(Never a good sign. Courtesy of the AP)
With a day to let the initial excitement and eventual disappointment of Opening Day settle down, the Yankees returned to the diamond last night for the second game of their season-opening series against Fraud Sawx Nation. They had Hiroki Kuroda on the mound making his 2013 debut, the "better" version of their starting lineup on the field, and hit-or-miss right-hander Clay Buchholz as the opposing pitcher. If there was anything that could have made the situation better to get a W, it would have involved a batting tee. Unfortunately, that situation fell apart pretty quickly.
- The weather wasn't kind (low-30s wind chill, 25 MPH winds), and Kuroda never looked comfortable with his grip or slider command. He gave up a run on 3 hits in the top of the 1st, and then had to leave the game with 1 out in the 2nd after taking a line drive off his pitching hand and following up with 2 HBPs and a walk to force in another run.
- Cody Eppley relieved Kuroda, and got out of the 2nd with a well-timed double play ball, but Joe elected to go back to Eppley instead of Adam Warren to start the 3rd and Eppley put 4 more runs on the board before Joe finally pulled the plug.
- Down 6-0 early, the Yanks got on the board via a solo HR by Travis Hafner in the bottom of the 4th. Good to know they still have a few healthy guys who can hit bombs.
- After that, Buchholz settled down and worked through the next 3 frames scoreless, including wiggling out of a 2-on, 1-out jam in the 7th.
- Nobody was expecting him to do much more than take one for the team, but Warren was actually very good in his 5.1 innings of work. He allowed just 1 more run, got the game to the 9th without using up any major 'pen guys, and threw both his fastball and his changeup very well.
- Vernon Wells was the big offensive star of the night for New York, racking up 3 hits in 4 ABs. His last one was a 3-run homer off former Yank Alfredo Aceves in the bottom of the 8th. It was enough to make the game look respectable, but in the end the Yanks still came up short.
- Wells: 3-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI. Wouldn't have expected this kind of output from Wells against RHP, but he came through and made the game somewhat interesting in the 8th.
- Warren: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K. Things got off to a shaky start when he entered mid-inning in the 3rd, but Warren settled down after that and turned in a very good performance given the situation. He threw strikes, got 10 of them swinging, looked confident, and turned in a much better outing than in his Chicago spot start last year.
- Brett Gardner: 0-5, 2 K, 4 LOB. Blech. Not good, guy.
- Cano: 0-4, 2 LOB. He's making a concerted effort to beat the shift, which is a good thing, but he's looking to swing a little early in the count. I'd like to see him take a few more pitches on the corner and see if he can get himself into a hitter's count where the pitcher has to throw him something good.
Final game of this series is tonight and it'd be nice to get on the right (technically left) side of the W-L column. Andy Pettitte squares off against Ryan Dempster.