The Yanks lost to the Orioles today despite some very good pitching and some really good hitting. Without getting too bogged down in the details and the usual ranting and railing about the loss.
Gardner was looking good. 4 at bats produced 1 run, 2 hits and 1 RBI… not bad for a guy who had a delayed start to spring due to an injury that he had picked up in the wild card game.
Gregorius looked good too hitting wise and his partnership with Castro looks very good from a defensive perspective. He also got a run and a hit in out of 3 at bats.
Castro looks like a strong acquisition for the team and he knocked in an RBI in 2 at bats.
Ackley and Denorfia both had strong outings both getting in runs and hits, with Denorfia picking up 3 RBIs.
Pazos looked good pitching and I would like to see some more of his work as he faced three batters in an innings work and struck out two. His was the pitching performance today that I felt stood out for its sharpness and intent. The others just didn’t do the job and gave up the game with their lack of control and intent.
Basically, the hitting was good though men were still left on an infuriating number of times, and the team failed to convert the 15 hits for enough to win the game, scoring only ten from those 15 hits, while the Birds were 11 runs from 9 hits. It is that kind of hits to run ratio that the Yanks will have to address if they have any hope of winning enough games to take the division this year. When you look at how many men were LOBs the Yanks had in this game, that was twenty to the measly 6 LOBs the Orioles had. That is not good enough and something the hitting coaches are going to have to remedy before we break camp and head back up north.
Nova looked sharp at points. But was still not crisp by a long shot and had a shocking lack of command with his fastball. He pitched 4.2 innings, gave up 5 hits, 5 runs… all earned runs too… three of them homers, and struck out 5 batters. Not good enough to get the fifth slot no matter how good some say he was. CC was bad, but Nova has not been anywhere near as good as he should be, and it is puzzling that neither pitcher seems to want the fifth starter spot.
The rest of the pitchers were not good today. They just gave away runs with poor command and gimme balls that sat up and were there to be hit and were hit. None of them really stood out besides Pazos as contenders for the Bullpen.
Castro did give up an error, but Refsnyder’s conversion to 3rd base is definitely looking a little shaky. Down but not out, I would say, after two crucial errors in the 10th inning that put Tracy behind and ultimately cost the game. The first error was on him, the second was a tough one though because the ball took a bad hop off the dirt and bounced up hitting the kid in the face, that is not much of an error really. But it is counted as one. The first error too could be argued as not being the fault of the young star as his throw to first was a cannon shot, and Romero who came on for Ackley failed to keep a hold of the ball when trying to make a tag. I feel the first error should be on him and not on Refsnyder as the throw was good, it was the first baseman’s failure to stay on the base and catch the ball, or hold it when he did make the catch and tag Christian Walker. That would have been the first out of the 10th and that would have made the pitcher’s job a whole lot easier.
So that is what I made of this game. The Yanks are making progress in a lot of ways, but the hitting is still a major problem as is the pitching and the trouble with the control. I hope they can iron these chinks out now, or at least before the season gets into the first two weeks as we need to start making progress in these areas if we are going to win. Especially the LOBs, Hits to Runs rations and the RISP ration. These have got to be worked on if we are going to be able to overcome what looks like a shaky pitching rotation and mid-relief bullpen. We can have the three best closers in the game but if we don’t get into a winning position they will not be worth anything. We MUST work on this now.