Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Yankee Errors Squander Rainy Dodger Rubber Game, Lose 2-0

On another soggy night in the Bronx, the Yankees made two crucial errors that ultimately lost the game in the series against the Dodgers. Michael Pineda and Clayton Kershaw where the starters for the game tonight, but a high pitch count for Pineda and a rain soaked performance by Kershaw led to neither pitcher factoring into the final decision. Before the game even started, Toronto had already lost in their game earlier in the afternoon, which meant a win would pull New York to within one game of a playoff spot, but they just couldn't get it done and have no one to blame but themselves.

While both starters kept the game scoreless through three, they did it in completely different styles. With just two hits combined, Pineda, who gave up the two hits, needed 60 pitches to get through three and 81 pitches to get through four. Kershaw, on the other hand, was perfect and needed just 29 pitches to get through three before they put the tarps on the field for the first rain delay, which ended up lasting about 12 minutes.

After the interruption, Kershaw came back out and retired the Yankees in order, keeping his line perfect while tossing just 13 pitches to get through the fourth. Tommy Layne came out for the Yankees in the top of the fifth and retired the side in order before the skies opened up for the second time, forcing the tarps back on the field.

After the 48 minute intermission, Kershaw surprisingly came back out and allowed his first two baserunners of the evening; an error and a hit. He would go on to finish the fifth unscored upon, striking out the last two batters of the frame. Adding to the list of curious moves made by manager Dave Roberts this week, Kershaw would be lifted before the bottom of the sixth for Grant Dayton.  Those of you who follow me on Twitter (@BennyTomko) know that I was flabbergasted by the Roberts decision to deny Rich Hill his shot of a potential perfect game. And if Kershaw would have gotten hurt during that delay or when he returned, I feel like there would've been a few more people joining me and my stance on the Dodgers manager.

Tommy Layne, Luis Severino and Tyler Clippard were phenomenal in their four innings of scoreless relief, but it was actually Delin Betances who gave up the first and only runs of the game in the top of the ninth. Corey Seager reached on a fielding error by Castro, advancing to second on a stolen base. The next batter Justin Turner ripped a double down the left-field line to score Seager, giving the Dodgers a late 1-0 lead. After a Gonzalez line out moved Turner to third, Yasmani Grandal hit a comebacker to Betances: who proceeded to shot put the throw over the head of first baseman Tyler Austin, allowing Turner to score. Turner's run would be the last to cross home plate as New York was unable to put a come back together in the bottom of the ninth, leading to a final score of 2-0.

The loss especially hurts because it denies the Yankees a chance to pull within one game of the second Wild Card spot. You just can't afford to give away games late in the year in the middle of a playoff push.

The Yanks head to Boston tomorrow to begin a HUGE four-game set with their AL East leading rivals, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM/EST.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)