The Yankees lost the the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 on Tuesday night for their fourth loss in a row. It was also their eighth loss in their past 10 games. Three out of their last four losses have been by one run.
There were only two highlights offensively for the Yankees. Derek Jeter’s double in the fourth (534) tied him with Lou Gehrig for most doubles in franchise history. Jeter is also currently second in runs scored, first in hits and first in steals in the 101-year history of the franchise being known as the Yankees.
Also in the fourth inning, with Jeter on third after Jacoby Ellsbury’s single, Jeter scored after Ellsbury’s stolen base because of an error by shortstop Ben Zobrist. They were in position to score more runs in the inning but Carlos Beltran flied out and Alfonso Soriano struck out after Ellsbury stole second off of David Price.
Hiroki Kuroda had his best start of the season as he pitched eight innings for the first time after allowing only two earned runs, one walk and striking out seven. Kuroda allowed nine hits, but the damage was limited as a result of only allowing two extra-base hits.
The first run that he allowed came off of a Logan Forsythe single in the fourth. The game-winning run for the Rays came off of a James Loney homer to right center in the sixth. Loney has enjoyed hitting against Yankees pitching this season and in previous seasons as .441 average against the Yankees this season, and he had a .341 average against them from 2011 to 2013.
Kuroda should have been able to get his sixth win of the season, but the offense was only 1-9 with runners in scoring position. Mark Teixeira, Beltran and Soriano were all 0-2 with runners in scoring position. Brian Roberts was 0-4 and is hitting only .125 in his last six games. He is not adding much at all to the offense right now, which means that it would make sense to bring up the impressive Rob Refsnyder from Triple-A Scranton. He could improve the offense in a similar way that Robinson Cano did in 2005.
Soriano, who is now playing part-time, has also not been giving the Yankees any average or power on offense since he has one hit in his last 12 at-bats and has combined for zero homers and three RBIs in the last 10 games that he has appeared in. Brian Cashman needs to add another bat and another starter before the trade deadline.
The Yankees will play the final game of their series against Tampa Bay at 1:05 p.m. on Wednesday. Vidal Nuno will look to repeat the control he showed in his last start when he didn’t allow a run in 5.2 innings pitched. Ending their stretch of 15 consecutive games against the American League East with a win would be a lot better than the alternative. Jake Odorizzi will get the start for the Rays.
David Robertson, who has had a very good season except for his appearance on June 1 where he allowed five runs, is tied for fourth in the AL with 18 saves. He has a 2.93 ERA and an outstanding ratio of 48 strikeouts to only nine walks. He has not allowed a run in his last nine appearances and has recorded multiple strikeouts in six of those games.
On Tuesday’s Off the Bat, which is a baseball show on MTV2, Robertson went to Union Square Park and made many peoples day better by giving Yankee tickets to random people who did and did not know who he was. He even gave free tickets to a Mets fan. Here is the video:
In Sunday’s series finale, in which the Yankees had to win in order to win the series, the Yankees lost 7-2 as Phil Hughes limited them to only two runs and three hits while striking out six in his eight innings pitched. Hughes, who played for the Yankees for his first seven seasons of his career and had a horrible 5.19 ERA in 2013, allowed all of his runs in the fourth inning.
The Yankees were in position to win the game in the ninth inning, but the usually reliable David Robertson blew his second save of the season. Joe Girardi had him attempt to get the save after throwing 27 pitches in the ninth in Saturday’s win, when he could have left Adam Warren in the game. However, it’s not like he hasn’t been able to pitch on consecutive days this season since on the two previous times he threw for a second consecutive day he did not allow any runs.
If it was because of pitching on consecutive days or not, he had by far his worst appearance since taking over for Mariano Rivera. His ERA rose from 2.08 to 4.50 after allowing a lead off homer to Josh Willingham with the Yankees winning 2-1, a walk to Kurt Suzuki, a walk to Aaron Hicks to put runners on first and second and then Brian Dozier’s double scored Suzuki. Joe Mauer was then intentionally walked to load the bases. He was then taken out of the game for Matt Daley, but all of those runners would score and be charged to him.
Hughes found a lot of success in 2009 out of the bullpen in helping them win the World Series, and was an All-Star in 2010 when he picked up 18 wins after a dominating first half of the season, but he was much better on the road in his last few seasons and it was obvious that he would not be back after the 2013 campaign.
Hughes was emotional upon pitching at Yankee Stadium for the first time as a visitor, but he knew that making his pitches would help. “A little bit more nerves than usual, but thankfully I was throwing strikes early and was able to make some pitches,” Hughes explained.
The only Yankees who drove in runs were Derek Jeter and Ichiro Suzuki. They would have scored more runs in the fourth inning but they were not able to record any extra base hits after Brett Gardner led off the inning with a triple. Jeter’s single drove Gardner home for their first run and then Jacoby Ellsbury’s single advanced him to second.
Then, Brian McCann walked to load the bases, Yangervis Solarte popped out to the shortstop, Ichiro Suzuki hit a sac fly to center that scored Jeter for the second run and Brian Roberts struck out with runners on first and second. The Yankees could have had a big inning if Ichiro and/or Roberts would have had extra base hits.
The Yankees, who are 3.5 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East with a 29-26 record, have a negative 15 run differential and are 5-5 in their last 10 games. In a stadium that is built for runs and power hitting, the Yankees are struggling to win at home. They are 12-13 at home, which is mostly due to a struggling offense. The Yankees have scored more than four runs in only two of their past seven home games.
The Yankees are also without Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira right now, which is hurting their chances of hitting home runs. The Yankees are currently in “wait and see” mode with Teixeira after he received a cortisone shot for inflammation on his right wrist. They have some promising news regarding Beltran as he went to Florida on Sunday for extended spring training games, and could return to the team by the end of the week if he doesn’t have a setback.
The Yankees face the Seattle Mariners and their ace, Felix Hernandez, at home Monday night in a make-up game, and then continue their home-stand with a three-game series against the first-place Oakland Athletics. The Yankees bats will not to rebound from not producing against the two worst starters in the AL on Friday and Saturday and find a way to drive in runs against the quality pitching that they will face this week.
After blowing his first save of the season in last night’s 6-5 loss to the White Sox, David Robertson rebounded with three strikeouts in the 10th inning to record his tenth save of the campaign. If the Yankees win tomorrow’s game they will have split their six games in Chicago against the Cubs and White Sox.
The Yankees won their first game at U.S. Cellular Field since August of 2011. They previously had an 8-game losing streak on Chicago’s south side. They were able to win this game in extra innings as a result of collecting only three hits through eight innings and then scoring four runs off of five hits in the ninth and 10th innings combined.
Joe Girardi had no worries about how Robertson would respond coming into the game based on his performance during Friday night’s game. “I am not concerned about him,” Girardi said. “I know he is a very good pitcher.”
Vidal Nuno gave the Yankees seven solid innings while allowing all three of his runs in the first inning. He allowed nine hits, one walk and five strikeouts. Nuno rebounded well from his shaky first inning and pitched seven innings for the first time in his career.
Nuno, who was pitching in the independent Frontier League before the Yankees signed him in 2011, allowed the three runs in the first off of an RBI double by Dayan Viciedo, a sacrifice fly to center by Adam Dunn and a groundout to Derek Jeter by Alexei Ramirez. Location is key for him and he was able to throw his pitches where he wanted to after the first inning. It was key that he was able to throw a career-high 101 pitches in this start because it gave the bullpen a break.
After the game Vidal Nuno emphasized that: “making quality pitches is my main concern.”
Dellin Betances came in for the ninth inning and ended up with his third win of the season. He struck out two of the three batters that he faced and managed to throw eight of his 10 pitches for strikes. He has been able to control his slurve and fastball with pinpoint accuracy, which has helped him pile up 49 strikeouts, only allow nine walks and have a very impressive 1.59 ERA.
The Yankees were six for 33 with runners in scoring position coming into the game, but with their clutch hitting in the ninth and tenth innings, they were able to improve on that ineptitude by going three for six Saturday afternoon.
In the ninth, Alfonso Soriano’s ground rule double to right scored Jacoby Ellsbury for their first run of the game. Then Yangervis Solarte‘s single sent Soriano home. That was Solarte’s team leading 25th RBI of the season. To tie the game, Brian McCann’s single to center scored pinch-runner Kelly Johnson.
In the tenth inning, after Derek Jeter grounded out to second, Ellsbury’s second homer of his season put the Yankees ahead 4-3. The Yankees scored all of their runs in the ninth and tenth innings with two outs. Ellsbury went 2-5, with two runs scored and the homer, after previously having two hits in his previous 22 at-bats, so this could be a sign of him coming out of his slump.
In this game, Jeter moved ahead of Luis Aparicio for second place in the all-time games played list at shortstop. He is now played 2,584 games at the shortstop position, which is second only to Omar Vizquel.
After two close losses, Girardi was happy to get a win, even if it meant going into extra innings. “The way this road trip has went, we will take wins any way we can get them,” Girardi said.
The Yankees will close the series against the White Sox with a 2:10 EST game on Sunday. Masahiro Tanaka, who is coming off of his first loss since the 2012 season in Japan, will pitch for the Bronx Bombers and Andre Bienzo, who is from Brazil, will pitch for the White Sox.
The Yankees start a three-game mid week series against the Boston Red Sox Tuesday night at 7:10 p.m at Fenway Park. In the four-game series against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium from April 10-13 the Yankees won three of the four games against their long time rivals.
Joe Girardi’s team will come into the series with momentum as they have won six of their last eight games. The one major setback is that it appears that starter Ivan Nova will have season ending Tommy John surgery based on elbow soreness that he had during the the fifth innings of the team’s 16-1 loss to Tampa. He will need Tommy John surgery as a result of a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. The 11-8 record that the Yankees have is a game better than the surprising second place Toronto Blue Jays.
John Farrell’s team, on the other hand, will come into the series as a mediocre team that has been hurt by injuries to third baseman Will Middlebrooks and outfieleder Shane Victorino. Boston (9-11) split their four-game weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles and lost all three games that the played against the Milwaukee Brewers from April 4-6. The Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros are the only teams in the AL with a worse record than the Red Sox so far.
In Tuesday’s game, Masahiro Tanaka will start his first game at the historic Fenway Park. His 2.05 ERA and 28:2 strikeout to walk ratio are both outstanding and he has pitched a combined 22 innings in his first three Major League starts. He is coming off a start where he shutout the Chicago Cubs for eight innings while striking out 10 and only walking one. His splitter, which keeps hitters off balance, has definitely lived up to expectations so far this season.
“I’m sure the fans will be heated up a bit and it should be a good experience going up on the mound that day,” Tanaka said, when asked about the atmosphere at Fenway.
Jon Lester, who has been the best starter so far for Boston, will get the start for the Red Sox. He has a 2.17 ERA this season and like Tanaka, his 29:4 strikeout to walk ratio is impressive. However, factors that could help the Yankees are that he has a 4.57 ERA in his last three seasons against New York and a 4.46 ERA at home but a much better 3.67 ERA on the road.
On Wednesday’s game, the 25-year-old Michael Pineda will start for the Yankees and he will be opposed by the veteran John Lackey. Pineda’s ability to command his fastball, slider and changeup has led to his 2-1 record and 1.00 ERA in three starts. Lackey has allowed six runs in each of his last two starts, which gives him an unimpressive 5.25 ERA.
For the series finale on Thursday, CC Sabathia (2-2, 5.19 ERA), who is coming off his best start of the season where he allowed just one run earned run in seven innings pitched against the Tampa Bay Rays, will get the start for the Yankees. He had a 6.48 ERA against the Red Sox from 2011 to 2013. Felix Doubront (4-4, 5.48 ERA) will get the start after allowing three runs in 6.2 innings in his start against the Yankees on April 13.
Two positive signs on the injury front for the Yankees are that first baseman Mark Teixeira returned from the disabled list on Sunday, and went 2-6, while closer David Robertson is scheduled to return from his 15-day DL in time for Tuesday’s game. This will help the bullpen as it will give it more depth and it will allow Girardi to find consistent roles for Shawn Kelley, Adam Warren, Dellin Betances, Matt Thornton and David Phelps.
The Yankees defeated the Orioles, 3-2, behind timely hitting and effective pitching all around by Freddy Garcia as well as the bullpen. This win gave them a split of the interrupted four-game series against the last place Orioles, in Baltimore.
Freddy Garcia only allowed four base runners during his very solid first start after returning from his short stint on the disabled list. The only run that he allowed was a homer to the free swinging Mark Reynolds, who can usually be counted on hitting a ball out of the park or striking out.
Garcia has a stellar 3.09 ERA, while continuing his pre disabled list ownership of the American League with his sixth straight start allowing three runs or less. More impressively, in four of those starts he has allowed one run or less.
Down the stretch their will be a three-way battle between Garcia, Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes for the number three spot in the Yankees playoff rotation. As of now, Garcia should get the edge because he has been battle tested, pitching in many more big games during his career than Nova or Hughes. Nobody would have thought that Bartolo Colon and Garcia could have been the two and three starters for the Yankes, in the playoffs, at the beginning of the season.
Mark Teixiera got the scoring started in the first hitting a double to drive in Curtis Granderson, for his 100th RBI, which is his sixth season driving in 100 runs or more. Teixiera continued his recent surge at the plate as he is 6-12 in his last three games
In the fourth inning, Nick Swisher would give the Yankees all the scoring they would need off of Alfred Simon as his homer to deep right drove in Robinson Cano. Six of Swisher’s last eight hits have been home runs which is unbelievable. He now has a .267 average, with 21 homers and 77 RBI’s, which is a total reversal of fortune from how he was hitting earlier in the season.
The normally perfect David Robertson, who had not surrendered a run in his last 13 appearances, actually gave up a home run to J.J. Hardy, to deep left center, to make the game interesting. However Robertson, also known as Houdini, would buckle down afterwards, striking out two in the inning while getting the hold.
Mariano Rivera has more saves against the Orioles than against any other team. That is not all that surprising since they are in the AL East and have struggled for much of Rivera’s career.
He entered the game with a 3-2 lead facing Vladimir Guerrero. Rivera would tip the ball with his glove, so that Cano could field it near second and make a strong throw to Teixiera at first. He would go on to retire the side in order like he has so many times during his Hall of Fame career.
Rivera has now been perfect in his last five innings, not allowing a walk or hit during those games. The last time he faltered was during three games against the Angels and Red Sox. The Yankees will now be facing the Red Sox for three games in Boston, so hopefully Rivera can start as well as CC Sebathia can dominate the Red Sox.
They now trail the Red Sox by 1.5 games and are 2-10 in the season series. Sebathia, (17-7, 2.99 ERA) the Yankees ace, has had a CY Young caliber season and would be a lock for the award over Justin Verlander if it was not for his struggles against Boston.
During four starts this season against the Red Sox, he has a sky-high 7.20 ERA, with a 1.72 WHIP and 10 walks in 25 innings. He will pitch tonight, against John Lackey, (5.98 ERA) who lacks a decent ERA. Hopefully Sebathia will be able to execute his pitches and pitch well tonight like he has against the rest of the AL East. He has been a workhorse for the team, throwing at least seven innings in his last 14 starts, receiving the win in nine of those decisions.
The Red Sox and Yankees will clash three more times after this three game set in Boston, and these six games will go a long way towards deciding who gets to win the division and thus face the Detroit Tigers in the first round of the playoffs.
The Yankees were again without the duo of Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez but were still able to win the last two games without them. There is a chance that both will play during the series in Boston.
Rivera is now only eight saves away (592) from Trevor Hoffman on the all-time saves list so he should be able to pass him before the end of the season.
In the first game of a doubleheader, the Yankees bats came back rusty, after the team had to spend Saturday in their Baltimore hotel during Hurricane Irene, being shut out 2-0 by Zach Britton, for the Orioles (53-77) sixth straight win.
Britton allowed one run in his last start after allowing an alarming 17 in his previous three. This was an unexpected pitching performance from Britton because in his last start against the Yankees, on July 30th, he didn’t make it out of the first-inning while allowing six runs on seven hits.
Bartolo Colon will get over-shadowed by Britton because the Orioles got the victory, but Colon had a very respectable start in his own right. He dominated the O’s for the most part, shutting out the opposition for six innings while allowing a run in the seventh and eighth. In each of his last two starts he allowed five runs and two home runs, so the Colon from earlier in the season has returned.
There is some question as to who should be the number two starter behind CC Sebathia in the playoffs, but if can Colon can display another start like he did today, it should likely be him. He was able to locate all of his pitches today and the over-weight Colon has been the Yankees most consistent starter this year besides Sebathia.
The only hitter who produced for the Yankees was Mark Teixeira, who chipped in with three hits, but they were wasted because everybody near him in the lineup failed to reach base. The Bronx Bombers could only muster two other hits during the contest.
Curtis Granderson is having his first major cold stretch, during his MVP caliber season, as he is now three for his last 26. However, he held his head high after the game, giving praise to the Orioles starter by giving all the credit to him.
The Yankees should have been able to score some runs but sometimes the pitcher just has the upper-hand, commanding all his pitches while knowing the scouting report, and that is what happened this after-noon.
The game winner ended up being Vladimir Guerrero’s single through the infield to Nick Swisher in right-field, which scored Nick Markakis. This would give Baltimore a lead that their suspect bullpen would not surrender.
After Colon struck out Robert Andino looking on the outside corner to give the Orioles two outs in the eighth, J.J. Hardy would go on to hit a single between Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez to make the score 2-0. That would spell the end of Colon’s afternoon. Sometimes pitchers get hard luck losses like this one, but on the other hand sometimes they get the victory after allowing five runs.
In the ninth inning Teixiera added his third hit by hitting a line drive off of the first base bag, which bounced into right field. Rodriguez had the opportunity to tie the game with one swing, be he did not cooperate. He hit into a tailor made double play right to Hardy at short to give the Orioles the first two wins of this four game set.
This also gave struggling closer Kevin Gregg (4.32 ERA) his 19th save of the year. Also, the Orioles hit seven hits, two more than the Yankees, but they were able to take advantage of scoring opportunities.
At one point the Yankees had three hits and Teixeira had a two of them, which is not a promising sign for victory, even though Colon only allowed two runs. Also, the Yankees’ seven strikeouts were way too many against the caliber of pitching that they were facing.
Hopefully the second game of the double-header brings enough runs so that the end game combination of Rafael Soriano, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera can shut down the Orioles for a Yankees victory. After not getting a hit this afternoon, Alex Rodriguez will have the evening off being replaced by Eduardo Nunez, at third.
Ivan Nova will pitch tonight, and they need another solid start out of him in order to have a chance of splitting the series on Monday. He is likely one of three names in consideration for Rookie of the Year and he deserves it because of his 13 wins, while having gone more than nine starts without a loss.
On the other hand, Orioles starter Brian Matusz is having one of the worst seasons in all of baseball. The Yankees offense should be looking forward to the first pitch as Matusz has allowed five earned runs or more in his last four starts, and has a sky-high ERA of 8.92. The former fourth overall pick in 2008 has not nearly lived up to expectations so the Yankees should be able to have their way with him.