Yanks split twinbill with Dodgers, look ahead to showdown with Rays
The Yankees split their doubleheader with the Dodgers on Wednesday, winning the first game 6-4 behind strong performances from Ichiro Suzuki and Hiroki Kuroda.
They then flopped in the nightcap, as Phil Hughes allowed five runs in six innings and the Yankees mustered just three singles against Chris Capuano and two relievers in a 6-0 loss.
We’ve recapped all of the day’s action in story form on MLB.com and Yankees.com, of course, but here is a quick rundown of what you might have missed in the deluge:
- It was exciting to get an in-person look at Yasiel Puig. He’s just as fun to watch as advertised, and I wish he played in the American League East so we could see it more regularly. The Yankees and the Dodgers both disagree with me on that point, I’m sure.
- Mariano Rivera bested the intriguing rookie in a ninth-inning battle to end the first game.
- Lyle Spencer compared Puig to Ichiro Suzuki very nicely: “Ichiro improvises cool jazz. Puig is hard rock, charged by electricity.” When Puig stepped in against Adam Warren in the seventh inning, I wasn’t even able to manage to say, “I don’t like this matchup for Adam Wa…” before Puig flicked his wrists and hit an opposite-field homer. He’s special.
- Joe Girardi said that he has not given any thought to removing Hughes from the rotation, but acknowledged the struggles we’re all seeing. “I think it’s location for him, location of his fastball, and staying out of long counts,” Girardi said.
- Zoilo Almonte made his big league debut, grounding out as a pinch-hitter for Austin Romine in the ninth inning of the second game. Joe Girardi had said that he planned to give Almonte a start in the second game, as well as against one of the Rays right-handers, but obviously changed his mind between games. Almonte is the Yankees’ No. 10 prospect, according to MLB.com.
- Robinson Cano was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double in the second game, and Girardi was a bit mystified why that happened. “He took too wide of a turn, and I’m not really sure why he took such a wide turn, but he did,” Girardi said.
- Austin Romine’s troubles at the plate continue, but with Francisco Cervelli not expected back until the middle of July, Girardi said that he can keep trotting Romine out as his backup catcher. ”I think he’s done a pretty good job behind the plate,” Girardi said. “He’s struggled offensively, there’s no doubt about it. Early on he was hitting some balls hard and he wasn’t having a whole lot of luck. But he’s done a pretty good job for me behind the plate.”
- Jason Kidd threw the ceremonial first pitch for the nightcap.
- The Bleacher Creatures twice serenaded Dodgers manager Don Mattingly with chants of “Don-nie Base-ball,” and Mattingly doffed his cap both times.
The Yankees have lost six of their last eight games as they head into a four-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays tonight. Here are the pitching probables, game times and local television information:
Thur., 6/20 vs. Tampa Bay: LHP Andy Pettitte (5-4, 3.95) vs. LHP Matt Moore (8-3, 4.12), 7:05 p.m. YES
Fri., 6/21 vs. Tampa Bay: RHP David Phelps (4-4, 4.08) vs. RHP Roberto Hernandez (4-7, 5.02), 7:05 p.m. MY9
Sat., 6/22 vs. Tampa Bay: LHP CC Sabathia (7-5, 3.93) vs. TBD, 1:05 p.m. YES/MLB Net.
Sun., 6/23 vs. Tampa Bay: TBD (Ivan Nova?) vs. RHP Chris Archer (1-3, 5.03), 2:05 p.m. YES/TBS