The Yankees start this week with a five game winnings streak after taking two of three from the Royals and sweeping the Athletics last week. They face two teams in the Angels and Tigers this week who have not been playing up to expectations. The Angels though carry their own six game winning streak so they may have turned it around already.
Here are this week’s matchups and WPA charts. Check back for updates.
Mon: Los Angeles 9, Yankees 8. W: Jordan Walden (2-1, 2.70), L: Cory Wade (0-1, 2.49). HR: Curtis Granderson (15, off Bobby Cassevah), Mark Teixeira (9, off Hisanori Takahashi), Mike Trout (5, off Phil Hughes), Mark Trumbo (8, off Wade).
The Yankees got lucky when Jared Weaver left the game with a back injury before recording even a single out, but Phil Hughes let the Angels off the hook with a terrible outing where he allowed six runs over 5.1 innings and was hit so hard that he was legitimately lucky it wasn’t 10 runs.
The Yankees offense kept battling back, with the help of a few Angels errors, but Joe Girardi kept digging the Yankees deeper. First of all, he left Hughes in way past his expiration date. Then he brought in David Phelps at least three innings too late when the situation called for a lefty. Finally, in the 9th inning of a tie ball game he decided to wait to use Rafael Soriano for a save situation and went with Cory Wade instead, who promptly lost the game. The final decision is hard to kill Girardi for since Wade has had such a good year, but the bottom line is that Soriano is the better pitcher and at that point teams should play to extend the game not for some weak stat.
Offensively it was Granderson and Teixeira who did most of the work. Russell Martin also got two big hits though. They didn’t hit so well with runners in scoring position, but eight runs is nothing to complain about. This is a game the Yankees should have won.
Tue: Los Angeles 5, Yankees 1. W: Dan Haren (3-5, 3.52), L: Andy Pettitte (2-2, 3.49). HR: Albert Pujols (8, off Pettitte), Mark Trumbo (9, off Pettitte).
It really was an unfortunate night. As in, the Yankees were unfortunate to face Dan Haren. Or, they were unfortunate that Andy Pettitte made a bad pitch to Albert Pujols. Or, it is unfortunate that MLB umpires are terrible. And finally, it was unfortunate that the Angels defense gets to everything.
Starting with Pettitte. He was solid overall, but the numbers don’t back that up. Some questionable calls by the umps lead to the first Angels run in the 3rd and then a pitch he didn’t get far enough inside made it 3-0. It stayed that way until the 6th when Mark Trumbo took a pitch near the dirt and put it over the fence. The Angels added another one when Pettitte had the nerve to leave a runner on first for Cody Eppley.
The offense was totally stiffled starting in the 3rd inning when Robinson Cano came up with the bases loaded only to strike out. Including those three, the Yankees stranded 12 runners in total. It’s hard to win that way, but that tends to happen when facing a team’s ace. It also tends to happen when It also tends to happen when Mike Trout and Peter Bourjos are in the outfield to catch everything.
Wed: Yankees 6, Los Angeles 5. W: Ivan Nova (6-2, 5.60), L: Hisanori Takahashi (0-2, 5.06), S: Rafael Soriano (6, 1.96). HR: Curtis Granderson (16, off Ervin Santana), Robinson Cano (8, off Santana), Mark Trumbo (10, off Nova).
Ivan Nova once again didn’t have his best stuff and once again managed to pick up a victory despite this thanks to a 5-run 3rd that was powered by Granderson and Cano.
Nova got into trouble right away when he loaded the bases in the 1st inning, but he allowed just a sac fly and escaped trailing only 1-0. The Yankees struck in the 5th with a 3-run shot by G-Unit and a 2-run shot by Cano. They would have been back to back homers except Santana hit A-Rod with a pitch.
That have the Yankees a 5-1 lead which Nova gave back in the 4th when the Angels put up a 4-spot on a Trumbo 2-run homer and a 2-RBI double by Mike Trout. The game was tied 5-5 until a Nick Swisher sac fly in the 6th pushed across the eventual winning run.
Fri: Yankees 9, Detroit 4. W: CC Sabathia (7-2, 3.68), L: Casey Crosby (0-1, 16.20), S: Rafael Soriano (7, 1.89). HR: Curtis Granderson (17, off Crosby), Alex Rodriguez (8, off Octavio Dotel), Ramon Santiago (1, off Sabathia).
The Yankees have struggled with the bases loaded this season, but Granderson’s 2nd inning grand slam was the big difference in this one as CC went seven strong innings as the Yankees picked up the win.
The Tigers tried chipping away at the lead, but the Yankees got tack on runs in the 4th, 8th, and in the 9th A-Rod capped off the win with a 2-run homer. Rafael Soriano escaped a bases loaded, one out jam in the 9th for the save after Clay Rapada was ineffective.
Sat: Detroit 4, Yankees 3. W: Jose Valverde (3-1, 4.64), L: David Phelps (1-2, 2.94). HR: Miguel Cabrera 2 (11, off Hiroki Kuroda and Cory Wade).
The Yankees and Tigers sat through a 39-minute rain delay in the beginning of the game which might as well have been rained out as the Tigers picked up the walk-off win on an Omir Santos sac fly.
Kuroda pitched a good game again, seven innings and two runs, to lower his ERA to a respectible 3.82 on the season. He was victimized by a Cabrera home run as Wade was too. Phelps and Boone Logan couldn’t preserve the tie in the 9th inning.
The offense picked up nine hits, four walks, and five stolen bases, but went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. The worst two offenders were the big hitters, Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson, who stranded nine runners between them.
Sun: Yankees 5, Detroit 1. W: Phil Hughes (5-5, 4.96), L: Justin Verlander (5-4, 2.67). HR: Derek Jeter (6, off Verlander), Alex Rodriguez (9, off Verlander), Prince Fielder (9, off Hughes).
Hughes pitched the best game of his career, a complete game, one run, four hit victory over a good hitting club in the Tigers. It was his first 9-inning complete game of his career at any level and he did it while out-dueling Justin Verlander of all people.
The offense gave Hughes a quick 3-0 lead after Jeter homered and Mark Teixeira hit a sac fly in the 1st inning and then A-Rod hit a solo shot in the 3rd. They got a couple more runs in the 5th when Robinson Cano picked up an RBI-triple and then scored on an error.
Hughes has now allowed a homer in all 11 games he’s pitched in this year, 13 overall. It was a first pitch curveball to Prince Fielder, who crushed it to deep right. Other than that, he scattered three singles over nine innings with three walks and eight strikeouts.