankees’ first run in the third inning, but the big blow came in the fifth, when Mark Teixeira went down and golfed a pitch out to right-center for a three-run homer. The three runs felt like 30 with a) the way Tanaka was pitching, and b) the way things have been going for the offense lately. Brian Roberts (single) and Brett Gardner (walk) set up the first rally, Gardner (single) and Ellsbury (single) the second.
- Leftovers: Gardner, Derek Jeter, and Ellsbury had two hits apiece. The top four hitters in the lineup went a combined 6-for-16 (.375) while the rest went 4-for-20 (.200) … Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 15 games … Jeter stole two bases for the first time since September 2009 and only the second time since August 2006 … for exactly one batter in the ninth inning, Tanaka led all of baseball in ERA. That was before the homer. He still has an excellent 2.02 ERA. That’ll do just fine.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees will look to wrap up their first sweep of a three-game series this season when Chase Whitley and Roenis Elias square off on Thursday night. Their only sweep this year was a two-gamer over the Cubs at Yankee Stadium back in April.
Staying up for these late night West Coast games is never easy, so it’s always nice whenever the Yankees can eke out a win. They used some late-inning heroics to top the Mariners 3-2 on Tuesday night. The Yankees avoided falling below .500 for the first time since the season was nine games old. Let’s recap:
- Amazing, Disappearing Offense: The Yankees met their daily quota with two runs in the first inning thanks to two-out hits from Carlos Beltran (double) and Brian McCann (infield single). Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira both singled to set up the rally. New York forced Hisashi Iwakuma to throw 46 pitches in the first two innings, then he retired 14 of the next 17 batters he faced and threw only 62 pitches in the next 5.1 innings. Things started off so promising, then the bats disappeared for about six innings.
- Numero Nuno: Vidal Nuno owes his outfielders a steak dinner. The gerbil-ish southpaw needed several outstanding defensive plays on well-struck balls to hold the Mariners to four hits and one run in 5.2 innings. Brett Gardner got off easy; Jacoby Ellsbury and Ichiro Suzuki had to make the really tough plays. Nuno did retire 13 of 15 at one point (again, thanks to his defense) and he now owns a 1.80 ERA in 25 innings away from Yankee Stadium. If he could pitch every game in Safeco Field with an elite outfield defense, he’d be pretty great.
- A Third Run?: Oddly, the Yankees scored another run in the eighth inning, but not until after Dellin Betances blew the 2-1 run lead in the seventh. It was a dumb rally. Hit batsman, move to second on a wild pitch, soft line drive just over a leaping Brian Roberts. Dumb. Then, in the eighth, the Yankees hit three Yankee Stadium homers and were left with a Jeter ground rule double to show for it. Gardner hit two balls that would have been gone in the Bronx and Jeter’s double would have been out as well. Ellsbury came through with a big two-strike single to plate Jeter and again give the Yankees the lead.
- Six More Outs: Once the Yankees got that 3-2 lead, Joe Girardi turned the game over the Adam Warren and David Robertson, who combined to retire six of eight batters faced. Warren allowed a single to Robinson Cano but otherwise cut through the heart of Seattle’s lineup. Robertson issued a two-out walk while striking out the side and recording his 15th save. With Shawn Kelley set to come off the DL on Wednesday, the late-inning guys are going to get some much-needed help and extra rest going forward.
- Leftovers: In addition to the go-ahead single, Ellsbury hit the ball on the screws in two other at-bats, but right at defenders … Jeter may or may not have missed first base on his ground rule double. He went back to touch the base and I’m not sure he gets to second without the ball hopping over the fence … Beltran had two hits (both to the opposite field) and generally seems to be getting more comfortable at the plate following the long DL stint … each of the top six hitters in the lineup had at least one hit while the bottom three hitters went a combined 0-for-9 with a walk.
For the box score and video highlights, head over to MLB.com. FanGraphs has some other stats and the updated standings are at ESPN. These same two teams will play the second game of this three-game set on Wednesday night, when Masahiro Tanaka starts against the soft-tossing yet effective Chris Young.
Ho boy. One hit in 17 at-bats with runners in scoring position? And the one hit didn’t even score a run? Looks like I picked the perfect day to spend outside and far away from baseball. I mean … 1-for-17 in a nine-inning game? I’m not even mad. That’s amazing. The Yankees seem to sink to a new low every week. Sunday’s game was a 2-1 loss to the Royals.
On the bright side, Hiroki Kuroda did turn in a dandy, surrendering only two runs in seven innings of work. He quietly has a 3.30 ERA in 43.2 innings over his last six starts, so he’s giving the team both quality innings and a lot of innings. That’s exactly what they need from him with Masahiro Tanaka taking over as the ace. Just be reliable and eat some innings to rest the bullpen. Kuroda’s done that of late.
Offensively … yuck. The Yankees managed to not score after having the bases loaded with no outs in the second, and overall they had a runner in scoring position with less than two outs in every inning but the fifth and eighth. James Shields threw 49 pitches in the first two innings and only 61 pitches in the next four innings. Brett Gardner, Yangervis Solarte, and Ichiro Suzuki all had multiple hits, but it did little good. The one run scored on a ground out.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some other stats, and ESPN has the updated standings. The Yankees have lost six of their last eight games and 21 of their last 37 games dating back to the start of the first series with the Mariners. That is not good. Not at all. They’ll try to earn a split of this four-game set in Kansas City on Monday night. Vidal Nuno and Jason Vargas will be the pitching matchup.
Well, so much for stringing some wins together. The Yankees lost 8-4 to the Royals on Saturday night, making a spirited comeback in the middle innings before the pitching staff coughed it up an inning later. The Bombers have lost seven of their last eleven games. Let’s recap:
- Phlops: David Phelps has now allowed 18 runs and 32 base-runners in his last 17.2 innings following his latest masterpiece. Five of the first six Royals reached base to start the second inning (the only out was a sac bunt) to give the Royals a quick 3-0 lead, then five of the first seven reached in the sixth inning to plate four more runs. Salvador Perez’s three-run homer was the big blow. Phelps allowed seven runs on ten hits and two walks in 5.2 innings, and five of those hits went for extra-bases.
- Comeback: Danny Duffy came out of the gate throwing gas, 96-98 all night, and it looked like the Yankees had little chance against him. They did string together a two-out rally in the sixth, with Carlos Beltran‘s double and Yangervis Solarte‘s single driving in three runs. Derek Jeter singled and Mark Teixeira walked in the inning. After that, seven of the next eight Yankees made outs. The rally was cool while it lasted.
- Leftovers: The Yankees did plate a garbage time run in the ninth on Solarte’s double and Brian Roberts‘ ground out. Teases … Matt Daley served up a monster solo homer to Eric Hosmer and Jose Ramirez threw a scoreless inning, so the usual late-inning guys got a night off … Jacoby Ellsbury had two singles and extended his hitting streak to 12 games … Beltran’s double was his first and only hit since coming off the DL … Alfonso Soriano went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. He’s gotta go. Totally cooked.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. Veterans Hiroki Kuroda and James Shields will match up on Sunday afternoon in the third game of this four-game set.