Another day, another loss. And another game further behind the Red Sox. Last night, the Yanks lost for the 9th time in the past 13 games, and once again wasted a solid start by their starting pitcher.
Chien Ming Wang had his best start of the year. His velocity has been there for the past few starts, the next step for him was to gain better command and control of his pitches, and that is improving as well. The final line of 3 ER 5 IP doesn’t look great, but look a little deeper and the old Wang begins to emerge. He was efficient, throwing only 62 pitches in his 5 innings of work. The reason he was efficient is 42 of the 62 pitches were for strikes (68%). That’s the old Wang right there. He could have easily given us more length, but playing in the NL park Girardi decided to pinch hit for him to try to get his moribund offense going. His GB/FB wasn’t great (6/5) but watching the game you saw that hitters weren’t getting much lift on his pitches, and many of the fly balls were low line drives.
The reason the Yanks lost the game was (once again) the lineup. The Yanks stranded 9 men on base in the first 5 innings of play without scoring a single run. That’s not an easy thing to do. You need to be trying too hard to do that. A-Rod agrees:
“There’s no question [we're overanxious],” said Alex Rodriguez, who is now in a 1-for-23 skid that dropped his average to .207. “When the team is not hitting, that’s also contagious. Guys want to come out and get the big hit, and hit the ball in the gap and hit home runs. The thing we have to do is just continue to work hard and be patient.”
If you’re looking for signs of hope right now, its how much better the starters have been. AJ Burnett has allowed only one earned run his last two starts, each time pitching into the 7th inning. CC Sabathia has been good all year and says the biceps injury is nothing to be concerned about. Andy Pettitte is coming off his best start since April, and like AJ Burnett has typically been a 2nd half pitcher. Joba Chamberlain has given up 3 runs or less in his past 8 starts, his problem has been giving the team some legnth. But that’s improving as well, pitching 6th innings or more in 3 of his past 4 starts. Another sign of hope is Phil Hughes, who has pitched 10 2/3 innings of two-run, five-hit ball with 14 strikeouts as a reliever, logging a 1.69 ERA. The pitching is finally rounding into shape the way the Yanks envisioned it this past off season.
Now we just need the lineup to get back on track. This is not a bad lineup, despite the recent slump they’re still #2 in Runs Scored in all of Baseball. I suspect that the two guys who make this lineup go (Jeter and Damon) are a bit banged up right now and nobody is talking about it. Girardi has suggested a lineup shift tonight, lets see if that helps us put our hits together.
Note-Happy Bithday to Phil Hughes, who turns 23 today.
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TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees