Sunday, August 4, 2013

Game 110 Wrap-Up: SD 6 NYY 3

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

Once upon a time, not too long ago, the Yankees were blessed with one of the nastiest trios of starting pitching prospects in all of baseball.  Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, and Ian Kennedy were supposed to be the boost of young pitching needed to help the aging core of the lineup stay competitive and in World Series contention as that generation of players moved to the ends of their careers.  Instead, all 3 will be remembered mostly un-fondly for their time in pinstripes.  Kennedy was the first to flame out in New York in an unfairly small number of starts, and 4 years later Hughes and Joba have followed him down and likely out of town at season's end.  Kennedy-Hughes was the starting matchup and Joba made an appearance, so all parties from that failed venture got to contribute today in a bad loss for the Yankees.  None more than Hughes.

Game Notes:

- Hughes got into trouble in the 2nd by not locating his fastball and failing to put guys away with 2 strikes.  He could have got out of it with just 1 run allowed, but he gave up a big 2-out, 2-run hit to Everth Cabrera that made it 3-0.

- With 2 on and 1 out in the bottom of the 3rd, Joe elected to intentionally load the bases, a questionable move given Hughes' fastball struggles.  After a sac fly and another 2-out hit allowed, San Diego had 2 more on the board and Hughes' day was done.

- The Yankees put a runner on base every inning from the 2nd through the 5th.  They could never string any hits together against Kennedy to break through and he made some big pitches to get 2 inning-ending double plays.

- Kennedy helped his own cause in the 4th, singling to start the inning and coming around to score on a Chase Headley single.  It was 6-0 and things were looking bleak.

- The lineup finally managed to break through in the 6th, and surprisingly enough they did it with 2 outs.  2 straight walks to Cano and Soriano and a pair of RBI singles for Curtis Granderson and Lyle Overbay made it 6-2 and abruptly ended Kennedy's day.

- An Austin Romine solo HR in the 7th made things interesting again, but the Yankee offense couldn't complete the comeback and 5.1 innings of very good relief work was wasted.  Another series, another series loss.

Who's Ready For Some More Setbacks? (Updated)

It wouldn't be a week in Yankeeland without a few guys suffering injury setbacks, right?  Thankfully they remembered to come through on that commitment yesterday and were nice enough to hit us with a double dose of bad news.

Derek Jeter was held out of last night's game and will be held out of tonight's game with some lingering soreness in his quad and also now his calf.  Jeter has been mandated by the team to only jog out of the batter's box on contact, something that hasn't sat well with him.  Being handled with such kid gloves and still coming up with injuries, it's clear at this point that Jeter is nowhere near 100% physically and never was.  The team is hoping the few days off will be enough to avoid the DL and have him ready to go on Monday in Chicago.

David Phelps was scheduled to make his next rehab appearance yesterday and was a late scratch with what the Double-A Trenton manager called a sore right elbow.  Phelps has been working back from a forearm strain he suffered about a month ago and there hadn't been any issues since he started throwing again up until last night.  He's going to be reevaluated and everything is up in the air until the team gets a diagnosis.  The Yankees could use help in the pitching staff and they were counting on Phelps to provide that help.  Anytime there are elbow problems there is concern.  Hopefully this doesn't turn into anything serious.

** UPDATE 1:12 PM- Via Bryan Hoch, Michael Pineda left his start after just 2 innings last night due to shoulder stiffness.  He's being sent to NY to be checked out.  Great.

Also via Hoch, Derek Jeter had an MRI on his calf today.  They're awaiting the results right now.  Awesome. **

Game 109 Wrap-Up: NYY 3 SD 0

(Up top.  Courtesy of the AP)

The team's supposed best pitcher can't get through 5 innings without taking a beating these days.  Their supposed 5th starter has been the best pitcher not named Kuroda on the staff since late June.  Yesterday that 5th starter, Ivan Nova, was back out on the hill trying to get his team back in the win column.  He, and the rest of the Yankees, were without Derek Jeter, who was held out due to lingering soreness in his quad and some apparent new soreness in his calf.  Whether there's another DL trip on the horizon for him remains to be seen.  What mattered yesterday was that Nova was dealing and with a little help from C-Grand he led the Yankees to victory.

Game Notes:

- It was a bit bumpy for Nova early.  He gave up 2 singles in the bottom of the 1st before striking Jedd Gyorko to end the inning, and he had to work around a leadoff double in the 2nd.

- The sailing was much smoother for San Diego starter Tyson Ross.  He retired the first 13 batters he faced in order, including a stretch of 5 strikeouts in a row and 6 out of 7 into the 5th.

- Nova settled down after the 2nd and really started to dial in his command.  He was working almost exclusively fastball-curveball and he was hitting his spots down with the heater to set up the curve nicely as the out pitch.  From the 3rd-6th, he sat down the Padres in order to keep the game scoreless.

- The offense finally showed up in the top of the 7th against a tiring Ross.  Alfonso Soriano singled to start the inning and Curtis Granderson showed his hand is feeling good by smacking a 2-run homer to right to give New York the lead.  Got a fastball in an obvious fastball count and didn't waste it.

- Nova gave up a double and a walk in the 7th but kept runs off the board again.  Joe must have seen something in that inning that he didn't like though, because Nova was out after 85 pitches and the game was in the 'pen's hands.  When those hands belong to D-Rob and Mo, that's a smart decision.

- C-Grand helped tack on an insurance run in the 9th on a leadoff single, stolen base, and a GB single by Jayson Nix to plate him.