There was so much about tonight that just went so wrong so fast. It seemed like no matter what the Yankees tried to do, they just couldn’t catch the Twins on their home turf.
Michael Pineda certainly got roughed up tonight on the mound — 92 pitches over 5.2 innings, giving up 8 hits, 5 runs, and no walks, and striking out 4 Minnesota batters. In the 1st, a 1-out single moved to 2nd on a ground out and then scored on a monster 2-run home run to give the Twins an early lead, and they never looked back. In the 2nd, a lead-off double scored on a 1-out single. And then in the 5th, it went single, double, sacrifice fly to score the lead runner, an RBI single, and then 2 (of Pineda’s 4) strikeouts.
Down 5-0, Pineda found himself in a sticky situation in the 6th that forced the Yankees to the bullpen. Branden Pinder did a pretty good job of keeping the Twins from continuing what could easily be described as glorified batting practice, except for a 2-out solo home run in the 7th.
The game was turned over to Chris Capuano in the 8th, but even he found the Twins on an unstoppable roll. A lead-off home run wasn’t a great sign for the Yankees, only to be followed up by a ground-rule double and an RBI single. Two outs later, things were looking better until a 2-run home run brought the Twins’ score into double digits. Not the greatest outing for Yankee pitchers this year.
And the Yankees, while getting a grand total of 10 hits (to the Twins total 14, by the way), only managed to score in the top of the 9th — and an unearned run at that. With 1 out, Gregorius singled and ended up at 2nd on a fielding error (hence the unearned). He moved to 3rd on Drew’s single and then scored on Jacoby Ellsbury’s sacrifice fly.
And that would be it for the Yankees’ offense. Now, part of this has to feel good to the Twins’ starter, a former Yankees’ pitcher who was released after a few years of struggles as a starter in the Bronx. You might expect more seeing as the hits category for both teams were in the double digits, but the Twins made use of the home run ball where as the Yankees’ luck came on an error.
Final score: 10-1 Twins.
Not a great start to the weekend for the Yankees. Or this long road trip, for that matter. And apparently (as my sources tell me), the last time the Yankees lost this bad to the Twins was July 31, 1991 (final score then: 12-3 Twins).
One good statistic: Brett Gardner has made it on base safely in his last 25 games, which is a career high for him.
And before I break out into clichés or bad Broadway songs, I’ll close with a reminder that Hall of Fame events continue in Cooperstown, NY tomorrow and the Yankees still have 2 more games at Target Field to redeem tonight’s mess.