Pineda is great-a but the offense duds, Blue Jays win

Michael Pineda made it worth the wait with a six-inning stellar performance that showed he can really help the Yankees’ rotation this year. Unfortunately, despite four really decent chances, the Yankees could not get the big hit they needed and laid an egg. In the eighth inning, David Phelps yielded a homer, a double and then another homer to put the game out of reach. R.A. Dickey got the win to even his record at 1-1 and Sergio Santos got a four out save.for his second of the year. Pineda got the hard luck loss and is 0-1.

Before we get to the bad stuff, let’s talk about Pineda.  He has been away from the Majors as long as Grady Sizemore. Think about that for a second. After working hard all winter and spring, he earned the opportunity to head north with the Yankees as the fifth starter. And what a fifth starter he can be!

Michael Pineda pitched six innings against a tough lineup and gave up six hits and no walks He struck out five. So after his one stint thus far, he has an 0.86 WHIP and a 1.50 ERA. The one run against him came in the second inning. Adam Lind went against type and hit a solid double to the opposite field. And they Josh Thole, only in the Majors to catch for Dickey, hit a little doink shot into no-man’s land between the shortstop and the left fielder. That was the only blemish.

Okay, that’s the good news. The bad news is that the Yankees really put up a dud of an attack. Despite a slow start, they did manage to get on base twelve times with seven hits, three walks and two hit batsmen. But ten of those runners were stranded, one was erased in a double-play and Francisco Cervelli was called out on a controversial call at home plate on the only time the Yankees delivered a hit with men in scoring position (Ellsbury).

After it was determined that Cervelli was not blocked from getting to home, it did appear that his leg beat the tag. But there was no angle that showed the foot touching the plate and the out call stood.

Particularly bad offensive performances were turned in by Carlos Beltran, Alfonso Soriano and Dean Anna. Beltran stranded three batters and hit the double play ball. Soriano looked at a meatball over the plate for strike two and then swung at a 59 foot slider in the dirt to ruin another rally. Soriano has zero hits on the season. Dean Anna twice ended innings with runners on base with strikeouts.

Jacoby Ellsbury had three more hits and a perfect throw from Colby Rasmus prevented him from tying up the game. Rasmus had a terrific game in the field with a hard-running catch of a Francisco Cervelli smash in the ninth.

Cervelli also had a great day and went two for three with a hit by pitch and was robbed his last time up. Yangervis Solarte also had a two for three day with a hit by pitch. Cervelli, Solarte and Ellsbury accounted for all of the Yankee hits. Derek Jeter went zero for two but did walk twice.

So put this one in the loss column. The Yankees are now 2-3 and the Blue Jays are 3-3. The Yankees and Blue Jays will play one more tomorrow at the same time. It will be CC Sabathia versus young phenom, Drew Hutchison.

William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at www.passion4baseball.blogspot.com since 2003.

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