(Think he wanted that pitch back? Courtesy of The AP)
They had made some improvements in this area after the All Star break, but the Yankees' RISP Fail issues are starting to creep up again and they're just as frustrating as ever. They had ample opportunities to blow Friday night's game open and couldn't do it, and they had ample opportunities to put runs on the board in support of Hiroki Kuroda last night and couldn't do it. Kuroda has been the benefactor of better run support at times this season, which was to be expected going from the Dodgers' lineup to the Yankees', but he got nothing last night and ended up the tough luck loser after a bad 1st inning.
- It was clear that something was off with Kuroda in the 1st inning last night. He hit Jason Kipnis to start the game, walked Shin-Soo Choo, and gave up a 3-run HR to Michael Brantley in the bottom of the 1st. Kuroda also put 2 runners on base in the 2nd, and didn't have command of his sinker.
- Justin Masterson, who has been on the wrong side of some Yankee beatings before, held the offense down through the first 3 innings. The only baserunner the Yankees got was on an error, and that was immediately erased by an Eric Chavez GIDP to end the 2nd.
- Kuroda got it together after the early struggles, working the next 3 innings scoreless and allowing only 1 hit, a double that was erased by a Russell Martin pick-off throw to second.
- The lineup finally scored in the 6th inning, but hardly in the fashion they would have liked given the situation. They loaded the bases with nobody out and got 1 run on a Mark Teixeira sac fly, then they loaded the bases again with a walk and stranded all 3 runners. BABIP luck is a bitch.
- His 1st inning was uncharacteristically bad, but Kuroda was absolutely money after that. He ended up throwing an 8-inning complete game, giving up just 3 more hits, 1 more walk, 0 runs, and striking out 5 in his final 7 innings of work.
- The offense just flat out did nothing to help Kuroda. They loaded the bases again in the 7th inning, this time with 2 outs, and Teix popped up to strand 'em all again. The top of the order did their best to set the table, but nobody was able to drive them in.
- Derek Jeter: 2-5, 1 R, 2 K. On base twice again, scored the team's only run. Did what a leadoff man is supposed to do.
- Robinson Cano: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 BB. On base 3 times, and hit the team's only XBH last night, a double in the 4th inning. He's starting to look a little better at the plate in the last few games, and the Yanks really need him to break out.
- Raul Ibanez: 0-4, 2 K, 2 LOB. A non-factor.
- Teixeira: 0-3, 1 RBI, 1 K, 4 LOB. Yeah he drove in the team's only run, but it was on a sac fly with the bases loaded. Then he came up again with the bases loaded the next inning and popped out. I don't want to be too upset at that, but come on! You're the cleanup hitter and you went 0-2 with RISP in the best RISP situation you can have.
Rubber match of this series is this afternoon. Freddy Garcia squares off against Ubaldo Jimenez, who's been a pile of hot garbage all season but will probably throw 7 innings of 1-run ball today.