Yankees got Cobb-ered
There are not many things you can predict about baseball except this one: You can’t win if you don’t score any runs. The Yankees proved that statement to be true in a 5-0 loss to the Rays on Friday night.
It was their fifth straight loss in the season series against Tampa Bay, their longest single-season losing streak vs the Rays in franchise history.
It was also their fifth straight loss overall, with a total of just seven runs scored in the five losses. The last time they had a five-game stretch with five losses and no more than seven total runs was in May 1995.
Derek Jeter had two hits for his 1,007th career multi-hit game, breaking a tie with the Braves’ Hank Aaron for the third-most multi-hit games with one team. The only players with more are the Cardinals’ Stan Musial (1,059) and the Tigers’ Ty Cobb (1,211), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Alex Cobb pitcher another gem against the Yankees lowering his ERA to 1.75 in eight career starts against them. That is the lowest ERA vs Yankees by any pitcher to make his debut in the Live Ball Era (since 1920) and have more than five starts against the team.
He is 5-0 in his last six starts vs New York, with no more than two runs in each game. That is tied with five other pitchers for the longest streak of unbeaten starts against the Yankees with two or fewer runs allowed in each outing over the last 100 years.
Captain Clutch strikes again
Even at 40 years old, Derek Jeter can still play the role of hero for the Yankees. His tie-breaking RBI single in the ninth inning was the game-winner for the Yankees on Saturday afternoon, snapping their five-game losing streak in style.
Jeter is just the fourth Yankee age 40 or older with go-ahead hit in the ninth inning or later. He joins Raul Ibanez (one in 2012), Enos Slaughter (four in 1957 and 1958), and Johnny Mize (two in 1953) in this exclusive club.
It was his 12th career go-ahead hit in the ninth inning or later, but amazingly just the second time it was a “Jeterian” hit to right field. The other such opposite field hit came on June 2, 2006 at Baltimore.
Jeter’s single came off a 99 mph fastball from Jake McGee, the only hit of any kind that Jeter has against a pitch that fast over the last seven seasons (as far back as we have pitch f/x data).
Shane Greene continued to make his case for a spot in the starting rotation in 2015 with another strong effort, allowing two runs over six innings while striking out a career-high 10 batters.
With that performance, he entered the franchise record books, becoming the first Yankee rookie with a 10-strikeout game against the Rays. He is also the first Yankee with at least 10 strikeouts in six innings pitched or fewer this early into his career (8th game or earlier) over the last 100 years.
Winning streaks are fun
The Yankees took the series against the Rays with a 4-2 win on Sunday, winning back-to-back games for the first time in what seems like forever (actually 9 days).
Hiroki Kuroda bounced back from a rough outing last week to allow only two runs in six-plus innings for the win. He worked both sides of the plate and kept the ball out of the batters’ sweetspot, throwing a season-low 15 percent of pitches to the vertical middle-third of the zone. Kuroda struck out just one batter and instead relied on his infield defense, which converted 10 of his 11 groundballs into outs.
It was also his 20th homer of the season, the 11th time he has reached that mark in his 12 MLB seasons. He is the 14th player in MLB history with at least 11 20-homer seasons in his first 12 MLB seasons, but just the fourth switch-hitter to do it. The others are Chipper Jones, Eddie Murray and Mickey Mantle.