The offensive firepower of the previous two games might have spoiled everyone into thinking the Yankees might continue their re-emergence as a team that doesn't have to scratch and claw for a couple runs to save themselves from a loss. Having already won three games of the four-game series against the Angels with Phil Hughes on the mound for the finale, a sweep wasn't necessarily in the cards, but it would have been nice. Hughes managed to keep the game close; a task that the bullpen was not up for today.
Hughes turned in a quality start, going six innings and giving up three runs in his outing. He tallied five strikeouts and issued one free pass. The Angels are not a very good team, something the Yankees can relate to, but Hughes managed to do his job as well as one could expect. Giving up a home run to former Yankee Chris Nelson before departing was certainly a black mark on an otherwise fine outing. Boone Logan's entrance to the game marked when it would go from winnable game to near-certain defeat. After intentionally and rather inexplicably walking Mark Trumbo, Logan fell victim to what everyone has seen all too often before: walking the next batter, Hank Conger. Losing the strike zone after an intentional pass seems to be a very real phenomenon. Neither Trumbo nor Conger were really worth walking, but both got on against Logan, who proceeded to out-do even Hughes' black mark by giving up another home run to Nelson – this time in the form of a grand slam. Joba Chamberlain came in to do what white flags do, giving up one run and getting one out.
Even with the Nelson grand slam, the Yankees offense had their chances to make it mostly a non-factor. The team accumulated 15 hits in the game, but only managed to push across four runs. Three of those came in the ninth inning after most of the hope was lost. When Eduardo Nunez came to the plate in the bottom of the inning with two runners on base, he needed to reach in order to bring the tying run to the plate in the form of Lyle Overbay. Nunez's grounder to first base ended the threat and the game.
Alfonso Soriano continued his hot hitting with four hits and an RBI. He's been on fire as of late, accounting for a large chunk of the Yankees' production in the series. Robinson Cano also extended his hit streak to 10 games with his 3-5 day. Overbay was the only starter that failed to reach base.
Assuming #Yankees lose this game, they will need to go 31-11 to reach 93 wins, which is what last year's two AL Wild Card teams both had— Mark Hale (@HaleMark) August 15, 2013
Comforting words, Mark. Thank you. Do you believe?
More from Pinstriped Bible:
- Yankees prospects: Mason Williams promoted to Double-A Trenton
- The rise, death and return of the Yankees home run
- Yankees prospect Slade Heathcott's season might be over
- A Phil Hughes turnaround is the only option the Yankees have, given the lack of options
- Alex Rodriguez reportedly tells Robinson Cano he shouldn't sign with the Yankees