Friday, July 19, 2013

Second Half Begins with a Whimper

The Yankees were only able to score two runs tonight. Brett Gardner created one of the runs by himself after walking and following the walk with steals of second and third base, finally scoring on an error on the throw to third base. The second run came with two outs in the fifth when Stewart doubled in a run. The Yankees had almost no men on base tonight and squandered chances with runners in scoring position. The Yankees had a one-out rally in the eighth inning with second and third with nobody out but that rally ended quietly as Vernon Wells and Luis Cruz popped out and grounded out, respectively. The offense is at the bottom of the barrel in the American League and it's time for some real reinforcements. In the process the Yankees lost Zoilo Almonte with an ankle sprain. The second half has begun just as the first half started for the Yankees.

Andy Pettitte continues his streak of seven straight starts allowing four or more runs. Tonight his struggles came early as the Red Sox pounded him early in the game. Pettitte looks like he is laboring and the break didn't help him at all. He isn't finishing his pitches like he was early in the season which is why his streak of runs allowed is his longest such streak since 1998 when he was an up and coming pitcher in the Yankees rotation. The Yankees were able to overcome the streak in 1998 because the team was an offensive powerhouse. These Yankees can't score a meaningful run if their lives depended on it. They aren't battling in their at bats and are getting themselves out by swinging at bad pitches.

The Yankees are really burying themselves if they continue to play like this for the next two games. Tomorrow afternoon, Hiroki Kuroda will battle John Lackey who has been pitching like the Lackey of old. Kuroda will be going for his ninth win of the year. If he wants that win he better pitch a shutout as offense will not give him anything to work with.

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