The most surprising thing ever happened on Monday night, and by most surprising I mean least surprising thing in American history, as the Yankees got completely shut down by a Pitcher They’ve Never Seen Before™ for the approximately 800 millionth time over the last two seasons.
I’m sorry, but there’s just no excuse for a game like this. Bases loaded, no out in the first inning, and the team fails to score. Five total hits off Carlos Carrasco, who came into this game with an ERA above 4.50, and who struck seven Yankees out during his seven scoreless innings. Seriously, what is it about the Indians and pitchers the Yankees have never seen before? This was even worse than the Josh Tomlin game last July, as they at least managed a run off Tomlin! I know the team just won three of four and in doing so obviously won this series, but the double ignominy of the utter predictability of the Yankee bats getting shutdown by a new hurler in addition to losing by a score of 1-0 is altogether incredibly frustrating.
As both a high-scoring and infrequently-shutting-the-other-team-out team, the Yankees simply don’t play too many 1-0 games, and though it’s always difficult to wrap one’s head around the Yankee offense getting blanked, it’s particularly hard to accept this kind of performance at home, where they’ve always — at least prior to this season — enjoyed a distinct advantage. According to ESPN.com, it was the first 1-0 loss for the Yankees at New Yankee Stadium, and the first time it had been done to them at home since August 1, 2008 against the Angels.
The 2011 Yankees have now been shutout five times. Last year they were shutout eight times all season. I know we’re in a depressed offensive environment and everything, but this is inexplicable for a team with the second-best wOBA in the league. Oh, and forget about winning four games in a row, which has only happened once thus far.
I realize this is likely quite a bit of misdirected frustration, but I just can’t get over the getting-shutdown-by-new-pitchers thing anymore. It’s been driving me bonkers since I started blogging, and I just don’t understand it. Don’t the Yankees employ a single advance scout? If so, what on earth are these advance scouts doing?
In any event, perhaps most frustrating of all was that the Yankees wasted another strong A.J. Burnett start — 7 2/3 innings of eight-strikeout, one-run ball. His game Score of 72 tied his previous two best outings by Game Score — April 25 against Chicago and May 11 against Kansas City.
So yes, the Yankees just won three of four against a first-place team, and I hope no one reads this as though I’m somehow disappointed in the overall manner in which the team has been playing on the whole. They had a superb weekend overall, and still have the second-best record in the American League. This isn’t all “doom-and-gloom, boo-hoo, this team has no heart and will choke its way to last place.” I feel quite confident about the team’s chances going forward.
I’m just writing from a place of frustration that they couldn’t complete the four-game sweep, and that the bats went silent yet again in a game I absolutely knew this would happen (see “Between Carrasco having been the Indians’ second-best starter this season and him being new to the Yankees, this game has disaster written all over it.”).
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