("Little help here, guys?" Courtesy of the AP)
Well this'll be something, huh? A battered Yanks team kicked off an 8 game/7 day road trip in Colorado last night with one of the saddest lineups they've put on the field to date. No Gardner, no Hafner, Nix batting 2nd, Francisco 5th, Nelson 7th, and Hiroki Kuroda hitting 9th and pitching as per the woefully outdated NL rules. If there was a game setting the Yanks up for a poor stretch of games it was last night, and they didn't disappoint (or did they?). 0 runs and just 4 hits against Colorado pitching in what was one of the lamest 2-run games you'll ever see.
- For as much as he talked about not liking pitching at Coors Field, Kuroda looked good early. He was efficient, strong with his 4-seamer, and needed just 58 pitches to get through 4 scoreless.
- His offense wasn't doing much to help him through those innings. Jayson Nix was stranded at second in the top of the 1st, then stranded Ichiro at third in the 3rd after Ichiro stole 2 bases. The Yanks tried to create chances by stealing bases, but there weren't many and they didn't capitalize on any of them.
- Kuroda made one mistake on the night and one was all it took to lose the game. With a runner on first and 2 outs in the 6th, he threw a 3-2 fastball right down the middle to Carlos Gonzalez. Gonzalez hit it for a 2-run HR and that was the ballgame.
- If you're looking for small victories, Shawn Kelley managed to not give up a home run in his 1 inning of relief work behind Kuroda in the 8th.
- Kuroda: 7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K. He wasn't great, not as great as we've seen him, but Kuroda still pitched well enough to win. A manager will sign up for 2 earned in 7 innings at Coors all day every day. All Kuroda could do last night was try to keep it close and that's exactly what he did.
- Robinson Cano: 0-4, 2 LOB. You can't be putting up 0-fers and getting outhit by Jayson Nix in a game like this.
- Vernon Wells: 0-4, 1 K, 2 LOB. Starting to turn back into a pumpkin?
Game two of the series is tonight, with David Phelps and Juan Nicasio getting the start for their respective clubs. That should mean Gardner and Hafner back in the lineup.