Here is some logic for you. All Yankees except Mariano Rivera and Robinson Cano will have a four day vacation next week. But the Yankees were concerned about the team getting overtired and so they activated Travis Ishikawa to give Lyle Overbay a day off. Vernon Wells got a start against a right-handed pitcher to give Ichiro Suzuki a break. Austin Romine got a start to rest Chris Stewart and Alberto Gonzalez started in place of Eduardo Nunez because he had played three games in a row. When the bottom four guys in your lineup would not look good even in a Spring Training game, Jeremy Guthrie looks like Greg Maddux.
Here is more logic. The short porch in Yankee Stadium is right field. So Phil Hughes and Romine decided to throw Billy Butler an outside fastball so he can hit the ball to right field. Gee, a Hughes-allowed homer. How novel.
In fairness to Hughes, he did not get a chance to get a quality start. He gave up two runs in the second inning and none in the other three. But a 2-0 lead against these Yankees looks like 10-0. A 59 minute rain delay washed out the rest of Hughes’ outing. Adam Warren came in after the rain and did a decent job for three and two-thirds innings and allowed one more run. But by then, the Yankees were down, 3-0 and could not do anything against Jeremy Guthrie who pitched before the delay and long after.
If you want to straighten out a struggling pitcher, send him to face the Yankees. Matt Moore of the Rays had lost three straight and had given up 19 runs in those three games. He pitched against the Yankees and has not lost since. Guthrie had given up 20 runs in 34+ innings and then faced the Yankees. Watch him run off a string of victories.
The Yankees were terrible against Guthrie until the seventh inning when Overbay pinch hit for Ishikawa and hit a homer. Two more singles chased Guthrie but a pinch hitting Eduardo Nunez struck out against Tim Collins to end that threat.
The Yankees again put two men on base in the eighth with one out and Travis Hafner and Vernon Wells grounded out weakly to end that threat.
The Royals extended their lead to 5-1 with two runs in the top of the ninth off of Preston Claiborne and the lead seemed insurmountable. It was. But it was in spectacular fashion. The Yankees forced Ned Yost to go to his closer when the first two Yankee batters got on base. Chris Steward singled off of closer, Greg Holland, to load the bases with no outs.
Holland has an incredible arm and should have made the All Star team, but even so, what the Yankees did was epic. Eduardo Nunez. Strikeout. Brett Gardner. Strikeout. Zoilo Almonte. Strikeout. Only Almonte had a good at bat, fouling off multiple pitches before succumbing at last.
The Yankees left seven men on base in the last three innings after spending most of the first six innings not being able to get anyone on base. Nunez left five men on all by himself. Either way, it was a damp downer of a night for the Yankee faithful. In a season full of pathetic offensive games for the Yankees this season, tonight might have been the worst one yet. At least it felt like it.