Saturday, May 4, 2013
Silent night for Yankees' bats
By Kieran Darcy
The Yankees have gotten all they could ask for, and then some, from their makeshift lineup thus far this season.
On Friday night, they got a reality check.
The Bronx Bombers, if you can really call this group that, mustered just six hits in a 2-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees' patchwork lineup came back to haunt them Friday.
CC Sabathia gave the Yanks a chance by allowing just two runs in six innings despite not being at his sharpest. Adam Warren kept them in the game with three scoreless frames in relief.
But Oakland’s A.J. Griffin stymied the Yanks for seven innings, and two relievers did the same. New York did nothing with its few opportunities, going 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
Griffin showed great promise as a rookie last season -- 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 15 starts -- but he had given up 13 runs in his past two outings.
"He seemed to stay out of the middle of the plate," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Griffin. "He seemed to make a lot of good pitches tonight."
The players credited Griffin as well.
"I think Griffin did a great job changing speeds," left fielder Vernon Wells, who was 0-for-4, said.
"He’s got that real slow curveball, and his fastball’s got decent velocity on it, but it looks harder than it is because he’s throwing that slow curveball," catcher Chris Stewart, who was 0-for-1 with a walk, said. "And he was locating his fastball, too, keeping us off balance."
To be fair, the Yankees also hit a few balls on the screws that rocketed straight at defenders.
"That’s baseball," Wells said. "You’re not gonna be able to get ‘em every night."
Maybe Griffin really was that good, but nights like these make you wonder: Just how much longer can the Yankees thrive with such a patchwork batting order?
But we’re more than a month into the season now, and the Yankees’ luck might be running out. Even though they’d won six of their first seven games on this homestand, they’d only outscored their opponents 32-30 over that span.
The Yanks have two more games against a pesky Oakland club, now 17-13. Then comes an eight-game road trip against Colorado, Kansas City and Cleveland -- two teams with winning records, followed by a team at the .500 mark.
This good start could become a distant memory really fast.
"I think this team has done a great job over the course of this season when we’ve had opportunities, and we’ve taken advantage of a lot of them," Wells said. "Tonight wasn’t one of those nights."
The question is, how many more days and nights like this are on the horizon?