The worst part of the Yankees' schedule every year if the west coast swing. The Yankees are on one right now, but thankfully it's just a three-game stop in Anaheim before heading out to Milwaukee for s series this weekend. The Yankees and Angels didn't get underway until 10 pm ET, and with the end-time somewhere around 1 am ET, I felt no desire to stay up that late and watch, or even force one of my staff members to do so either.
So here we are, with the recap coming to you about 12 hours away from the first pitch of tonight's game.
But when the game finally did get underway, nothing changed, and the Yankees were still the same team that has been playing poorly over the last week or so. They got a good start from David Phelps, but the Angels got an even better outing from Jered Weaver, and when the Bombers' bullpen imploded in the 8th, the Angels were able to claim themselves victories over the Yankees, 4-1.
For about the 7th or 8th game in-a-row, the Yankees were the first team to be trailing in the game when Ian Stewart grounded out to bring home Howie Kendrick, who tripled to open the inning, making it a 1-0 game.
That would be the only run that Phelps have up in his first start of the season. He hadn't made an appearance in a game for the Yankees since April 23rd, so it was very encouraging that he was able to get through 5.1 innings of one-run ball, giving up just three hits while walking one and striking out three. The Yankees were trying to limit him to around 80 pitches, and he ended with 87.
The Yankees didn't get on the board against Weaver until the 7th inning, when Mark Teixeira ripped a single into right field to scored Derek Jeter, who doubled to left field to open the inning, then moved to third base on a Jacoby Ellsbury groundout.
The Yankees had a very big chance to take the lead in the 8th inning. loading the bases with nobody out, but as fate would have it, the Yankees failed to capitalize on the situation.
Brett Gardner struck out swinging after two terrible -- TERRIBLE -- strike calls by home plate umpire Lad Diaz put him into a two strike count. Both pitches were low, well below the zone. Joe Girardi was ejected for arguing after the first call. He ran out of the dugout, as furious as I've ever seen him.
After all that, Jeter came up with a chance to be the savior, but he grounded into a double play to end the inning. Weaver was fired up after getting out of that jam, as any pitcher would be.
Adam Warren pitched a scoreless 7th inning, then Shawn Kelley entered for the 8th. He walked the leadoff batter, got a groundout and flyout, then walked the next two to load the bases. He walked Kendrick for the third straight walk, forcing in the go-ahead run. He was pulled, and then ejected after arguing with Diaz. Matt Thornton walked in the only batter he faced, forcing in another run. In came Preston Claiborne, but nothing changed as he also walked in a run.
The bullpen has normally been pretty good this season, but that sequence of events was something the Houston Astros wouldn't even be able to pull off.
The Yankees didn't put up a fight in the 9th, going down in order to end the game.
Hiroki Kuroda (fingers crossed) take the mound tonight for the Bombers, who now stand just one game above .500 after losing five of their last six games. He'll be going up against Angels left-hander CJ Wilson.