Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pathetic and Heartbreaking

Today's loss puts the icing on the cake for the Yankees as they lose their third straight game against the Oakland Athletics and their seventh straight game at the Coliseum. Today's game dragged on for eighteen innings and when it seemed like the game would be un-tied, the Yankees offense knew just when to not get hits in crucial spots. To give you an idea, Travis Hafner, Kevin Youkilis and Vernon Wells went a combined 0-23 in this game with nine strikeouts. When the big at-bat came to them they squandered opportunities countless times. Then at a certain point, when exactly escapes me at the moment, I started to laugh; not because my team was losing, but because we put a pathetic offensive display on in spots with runners on base and in scoring position. The team went 1-13 with runners in scoring position all together and stranded fourteen men on base as they fell to the Oakland A's, 3-2 in eighteen innings.

Hiroki Kuroda was brilliant for the Yankees but again failed to receive any legitimate run support as Kuroda goes another start without winning. Hiroki Kuroda has not won a start since May 17th. His ERA stands at 2.78 to give an idea of just how bad the Yankees offense has been in Kuroda's starts. If all goes well for the offense Kuroda would be a ten game winner right now but the anemic offense is costing Kuroda, and more importantly the team, wins. Aside from the third inning where Kuroda walked two batters and gave up two runs, he was perfect. Without the third inning, Kuroda allowed no hits and no walks in seven innings of work. The early offense he received came promptly in the first inning as Brett Gardner doubled to start the game and Cano drilled a two-run home run two batters later. The Yankees would finish the game with seventeen consecutive scoreless innings-- SEVENTEEN!

In all of this hoopla two very good things will be forgotten: Kuroda's fabulous start and Adam Warren's outstanding relief pitching. The rookie right-hander tossed six innings of scoreless ball, allowing only four hits and striking out four. Unfortunately for him, because of all the pitchers used in the bullpen the Yankees will likely send him down to AAA in exchange for a fresh arm. Claiborne pitched 1.1 innings and allowed one batter to reach in the final inning with one out which prompted Girardi to go to Mariano to get out of the jam. A couple of broken-bat bloop hits later and the Athletics were celebrating with fatigue at home plate as Nate Freiman who entered the game in the latter innings as a defensive replacement, singled home John Jaso.

The Oakland Athletics didn't have many chances in the game despite always seeming to record outs in big spots. The resilient A's team makes the Yankees look that much worse as they had far less base runners and managed to score with the bases loaded, which is something the Yankees failed to do a number of times in this marathon game.

The Yankees will take a long, hard look at themselves in the mirror as they enter a three game set against the Angels in Anaheim. The Angels have been struggling all season and the Yankees are catching them at a good time. Unfortunately for the Yankees, they will need to score runs to win these games. This is a series that can go either way based on how both teams have been struggling to score runs.

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