Lets start a terrible day in the Yankees world with a positive outing from David Phelps‘ first major league start. The righty’s day began with a booted ball by none other than Eduardo Nunez for a single off of a Jarrod Dyson infield chopper. As the Yankees’ luck has been going, so did Phelps’ as he allowed the runner to advance to second on a throwing error, and then third on a wild pitch. He then proceeded to strike out Billy Butler on a slider, and then forced Eric Hosmer into a groundout to end the inning without giving up a run. It was a microcosm of his whole game, working through runners in scoring position by drawing strikeouts and groundballs. He would only give the team 4.0 innings pitched thanks to a high pitch count, but saw 6 hits, 2 runs (one of which came off a Mike Moustakis homerun), no walks, and 5 strikeouts, with a 5-2 groundball to flyball rate. A nice little debut for David Phelps.
Meanwhile, the Yankees had no trouble getting hits off the Royal’s pitching. In the 3rd inning, Mark Teixeira had the team’s first hit with runners in scoring position since the team played the Tigers, doubling in Derek Jeter to tie the game. The Yankees ended up walking 3 times and earning 13 hits, a total of 16 base runners, but wouldn’t see another hit with runners in scoring position. While it was a tough game to watch as the team struggled to get that big hit, I’ll take that over yesterday’s game where they couldn’t bring a runner to second base. The next, and only two additional runs came off of sacrifice flies from Nunez and Mark Teixeira.
Starting pitcher, Danny Duffy, went 5.1 innings, with 6 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, and 6 strikeouts. The Royal’s bullpen kept the game to 4-3 going into the 9th innings, looking for their first home win of the season. Jonathon Broxton, a man the Yankees are familiar with hitting, came in to close, and the Yankees immediately pounced on him. Jeter led the 9th inning off with a single after a nice at bat, and Curtis Granderson would follow that up with a walk. With so much hope that the Yankees could finally get the big hit, a two on and no out situation for the Teixeira, the first baseman grounded into a momentum-killing double play. It was up to Alex Rodriguez, and with Derek Jeter on 3rd with 2 out, the count quickly ran to 0-2 thanks to an absolutely hideous strikezone. Arod would work the count though, relentlessly fouling pitches off and checking his swing until it was 3-2, and with the crack of his historic bat he slammed the ball right into a slow infield chopper. In a race between third baseman, the 23 year old Mike Moustakis beat the 36 year old Rodriguez by a step on a beautiful play that saved the Royal’s first home win of 2012.
Today was truly marked by the horrific news of Mariano Rivera‘s possible season ending injury, but today’s RISP-fail, fielding issues, and terrible calls adds insult to injury quite literally. Fortunately, there was a bright spot with the red-hot Jeter putting up a 4 for 5 day, Andruw Jones 3 for 4, and even Russell Martin 2 for 4. Tomorrow, we can look forward to watching CC Sabathia take on Bruce Chen, a match up that should wake the pitching and offense up from a tough week of baseball.
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