Yesterday, Masahiro Tanaka got rocked by the Tigers, and today was Michael Pineda's turn. Pineda is one of the Yankees best pitchers, but he just didn't have it tonight. The Yankees' offense tried to pick him up, but their slow attempt at a comeback didn't amount to anything in the end. On paper, this should have been an easy win as the Phillies had a 12-game losing streak on the road coming into this game, and were averaging just 2.7 runs per game on the road, but after beating the Cardinals 9-2 yesterday, their offense appears to be operating on all cylinders.
Pineda got off to a rough start tonight, and things quickly went from bad to worse. The Phillies got on the board first thanks to a home run by Maikel Franco, but their lead didn't last long. The Yankees took the lead in the bottom of the first when Brett Gardner and Chase Headley hit back-to-back singles, and Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran drove in the runs. They had a chance to keep the inning alive, but Beltran was sent home on a Garrett Jones single to right and was subsequently thrown out at the plate.
After a clean second inning, Pineda worked his way into a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the third after giving up two singles and a walk. When the inning came to an end, he had given up three more runs, giving the Phillies a 4-2 lead. The fourth inning proved to be even worse, and Pineda was only able to get one out before being chased out of the game. Pineda struggled to throw his slider consistently tonight and this was easily his worst start of the season. Through 3.1 innings, he gave up 11 hits, eight earned runs, one walk and didn't record a single strikeout.
The Yankees spent the rest of the game playing catch-up, but every time they got close, the Phillies pulled further away. Brett Gardner put them back in reach in the fourth with a three-run shot to right field, but Franco hit yet another home run in the sixth off of Capuano to make it 10-5. The Yankees tacked on another run in the seventh, with a McCann no-doubter into the upper deck, but the Phillies scored another run in the ninth off of Branden Pinder.
Refusing to go down without a fight, the Yankees mounted their final comeback in the bottom of the ninth. Alex Rodriguez hit a leadoff double then Beltran somehow beat out an infield hit to put two runners on with one out for Garrett Jones. He ended up hitting an RBI double to make it 11-8. Unfortunately, Gregorius and Chris Young both popped out to shortstop to end the game.
Despite the fact that Pineda got lit up, the offense played well tonight. Carlos Beltran had three hits, including a double. Gardner had a hell of a night, going 4-for-4 with a walk. In fact, everyone in the Yankees' lineup collected a hit except for Didi Gregorius. Diego Moreno also made his MLB debut tonight, and although he hit a batter and gave up two hits, he also got two strikeouts and escaped a bases-loaded situation without giving up a run.
The Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound tomorrow night to try and right the ship. He'll face off against Sean O'Sullivan at 7:05 EST.