You know it’s not going to be a good night in baseball when the most interesting thing of the game is watching your Twitter feed compete for the wittiest comment on the awfulness that is the display on the field.
I did mention yesterday that the Royals are currently on the same kind of streak this month that the Yankees hit last month at this time. Though I don’t think anyone predicted the Yankee crumble as much as tonight’s game.
Actually, the game certainly wasn’t terrible until the latter half of the game. It wasn’t a memorable game until then either. Michael Pineda started tonight’s game for the Yankees, and despite not having the usual sharpness of his slider, still threw a decent game — 104 pitches over 5.1 innings, giving up 10 hits (off that bad slider mostly), no walks, and 5 runs, striking out just 1 Royals batter.
In the 1st, back-to-back doubles scored the Royals first run. And a 1-out triple scored on a sacrifice fly. The Yankees offense answered back in the top of the 4th inning. Rodriguez hit a lead-off double, moved to 3rd on Teixeira’s single, and then scored on Brian McCann’s sacrifice fly to slice the Royals early lead in half.
Like I said, standard baseball stuff for the first half of the game. Both starters struggled in their own ways, and both ducked out in their own 6th innings. And that’s when things got weird.
So Pineda comes back for the 6th inning. A batter led-off with a double, moved to 3rd on a ground out, and then scored on a triple. That runner easily scored on a single, and that’s when Pineda got pulled in favor of reliever David Carpenter. Carpenter’s lone batter reached on an unsuccessful fielder’s choice — runners safe at 1st and 2nd.
And onto Justin Wilson we go. A ground out moved the runners to scoring position, before they both scored on a deep single. A walk put runners on 1st and 2nd again. Then two back-to-back singles scored 2 more runs. And finally, it was time to call on newly recalled (more later) Jose Ramirez to get a pop out to mercifully end the inning.
But were the Royals content with an 8-1 lead? Of course not!
So onto the 7th inning… where 2 quick outs look promising for Ramirez. And then he can’t get an out to save his life — a walk, an RBI double, an RBI single, a wild pitch, another walk, and a 2-RBI double. And then it’s Branden Pinder to the rescue with a strikeout. Pinder’s 8th inning kept those pesky Royals from adding to their bloated score.
Final score: 12-1 Royals. (And I wish with all of my being that was a typo.)
When I look at both the Rays and the Royals and hold them in comparison to other recent opponents, the biggest difference I see is that the Rays and Royals are technically a “good team” and their pitching staff isn’t really their best quality. Especially when I think of recent teams like the Tigers, the Orioles, the Blue Jays, even the Mets — all have pretty good offense and pretty good pitching (with some glaring exceptions). The Royals are still riding their AL Championship high, and the Rays get an early season thrill of being the perpetual underdogs.
I don’t know. It’s still too early in the season to be making these kinds of conclusions and assumptions about how things will end up. I mean, there’s 125 more games to play until the postseason. That’s a lot of streaks to break, pitches to throw, bases to run, runs to score.
Chase Whitley’s MRI came back and showed a partial tear of his UCL, usually a direct line into the surgeon for Tommy John surgery. But he stayed behind in Tampa to confirm the tear with the Yankees’ medical staff there and will see the team head doctor in New York on Monday to make plans. This places him on the 15-day DL until more a permanent treatment plan is in place.
In his place, the Yankees recalled Jose Ramirez from AAA Scranton, but Ramirez is a bullpen guy. Whitley’s starting spot will be filled by Chris Capuano, beginning with Sunday’s game against the Royals. Hopefully, I’ll have written a much more positive post by then. Maybe even 2.
Tonight, I’m rather apathetic. So whatever…