Wild, Wild Hiroki
The Yankees have made a habit of giving fans free baseball the last few weeks, and that was the case again on Friday night, this time a 3-2 10-inning loss to the Orioles.
Hiroki Kuroda was “wildly effective” allowing only two runs over seven innings, although he hit two batters and threw three wild pitches. He is the only Yankee in last 100 years to throw that many wild pitches and hit that many batters in a game.
Perhaps more shocking is that he didn’t even walk anyone. Before Kuroda, no other major-league pitcher over the last 100 years had at least three wild pitches and two hit batters, but no walks, in a game. Wow.
Brett Gardner went 0-for-5, ending his 24-game streak of reaching base at least once. It was the longest on-base streak within a season by a Yankee outfielder since Bernie Williams had a 29-gamer at the end of 1992.
The Orioles number nine hitter in the batting order, Nick Hundley, won the game for the Orioles with a walk-off single. The last time the Yankees lost in walk-off fashion on a hit by a number nine batter was also against the Orioles, when Robert Andino beat them on September 8, 2011.
Greene is so Money
Thanks to another outstanding start by rookie Shane Greene, the Yankees won the middle game of the series, 3-0.
For the second time in two career starts, Greene took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, and finished with only four hits allowed in 7⅓ scoreless innings.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first pitcher to throw at least four no-hit innings in each of his first two MLB starts since Dennis Rasmussen, who did so in his first start for the Padres in their 1983 season finale, and again in his second start after being traded to the Yankees in 1984.
In his short career, Greene has not allowed more than four hits in either of his two starts. He is the only Yankee in the last 100 years to throw at least six innings and give up four hits or fewer in each of his first two career starts.
Jacoby Ellsbury hit his 20th double of the season, which was also his 100th hit. He is the fourth Yankee to have at least 20 doubles, 100 hits and 20 stolen bases before the break. The others are Mickey Rivers (1976), Rickey Henderson (1986) and Alfonso Soriano (2002).
The Yankees lost 3-1 on Sunday night in a game that was called in the bottom of the fifth inning after rain delay of more than two hours. This was the Yankees first loss in a rain-shortened game to the Orioles since August 13, 1978.
Chase Whitley‘s start in this game was the 45th by a Yankee rookie this season, which is by far the most before the All-Star break in team history (previous record was 31 in 2007).
Rookies have also accounted for 24 of the team’s 47 wins so far, also the most in franchise history before the break (previous record was 18 in 1947).
Gardner gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the top of the first with his ninth homer of the season, a new career-high. Only one other Yankee has ever totaled at least nine homers, six triples and 15 stolen bases prior to the break: Curtis Granderson in 2011.
David Robertson finished the “first half” with a strikeout rate of 16.3 per nine innings, the highest ever by any Yankee (min. 30 IP) heading into the All-Star break.
Even more impressive, the only pitchers in MLB history with at least 30 innings pitched and a higher strikeout rate than Robertson before the break are Billy Wagner (16.5, 1999 Astros) and Carlos Marmol (16.9, 2010 Cubs).