Only five hits combined with five errors led to the 4-2 loss by the Yankees to the Texas Rangers to begin the series. Shane Greene became the first Yankees pitcher since Tommy John to record three errors in a game, but his three errors in the first four innings didn’t directly lead to a run.
Shane Greene pitched well overall in his first Yankee Stadium start and his four earned runs in 5.2 innings is deceiving. He would have been able to pitch deeper into the game if he didn’t make two throwing errors and one fielding error. This throwing error to first is one of the worst throws to first by a pitcher of all time. Greene was able to strikeout five, only allow one walk and get himself out of trouble in the second, third and fourth innings. Brian Roberts’s error in the third inning proved to be costly because it led to Shin-Soo Chu scoring the first run for the Rangers.
Greene left the game with the score tied at two, with two outs and runners on first and second. Matt Thornton, who had been pitching better the past few weeks, came into the game and allowed both of his inherited runners to score. Geovany Soto singled to left to score Jake Smolinski, and Rougned Odor singled to left to score Jim Aducci. If Thornton would have gotten Soto out then Greene would have had a very respectable line of two earned runs and five strikeouts.
“They didn’t really square up a lot of balls,” Joe Girardi said. “I thought Greene threw the ball well.” Girardi defended his decision to bring in Thornton because he was facing a lefty. “That’s our guy against lefties. That’s why he was in there.” According to Pete Caldera, had 12 errors in 112 total chances (.893 fielding %) in the minors, which proves that fielding his position is something he needs to concentrate on.
The Yankees were only able to score two runs in 7.1 innings against Miles Mikolas, who had a 10.05 ERA coming into the game. The Yankees were not able to capitalize on facing a struggling pitcher and a team that was in last place, 21-29 on the road and had lost 14 of their past 16 games.
Jacoby Ellsbury was the only positive offensively for the Yankees. He hit a solo homer to right to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead in the fourth. His infield single in the first inning sent Jeter to third. The Yankees were set up to score a few runs in the inning but Carlos Beltran hit a sacrifice fly to score Jeter and Kelly Johnson flied out to right. Ellsbury has two homers, four RBIs and is 8/16 (.500) since the All-Star break to improve his average from .282 to .291.
However, besides Ellsbury the Yankees combined for three hits and zero extra-base hits. Derek Jeter grounded into a costly double-play with the bases loaded to end the fifth inning. The Yankees offense that had showed positive signs against the Reds got worse as the game progressed. Mikolas, who was only making his fourth start after previously pitching 34 innings as a relief pitcher between 2012 and 2013, retired the side in order in the sixth and seventh innings.
With the loss combined with a Baltimore Orioles win the Yankees are now four games out of first place in the AL East. They are also now 2.5 games behind the Seattle Mariners for the second Wild Card spot. They will need to take advantage of playing nine of their next 12 games against teams that are under .500.
Two struggling pitching will start Tuesday night’s game. It will be Chase Whitley, who allowed three runs in 3.2 innings in his last start, against Nick Martinez, who allowed six earned runs in five innings in his start on July 1. There are not many MLB pitchers who went to Fordham like Martinez.