There is no way to sugar coat the New York Yankees start to this 2012 season. It's been pretty brutal. For the second day in a row the Yankees starting pitching got rocked early and often and our offense is leaving too many runners on base. Tonight, Hiroki Kuroda made his regular season debut for the Yankees and it was a first impression I hope to soon forget. Kuroda allowed six runs and eight hits over 5 2/3 innings in his Yankees debut.
Make no mistake, the Yankee pitching staff is starting the 2012 campaign against a Tampa team who are swinging hot bats. Yesterday it was Carlos Pena who smoked us, tonight it was Luke Scott. Scott had three hits and drove in three runs in his debut as Tampa Bay's DH.
It's not like the Yankee hitters aren't getting on base these first two games, they are... it's just that they aren't getting the key hits, yet. Tonight the Yankees faced David Price and had him on the ropes a couple times but could not pull the trigger. The left hander Price (1-0) allowed two runs and five hits over 6 1/3 innings to win for the first time since Aug. 28. He also walked four and struck out five.The Yankees actually put together a decent rally in the 9th but came up short after ARod came up as the tying run but grounded out to end the game. Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson both had two hits and Nick Swisher had a 3-run bomb that started that rally in the top of the 9th for the Yankees. Also, Raul Ibanez knocked in another run tonight so he now has 5 RBI's in the first two games of the season. But again, it wasn't the lack of hits tonight for the Bombers, it was when they needed them... and we didn't get them that cost the game tonight. Look, I think it's just a matter of time, maybe even tomorrow, before our bats put out a 10+ run onslaught. We shall see. The Yanks wrap up their series with the Rays tomorrow in St. Petersburg at at 1pm...It's Phil Hughes vs. Jeremy Hellickson.
Some other game notes:
A bit of controversy in the 7th inning tonight. Evan Longoria hit a fly to the wall in right field that was changed to a ground-rule double. Replays showed a fan wearing a Yankees jersey reached over the railing and caught the ball, which would not have carried into the stands, with a glove. The reversal left runners on second and third, and Joyce followed with his two-run single to make it 8-2.
Jeter was the DH tonight, and manager Joe Girardi said ARod might DH or get a day off Sunday. Girardi's desire to keep his veteran players fresh during the season and on artificial turf at Tropicana Field were factors in the manager's thinking.
Also, New York #2 hitter Curtis Granderson and #6 hitter Swisher switched spots against Price tonight. Girardi said the change might be used on a regular basis when the opposition starts a lefthander. I just found that interesting.
Final Score: Rays 8 - Yankees 6.
Big game tomorrow... Let's Go Yankees!
--Mikey Blue, BYB Senior Writer
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