The Yankees turn to David Phelps after last night's game went from great to terrible in roughly one inning. Phelps has been very solid in four starts this June, going 3-1 with a 2.66 ERA and holding opponents to a .239 batting average against. You can catch tonight's game on FOX, if you don't happen to be blacked out.
Sunbather Lineup: Gardner 8, Nix 6, Cano 4, Wells DH, Suzuki 9, Almonte 7, Adams 5, Overbay 3, Romine 2, Phelps 1. #yankees— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughSL) June 29, 2013
Robinson Cano has the best numbers off Orioles starter Zach Britton across a limited sample, having gone 4-10 with a walk and two strikeouts against the Baltimore lefty. No Yankees in tonight's lineup have ever managed a home run against Britton, and only Jayson Nix has an extra base hit against him. To be fair, no players have faced him more than Cano's 11 plate appearances, but this lineup has been brutal against lefties so far this season, last night against T.J. McFarland not withstanding. The fact that Vernon Wells is the DH and batting cleanup when he has hit .140/.156/.163 over his last 14 games is one of the constant reminders that this team is desperate for a bat. That line improves all the way to .188/.188/.250 if you only include his last seven games. Couldn't anyone else bat cleanup? Anyone?
Speaking of needing a bat:
To those asking, #Yankees not on Nolasco or any other pitcher. If anything, they have excess (Hughes, Chamberlain). Need bats (duh).— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 29, 2013
Well, that's pretty obvious. The Yankees likely have pitchers to spare with Michael Pineda possibly being ready to join the rotation sooner or later. It makes no sense for the Yankees to really pursue someone like Ricky Nolasco when the major need is offense. The pitching staff, even considering some recent struggles from Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes' inconsistency, has been one of the few bright spots of this team all season. What wastes those performances is the lack of hitting that makes any deficit feel insurmountable. Currently only a few games out of a playoff spot, this team can compete down the stretch if they improve their offense and their pitching doesn't completely fall apart. Pitching hasn't been the problem at all.