In today’s final game of the weekend series against the visiting Rays, the Yankees certainly didn’t bring their A-game to the ball park on what was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. While the Yankees didn’t ever really get going offensively, their lone run was a 6th inning, lead-off solo home run by Alex Rodriguez, his 16th of the season. Other than that, the Yankees managed just 3 hits off Rays’ pitching and were gifted with 5 walks they didn’t seem to be able to turn into any run production.
Not that they played like the AL East leaders that they are. Ivan Nova got the start, and it was rather patchy through most of his 5 innings — 81 pitches, 6 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 3 walks, and just 1 strikeout. Not exactly his best outing, and the defense wasn’t quite as sharp as they usually are (and they didn’t get any better as they game progressed).
In the 1st inning, with 1 out, a single and a double put runners in scoring position, and then they did on a big 2-RBI single to give the Rays a quick 2-run lead. Then in the 2nd, a lead-off triple scored on a sacrifice fly to cushion their lead. And in the 5th, the lead-off batter hit a double, and the next batter set up a sacrifice bunt. The ball dribbled up to Nova, who fielded it and then threw it to 3rd to get that runner, but he threw it awkwardly and it missed, scoring that runner.
After Nova’s 5th inning and the Rays up 4-0, the Yankees turned to the bullpen to stop the Rays’ run-scoring. And for the 6th and 7th innings, it worked under reliever Bryan Mitchell. But when Mitchell came out for the 8th, he seemed to struggle beyond reason. The first batter singled, then the next reached on a force attempt due to a fielding error and a throwing error (same play) and both runners ended up in scoring position to score on the next batter’s single. After the fourth batter of the inning was hit by a pitch (a nasty plunk on his right hand) with no outs recorded yet, it was time for another reliever.
So it was Chris Capuano’s turn, though those runners were still Mitchell’s responsibility. After a groundout, he loaded the bases with a walk, and then walked in another run with another walk. A sacrifice fly pushed the Rays up yet another run before Capuano got out of the inning. Nick Rumbelow’s 9th was probably the best inning a Yankees’ pitcher had today — 15 pitches, 2 strikeouts, and NO runs scored.
Final score: 8-1 Rays, Yankees win series 2-1.
And the votes are in for the All-Star Game starters. And surprisingly, there’s just 4 Royals’ players on the list. The rest of the roster (save 1 each, the final fan vote) will be announced tomorrow night.
- National League: 1B Paul Goldschmidt (ARI); 2B Dee Gordon (MIA); 3B Todd Frazier (CIN); SS Jhonny Peralta (STL); C Buster Posey (SF); outfielders Bryce Harper (WAS), Matt Holliday (STL), and Giancarlo Stanton (MIA).
- American League: 1B Miguel Cabrera (DET); 2B Jose Altuve (HOU); 3B Josh Donaldson (TOR); SS Alcides Escobar (KC); C Salvador Perez (KC); outfielders Mike Trout (LAA), Lorenzo Cain (KC), and Alex Gordon (KC); and DH Nelson Cruz (SEA).
Don’t expect this starting roster to be the starting roster on July 14. A few are currently on the DL (like Holliday and Stanton), and some may decline the honor for personal reasons (it’s rare, but I’ve seen it happen).
The final count of 4 Royals starters isn’t nearly as dramatic as when the voting started, but it’s still a bit more than usual. I would expect the voting process to change, much like after the hoopla following the 2012 Home Run Derby (in Kansas City) selections brought the changes to this year’s Home Run Derby. (Am I the only one seeing a common thread?)
Girardi said in his post-game press conference that the Yankees had 5 All-Stars on their roster — Rodriguez, Teixeira, McCann, Gardner, and Betances. And I would certainly agree. But your guess is as good as mine as to which one(s) Ned Yost (KC’s manager, as they were the AL team in the World Series last year) will select. It’s not like there’s a whole lot of love between Kansas City and New York.