Monday, May 13, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Indians 1, Yankees 0
By Andrew Marchand
WHAT IT MEANS: The Yankees missed a chance to tie the Texas Rangers for the best record in baseball. Their five-game winning streak is over. And Justin Masterson continues to be masterful as he dominated the depleted Yankee lineup.
FIRST BLOOD: David Phelps did not start too well. To open the bottom of the first, he walked the speedy Michael Bourn. Bourn, though, was thrown out trying to steal on a very close call. Next, Jason Kipnis went deep to right for his fifth homer to give Masterson the only run he needed in his shutout.
SAVING THE PEN: Phelps, though, went on to pick things up, putting zeroes up from the second through the seventh. Boone Logan picked up the final out of the seventh.
With rookie second-game starter Vidal Nuno limited to 75 pitches and with the bullpen short as Mariano Rivera and David Robertson have worked so much recently, the Yankees needed length from Phelps. They got it.
Phelps took a big step in trying to claim the fifth starter spot from the injured Ivan Nova. With Michael Pineda gearing up for a minor league rehab soon, that fifth spot is in flux. Phelps made a major claim on Monday, even in the loss.
But that grouping nearly produced a run. With two-out in the second, Nelson and Stewart sandwiched infield hits around Joseph's first major league plate appearance, a walk. Gonzalez, starting in place of Derek Jeter understudy Eduardo Nunez, struck out. That as close to a run as the Yankees would get.
THREAT II: The Yankees barely touched Masterson all day. In the sixth, Brett Gardner led off with a bunt single. After a fielder's choice, two outs and a wild pitch, Travis Hafner had a man in scoring position. With a chance to tie the game, Hafner grounded out.
FINISHING THE JOB: In the ninth, Boesch hit a two-out opposite field single, but Masterson went on to strike out pinch-hitter Vernon Wells to complete the shutout.