About Last Night: David Phelps and the Sixth Inning of Doom

As you all know, David Phelps picked up the loss last night in Kansas City and I thought we could take a look at the inning where the game boarded the train to Loserville: The dreaded sixth inning.

And what makes this disaster of an inning even more frustrating for both the Yankees and their fans is that the team had just tied the game thanks to Carlos Beltran‘s and Yangervis Solarte‘s heroics in the top of the sixth inning after being stymied by Royals’ starter Danny Duffy and they had turned what was a frustrating performance into an exciting comeback.

So when the Yankees took the field for the bottom of the sixth inning, Phelps started things off with a five-pitch walk to Billy Butler. As you can see, there was nothing good about this at bat and nearly everything was out of the zone:

atbat-summary (16)

Next, he walked Alex Gordon on six pitches:

atbat-summary (17)

And then Salvador Perez, somehow, hit the pitch highlighted in blue for a three-run shot to put the Royals up 6-3. I guess there isn’t much you can do about that:

atbat-summary (18)

So in just three batters, the game went from, “Okay, just keep it tied and maybe the Yanks can score a couple of more runs,” to “PHELPS, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!?” and it didn’t end there.

Lorenzo Cain stepped in and tripled on an 89 m.p.h. fastball over the plate:

atbat-summary (19)

After Cain’s triple, Phelps was able to get Mike Moustakas to ground out to second and Alcides Escobar to fly out to Gardner, all the while, holding Cain on third and we all thought that maybe, just maybe, Phelps could get out of the inning without further damage. It was not meant to be because Nori Aoki stepped in and this happened:

atbat-summary (20)

As you can see, Phelps was pitching him away, away, away and Aoki thought, “Hey he’s pitching me away so why don’t I just reach out and poke this one through for an RBI single?”

And there you have it, David Phelps’s awful sixth inning in pictures.

[images courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info]

Stacey is co-Editor-in-Chief of It's About The Money, co-host of the It's About The Money, Stupid podcast and is a monthly contributor to ESPN's SweetSpot Blog. She is a former contributor at Aerys Sports and High Heat Stats. She has contributed to group projects at Baseball: Past And Present and the Hall of Stats. Her work has appeared in USA Today's Sports Weekly and most recently, she wrote four pieces for Derek Jeter: Celebrating the Yankees' Captain Clutch, a magazine printed by i5 Publishing.