Sometimes one inning can make or break a game.
Once again, Michael Pineda’s disastrous start to the game on Wednesday wound up being the Yankees’ undoing in a 7-3 loss. After allowing four runners to cross, Pineda now owns a 15.43 ERA in the first inning of his seven starts this season, and he knows it.
When your parents come home early after they said they were gonna be out all night. pic.twitter.com/k26z3spPDg
— Andrew Harts (@AndrewHarts) May 11, 2016
“I have a lot of good pitches and I put up a lot of zeros,” Pineda said after the game. “The problem is only the first inning”
To his credit, Pineda settled in and finished the next four frames well, before getting into trouble in the sixth and leaving two runners for Nick Goody to let in. The Yankees were undone by their pitching in this one, just as their starters had begun to find consistency.
Still, in the grand scheme of things, the Yankees are still hitting (seven on Wednesday), which was the biggest concern of all a week ago. They’re in good shape, Wednesday was just one of those nights.
The Play: Lorenzo Cain’s two-run single (+.179 WPA)
This put the game out of hand, and nearly put Nick Goody out of one. Cain took slider up straight into center, scoring two runners that Pineda had stranded.
Yankees: Aaron Hicks (3-for-4, R)
Royals: Lorenzo Cain (1-for-2, BB, R, 2 RBIs)
– Larry Rothschild said after the game that the Yankees may “play around with some stuff” when it comes to Pineda’s pregame preparation. That doesn’t mean pitching a simulated inning, but it could mean facing a few hitters. He said his routine has normally worked for him, and that he’s been able to get the first two outs of the inning fairly quickly. The Yankees, and Pineda are aware that he can’t pitch early, and they’re going to address that.
– Hicks continues to hit. The three hits he had were a season high, and he’s not 6 of his last 7 at the plate to raise his average above the Mendoza line to .216.
– Carlos Beltran quietly has hit over .280 during the last calendar year, and went 2-for-4 with a double and a homer. He spoke after the game about being on one of those streaks where you “see the ball well,” but that’s all nonsense. He’s been seeing it well for almost his entire Yankees tenure. He might be the best player the Yankees have.
– Phil Coke pitched his longest relief appearance of his career, going 3 1/3 one-run innings and allowing two hits and two walks. “He saved the bullpen,” Girardi said afterward.
“When you look at the strikeouts and things like that, it’s just the inconsistencies. And that’s where the whole thing comes from. He’ll throw some really good pitches, and then — it’s not just one pitch — he’ll locate some fastballs and then miss with it, and then his slider, he’ll get swings and misses on it, and then he’ll leave some in the middle of the plate.” – Larry Rothschild, on Michael Pineda
The Highlight: Beltran’s seventh homer of the season
The Yankees go for their second series win on Thursday night, and send Nathan Eovaldi (2-2, 4.78 ERA) to the hill against Ian Kennedy (4-2, 2.13 ERA). For Eovaldi, this is a chance to piece together three straight good starts, something he hasn’t done in a while. For Kennedy, it’s a welcome-home party. He hasn’t pitched at Yankee Stadium since he wore pinstripes.
Photo: Adam Hunger / USA Today Sports; Video: MLB.com