(That's the look of a man who knows he's getting DFA'd if I've ever seen one. Courtesy of the AP)
I guess the Yanks were due for another bullpen meltdown. After getting out to an early lead behind Hiroki Kuroda, they slowly let the Rays back into the game in the middle innings. Despite holding a 2-run lead heading into the bottom of the 7th, they couldn't hold on for a 6th straight win and instead ended up taking a near blowout loss thanks to some truly atrocious relief work.
- They grabbed that early lead in the top of the 2nd against Tampa starter Erik Bedard. 2 singles and a botched fielder's choice loaded the bases with nobody out and Scott Sizemore unloaded them with a 3-run double. A Brett Gardner RBI groundout plated Sizemore and made it 4-0.
- Kuroda looked pretty good through 3, working around putting the leadoff runner on 2 innings in a row thanks to a pair of timely double plays. He cracked in the 4th though, giving up a walk, a single, and a 2-run double to James Loney, all with 2 outs.
- Command inconsistencies plagued Hirok through the next few innings. His day ended before he could get out of the 6th when he couldn't finish off another 2-out situation and allowed another RBI hit to cut the lead to 4-3.
- The dormant offense woke up in the top of the 7th when Jacoby Ellsbury created a run by singling, stealing second base, and coming around on an Alfonso Soriano base knock. That extra run should have been insurance for the 'pen. It ended up being not nearly enough.
- Once again, it was a failure to finish off an inning that doomed the Yankees. Matt Thornton gave up a single and handed the ball to Adam Warren with runners on the corners in the bottom of the 7th. Warren let 3 runs score on 2 singles and a walk before ending the frame.
- It got even uglier in the 8th when Warren and Cesar Cabral combined for 5 more runs allowed. Cabral didn't even retire a batter and hit 3. You guessed it, all 5 runs came with 2 outs. Tough to win with pitching like that.
- Sizemore: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 R, 3 RBI, 2 K, 1 LOB. The biggest hit of the day for the offense and the only XBH.
- Kuroda: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K. He wasn't awful by any means, but Hirok gets held to a higher standard after his first 2 years in pinstripes and this wasn't a very good performance by that standard. He wasn't sharp with his command, he wasn't efficient with his pitch count, and he couldn't put batters away with 2 outs when he really needed to.
- Bullpen: 2.1 IP, 9 H, 8 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. Speaking of not putting guys away with 2 outs, almost everybody who came out of the 'pen for Joe last night was guilty of that. Like I said, they were due for a bad game. Just sucks it had to come in a game that the team was winning late.
Third game of this 4-gamer is tonight and Ivan Nova and Chris Archer are the scheduled starters. The Yanks could use some length out of Nova after last night, although they will have a fresh arm available in Matt Daley. He was called up after Cesar Cabral was DFA'd after the game.