He may only play in 70 games this season if he’s lucky, but Mark Teixeira is making some serious moves between the lines. He drove in the only two Yankee runs tonight on an RBI single in the first and a solo shot in the bottom of the 6th. However, it was not enough, as the Yankees lost to the Oakland Athletics 5-2.
In a game that started nearly an hour and a half late because of rain, the game started out as a tale of two pitchers – Hiroki Kuroda and Scott Kazmir, were absolutely lights out. Kuroda went 6.2 innings and gave up just one run on two hits and two strikeouts, while Kazmir allowed 2 runs on five hits and struck out 10 Yankees through 6.1 innings of his own.
Dellin Betances came in relief for Kuroda, striking out 2 in 1.1 innings, but he gave up the tying run in the 8th. Kuroda lost the chance to earn the win, despite his fantastic effort.
There really is not much to speak of offensively for the Yankees other than Teixeira. The team scattered 7 total hits in 10 innings, two of them from Teixeira.
David Robertson came in the 9th in a non-save situation to keep the game tied 2-2 with a 1, 2, 3 inning. After blowing a save a couple nights ago, and starting a debate among Yankee fans whether he should continue closing, he showed he can still pitch if a save is not on the line.
Much like the last few games, the wheels fell off for the Yankees late in the game. Adam Warren came in to pitch the 10th and gave up 3 runs in just a third of an inning to make it 5-2 Oakland. Preston Claiborne came in for an ugly, but scoreless rest of the 10th. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done. Brandon Moss started off the inning with his 2nd solo home run of the game, and his teammates continued from there.
The Yankees went down in order in the bottom of the 10th. Derek Jeter finished 0-for-5. Jacoby Ellsbury finished 1-for-4, dropping his expensive batting average down to .273. Alfonso Soriano went 0-for-3 with 3 strikeouts before being pulled for Ichiro Suzuki. Frankly, if Soriano sees another start before the All-Star Game, Joe Girardi should be fired in the middle of an inning so he can be booed out of Yankee Stadium entirely.
The Yankees have now scored a total of 10 runs in their last 5 games. However, they have still been in a position to win thanks to some stellar starting pitching. Girardi has been using his bullpen a lot this week, and it is starting to show.
The bullpen has arguably been worse than the hitting. When the Yankees are up 2-1 in the 9th, they should not lose 7-2. When the Yankees are tied 2-2 in the 8th, they should not lose 7-2. Lastly, when the Yankees are tied 2-2 in the 10th, they should not lose 5-2. No offense can come back from those kinds of performances.
The Yankees will look to bounce back against the Athletics tomorrow with the young lefty Vidal Nuno on the mound.