Saturday, August 17, 2013

Coming off Friday night's big 10-3 win in the series opener against the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees sent out their ace, Hiroki Kuroda, to the mound in hopes he could continue dominance on the mound against Boston.

Unfortunately for Kuroda and the Yankees, it would not be their day, as a poor offensive showing from the top of the lineup, coupled with sloppy play in the field, Kuroda came home with his 8th defeat of the season in the Yankees 6-1 loss Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park.

"We can't dig ourselves in a hole for no reason," said Yankees first baseman Lyle Overbay. "This is playoff atmosphere. This is how we've got to play. We've got to be sound, and those are things that we can't have."

Things were running smoothly for Kuroda through the first three inning, as he and Red Sox starter John Lackey were matching each other pitch for pitch through three innings, with both pitchers giving up just a couple runs apiece.

But when the Red Sox finally jumped on the scoreboard, it was because of a play to would prove to haunt the Yankees.

Boston had runners on the corners with one away when Stephen Drew hit a groundball to Overbay, who would send the throw high to second, pulling Eduardo Nunez away from the bag, and Nunez's throw would arrive late to first, scoring David Ortiz from third on the play with every reaching safely.

The play that could have ended to inning, turned into a run, and more, for the Red Sox.

"I just didn't finish the throw. It's frustrating, because I feel like if I get a good grip on the ball, I can throw the ball," Overbay said. "I just didn't finish the throw. It ended up costing us."

A couple pitches later, Mike Carp, who was on second base, and Drew took off for a double steal, with Alex Rodriguez being late to cover the third base bag, again, all the runners were safe, setting up a second and third situation with still only one out.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia would strike out swinging, then Will Middlebrooks sent a groundball up the middle that was stopped by Robinson Cano, but with no play to make, everybody was safe and the second run of the inning would score.

Then immediately that, Jacoby Ellsbury came up with runners on the corners and he lined a single into right field, scoring Drew from third base, to put the Red Sox up 3-0.

"That fourth inning, I wish I could take that back," Kuroda said. "I feel bad about it. ... With the runners on, I wanted to minimize the damage. But I couldn't do that."

Kuroda was knocked out of the game in the bottom of the 6th inning after dishing out a one-out single off the Monster to Saltalamacchia, driving home Daniel Nava from third. Following a strikeout by Middlebrooks, Ellsbury drove an RBI double to right field, making it a 5-1 game, ending Kuroda's day.

Kuroda left with two outs in the 6th, having given up five runs, only three earned, tying a season-high with five runs allowed, and Kuroda also gave up a season-high 11 hits on the day. He clearly wasn't at his best, and the long 4th inning did a lot of damage to him.

"I still think he still made good pitches and he could have got out of the inning," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I think that inning took a toll on him as the game went on, and he ended up having to throw extra pitches. In a game like that, that's a big deal. It changes the complexion of the game."

Adam Warren took over for Kuroda in the 6th, and gave up solo homerun to David Ortiz in the bottom of the 7th, and ran into a mess of trouble in the 8th, loading the base with two-outs, before Girardi replaced him with Boone Logan, who retired the only batter he faced.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Yankees showed nothing of the 10-run offense that was put on display the night before. The only run to score was Lyle Overbay, who would touch home on a groundout to the second baseman by Ichiro.

The Yankees top three hitters in the lineup -- Brett Gardner, Ichiro, Cano and Vernon Wells -- combined to go 1-for-12 with 11 groundball outs, doing absolutely nothing to help the Yankees put runs on the board.

Alfonso Soriano and Over were the only Yankees hitters that were able to do anything with the bat, as Soriano would finish the game 2-for-4, raising his batting average to .329, and he's 15 his last 21 at-bats, and Overbay finished to game 3-for-4, with a two-out double in the 9th.

CC Sabathia takes the mound in the rubber game if this three-game series tomorrow night on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball. He'll be opposed by Red Sox right-hander Ryan Dempster.

"They are big losses, in a sense, but you can't make too much of one game," Girardi said. "You have to go out and win a series tomorrow. That's the bottom line. You have to win the series and we have an opportunity to do that."


Post a Comment