Another game of missed opportunities, but this one seemed to hurt more than some of the others. The Yankees had runners in scoring position 17 times, but only managed to score 1 run. The Yankees outhit the Royals today 8 to 5 and left 23 men stranded on base. It was rather deflating.
Hiroki Kuroda actually pitched a really good game. Despite a momentary struggle in the 2nd, his 90 pitches took him through 7 innings, giving up those 5 hits, 2 runs, and 2 walks, striking out 3 Royals batters. In the 2nd, with 2 outs, a single put a runner on base, who scored on a double, who then scored on another single. Those would be the only runs the Royals would score and really the only time they really threatened to do something big offensively.
Unfortunately, that was enough.
The only time the Yankees scored was in the 6th inning. Solarte doubled and then scored on Ichiro Suzuki’s ground out. And that was it. 23 runners in scoring position and just 1 crossed the plate today in Kansas City, despite a triple by Gardner and 3 doubles (Solarte, Ellsbury, and Roberts). It just wasn’t clicking.
I do partly blame the Royals starter, who they picked up 2 years ago from the Rays. He was really good in Florida, but he seems to have found a groove in Kansas City as their ace. Shields is constantly talked about around the league and rightly so. He’s an excellent pitcher, and though he will be up for grabs after this season, I don’t see the Yankees making a play for someone like him. Especially with the current rotation still trying to recover from their own set of DL issues. I guess, the Yankees can be happy that he’s at least no longer in the AL East. (Always find that silver lining!)
Also, Adam Warren threw just 5 pitches in the 8th inning, and it was just flawless. I wish there was more to see from him today.
And I will say that the Yankees had some decent fielding (something sorely missing from a few recent games), including 3 amazing double plays that somehow all involved Jeter. But my favorite play was a snap reaction from Kuroda to a line drive hit straight back to him, where he just reached up and caught the ball ending the 4th inning.
Hoping now for the Yankees to split the wraparound series with the Royals and win tomorrow night’s game before they head off to the West Coast.