Michael Pineda thought he was slick. He thought he could get away with the same crime twice -- against the same team in a 12-day span. The Yankees' right-hander was ejected in the 2nd inning of Wednesday night's 5-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox after umpires found pine tar on his neck.
His ejection meant that Joe Girardi needed to get 6.1 innings from his bullpen with the starting pitcher gone from the game so early.
Pineda -- without pine tar -- gave up two runs in the 1st inning, putting the Yankees into an early hole. Grady Sizemore tripled to center field to open the bottom of the 1st, then Dustin Pedroia followed with a single to bring him home. After a David Ortiz fly-out, Mike Napoli singled to put runners on the corners, and following another fly-out, AJ Pierzynski lined another single to center to give the Sox a 2-0 lead.
The 2nd inning is when the pine tar first showed up on Pineda. He was able to get the first two outs of the inning before the umpires saw what they saw, and Pineda was kicked out of the game. It seems like Pineda is almost certainly facing a 10-game suspension, which would cause him to miss two starts. And honestly, I wouldn't care about the suspension because someone to put pine tar on their neck should be taught how wrong it is.
Pineda only last 1.2 inning, giving up two runs on four hits, throwing 40 pitches. If he only misses two starts, it won't be much, but it's still tough for the rotation to go those two trips without him, especially with Ivan Nova likely done for the season.
In the meantime, if I had to guess, I'd say that David Phelps will fill in for those two starts, should he miss time.
With Pineda gone, Phelps took over for him, and was able to give Girardi two innings, permitting two runs on three hits -- both runs coming in the 3rd inning.
The Red Sox put a pair of runners on to open the frame, and then Napoli hit a ground-rule double to right that scored a run. Four batters later, Ortiz scored from third base on a wild pitch from Phelps, making it a 4-0 game.
It took the Yankees almost six inning to get one the board against John Lackey, who was pretty good in his second start of the season against the Yankees. Carlos Beltran doubled to kick off the inning, then after moving to third base on a Brian McCann groundout, he scored on a sac-fly to right field off the bat of Alfonso Soriano.
From what I think I heard while watching the game, Lackey didn't get to one three-ball count on the night, which is pretty damn impressive. He held the Yankees to just the one run over eight inning, giving up seven hits, while striking out 11 and walking none.
Matt Thornton only issued a walk in 1.1 scoreless innings. Preston Claiborne gave up one runs on three hits in two innings. And Adam Warren entered in the 8th inning and set down the three batters he faced.
Derek Jeter's 11-game hitting streak ended tonight. Jacoby Ellsbury went hitless in his second game as a visitor of Fenway Park, and Mark Teixeira struck out in all four of his at-bats.
CC Sabathia will get the ball in the series finale Thursday night, when he goes up against Boston left-hander Felix Doubront at 7:05 pm ET.