Sunday, June 29, 2014

Masahiro Tanaka threw a 1-2 fastball with two outs in the 9th, Mike Napoli hit it just long enough to escape the ballpark, proceeded to call Tanaka an "idiot," and the Red Sox beat the Yankees, 2-1, on Saturday night, even this three-game series at a game a piece heading into Sunday night's series finale.

The Yankees managed to only collected five hits in nine innings, eight of those innings pitched by Jon Lester, who continued his hot run of pitching with another solid outing, tossing eight innings of one-run ball.

Jacoby Ellsbury picked up two of the five hits, and only three other players added one of their own. The offense is struggling, and even when it can look good, there are still problems hiding within. Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran are both having poor seasons during their first in pinstripes, and Robinson Cano's replacement, Brian Roberts, has been nothing short of terrible, too.

Simply put: the starting rotation isn't the only thing needing an upgrade at the trade deadline. The Yankees have a lot of problems to fix if they hope to make a playoff run, and the lineup is one of them.

Tonight's lineup against Boston:

Brett Gardner, LF
Derek Jeter, SS
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Brian McCann, C
Carlos Beltran, DH
Kelly Johnson, 3B
Brian Roberts, 2B

Ichiro Suzuki, RF

Pitching matchup preview

Well, one Yankees rookie, Tanaka, couldn't get the job done last night, despite the complete-game effort, so it'll be up to another Yankees rookie tonight, right-hander Chase Whitley, who has surprised many with his quality pitching so far this season since being called up back on May.

Whitley is looking to rebound from the worst outing of his big league career, when the Toronto Blue Jays tagged his for eight runs on 11 hits, knocking him out of the game after just 3.2 innings.

On the mound for Boston is right-hander John Lackey, who has been a much better pitcher for the Red Sox over the past two season coming off of Tommy John surgery.

Lackey has been one of the team's most consistent starters this season, but he, too, is coming off of a bad outing, when the Mariners hit him around for seven run on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.

He into tonight's game with a record of 8-5 with a 3.45 ERA this season, but in four career starts at Yankee Stadium, he is 1-2 with an 8.10 ERA.


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