Rapid Reaction: A's 2, Yankees 1
July, 21, 2012
By Jeff Fletcher | ESPNNewYork.com
Recap | Box score | Photos
What it means: That Yankees starters are going to start complaining about a lack of support if this keeps up. Phil Hughes pitched very well, but the two solo homers he allowed -- to sizzling Yoenis Cespedes and not-sizzling Brandon Inge -- were enough to beat him. That's because the Yankees couldn't do anything with Jarrod Parker. Three games in a row, an Oakland rookie pitcher has quieted the Yankees' bats, and three games in a row, the Yankees have lost.
It's over: Robinson Cano's 23-game hitting streak came to an end. Cano grounded out twice and struck out twice.
A losing streak: The Yankees equaled their longest losing streak of the year, at three games. They last lost three in a row June 19-22. The only time this year that the same team had beaten them three in a row was when the Rays swept them in the first series of the season.
Hughes sharp: Hughes was on his game, allowing two runs in 7 2/3 innings. He gave up just one hit in the first three innings, with barely a ball hit hard. Then he gave up a towering solo homer to Cespedes, but he settled down and did not give up another hit until Inge's opposite-field homer in the eighth. Inge was hitting .198 when the game began.
Cuban crusher: The Yankees probably need to scrap whatever their scouting report is on Cespedes. He put the A's on the board with a long home run in the fourth inning. He has torched them so far this series, to the tune of 7-for-10 with two homers. It's not just the Yankees, though. Cespedes was 12-for- 23 with two homers in the six games before this series began.
Scuffling against another kid: Parker, the key prospect acquired from the Diamondbacks in the Trevor Cahill deal, is considered the most talented of all the A's rookie pitchers. The Yankees managed five singles and one run in seven innings against Parker. For the weekend, the Yankees have scored three runs in 21 innings in three games against A's starters.
Be patient, guys: The Yankees are known for making pitchers work and swinging early in the count only at pitches they can drive, but Parker got the Yankees to make six outs on five first pitches. The most crushing of those was in the second, when Russell Martin came up with two on and one out, and hit into an easy double play. Mark Teixeira also grounded out on a first pitch with a runner in scoring position and two outs in the sixth. Derek Jeter was the only player to get a hit on a first-pitch swing. Going into the game, the Yankees were hitting .359 when putting the first pitch in play, best in the league.
At least they walked once: After failing to draw a walk in back-to-back games for only the second time in two years, the Yankees drew one free pass this time, when Curtis Granderson walked to lead off the sixth.
Botched rundown: The Yankees had Coco Crisp picked off first in the eighth inning, but the rundown was blown when pitcher Boone Logan missed the tag on Crisp. Logan made up for it by picking Crisp a few pitches later.
What's next: A couple of longtime friends and two-time former teammates will square off at the Coliseum. The Yankees send CC Sabathia (10-3, 3.27 ERA) to the mound against the A's Bartolo Colon (6-8, 3.88). Sabathia and Colon were teammates in Cleveland and New York.