Saturday, May 28, 2011

Yankees lose a close one in Seattle

The New York Yankees opened their nine game, ten day West Coast Swing with a loss in Seattle on Friday night.  The final score was 4-3, it was a tight game but the Yankees had a 3-0 lead that they couldn't hold.  A.J. Burnett didn't pitch bad but he threw too many pitches and could only go five innings, the bullpen didn't get lit up but they weren't lights out either and allowed the Mariners to score the runs needed to win the game.  Luis Ayala and Boone Logan were the culprits in this game and now the Yankees have to face Felix Hernandez tonight.  They need a really good game out of Ivan Nova and they need to scratch out runs if they can on King Felix.  If they get guys on they will need to bunt, steal things like that because you don't expect to hit him hard.  Hernandez is 4-0 with a miniscule ERA against the Yankees in his last four starts, he really shut them down last year at Yankee Stadium.  The Yankees will have their hands full tonight. 

The Yankees also now find themselves in second place as the Boston Red Sox continue to win and are a game ahead of the Yankees, the Rays are only 1/2 a game behind the Yankees and this looks like it will be a battle all season long, most likely two of the teams will make the postseason and the other will be left behind.  I still think the Rays have overachieved and although they are good probably aren't this good, I expect the Red Sox and Yankees to make the postseason, another piece of it is in July they will make moves they have too probably the Yankees who will look for another starter, maybe another bat or call up someone from the minor leagues.  The Rays may not have the resources to do anything.  The reason the Rays can stay in it though is they have good young starting pitching. 

The Yankees really needed Burnett to pitch at least six innings but he was taken out after giving up two runs in the fifth and 97 pitches.  He could of maybe come out for the sixth but Girardi wanted to use Boone Logan to get the one lefty and then have Ayala finish the inning, if that happened he would of had Robertson pitch the seventh, Joba Chamberlain the eighth and Mariano Rivera the ninth but he didn't get there and they lost the game.  The Yankees bullpen right now is short because they don't have Rafael Soriano and they don't have a second lefty, they thought Pedro Feliciano would be that guy but he is hurt.  The Yankees clearly need a second lefty in the pen but who that could be is anyones guess because I wouldn't count on Feliciano coming back.  The Yankees could always go to the minors for other arms in the bullpen but Ayala has been pretty good so far, I could see the Yankees calling up someone like Dellin Betances or Manny Banuelos to pitch out of the pen but not until the later part of the year. 

There was another big play in the game, in the seventh inning Eduardo Nunez pinch ran with two outs and stole second base.  The bad part was that he immediately got picked off of second base though and that can't happen.  His hand strangely got stuck in the dirt and both Girardi and he feel he would of been safe if that didn't happen.  Girardi said he would wait until Saturday to talk to him about the play.  He said every player knows you can't be picked off in that situation. 

There was another big play in the game which was Nick Swisher being robbed of a homerun by Franklin Guiterrez in center field, that would of given the Yankees a 2-0 lead early on.  Swisher said that he though for sure it was five rows deep but he got back, leapt and made a great catch. 

Michael Pineda who is a rookie of the year candidate had his shortest outing of the year and had more walks then he has had in any game with five.  The Yankees actually did a pretty good job against him but they couldn't touch the bullpen. 

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