Category: Alex Rodrguez

The Yankees will have to improve offensively and defensively to beat Boston in the series finale

Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez

The Yankees are now 1-4 after their 8-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Saturday. Adam Warren, who is the No. 5 starter likely until Chris Capuano returns, pitched well as he made his first start since he made two during the 2013 season.

Warren was far from the reason they lost the game. He allowed one earned run (two overall) in 5.1 innings while allowing five hits and two walks. He also struck out David Ortiz in the fifth inning. He retired the side in order in the first inning, allowed an unearned run in the 2nd after Alex Rodriguez’s error and was able to get Dustin Pedoria to groundout into a double-play before striking out Ortiz.

The only negative was that he threw 98 pitches in his 5.1 innings. He needs to be more economical with his pitches so that he can pitch deeper into the game. However, that should improve the more starts that he makes, and allowing one earned run will always put the team in position to win the game. If he can continue to locate his pitches and hold the opposition to two runs or less he would deserve to continue to be the No. 5 starter until Ivan Nova is healthy because he can be more reliable than Capuano.

Warren was not able to get the win because the Yankees only scored one run while he was pitching. Didi Gregorius hit a sacrifice fly to score Alex Rodriguez in the first in what would be the only run the Yankees would score until Chris Young‘s three-run homer in the eighth.

Joe Kelly retired 17 consecutive batters from the 2nd inning through the end of the 7th inning, which proves how much the offense is struggling. In 17 starts combined with the Red Sox and Cardinals last season, Kelly did not pitch very well as he had a 4.20 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 66 strikeouts and 42 walks in 96.1 innings. That strikeout to walk ratio proves how much he struggled, and the Yankees let this pitcher coming off a mediocre season dominate them.

Young was the center fielder and Carlos Beltran was the DH on Saturday, but it would make sense if Young replaced Beltran in right field for the next few games. Beltran is only hitting .100 in 20 at-bats this season. He only has two extra base hits (two doubles) and two RBIs. He doesn’t have much power left and seems like he needs a few games off to figure out his swing. Young is hitting .222 in only nine at-bats, but he has one double and that 3-run homer. He has as many extra base hits as Beltran in 11 fewer at-bats.

The Yankees need to improve overall on offense to be able to prevent being swept by the Red Sox on Sunday Night Baseball. Their .193 team average is second worst in the American League, they are tied for 10th place in the American League with their 17 runs scored and their slugging percentage is also 10th worst in the American League. It is still early in the season, but the Yankees only have one regular player hitting above .250.

Alex Rodriguez is hitting .278 in 18 at-bats, with one homer, two RBIs and one double. He has been the team’s best hitter so far and has performed better than expected. He hit seventh in the lineup in the first game but has proven that he deserves to hit cleanup for now based on how he is hitting compared to Beltran and Mark Teixeira.

The Yankees are also not nearly living up to expectations defensively. Defense was supposed to be a strength based on how the way the infield was constructed, but it has been worse than atrocious so far. The Yankees have played one few game than some teams and lead all of baseball with their eight errors.

Matt Tracy, who was called up on Saturday since Chasen Shreve was over worked on Friday, allowed three unearned runs in the eighth inning. If not for the throwing error during that inning, the Yankees could have gone into the bottom of the eighth with a 5-1 deficit instead of a 8-1 deficit.

In Saturday’s game, Rodriguez made a catching error at first (it was his first game ever at the position), John Ryan Murphy made an error throwing the ball to second and Chase Headley had a throwing error. Gregorius also allowed an run to score because he forgot to throw home when the throw came into him from the outfield.

The Yankees can still rebound from this disappointing start to the season. but they will have to make all of the routine plays defensively and hit with a much higher team average.