Injuries beginning to mount for Yankees
When losing a game to the Mets is not the worst thing that happened to the Yankees you know they are in trouble. The Mets extended their winning streak over the Yankees to five games with a 9-7 victory Monday night in one of those see-saw games that often favors the club that has last licks.
It did not work that way for the Yankees, although they did put the potential tying runs on base against Kyle Farnsworth before Brian McCann hit a smoking grounder to first base that resulted in a game-ending, 3-5-3 double play. That’s right 5. Third baseman David Wright was covering second base with an over-shift alignment on McCann.
The Yankees blew leads of 4-1 and 7-4 to the Mets, who stroked four home runs, including a two-run shot by Curtis Granderson in his return to Yankee Stadium. Travis d’Arnaud, Eric Young Jr. and Chris Young also went deep for the Mets to trump an early grand slam by Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner. Chris Young followed a broken-bat RBI single by Lucas Duda with a two-run blast to left in the eighth inning that turned the game in the Mets’ direction.
Now the really bad stuff:
Carlos Beltran had to be pinch-hit for in the seventh inning of a one-run game because he hyper-extended his right elbow between innings in the batting cage where most designated hitters spend their time preparing for future at-bats.
Ichiro Suzuki did not take batting practice perhaps for the first time in his career and was unavailable for pinch hitting or running duties due to a jammed right knee and a sore back the result of his attempt fora diving catch Sunday at Milwaukee.
Relief pitcher Shawn Kelley also has back issues and was unavailable out of the bullpen on a night when the relief corps needed major aid.
Mark Teixeira did not start at first base because of weary legs and a tender groin. He was able to pinch hit in the ninth but when he drove a liner into the corner had to settle for a single. Manager Joe Girardi said Tex likely would have made second base had his legs been normal, and that would have taken the double play out of the equation that inning.
CC Sabathia, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of fluid buildup in his right knee, was headed south to visit Dr. James Andrews, the noted orthopedist, for a second opinion on his condition.
Had enough? Girardi has and is trying hard not to think 2014 will be a continuation of 2013 when a franchise-record 56 players were needed to navigate through a injury-riddled season. Already this year the Yankees have used 36 players, including 19 pitchers (20 if you count infielder Dean Anna, who tossed an inning).
Kelly Johnson and Yangervis Solarte, who began the season in a platoon at third base, triggered a three-run rally in the sixth inning that unlocked a 4-4 score. Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda coughed up a 4-1 lead on a solo home run in the fifth by d’Arnaud and a two-run shot in the sixth by Granderson, who just needed a shot of the Stadium to get back on track.
It was Granderson’s 65th career home run in 910 at-bats at the Stadium, an average of one every 14 at-bats. Grandy hit 63 homers at the Stadium in his four seasons with the Yankees, which accounted for 54.8 percent of his dinger output during his time here. I would have thought that percentage would be higher, but Curtis showed he could hit the long ball elsewhere than the Bronx, which should be encouraging to him.
After a messy second inning in which he gave up the salami to Gardner, Bartolo Colon settled down and pitched three scoreless innings as his team clawed back into the game. It all came apart for Colon in the sixth.
Solarte followed a one-out double by Alfonso Soriano with a single to break the tie. Johnson, playing first base for Teixeira, was credited with a triple on a drive to left-center hat was poorly played by Eric Young Jr. to score Solarte.
Johnson displayed questionable judgment in trying to score on Brian Roberts’ grounder to the left side against a drawn-in infield and was thrown out in a rundown. Gardner sent Colon packing with a dart of a single to right field that put Roberts on third. On a steal attempt by Gardner, d’Arnaud threw the ball into center field which allowed Roberts to score.
Kuroda came out of the game at the start of the seventh. Alfredo Aceves, a candidate to start Thursday night, came in on his throw day but was not sharp. He walked d’Arnaud to start the inning and one out later gave up Eric Young Jr.’s first home run of the season that got the Mets back to a run.
Daniel Murphy singled after Young’s homer. Aceves got a big out by catching Wright looking at a slider for a called third strike. With Granderson at bat and a 2-2 count, Murphy tried to steal second and was thrown out by McCann. Granderson is strikeout prone, but it did not make much sense to me to run Murphy there. It was a nice break for the Yankees on a night when not much else went their way.