The Yankees lost Thursday night’s game but kept the streak alive — Nick Swisher’s solo homer with one out in the ninth inning gave them at least three runs for the 43rd consecutive game. That’s the second longest streak of the live ball era and just six away from the record. Sadly, that was the highlight of the night. Let’s recap…
- No Bueno: The Angels smacked Freddy Garcia around five days ago and another AL West team did the honors on Thursday. The Athletics tagged Freddy for nine hits and four runs in 5.2 innings, including two on a golf shot homer by Yoenis Cespedes in the first. Everything Garcia threw was up, and when he did manage to get the ball down it was out over the plate. His next start will come against the Mariners in Seattle — they have a team 58 wRC+ (!) at Safeco this season — and if he can’t dominate in that environment, it’ll be time to give David Phelps a legit chance in the rotation.
- West Coast Offense: The Yankees’ bats looked sluggish after the long trip out west, not putting up much of a fight until right-hander A.J. Griffin had visibly tired in the sixth. Mark Teixeira drove in a run with a long sacrifice fly and Swisher plated another with a single. He was their best offensive player on an otherwise forgettable night. No walks, seven singles, and Swisher’s homer. That was it.
- The Kid: With four strikeouts in 2.1 innings in this game, Phelps has now struck out 35 batters in his last 23.2 innings (13.3 K/9). He retired all seven men he faced and was getting a ton of called strikes with that little two-seamer down and on the outside corner to righties/inside corner to lefties. At some point, likely very soon, the Yankees are just going to have to let him start to see what he can do, Freddy’s feelings be damned.
- Leftovers: Robinson Cano extended his hitting streak to 22 games and his on-base streak to 25 games with a sixth inning single … Derek Jeter (two singles), Alex Rodriguez (two singles), and Swisher (single and homer) had multiple hits while Cano and Raul Ibanez chipped in singles … Teixeira hit the sac fly to deep center plus another ball to the warning track in left, so he just missed a few that could have gone a long way … the Yankees had won nine straight in Oakland, dating all the way back to the Dallas Braden “get off my mound” game in April 2010.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the advanced stats, and ESPN the updated standings. Every other AL East team won except for the idle Blue Jays, so New York’s lead in the division is down to (gasp!) nine games over Baltimore and double digits over everyone else. Ivan Nova will look to get the Yankees back in the win column against Tommy Milone in game two of this four-game set on Friday night. That’s another 10pm ET start, unfortunately.