(Game over. Courtesy of Getty Images)
I have to admit, there's a
- For some reason, Hiroki Kuroda didn't have the feel for his stuff at the start of the game. He gave up a leadoff home run to Matt Joyce and it only took him 11 pitches and 4 batters faced to make it a 3-0 Rays lead.
- The Yankee lineup, weak and unnecessarily veteran-heavy as it was, certainly made Matt Moore work early. His command wasn't there either and they drew 5 walks against him in the first 3 innings. They also only got 1 hit and had no runs to show for all their patience.
- Whatever it was that wasn't working for Hirok in the 1st got fixed quickly. He held the Rays hitless through the next 4 innings, their only baserunner coming on an Eduardo Nunez error.
- Then he lost it in the top of the 6th and lost it in a big way. Kuroda loaded the bases on a pair of walks and an Evan Longoria double and then gave up a 2-run double to James Loney to make it 5-0 Rays. He didn't make it out of the inning.
- The offense stayed pathetic, scratching out 3 more measly hits from the 4th on and stranding all 3 runners. Against the Tampa bullpen they managed just 1 hit and 4 strikeouts in 4 innings.
- Just for good measure, the Rays tacked on 2 in the 9th against Shawn Kelley. In the end the people who waited in line all night to claim their bobbleheads didn't miss much and the Yankees are now 1 game away from playoff elimination.
- Alfonso Soriano: 1-2, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 LOB. Reached base 3 times. That's what it's come to with the offense.
- Kuroda: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. The command issues persist and when you're working with as little margin for error as Kuroda was last night you aren't going to survive. He couldn't locate his sinker or keep his slider down and he got pounded for it. Very disappointing ending to what looked like it was shaping up to by a CY-caliber season.
- Mark Reynolds: 0-3, 1 K, 6 LOB. Lotta ducks to leave on the pond, bro. That ain't going to get you a good contract offer.
Phil Hughes makes what should be his final start as a Yankee tonight and this occasion won't have any elaborate pregame ceremony attached to it. He'll just get Tampa ace David Price facing off against him with the chance to officially eliminate the Yankees from the playoffs on the line. Good luck, Phil. You're going to need it.