No lie, the Yankee lineup probably could have used Hideki Matsui yesterday. After Matsui put on a show in the Old Timers' Day game, the still active players batting 1-9 put everybody to sleep on their way to a series loss-clinching 4-1 defeat.
Michael Pineda was pretty good again yesterday. He gave up a run in the 4th on some cheap singles (including a line drive that hit him) and a sac fly and another in the 5th on a leadoff walk, a single, and a run-scoring groundout. He needed 114 pitches to get through 6 innings, but he did so with only those 2 runs against him and he struck out 8. The slider command was excellent down in the zone and Pineda used it a lot with 2 strikes to put hitters away. His resurgence after the horrid Tampa start continues.
The only thing Pineda did wrong yesterday was not be Michael Fulmer. Fulmer kept his scorching hot streak going against an undermanned Yankee lineup, tossing 6 innings of shutout ball with 3 walks and 3 strikeouts. The Yankees had a leadoff double in the 3rd that amounted to nothing and the bases loaded with 2 outs and Carlos Beltran at the plate in the 5th. Beltran flied out and that was the only good chance they generated against Fulmer.
They were still within striking distance heading into the 7th, but Joe went with Anthony Swarzak to start the inning and Swarzak surrendered 2 big insurance runs to Ian Kinsler on a 2-run home run. Naturally the offense came back to plate a solitary run in the 8th on a 2 singles and a walk against former teammate Justin Wilson. Not a good way to end the series. Now the Yankees will get a day off to travel to Denver for 2 against the Rockies.
- 19 swinging strikes for Pineda. That gives him 34 in his last 2 starts.
- Ellsbury, Headley, Romine, Hicks. There's your 4 Yankees hits.
- Interesting decision by Joe to stick with Didi Gregorius in the 8th when the Yankees finally got on the board and had 2 on with 2 out and a lefty on the mound. And by interesting, I mean wrong. That has to be A-Rod in that situation, even if Detroit turns around and puts in a right-handed pitcher. You aren't looking to string hits together at that point in the game, you're looking to tie it up with 3 in 1 swing. Even against a righty, I'll take my chances with A-Rod in that situation over Didi.
- Chad Green threw a scoreless 9th inning and was then optioned back down to Triple-A after the game. That'll clear a 25-man roster spot for Ike Davis.