Yankees’ backs to the wall following shutout

The good:

  • Hiroki Kuroda was wonderful. Pitching on short rest for the first time in his MLB career, Kuroda gave the Yankees 7.2 innings and limited Detroit to five hits and three runs, two of which scored after he exited the game. He struck out 11 Tigers in that span without a single walk issued, and didn’t allow a single base runner until the sixth inning. Just an incredible effort from Hiroki today, and it’s more or less a crim against all that is holy that his offense let him down again.
  • Cody Eppley got four outs while allowing just one hit and getting two strikeouts, including striking out Delmon Young to leave the bases loaded in the eighth inning.

The bad:

  • Alex Rodriguez got a hit (1-4 with two strikeouts), and the offense still didn’t score a single run.
  • Robinson Cano went 0-4.
  • Nick Swisher went a combined 1-6 with a walk and five strikeouts.
  • Ichiro Suzuki and Russell Martin both went 0-4 as well, but they get passes today because they’ve actually been carrying their weight for the rest of the playoffs.
  • The Yankees got the first two Tigers out to start the eighth inning, still trailing just 1-0, and then all hell broke loose. Omar Infante and Austin Jackson singled, but Infante strayed too far off of second base and was thrown out before he could get back. Well, unofficially anyway, because the umpire called him safe even though replay showed he was unequivocally out, and the prolonged inning would have a profound impact on the game. Joe Girardi opted to remove Kuroda for Boone Logan at that point, but Jim Leyland call on the right handed Avisail Garcia to face him, and Garcia sent an RBI single into right field. Girardi then called on Joba Chamberlain to face Miguel Cabrera, and he too allowed an RBI single to right. Clay Rapada walked Prince Fielder (with Girardi getting ejected for coming back to argue the call at second base mixed in here as well), to load the bases before Eppley mercifully ended things by striking out Young. The saddest part of all of this? The Yankees’ hitters made it all moot by getting blanked anyway.

The bottom line:

  • You couldn’t construct a much worse position for the Yankees to be in after the series’ first two games. Not only did the lose two games at home, where they had a better record than anyone in the A.L. during the regular season, but they dropped those two games against Detroit’s 3/4 starters, and are now in a position where they’ll have to win at least one game in which Verlander starts, plus beat Sanchez/Doug Fister/Max Scherzer in some combination to boot. Given that the offense was shutout in 20 of the 21 innings in which the two teams played this weekend, that seems like a tall order to say the least. Not impossible by any means, but but it’s going to be an uphill climb to be sure, and as was demonstrated today, they can’t expect even truly fantastic performances by their own starting pitchers to bail them out.

About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

8 thoughts on “Yankees’ backs to the wall following shutout

  1. Pretty much the same position they were in after the first two games of the 1996 World Series. And Detroit is nowhere near the team the Braves were and this Yankee team is, on paper (I know, they play the games on the field), far better than the 1996 bunch. Tuesday's match is why I would never bet on baseball. Hughes versus Verlander, bet the house on the Tigers and then live under an overpass as the Yankees win 6-2. Stranger things have happened.

  2. A very depressing game, and while the blown call was annoying (as was Cano's blown DP), the fact that we didn't score was the big problem. But I just have to ask: what the heck was Girardi thinking in the top of the 8th with the pitching merry-go-round? Was there a good reason to not just bring in Robertson (or Soriano) for Kuroda to hopefully get that last out and shut the Tigers down, then come back out and pitch the 9th? They each only pitched 1 inning yesterday (sigh), and there's an off day tomorrow…

  3. That blown call was tough. But tougher was our offense. Cano is .0, A-rod is .143, Curtis is .0, Swisher got a lonely hit. A-rod delivered, with 2 outs in the 9th inning. We don't have the right to blame this call the whole game.

    Kuroda was great, but is no hero without run support.

  4. I don't understand why a bigger deal isn't being made about Girardi bringing Logan in, when he had to know Leyland would bring in a righty. And then letting Joba pitch to Cabrera. To me, these are almost justification for a firing.

  5. I thought Granderson took a step or two in on the double over his head which led to the 1st run. IF he catches that ball OR if Cano turns the DP AND the ump makes the correct call in the 8th, it would be scoreless into the 9th. Of course, then the Yankees (Girardi) could have burned through the bullpen and lost 1-0 in the 15th. I can't recall a more frustrating weekend (weak) of baseball in many years.

  6. Not going to win to many games when Cano, A-Rod, Swisher and Granderson are a combined 3 for 32 with No HR's, No RBI's and 12 K's the last 2 games. Maybe a change of scenery and going to Comerica Park will do them some good. They certainly can't do any worse. Not to state the obvious but winning at least 2 of 3 in Detroit is a must.