The Yankee pitchers gave the offense every opportunity to pull out a win over the Oakland Athletics in the series opener on Tuesday. Unfortunately, the offense was not up to the task. They lost in the 11th inning after being out-hit 11-8. Getting a six-inning, two-run performance from a starter was a promising sign after taxing the bullpen repeatedly early in the season, and the bullpen did all they could in this game.
New York actually managed to put up a first inning run with an RBI single by Alex Rodriguez that scored Carlos Beltran. The team got their only other run in the fifth inning when Beltran brought home Brett Gardner on a sacrifice fly. That lead didn't last for long when the Athletics drove a ball deep that Gardner dove for and missed. The triple, as it usually does, bit the Yankees to knot the game at 2-2 in the sixth.
Chasen Shreve, Dellin Betances, and Andrew Miller each pitched an inning of scoreless relief. Betances didn't have quite as pristine of an inning as some he has had lately, but he did enough to get the job done without allowing a run. Shreve and Miller were both fantastic. Even Johnny Barbato did a great job, even though he was tagged with the loss. His first run allowed in the big leagues came when Mark Canha hit a ball just out of the reach of Didi Gregorius to score Jed Lowrie.
A frustrating moment in the game came in the ninth inning when Chase Headley led off with a single. He was replaced on first base by the speedier Jacoby Ellsbury in hopes of getting the runner into scoring position with no one out. Ellsbury and the A's pitcher played games back and forth until Ellsbury took off for second. The catcher received a high fastball that allowed him a pretty good throw and Ellsbury was toast.
It's probably unfair to let frustration with Ellsbury's hitting and defense seep into frustration with him not stealing one base. However, it was a crucial moment that could have really changed the game and given the Yankees a much better chance to win. Not succeeding in that moment that really played to his strength is fairly annoying.
So that was that. The Yankees will be back at it tomorrow evening when Nathan Eovaldi takes on Kendall Graveman at 7:05 pm.