(What's more upsetting? The missed scoop at 1st or that haircut? Courtesy of The AP)
I picked Matt Moore as my AL Rookie of The Year winner. So far this season, he hasn't exactly made me look good for making that pick (4.19/4.46/4.26 split, 4.30 BB/9 in 88.0 IP), but he did shut down the Yankees for 5 innings with 11 Ks in one of his first career starts last season, and as a young, good-sized lefthander with monster stuff, he was the type of pitcher on paper that should dominate the Yankee lineup. The Yankees' starter last night, Freddy Garcia, is everything that Moore isn't: old, right-handed, and no stuff to speak of, and yet he still managed to outpitch Moore.
- The Yanks got on the board in the top of the 1st on a Derek Jeter leadoff double and Hideki Matsui doing his best Raul Ibanez impression on a high flyball to right off the bat of Mark Teixeira that he lost in the ceiling for an RBI double. I'm not ashamed to admit that I burst out laughing at Matsui's expense when the ball dropped.
- Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano followed up with line drive singles up the middle to make it a 2-0 game, but Nick Swisher conveniently grounded into an inning-ending DP to help Moore wriggle off the hook.
- Freddy worked through the first 3 innings scoreless, and looked pretty good doing it. He got helped out by a couple of well-placed LD outs to Cano and Teix, but he was he throwing strikes and working efficiently as well.
- Freddy gave up a HR to B.J. Uption in the 4th and I didn't think much of it, but the slider he hung to Carlos Pena with 1 out in the 6th that Pena hit for a HR to tie the game at 2, at 74 pitches, was a clear sign that he was done. I'm guessing it was a slider, because it barely moved, but 5+ innings of 2-run ball from Freddy? I would have signed up for that before the game.
- Cody Eppley got the Yankees 1 out into the 7th, and it fell apart from there. After being ahead of the immortal, intentional walk-worthy Sean Rodriguez 0-2, Boone Logan walked him and then allowed him to advance to 2nd on a wild pitch.
- D-Rob came in after a pop-up for the 2nd out and fell behind Brooks Conrad (also an immortal) 3-1 before grooving a fastball that Conrad hit for an RBI double to tie the game at 3. A luckily-placed ball down the line from Eliot Johnson that Teix couldn't handle and it was a 4-3 Tampa lead.
- The Horse gave one a ride to the warning track to lead off the 8th, but that was close as the Yankees would come to mounting a comeback against the Rays' bullpen. Balls.
- Teixeira: 2-, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, LOB. Looked pretty good in all of his ABs against Moore, even the lucky pop-up one in the 1st inning.
- Cano: 2-, 1 RBI, LOB. I feel like Cano should be a permanent fixure here any time he gets multiple hits in a game. He smoked a LD to first base that turned into a DP in one of his ABs too. Better BABIP luck and it was probably a double down the right field line.
- Garcia: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. Freddy isn't stretched out to a full starter's workload, but he gave the Yankees a solid outing in 74 pitches. It looked like his stuff was working better than it was in April and he left the game with the lead. The Yankee offense just didn't do enough against Moore.
- Curtis Granderson: 0-3, 1 RBI, 2 K, LOB. The RBI is nice, but Granderson looked like crap against Moore. I don't know what his gameplan was, but he let a lot of hittable pitches go by.
- Logan: 0.1 IP, 1 BB, 1 ER. It's bad enough to unintentionally walk Sean Rodriguez, but who UNINTENTIONALLY walks Sean Rodriguez?? Who walks Sean Rodriguez period??? Just lob a fastball somewhere near the plate and dare the guy to beat you! Fuck!!
Game 2 of this series is tonight and Ivan Nova takes the mound against The Artist Formerly Known as "Big Game James," who now just seems to get his head kicked in every time he faces the Yankees. They could use a repeat of recent performances after the crummy way last night's late innings went down.