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Yankees news: Ugly effort, ugly results vs. Royals

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Last night's 11-5 loss to the Royals was the type of game I had nightmares about in the offseason.

With no Cliff Lee or Andy Pettitte, it was widely assumed that pitching depth in the rotation was going to be New York's greatest weakness in 2011. But then A.J. Burnett got off to his typical fast start, Bartolo Colon gave his body up to science, and Freddy Garcia somehow found success with his smoke-and-mirrors act.

Throw in a few strong Nova starts, and suddenly the Yankees' rotation worries were overblown.

Not so fast.

The Yankees still have very real concerns about their rotation, and it may yet be the team's Achilles' heel. The fact they've received all this unlikely production and are just five games over .500 is disconcerting to say the least.

It was a sloppy game all around on Thursday, a trait that's popped up too often in the past week or so. This hasn't escaped Joe Girardi, who knows full well that his team has slipped into a funk, according to the LoHud blog.

"We have one sloppy game, I don’t like it. So when you have three or four or five in two weeks, yeah, it does bother me."

Over at Blogging the Bombers, Mark Feinsand had more Girardi frustration.

"It’s just not good baseball. There are some physical errors in there; you’re not used to seeing Robbie throw a ball away, Cervy throws a ball away, Nova doesn’t field a double-play ball, then compounds it by throwing to first instead of home. We just gave them too many outs and you can’t beat teams whet you give them extra outs."

Nova had the worst game of his career, allowing eight runs -- four earned -- on 10 hits in three-plus innings. He wasn't making any excuses afterward.

"It was a bad day. I’ve just got to keep my head up and keep working hard."

MLB.com had Girardi's honest assessment of what Nova was working with.

"I didn't think he had his good stuff. I didn't think he had a good curveball tonight. It just seemed to be rolling tonight. His fastball was up in the zone."

The New York Times chose to focus on the relief outing by recently recalled right-hander Amaury Sanit, who saved the bullpen with 4 2/3 innings of work. Ben Shipel took note of the song played while Sanit warmed up -- "Mr. Brightside" by the Killers.

It was that kind of night. Little to take from it other than the knowledge today brings another game.

Onto the links ...

- So it turns out Eric Chavez might not have broken his foot after all. Or he may have had broken feet his whole life. I'm confused.

- Robinson Cano was back in the lineup on Thursday one day after being hit in the head with a pitch. He made a throwing error (bad), but also homered (good). He's probably fine. 

- WFAN beat man Sweeney Murti tweeted late last night that Yankees security was on the field practicing how to deal with fans who run on the field during play. Funny, I always thought this was pretty straight forward operation -- chase down drunkard, spear-tackle him, then rough him up in the tunnel. Doesn't seem like rocket science.

- The Red Sox may be evil, but they have respect for Derek Jeter.

- On the same day that Francisco Cervelli had two passed balls at the Stadium, Jesus Montero went oppo for the Thunder. I'm just sayin' ...

- A-Rod hit homer No. 619 on Thursday, a solo shot in the eighth inning that snapped at streak of 65 at-bats without a longball.

Until next time, hang onto the roof ...

Dan Hanzus is a contributing writer for Pinstripe Alley. He can be reached at dhanzus@gmail or on Twitter @danhanzus.