(Just keep on Web Gemin', Brett. Courtesy of Getty Images)
Despite all the injuries and all the lineup inconsistencies, the Yankees came into last night's game as the only team in MLB without a losing streak of at least 3 games in 2013. That's a pretty impressive feat, and their reward for the accomplishment was trying to keep the streak alive against Matt Harvey, the Mets' young ace and already one of the 5 best pitchers in baseball. Oh wait, that's not a reward. Silly me. At least the Bombers had Hiroki Kuroda on the mound to give them a fighting chance, as Hirok looked to bounce back from a poor start his last time out. He did just fine after a rain delay, but for the second straight night the bullpen let one get away late in a stunning loss.
- He gave up singles to Reid Brignac and Brett Gardner in the 3rd, otherwise Harvey was the real deal through 4. His stuff was as electric as advertised and he used it all to strike out 6 of the first 14 batters he faced.
- Kuroda was equally effective in his 4 first innings, although with a helluva lot less flash than Harvey. He had good fastball life and slider sharpness and retired 9 in a row at one point to keep the game scoreless.
- The Yankees squandered Ichiro reaching on a leadoff error in the 5th. They didn't make the same mistake when Brett Gardner took second base on a Marlon Byrd bobble to lead off the 6th. With 2 outs, Harvey left a changeup belt high to Lyle Overbay. Looking to swing early after striking out in his first 2 ABs, Overbay lined a single up the middle to score Gardner and give the Yanks a 1-0 lead.
- Robinson Cano returned the leadoff error favor on a truly horrid play to start the bottom of the 6th, but some nasty pitches and a killer pickoff play by Kuroda, and another great OF play by Gardner killed the threat.
- It looked like the Yankees would finally really get to Harvey with 2 outs in the 8th after Cano and Vernon Wells singled. Harvey stayed in with a pitch count over 115 and got Overbay to line out to right to keep it a 1-run game.
- That out turned out to be big in the bottom of the 9th, when Mariano Rivera came on and shockingly gave up 3 straight hits to blow the save and the win. He was just a little off where he wanted to be on the corner on 3 pitches and it cost him. First time this season, won't be the last. You can't get pissed at Mo.
- Gardner: 2-4, 1 R. Made solid contact in all 4 PAs last night, 2 of which resulted in hits and 2 of which didn't. He was the only Yankee hitter who looked comfortable against Harvey and he's quietly putting together a really nice month at the plate. He's also good for a really nice defensive play once every handful of games.
- Kuroda: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K. Just a terrific outing from Hirok. Sure it was against a crummy Mets lineup, but he pitched exactly like you would expect him to against a lineup like that. He was good with his fastball location all night, and worked well with his slider and splitter down and out of the zone to get a lot of swings and misses.
- Mo: 0.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K. The scorer gave an error to Gardner, saving Mo one ER, but he was pretty bad last night. Cutter just didn't move late like it usually does. It was the first time in his career that Mo blew a save without recording an out.
- Chris Stewart: 0-3, 2 K, 2 LOB. Nothing at the plate and not much behind it either. Stewart let another passed ball get by him last night on an almost too-easy-to-catch fastball and failed to block Gardner's throw home in the 9th, allowing David Wright to advance. Why the fuck is he in the lineup again?
- Cano: 1-4, 1 K, 3 LOB. Cano's month of mediocrity continues. He did nothing in 3 PA against Harvey early in the game, 2 with Gardner on base, and only got to him when he was tired in the 8th. His error in the 6th was pretty sloppy too.
The series shifts to Yankee Stadium tonight for the final 2 games. Starting matchup is David Phelps against Jeremy Hefner. Get ready to tell your kids where you were for that one.