Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Kuroda's Dominance Not Enough for Ailing Yankees in Another Loss to Tampa Bay

So far this season, the Yankees have rarely gotten long outings from their starters.

Their ace, Masahiro Tanaka, has gone 8+ innings five times, but up until tonight he has been the only one to do so.

Fortunately, that painful trend finally
ended this evening, as the Yanks got a big, 8 frame performance from Hiroki Kuroda, a fun-to-watch effort ruined by offensive problems in a 2-1 loss to the Rays.

During his time on the mound, Kuroda did make a few mistakes (most notably a go-ahead solo homer to Tampa Bay First Basemen James Loney in the top of the sixth), but overall, he was still pretty dominant, giving up just two earned runs while striking out seven.

Usually, that kind of line is good enough to at least get a no-decision, but due to David Price tossing 7 innings of nearly-scoreless ball the Bombers obviously emerged as the losers, the fourth consecutive day that's been the case. 

Yes, Price did pitch pretty well, but considering that the Pinstripes went just 1-for-9 with RISP and left eight men on base you can't help but wonder how good he actually was.

For one, the Yankees never scored legitimately this evening, even though their one trip around the bases was technically earned. 

They put men on the corners with one out in the bottom of the fourth, but if not for a pickoff-ruining throwing error by Ben Zobrist they wouldn't have crossed home in that at-bat.

To put it simply, this contest was nothing but another long uphill battle for the slumping Bombers, who are now 3 1/2 games behind the Blue Jays for the division lead and 4 behind the Mariners for the second and final wild card spot, a position no trade acquisition can be expected to fix.

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