Yankees hand series to Dodgers, lose 2-0


The Yankees, who are right in the thick of the playoff race, are in a position where they really need to win every series the rest of the way to be able to play October baseball. Thanks to some horrible defensive play in the ninth inning, the Yankees dropped the final game of this series to the Dodgers, 2-0. They remain two games out of the second wild card with 18 games to play.

Bryan R. Smith/AP

Michael Pineda had a short appearance, but pitched very well in his four innings of work. He allowed just two hits and two walks while striking out five Los Angeles batters. While he was only at 80 pitches through four innings, he is notoriously worse against batters the third time through the lineup. That, combined with the 25-minute rain delay in the middle of the fourth inning, made the decision easy for Joe Girardi to go to the bullpen. This is the second consecutive start for Pineda in which he hasn’t pitched deep enough into the game to qualify for the win. Girardi is being cautious with Big Mike, but the bullpen has stepped up in a big way to make up for the short starts.

Through the first two games in the series, the Yankees didn’t record a single hit with runners in scoring position. The Bronx Bombers lived up to their nickname, scoring all of their runs on five solo home runs. Their situational hitting continued to suffer tonight, as they went 0-for-5 with RISP. They struggled to even put men on base, as they mustered only two hits and a pair of walks to go along with the error that allowed Starlin Castro to reach in the fifth.

The bullpen pitched really well again tonight. After Pineda was pulled, Tommy Layne came in and shut down the Dodgers in order in the fifth. After another rain delay that lasted nearly an hour, Girardi brought in Luis Severino. He continued his dominance out of the pen, blanking the Dodgers over two innings. He has yet to give up a run while coming in as a relief pitcher. Clippard worked a perfect eighth while striking out two.

In the ninth inning, the Yankees defense simply unraveled with Dellin Betances on the mound. They made two costly errors, allowing a pair of runs to score. Corey Seager led off with a line drive to second base, and Castro simply let it scamper past him. After a stolen base, he scored on the double by Justin Turner. Two batters later, Yasmani Grandal hit an easy ground ball back to Betances. He has Turner dead to rights at the plate, but airmailed an easy throw, allowing Turner to score to make the deficit two runs.

Tomorrow night, the Yankees begin a crucial four-game series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston. Masahiro Tanaka (13-4, 3.04 ERA) will get the ball against Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez (2-7, 4.70 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET.

Article by: Dan DeGregorio

Follow me on Twitter: @DanDeGregs

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