(Courtesy of the AP)
Friday night was not what anybody had in mind for a series-opening game against a West Coast opponent. The Angels came into town and slapped the Yankees around their own ballpark for all 9 innings, and once again the bullpen was left in need of fresh arms. They got another one for this afternoon's game in the form of Chris Leroux and they were hoping they wouldn't have to go there too early or very often with Vidal Nuno back on the mound.
- Nuno put himself in an early 1-0 hole when he gave up a solo homer to Mike Trout in the top of the 1st. He wasn't the first to suffer that fate and he certainly won't be the last.
- LA starter Hector Santiago wasn't on top of his game early and the Yanks capitalized on that in the bottom of the 2nd. A hit batsman, single, and walk loaded the bases with 1 out, a balk got them on the board, and a big 2-out, 2-run single by John Ryan Murphy gave them the 3-1 lead.
- A combination of bad defense (Brian Roberts throwing error on a possible double play turn) and bad pitching by Nuno (put the first 2 runners on, double on a hanging slider) led to 2 runs for the Angels in the 4th. After giving up hits to Albert Pujols in each of his first 2 PA, Joe elected not to let Nuno face him again in the 5th and the game went to the bullpen.
- Murphy's first career MLB home run gave the Yanks the lead back in the 5th, but they failed to put another run across after 2 more hits. They wouldn't need one thanks to the work of their bullpen. It got a little hairy, but Betances, Kelley, Thornton, and D-Rob did the job.
- Murphy: 2-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI, 1 LOB. 2 nice pieces of hitting by J.R. in his first 2 PA. He worked a good at-bat and lined a single to right-center with 2 strikes in the 2nd, then came up looking first pitch fastball in the 5th and crushing it for a HR when he got it. This is why the Yankees called him up and not Romine.
- Brett Gardner: 2-3, 1 R, 1 SB. Need more of this more consistently.
- Kelly Johnson: 0-3, 4 LOB. In a little rut right now. Maybe due to Joe not playing him against lefties regularly.
Series finale is tonight and the game is the ESPN "Sunday Night Baseball" game of the week. Masahiro Tanaka will be front and center in primetime against Garrett Richards of Anaheim.