If this afternoon's series finale performance was Derek Jeter's teammates' way of giving him a retirement gift, they probably could have done a little better. Shaky starting pitching, piss poor defense, and more lack of timely hitting were all on display as the Yankees fell to the Royals .
For the second straight start Shane Greene struggled with his fastball command. He walked 2 and threw almost 30 pitches in the 1st inning and surrendered a run each in the 2nd and 3rd, although the aforementioned bad defense was mostly to blame for that. Greene himself threw a ball away that allowed a run to score with 2 outs in the 2nd, and Carlos Beltran failed to catch a pretty routine Alex Gordon flyball to lead off the 3rd. Gordon stole second and scored on an Eric Hosmer single when Beltran double-clutched his throw to the plate and Brian McCann bailed on it early to make a throw to second base. Putting the "fun" in "fundamentals", the Yankees are not.
Yordano Ventura has been one of the best under-the-radar rookie pitchers this year, which is strange considering he features the hardest fastball in terms of average velocity in all of baseball. He used that and the occasional curveball to render the Yankee lineup helpless over 6 innings, along with their usual assistance of course. They put 2 on in the 1st on a base hit and a fielding error and didn't score, 2 on in the 3rd on a pair of walks and didn't score, and that was all she wrote as far as legitimate scoring chances went. A pair of walks in the middle innings were erased on GIDPs, and those 2 early KC runs loomed large as the game got the late innings.
Greene got through 5 innings without any more runs against him and Joe called on his bullpen to hold the deficit at 2. Adam Warren gave him 2 scoreless innings and Shawn Kelley danced around a single, stolen base, and an intentional walk to post a zero in the 8th. Beltran singled to lead off the bottom of the 9th, but pinch runner Chris Young stayed glued to the base as McCann, Mark Teixeira, and Stephen Drew made 3 consecutive outs to seal the Yankees' second shutout loss in the last 3 games.
- Not only the second of 3, but their third shutout loss in the last 8 games and their fifth since August 9th. This offense suuuuuuuuucks.
- Greene is officially at the end of his honeymoon phase as an MLB starter. We've seen him struggle with his command and opposing lineups foul him off and battle him a lot in 2 straight starts. How he handles this and changes things up in response will be the true test of how ready he is to handle a full-time rotation role in 2015.
- The top 4 spots in the batting order today had 3 of the 4 team hits. The 5-9 hitters went a combined 1-17 with 4 strikeouts and 13 combined individual runners left on base.
- Really rough day for McCann, who went 0-4 with 6 LOB. Guy just can't put 3 good games together to save himself.
- Warren was perfect in his 2 innings. He's thrown 6.1 straight scoreless with 6 K in his last 4 appearances.