The Yankees lost 6-0 to the St. Louis Cardinals Tuesday night in the second game of the series at Busch Stadium. David Phelps, who grew up 20 minutes from the stadium, was not able to get the win while pitching in front 26 friends and family, but the offense and defense did not help him.
The offense was shutout by Lance Lynn, who is one of the Cardinals dominating young starters. He only allowed five hits and three walks in his complete game. Brian McCann and Brian Roberts both hit doubles off of Lynn, but the offense was not able to get a clutch hit with them in scoring position.
Phelps allowed five runs (three earned) in six innings, while striking out five and walking two. The defense let him down in the third inning when the Cardinals scored four runs. With the bases loaded and one out Allen Craig was safe at first on an error by Kelly Johnson, who was playing first since Mark Teixeira was out with stiffness in his wrist. Matt Holliday scored as a result of the error. The sloppy fielding was contagious as Roberts made an error on a routine grounder hit by Johnny Paralta, which allowed Matt Adams and Yadier Molina to score the third and fourth Cardinals runs.
Phelps pitched almost 30 pitches in the first inning and loaded the bases before Johnson’s error so it was not all the defenses’s fault. However, he did take the high road when asked about the errors. “I am never going to be frustrated with my defense,” Phelps said. “You look at the game, Ellsbury runs down a ball the first batter of the game, they pick me up more than they let me down.”
The catch that Jacoby Ellsbury made in the first inning off of leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter’s drive to the warning track was outstanding. He had to fully extend himself to rob Carpenter of at least a double.
The Yankees will try to find more offensive success against Shelby Miller in the series finale at 8:15 EST on Wednesday. A win in the rubber game would give them the edge in the three-game series and would give them a 5-4 record on the road trip against the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox and Cardinals.
Miller, who has a 3.18 ERA, is younger than Lynn and doesn’t have nearly as many strikeouts. Lynn has 61 strikeouts and Miller has only 45. Miller also has 30 walks, which is not a great strikeout to walk ratio. His 1.39 WHIP puts him in 37th place in the National League, so the Yankees should have a better chance of putting runs on the scoreboard tonight.
Hiroki Kuroda will pitch for the Yankees and will look to improve the team’s record to 28-24. He will also look to bounce back from his last start when he was taken out of the game after 4.2 innings. He allowed four runs (two earned) and gave up eight hits, two walks and a homer. Kuroda’s pitched much better in his start on May 17 as he allowed three runs in six innings and struck out seven.
He will try to locate his splitter and breaking balls to end his streak of not having won a road game since getting the win at Texas last July 25.
The Blue Jays, who have won eight in a row, currently lead the AL East this late in the season for the first time since the year 2000. The Yankees are three games behind in second place.
The good news on the injury front for the Yankees is that Carlos Beltran did not have any issues with his 30 dry swings. It is still not known if he will avoid elbow surgery that would lead to him missing eight to 10 weeks, but his has to be promising. Also, Michael Pineda was able to get through two innings of an extended spring training game without any pain. He threw 20 out of his 28 pitches for strikes. He has been on the DL since May 6 with a right strained teres major muscle.