Phil Hughes didn't have it tonight, and the New York Yankees offense didn't show up against Dan Straily as the Yankees dropped their second straight game to Oakland by a score of 5-2.
Phil Hughes' line actually could have looked a lot worse than it did. Not that it was any good: He gave up three runs and four hits over 4.1 innings, striking out three and walking five. Once again Hughes had difficulty putting hitters away with two strikes, and on a few separate occasions was saved from a completely ugly line by the size of the ballpark.
Brandon Moss homered to right in the bottom of the second with a runner on to make it 2-0. Hughes was able to settle down for a bit and keep the A's scoreless before unravelling in the fifth. He walked Eric Sogard, gave up a hard lineout, and then a double off the wall to John Jaso to make it 3-0. He then walked Seth Smith after the double before being pulled in favor of Shawn Kelley. Kelley induced two groundouts to end the inning.
Kelley pitched a scoreless sixth before turning it over to Boone Logan in the seventh. Logan struck out Jaso before walking Seth Smith and giving up a single to Jed Lowrie. This prompted Girardi to go to Joba Chamberlain with two runners on base. While we all crossed our fingers, Joba managed to strike out Josh Donaldson and get Josh Reddick to ground out to end the threat.
Meanwhile, the Yankees offense continued to make random names look like All-Stars as they could only muster two runs off of A's pitching tonight. Dan Straily held the Yankees to just one hit over the first five innings before they finally broke through in the sixth. Brett Gardner walked and Robinson Cano singled on a chopper over first to send Gardner to third. A sac fly on a hard lineout by Mark Teixeira scored Gardner for the Yankees first run.
They managed to get another off of Straily in the seventh. Kevin Youkilis was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a wild pitch. A groundout by Ichiro Suzuki moved him to third. With two outs, Jayson Nix (he does something EVERY GAME) hit an RBI single to left to make it 3-2. Nix stole second to put the then-tying run in scoring position with Austin Romine at the plate. Joe Girardi decided to (smartly) pinch hit Lyle Overbay for Romine. Overbay never saw a pitch, because the A's went to the lefty Sean Doolittle to match up with Overbay, which prompted Girardi to pinch hit Chris Stewart. Yes. Joe Girardi pinch hit Chris Stewart tonight. Well... it didn't work. Stewart worked the count full before striking out to end the inning.
Oakland was right back at it in the eighth as the Yankees bullpen finally faltered. Brandon Moss led off the inning with his second homer of the night. After Young popped out, Eric Sogard singled and then proceeded to steal his second base of the night off a clueless Chamberlain who seemingly forgot he was there. Seriously Joba, if there's a guy on first base, all you need to do is turn your head somewhat in his direction. This came back to cost the Yankees a run as he scored the A's fifth on a single by Jaso.
Grant Balfour relieved Sean Doolittle in the ninth and survived a mini-threat by the Yankees to close out 5-2 win.
- There was a time a few years ago when Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain were "untouchable prospects" that could and should not be traded. Hindsight is 20-20, isn't it? Both of them are having nightmare walk years and both of them were nightmares tonight. Joba's ERA rose to 5.51 after giving up two more tonight. And Hughes continues to have difficulty with the home run no matter where he plays. He was lucky he wasn't in Yankee Stadium tonight, because it could very easily have been three home runs given up instead of just the one.
- JR Murphy has been called up to SWB. This probably doesn't mean much for the Yankees, because they'll likely give him time at AAA before even considering him for the majors. Francisco Cervelli is on his way back within hopefully within a month, and he and Chris Stewart will likely be the guys holding down the catcher position for the rest of this season. And speaking of catchers... Austin Romine's average dropped to .140 tonight.
- The only thing more amusing than Chris Stewart pinch hitting in a major league baseball game is that it was a situation that actually made sense to do it. When it makes sense to pinch hit Chris Stewart, that should tell you a lot about the state of the offense.
The Yankees will try to salvage the final game of the series tomorrow. Hiroki Kuroda and Jarrod Parker are the starters. First pitch around 3:30 PM ET.