Saturday, April 30, 2016
THIS HAS TO BE ROCK BOTTOM
Okay, we are all tired of the lack of hitting. Heck, I am tired of writing about the lack of hitting. But I really thought tonight was going to be a big night for the Yankees. After all, we face our arch-rivals who are having their own struggles, we have our ace on the mound, and the opposing starter didn't get out of the second inning the last time we faced him.
The Red Sox sent starter Henry Owens to the mound against the Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka. This was Owens' 13th start of his career, with only three quality starts under his belt. He certainly gave the Yankees chances, yet they couldn't seem to land any blows. The Yankees started with both Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner reaching base, only to be followed by a Carlos Beltran double-play grounder and the Yankees failing to score.
The second inning started with an Alex Rodriguez home run. This was a welcome sight, hoping that his oblique and his swing were both back in full strength. Starlin Castro followed later in the inning with a triple. I started to hope for a big night. Then a fly out and throw out at the plate ended the inning. The Yankees finally broke through in the fifth inning for another run but ended up leaving men on second and third to end the inning. Four of the first five innings had the Yankees on the wrong end of a double play, and innings 6 through 9 had the last 13 Yankees retired in a row. In what is becoming the hallmark of the team this April, the Yankees were 1 for 5 with men in scoring position.
Masahiro Tanaka, meanwhile, was pitching a gem. Through the first six innings, the Red Sox reached third for only one at-bat. They did not get a ball in play in the air until the 4th inning. It wasn't until his 99th pitch in the 7th inning that Tanaka gave up an extra base hit to center fielder Jackie Bradley, tying the score at 2-2. It was also the first hit Tanaka allowed with men in scoring position. He finished the night striking out 5 and walking none. Dellin Betances came in to hold down the fort. Unfortunately, in what has become vintage David Ortiz, Betances gave up a 2-run homer to him and the Red Sox had a 4-2 lead. It would be the final score.
It was a painful night. It was a night when our rusty bats should have come alive against mediocre pitching. It was a night against the Red Sox when everybody's adrenaline should be up a few notches, but it just didn't happen. Let's hope we see the unhittable Michael Pineda tomorrow night. And maybe a few timely hits too.
Final: Red Sox 4 - Yankees 2
--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
Thank you for your loyalty to Bleeding Yankee Blue.
Please shop at the BYB store!
On Twitter: @BleednYankeeBlu
On Facebook, LIKE Bleeding Yankee Blue!
Don't forget to check out the BYB Hub.