Chris Capuano was official reinstated back onto the active roster prior to today’s final game against the Royals, sending Bryan Mitchell back to Scranton without throwing a pitch. (At least they’re keeping the airline industry in business.) Unfortunately, after a great start, Capuano ran into some trouble in his 2015 debut. A solo home run in the 2nd wasn’t a big problem, as those well-placed pitches do find the occasional contact with a bat; it happens. But in the 4th inning, Capuano just struggled his way through the first four batters — 2 walks and 2-RBI singles to start off the inning before the Yankees opted to open their bullpen. Overall, Capuano threw 63 pitches into the 4th inning, gave up 4 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, and struck out 4 batters.
So it was onto Esmil Rogers for long-relief. But he too ran into his own troubles today. With 2 runners on in the 4th, a double scored another run for the Royals before Rogers finally got the 3 outs he needed to close out that messy inning. Yes, the first out of the inning wasn’t until the 6th batter of the inning. His 5th inning was better, but the 6th saw some trouble again. The lead-off batter reached on a throwing error and then scored on a double, then that runner scored on a sacrifice fly. Justin Wilson came on to close out that inning, doing what he does best — throw hard and fast and get people out.
Then it was on to Chasen Shreve for the 7th and 8th inning, who really just took command. Shreve continued Wilson’s example and just shut down whatever offense the Royals tried to put together.
The Yankees offense wasn’t exactly terrible. They just weren’t scoring any runs. They could get people on base, a total of 8 runners (6 hits, 2 walks), but they just couldn’t get them to cross that plate.
I will say I really admired the Royals for donning the old Kansas City Monarchs uniforms. The Monarchs were the local Negro League team, quite the championship team operating from 1920 until 1965. Monarch alumni include Jackie Robinson, Satchel Paige, and Ernie Banks. The Royals uniform today also featured a patch in honor of Banks, who passed away earlier this year. The Monarchs and many other teams from the Negro Leagues are enshrined in the Negro League Baseball Museum right there in Kansas City, a must-see for all baseball fans much like Cooperstown. (The President of the NLBM visited the Royals’ broadcasting booth today and discussed the history of the game in KC.)
Final score: 6-0 Royals. Royals win series 2-1.
You know, I’ve been saying this since the beginning of the road trip — that the Yankees aren’t exactly facing spectacular pitching staff, despite what the talking heads may tell you. Only a couple of the pitchers they faced (usually from the bullpens, by the way) actually impressed me with their pitching. No, the Yankees offense was just zapped away after that big offensive show last Monday in Florida.
Now, they’re headed to D.C. to face the Nationals on a brief 2-game trip. The Nationals are on a bit of a streak right now, but that’s how they have been for the last few years — hot for a while, then freezing cold for a bit. Honestly, kind of sounds like the Yankees too. Maybe it will be a decent match. Only time will tell at this point.
On the plus side, there’s a day off tomorrow… and I think everyone needs it after this first part of the road trip. Rest up and recharge.
Also, Mark Teixeira was hit in the foot by a pitch in the 4th inning. Eventually, he left the game in the 7th inning and had a precautionary x-ray because his foot still hurt. X-rays negative, his was diagnosed with a big toe contusion. Yes, a bruised toe. And anyone who’s ever bruised their toe (like dropping a hammer on your foot) know that’s the kind of pain that doesn’t go away anytime soon and hurts like all the PG-13 words you say when you get hit. Rest up and heal fast, Tex!