Well I hope you didn't miss the big offensive breakout on Wednesday night, because it might have been a one-time show. The Yankees fell back into their bat coma last night, dropping the final game of the road trip 1-0 in extra innings to the Orioles. Masahiro Tanaka threw his best start in a long time. He carved the Orioles up with a sick mix of sinkers, splitters, and sliders, and gave his team ample opportunity to dumb luck their way into a run and win the game. He was hardly ever in any situation resembling trouble, his command was spot on, he generated a ton of weak ground balls, and he looked every bit the stud he was in 2014 before the injury problems started. Fantastic outing. Bravo, sir.
The offense? Booooo, BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! They did what they do. They couldn't execute a bunt to move a runner over in the 3rd and it stalled a rally before it could start. They wasted a Starlin Castro leadoff double in the 4th. They grounded into a double play to end the inning the instant they got another baserunner on in the 7th. It was a collection of all the 2016 greatest hits and then some. Maybe this is a really bad string of luck and things are going to even out eventually and maybe these guys really are better hitters than they're showing. But they don't hit. Period. That's all that matters.
The game went into the 10th inning after Tanaka finished 8 and Dellin Betances handled the 9th, and Joe's brain went in the toilet. Instead of using a well-rested Andrew Miller to keep the game tied and make sure his team had another chance to hit and score the winning run, Joe elected to use Johnny Barbato and give the home-hitting Orioles the much better chance of scoring that winning run first. The Orioles singled twice off Barbato and Joe finally went to Miller, who gave up the game-losing sac fly to Pedro Alvarez. Nothing like having literally no margin for error. Fitting end to a very bad road trip.
- 8 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K, and a metric ton of ground ball outs on 102 pitches for Tanaka. Stud.
- The entire lineup went 4-32 with 1 BB and 8 K last night. Castro had half of that hit total and the only extra base hit.
- Been a bit of a rough go for Barbato after the first 2 weeks. I have to think he's going down on Monday when Aroldis Chapman comes back from suspension.
- The Barbato over Miller decision is unforgivably bad. I'm a Joe defender all day every day, but there's no explanation he can give to justify that move. Miller had pitched once since April 25th going into last night's game. ONCE! If you're going to panic when you're up 7 and bring in Betances the night before, you have to be willing to use your incredibly well-rested closer in a tie ballgame the next night. You have to. Terrible decision by Girardi. Brutal.