Monday, May 13, 2013

Game 37 Wrap-Up: CLE 1 NYY 0

(Good, but not good enough.  Courtesy of the AP)

I imagine the "let's play two" phrase never factored in a roster being in such disarray as the Yankees' presently is.  Just takes all the fun out of the idea when you know Alberto Gonzalez is going to be involved.  But, such was the hand the Yanks had been dealt and they looked to play it correctly and keep their winning streak going earlier today in Cleveland.  David Phelps was on the mound, likely looking at at least 1 more start after Nova's setback yesterday, and the Yankees needed him to provide some length to cover for Vidal Nuno in the second game.

Game Notes:

- Phelps was shaky through 3 innings, fighting command issues with both his 4-seamer and his offspeed stuff.  He gave up a run in the 1st on a Jason Kipnis solo HR, but limited it to that and struck out 4 batters.

- Opposing pitcher Justin Masterson displayed much better command, mixing both his fastballs and slider well in limiting the Yankee lineup to just 2 hits and no runs through 4.  He had to work out of a bases loaded situation in the 2nd, but facing Gonzalez is always makes that task easier.

- The balancing act continued for Phelps through the middle innings.  He walked 2 in the 4th and worked around it, then threw a 12-pitch, strikeout-strikeout-groundout 5th inning.

- Masterson continued to best him through innings.  The Yankee hitters were playing right into his hands, swinging early and often in the count and hitting a lot of grounders, and Masterson helped facilitate those swings with a lot of early strikes.

- Gutsy move by Joe leaving Phelps in for the 7th, and an equally gutsy job by Phelps almost getting through the inning.  He exited after giving up a double and a walk with 2 outs and Boone Logan cleaned up.

- The offense just never got going.  They went down as quietly in the 8th and 9th as they did in every other innings, giving Masterson a complete game victory.  Kudos to Preston Claiborne for a solid bottom of the 8th.

The Yankees' Wild 2013 Ride Keeps Rolling Along

(Pictured- the new Murderer's Row.  Wait, what?  Courtesy of Getty Images)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

Today should be fun, huh?  After starting off their "8 in 7" road trip with a 2-1 series win in Colorado and a 3-game sweep in KC, the surging Yankees will stop off in Cleveland today on their way back home for a doubleheader to make up for last month's rainouts.  They were 2-4 when they first came to Cleveland 5 weeks ago and used the first 2 games of that series to kickstart their season, winning both by a combined score of 25-7.  Since then the Yanks have gone 19-9, ascended to the top of the division, and silenced nearly all the critics who said they'd be done after suffering their rash of ST injuries, this extended stretch of success being driven by some of the players most expected to flop as full-time injury replacements.  Now they'll come back to where the season really started, even more injured and worn down than they were last time, and they'll do it with a 5-game winning streak in their pocket.

Game 36 Wrap-Up: NYY 4 KC 2

(Sure beats getting carted off the field.  Courtesy of the AP)

To know that you're heading into a day-day doubleheader with a victorious road trip already locked up is a great feeling and it's the position the Yankees find themselves in this morning after they completed a sweep of the Kansas City Royals yesterday.  It's still only 36 games into a loooooong season, but it's already starting to get to a point where you run out of things to say about the job this group has done in the first month plus.  Players keep dropping like flies, they bring new ones in to fill the gaps, and keep right on winning.  Their pitching has been great, their offense has been timely, and they got big examples of both yesterday with Hiroki Kuroda on the mound.

Game Notes:

- The lineup struck in a big way the 2nd time through the order, when Robinson Cano and Vernon Wells hit back-to-back HR with 2 outs in the top of the 3rd to give the Yanks a 3-1 lead.  Ervin Santana hung a couple sliders and they ended up as souvenirs.

- Kuroda gave up a cheap run in the bottom of the 1st off a leadoff double, and that was all the Royals got through 4.  He was attacking hitters, throwing a lot of strikes, and generating a lot of weak swings and contact.

- Wells continued his hot hitting with an RBI single in the 5th to give Kuroda a 3-run lead and that was all the offense the Yanks would get for the day.  They put a few runners on here and there but never really threatened to score again.

- Kuroda put a few runners on here and there as well, 2 in the 5th, 1 each in the 6th and 7th, before finally tiring and giving up a second run in the 8th.  He left with a 2-run lead after 7.2 very good innings.

- And as they seem to do every day lately, D-Rob and Mo combined to close out the win and the sweep.  That's now 15-15 in save opportunities and a 1.65 ERA for Rivera on the year.