Bad Hirok The Yankees started this series with another heart-breaking defeat on Tuesday, falling 4-3 to the Rays in the series opener. With the loss, the Yankees playoff odds dropped to less than one percent, according to Fangraphs.com
Hiroki Kuroda entered the game with a 2.36 ERA in his previous four starts but was hit hard, giving up four runs in 3 1/3 innings. He now has a 5.94 career ERA vs the Rays, which is the third-worst by any active pitcher against them (min. 50 IP).
His counterpart on the Rays, Chris Archer, continued his mastery of the Yankees, improving to 5-0 in six career starts against the Bronx Bombers. He is the first pitcher to go undefeated in his first six career starts vs Yankees since Greg Hibbard did so for the White Sox and Mariners from 1990-94.
There were a few offensive highlights for the Yankees in the loss:
Jacoby Ellsbury homered in the fourth inning, giving him 15 homers on the year. He is the fourth Yankee with at least 15 home runs, five triples and 35 stolen bases in a season. The others to do this are Alfonso Soriano (2003), Rickey Henderson (1985, 1986), and Ben Chapman (1931).
Chris Young made his first start in pinstripes and drove in two runs with a fifth-inning single, cutting the Yankees deficit to 4-3. He is the first player with a multi-RBI game for the Yankees and the Mets in the same season since Dave Kingman in 1977.
It's not how you start, it's how you finish To say that Wednesday's game didn't start well would be an understatement. Chris Capuano imploded in the top of the first inning, giving up four runs before his team even came to bat, and was removed by Joe Girardi after recording just one out.
He is the first Yankee left-handed starting pitcher to allow at least four runs and six baserunners, while lasting no more one-third of an inning, since Rudy May in 1981.
The Yankees battled back to complete their biggest come-from-behind win of the season, sparked by the bat of Brian McCann. The catcher went 2-for-3 with three RBI, including his 18th home run of the season (and 16th at Yankee Stadium).
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, McCann is the second player in franchise history to hit 16 of his first 18 home runs as a Yankee in home games, joining Hall-of-Famer Joe Sewell who did it from 1931-33.
How unusual was improbable was the come-from-behind victory?
It marked the first time the Yankees won a game when their starter allowed at least four runs and got one out or fewer since August 21, 1985 at the Angels, and the first time they did at Yankee Stadium since May 6, 1943 vs the Red Sox.
The Yankees bullpen held the Rays scoreless until the ninth inning when Esmil Rogers allowed a solo homer, snapping a 28 1/3-inning scoreless streak for the bullpen. It was the longest scoreless streak for the Yankees bullpen since 1998 when they had a streak of 37 1/3 straight innings without allowing a run, according to Elias.
Forever Young Chris Young started this season with the Mets but has really made his mark on the Yankees Hunt For October. First, Young doubled off Rays starter Alex Cobb in the eighth inning, breaking up what would have been a historic no-hitter.
Young then won the game with one swing of the bat by launching a walk-off, three-run homer with the Yankees down 4-2 in the bottom of the ninth inning. He is the first Yankee outfielder with a game-ending homer when trailing by at least two runs since Mel Hall on May 27, 1991 vs Red Sox.
For the second consecutive night, the Yankees came back from a four-run deficit, a feat they had not achieved once in their first 142 games of the season. According to Elias, this is the first time the Yankees have won consecutive games after trailing by at least four runs in each game since July 30-31, 2005 vs Angels.