In a game right out of the 2014 Yankees’ playbook, the team wasted a fine outing by their starter and lost to a team that had no right beating them. Those days, unfortunately, are not yet completely behind them.
For a long time, it seemed like this game would end in an even more aggravating 1-0 score. A two-out rally in the first scored the Angels’ only run off Chad Green, who was otherwise superb. Albert Pujols, his idol growing up an hour and a half outside of St. Louis, lined a single to center. He then walked C.J. Cron and allowed a seeing-eye single to Andrelton Simmons that squeaked through the left side. The combination of its slow speed and Brett Gardner’s mediocre throwing arm allowed even the aging Pujols to cross home plate.
From that point onward, Green was excellent, giving up just three hits and no further baserunners in the next five innings. He threw 99 pitches over his six innings of one-run ball, fanning five Angels and nearly matching fellow rookie Luis Cessa’s outing last night. Like Tyler Clippard on Saturday, Green was also the benefactor of a home run robbery. Jacoby Ellsbury matched Brett Gardner’s leap over the left field fence with a jump to bring a potential home run from Pujols back:
Although Ellsbury’s sensational grab prevented further runs from crossing the plate, it hardly seemed to matter, as the Yankees squandered numerous opportunities throughout the game against a dismal Angels pitching staff.
Jhoulys Chacin carried a 5.92 ERA over 103 1⁄3 innings into today’s game. He ended up with 5 2⁄3 scoreless against the Yankees, and the no-name bullpen of Deolis Guerra, JC Ramirez, and Fernando Salas combined to no-hit them over the final 10 outs. Some examples of the Yankees blowing excellent chances to give Green even one damn run:
- Third inning: Mark Teixeira on third, Aaron Hicks on first, one out. Gardner grounds into a 4-6-3 double play.
- Fourth inning: Bases loaded, two outs for Teixiera. He flies out to center.
- Eighth inning: Jacoby Ellsbury on second, Gary Sanchez on first, one out. Didi Gregorius strikes out and Starlin Castro nubs a 10-footer in front of the plate to kill the rally.
Sanchez tried to prevent an insurance run from scoring by gunning down Mike Trout attempting to steal after a walk in the eighth off Adam Warren. He has now thrown out four of six runners trying to swipe a bag—not too shabby. Ground ball singles by Pujols, Cron, and Simmons pushed one across to render Sanchez’s efforts useless. It was a little fluky, but at least they actually got the job done.
Facing Salas in the ninth, the Yankees went down in order. Green gave them a terrific chance for a sweep, but they simply wasted it. This is just one reason why they are not really playoff contenders. Regardless, the Yankees will fly to Seattle to begin their next series tomorrow night at 10:10pm, as Michael Pineda faces Cody Martin.