Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wasted Opportunities and Bad Pitching

The latter part of the title applied more to this post than anything else, as CC Sabathia went six innings and allowed six earned runs to inflate his ERA past the four mark. Following two great starts by Sabathia, he allows two home runs to an A's offense that is certainly powerful. However, instead of limiting the damage Sabathia kept the bleeding going when he served up a three-run to a slumping Derek Norris who was hitting under .200 before taking Sabathia deep. Norris also drove in a run on a bloop double in the second inning. CC is supposed to pitch well in a ballpark like this one, but in his career CC has had trouble pitching in his home town, as his record at the Oakland Coliseum is 4-6 with a very high ERA which is puzzling. Either Sabathia doesn't like the mound at the Coliseum or pitching in front of close friends and family gets him nervous. Either way, Sabathia's six runs allowed could have been prevented and had he given up one or two less runs than he ended up allowing. With keeping his offense in the game, Sabathia had a chance to get a no decision out of the contest and would have likely given the Yankees a win based on how they rallied to come back into the game in the eighth and ninth innings.
Bartolo Colon was on the ropes in the first inning, issuing two walks after allowing six walks all year. With the bases loaded and one out, the Yankees offense couldn't drive in a run as Youkilis popped up and Overbay flied out to end the inning. Between the second and seventh inning the Yankees offense looked futile. They were getting dominated by Colon and the A's defense which came into play on the final out of the game. In the eighth, the Yankees were able to rally for two runs to get themselves back into the game. The ninth inning was a thriller as Teixeira drove in two runs with a single to bring the tying run in Travis Hafner to the plate. Hafner drove the ball the opposite way all the way to the wall in  left center field but Seth Smith caught the fly ball on a leaping try and the Yankees night was over. They went down to the Athletics after squandering opportunities early in the game. Had they scored even one run in the first, the final outcome of the game would probably have been dramatically different. Instead, the Yankees go back to the team hotel thinking that this was a game in which they should have rallied.

Tomorrow night, Phil Hughes will look to build off his stellar start in Safeco last week as he drove the Yankees to a blowout victory. Hughes' 4.80 ERA has been fluctuating start by start. The era he is sporting will not get him many offers at big money contracts, so Hughes is on the right step by pitching well in Seattle. Hughes has had great numbers in his career at the Oakland park. He was close to pitching a no-hitter here in 2010, the year he won eighteen games.

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