Freddy Garcia had another brutal performance and the Yankees' offense came to life too late as the Tigers beat the Bombers 7-5 on Saturday afternoon.
FREDDY'S STRUGGLES: Garcia somehow managed to pitch worse than he did in his previous outing, against the Red Sox. He lasted just 1 2/3 innings, yielding six runs and five hits. The Tigers were all over Garcia from the first pitch, and his ERA ballooned to 12.51 as he fell to 0-2.
While it's been only four starts, you have to wonder how long the Yankees can keep sending out a starter who has pitched a combined 13 2/3 innings in four starts and is putting more than two baserunners on per inning. An argument can certainly be made at this point that David Phelps, who pitched three scoreless innings of relief, can't do any worse.
LATE ARRIVAL: The Yankees had just two runs and three hits entering the ninth but rallied to bring the tying run to the plate. Nick Swisher led off with a homer (his second of the day), Curtis Granderson drove in his second run and Raul Ibañez doubled in a run to slice the lead to 7-5. Pinch hitter Eric Chavez flew out deep to right to end the game.
The Yankees had just one hit through the first six innings as they struggled against Drew Smyly, making his fourth career start. He simply dominated the Bronx Bombers in his six-plus innings, giving up just two hits. While Detroit made a pair of nifty plays in the outfield, the Yankees did not hit the ball very hard against him.
PHELPS SHINES: Phelps has done a great job this season in long relief following short outings by Garcia and Phil Hughes, and he did it again by pitching three shutout innings. Phelps walked just one batter and cruised against what is a pretty strong Detroit lineup. With how he's pitched this year, Phelps deserves a shot at the rotation if the Yankees decide to remove Garcia.
COMING ATTRACTIONS: Johnette Howard will write about Garcia's struggles. Mike Mazzeo and I will tackle the rest, including the state of the rotation and the offense's late charge.
UP NEXT: CC Sabathia (2-0, 5.27 ERA) will try to win the series for the Yankees when he opposes Max Scherzer (1-2, 8.24 ERA) at 1:10 p.m. ET Sunday. With a win, the Yankees will finish 3-3 against Texas and Detroit in this six-game stretch.