However, this performance is not that disappointing since they were facing Weaver, who is the Angels ace. The Yankees hit well of the impressive trio of Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson and Gio Gonzalez so they were due for a letdown. However the offense needs to produce at a better rate in late innings in order to come away with more close wins.
All things considered Ivan Nova had a fairly respectable start based on his first few innings. When Nova allowed two runs in the first inning it seemed like the game was going to get out of hand, but he was able to pitch effectively over the next five innings. He showed signs of unraveling once again in the fourth inning, but he was able to prove his maturation from last season by only allowing one run.
On the offensive side, the whole lineup was held in check as nobody had more than one hit, and the team was actually held without a home run. The lone true bright-spot was Jorge Posada who hit a ground-rule double to score Alex Rodriguez, which was his first hit in his last 10 at bats. Posada needs to continue to produce if he wants to continue to be inserted as the DH over Andruw Jones. The Yankees only left five men on base, which is somewhat of an improvement, but it is not saying much since they only had three hits.
A key sequence in the seventh inning was when David Robertson started a strike him out throw him out double play, which kept the score at 3-2. (That was his second strikeout which added $200 to the High Socks For Hope foundation, since he is adding $100 for every strikeout to help benefit the tornado ravaged Tuscaloosa.)
Unfortunately the offense would not cooperate in the top of the eighth inning. Curtis Granderson had his third strikeout of the evening, which makes him now three for his last 16. However, he has been arguably the top center-fielder in the American League so far, so he can’t really be blamed. The next batter was Mark Teixeira, and instead of continuing his hitting streak, he drew a walk and give Alex Rodriguez a chance to hit. He has hit very well off of Downs, but he did not come through in the clutch, this time. He was only able to hit a relatively weak grounder to Alberto Callaspo at third.
Boone Logan and Luis Ayala pitched into and out of trouble in the eighth inning. To start of the ninth inning Cano was able to have a respectable at bat, seeing more than 10 pitches, but struck out. On the other hand, Martin did not have a long at bat, hitting a ground out on his first pitch before Swisher would go down on three consecutive pitches to the Angels closer, Jordan Walden. The pitches that he threw to Swisher looked almost unhittable.
The Yankees are now only 6-10 in one run games. They have been playing better recently, as they are coming off of a sweep of the Athletics, but they will have to improve their record in close games. With time the offense should be able to revert to its clutch late inning hitting from 2009.
Tonight CC Sebathia (6-3, 2.98, 1.24 WHIP) will face Ervin Santana (3-4, 4.34, 1.25 WHIP) in the second to last game of the road trip. One player who Sebathia will have to pay extra attention to is Howie Kendrick, who is expected to be activated off of the disabled list before the game. He has capitalized off of Yankee pitching like few others, owning a .370 average in 36 games against the Bronx Bombers.