Sunday, May 18, 2014

Game 43 Wrap-Up: PIT 5 NYY 3

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

The win earlier today gave the Yankees a nice little 4-game winning streak.  They could have kept that going and earned a series sweep in the process with another victory in the second, but that task wasn't going to come easy with Vidal Nuno starting, a very shorthanded bullpen supporting him, and a weak, shallow lineup.  All of those things combined to be too much to overcome and the Pirates escaped New York with a Sunday split.

Game Notes:

- A literal calamity of errors led to all the runs in the 2nd.  A pair by Brian Roberts and Yangervis Solarte cost Nuno a run in the top half, and a brutal fielding error by Travis Snider practically gave the Yanks 2 in the bottom half.

- It was relatively smooth sailing for Nuno after that.  He retired the next 9 hitters in a row through 5 innings, with 8 of the 9 outs coming by either groundout or strikeout.  The one other out came on a nice relay play to nail Josh Harrison trying to stretch a double before the go-ahead run could score.

- Nuno looked to be cruising through the 6th and then he made his 1 big mistake.  He hung an 0-1 slider to Starling Marte and Marte hit it for a go-ahead 2-run home run.  It was his 2nd HR of the day and it gave Pittsburgh the lead.

- The undermanned lineup was held in check after the 2nd by Cole, but the slumping and error-prone Yangervis Solarte got to him for a game-tying home run in the bottom of the 6th.  The guy's finding his power.

- Joe had the JV 'pen for this game and it didn't take long for that to bite him.  Alfredo Aceves gave up a 2-out home run to Harrison on a meatball fastball to make it 4-3 Pittsburgh and bring himself 1 day closer to a DFA.

- The Yanks couldn't mount another comeback.  They left runners on second and third in the 7th, had a potentially run-scoring hit robbed by a good defensive play in the 8th, and went down 1-2-3 in the 9th to split the day.

Game 42 Wrap-Up: NYY 4 PIT 3

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

Busy Sunday for the Yankees today, much busier than any of us are probably having.  They'll be playing 2 and the first took place earlier this afternoon.  It featured Hiroki Kuroda, who needs to be much better now that CC is out, against Charlie Morton as the Yanks and Pirates kicked off today's doubleheader.  Neither starting pitcher was great, but Kuroda was a slight bit better when he needed to be to keep his team in front for the W.

Game Notes:

- On Saturday, it was all power for the Yankee lineup.  This afternoon it was patience and stringing hits together.  They scored 3 in the 1st on a walk, a HBP, and 3 singles, and another in the 2nd on a single, stolen base, and an RBI double by Brett Gardner for a 4-0 lead.

- The overall results were good for Hirok early (1 ER in 4 innings), but the methods to get there were a little uneven.  He gave up a solo HR to Neil Walker in the 1st and had to escape a bases loaded situation in the 4th.

- Kuroda's fortune started to change in the 5th when he gave up his second homer of the day to Tony Sanchez to start the inning.  2 more hits led to 1 more run and the lead shrunk to 4-3.  Couldn't keep his sinker down in the zone.

- The Yankee bats went quiet after the 2nd, I mean dead silent.  They didn't put a runner on second in the final 6 innings and the only hit they had was Zoilo Almonte's 4th inning single.  That's not good enough.

- It didn't have to be this time.  Joe stuck to his plan of not overworking Kuroda and pulled him after 6 innings and 93 pitches.  The bullpen combination of Matt Daley, Adam Warren, and David Robertson made the 1-run lead hold up.

Sunday Doubleheader News And Notes

The first game of today's doubleheader doesn't start for another few hours, but it's already been a busy day on the Yankee news circuit.  Here are the early headlines from this morning:

- Hiroki Kuroda will start the first game and Vidal Nuno the second today.  I'm sure it was Hirok's call on when he wanted to pitch.

- Jose Ramirez has been called up as the 26th man for today's game.  I know he has the advantage of being on the 40-man roster, but the fact that he was called up after only being active for a week or so shows how highly the Yanks think of him.

- He may see action today too because Joe has ruled Dellin Betances not available after pitching 2 innings yesterday.  He's been leaning on Betances and Warren a lot lately.

- Via Dan Barbarisi, Carlos Beltran has already received a second cortisone shot in his injured elbow and he's scheduled to visit Dr. Andrews for a second opinion on it on Tuesday.  Neither of those are good signs.

- Game 1 Lineup: 1) Gardner- DH, 2) Jeter- SS, 3) Ellsbury- CF, 4) Teix- 1B, 5) McCann- C, 6) Soriano- RF, 7) Solarte- 2B, 8) Johnson- 3B, 9) Zoilo- LF.