Sunday, May 18, 2014

Yankees Ride Big Opening Frame To 4-3 Win

Good start; Neil Walker banged the first pitch he saw from Hiroki Kuroda over the wall in right to make it 1-0. Nothing to  get giddy about, though. Charlie Morton started with a walk, bunt single and a hit batter, followed by singles by Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann to make it 3-0 with runner on the corners and no outs. He escaped with a K and DP, but not exactly the start you'd like.

The Bucs went down in order in the second, and the Yankees added another on a Kelly Johnson single, a throwing error by Tony Sanchez on a steal and a hustle double by Brett Gardner. The third went by quietly, and in the fourth, the Bucs loaded the bases on two walks and an infield single, but failed to score as Starling Marte struck out without having a strike thrown to him and Gaby bouncing out softly. Morton worked another quick frame, thanks to a pick-off at first that had to go to review to ring up.

The Bucs made a game of it in the fifth. Tony Sanchez homered to left and Clint Barmes followed with a two-bagger, coming around on a ground out and an infield single, a liner off the third baseman's mitt, by The Kid to make it 4-3. Charlie tossed a 1-2-3 inning. Both sides went down in order in the sixth; the Bucs were helped when Charlie spun a ball off Teixeira's knee, but third base ump Bob Davidson ruled it, quite wrongly, a foul.

Matt Daley took over in the seventh. After two routine outs, Joe Girardi called on lefty Matt Thornton to face Travis Snider; the Pirates countered with Jose Tabata, who K'ed. Morton, in what should be his last inning, pitched another clean frame, retiring 17 of the last 18 Yankees to face him.

In the eighth, Adam Warren had Cutch on second with two outs, following a walk and a bouncer. Girardi went to his closer, Dave Robertson, to finish the frame. He used three pitches to give Starling Marte a golden sombrero, striking him out for the fourth time today. Justin Wilson got the call for Pittsburgh and put the Bronx Bombers away without a peep. Robertson made short order of the Bucs, and they dropped the opener 4-3. Not much drama; in the last four innings, there was nary a threat from either team.

For Morton, it's the same ol'. One crooked inning without much in the way of hard hit balls, and it's always enough to do him in. The Pirates didn't help. It's like games at American League parks with the DH are a complete mystery; why else would you bat Gaby against righties when he sits against them in the NL? It's a pickle the FO has put Clint Hurdle in - Andrew Lambo is on the DH, Chris Dickerson is apparently being saved for some later date before he gets on the 40-man roster, we won't see Gregory Polanco until mid June, and that's all the lefties the Bucs can muster in the minors.

Gerrit Cole Tries to salvage a game against Vidal Nuno in the nightcap.
  • Starling Marte struck out four times on 17 pitches; eight were swing-and-misses.
  • Justin Wilson ran his K streak to five before Derek Jeter grounded out in the eighth.
  • The last game the Pirates have won on the road against the Yankees was on October 10th, 1960 during the World series.

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