The Yankees lost an ugly one 10-7 to the Tigers on Sunday. Hitting was the order of the day. The two teams had a combined seven homers in a windy one in the Bronx. The Yankees trailed the entire game, despite putting up seven runs against poor Detroit pitching. That’s because Yankee pitching was worse from start to finish.
Miguel Cabrera beat Phil Hughes like a drum. The big first baseman (who continues to give me nightmares) hit a two-run homer off Hughes in the first inning, and then did it again in the third, pulling the ball to the deep Yankee Stadium left field each time. Cabrera did enough damage against the Yankees, but Hughes was completely ineffective against all the Detroit hitters. He allowed five runs in total over only four innings. In the YES postgame show Jack Curry reported that Hughes did not get a single Tiger to swing and miss at his fastball, which is pretty much all you need to know about Phil’s day.
The Yankees stuck around in this one, however, because they were putting up fireworks of their own against Detroit starter Max Scherzer, who was every bit as awful as Hughes. He lasted only five innings, allowing six runs. While Hughes allowed two two-run homers to Cabrera, Scherzer allowed a total of four homers, one to Mark Teixeira (his third homer in as many days, tying Dave Winfield‘s Yankee record for the most homers in consecutive days to start a season), a Yankee Stadium special over the short porch in right to Robinson Cano, and two two-run homers to Jorge Posada. It was 5-4 Tigers at the end of four, and 7-6 Tigers at the end of five.
Once Hughes was out of the game, Joe Girardi turned to Bartolo Colon to keep things close. To reward his manager’s trust, Colon allowed four runs in four innings of work. He entered a close, high scoring 5-4 ball game and made sure that the three additional runs the Yankee offense scored were entirely for naught. When Colon left the game after the eighth the Yankees were trailing 9-7. Joba Chamberlain pitched the ninth, allowing the Tigers’ tenth run to score.
While poor Yankee pitching squandered what should have been more than enough runs from the offense to pick up the W, it’s tough not to feel good about the start to the Yankee season. Mark Teixeira is slugging 1.083, while Alex Rodriguez is slugging .900. Russell Martin hasn’t drawn a walk yet, but he’s batting .455 so that’s OK. Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada had started the season slowly, but each was brilliant today (Jorge hit the two homers mentioned above, while Swisher was three for three with two walks) and looks to be coming into form. The Twins come into town for a four game set beginning tomorrow night, giving the Yankee hitters every opportunity to keep the offensive barrage coming.
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