June 18, 2009

Yankees shut out by worst team in baseball

The Yankees struggles against no-name pitchers continued on Thursday night, and it cost them a series loss to the worst team in baseball.  The Nationals (18-46), behind Craig Stammen (who?), shut out the Yankees (37-29) 3-0 after a 5-1/2 hour rain delay.

Quick ‘Cap:
The long delay didn’t stop the Nationals from a quick start.  Adam Dunn’s RBI double scored the first run off Joba Chamberlain, and that was all the Nats needed to win.  Chamberlain was incredibly efficient in the first three innings, but stumbled in the fourth and fifth.

Former Yankees catcher Will Nieves drew a bases loaded walk—Chamberlain’s third of the inning—in the fourth to make it 2-0.  Ryan Zimmerman’s second double of the game plated Cristian Guzman for the third, and final run.  Chamberlain lasted six innings, and the bullpen had no troubles once again.

As for the Yankees offense, well, it was nonexistent.  I’m not even going to begin to describe all of their squandered opportunities.  Full box score here.

It was an embarrassing loss, and an embarrassing series.  Seven runs in three games against the worst pitching staff in baseball is pathetic — especially at the “hitter friendly” Yankee Stadium. 

Peter Abraham said a series win was expected at the least, and I predicted a sweep was easily in the cards.  Nobody, predicted losing two out of three.

Two notes:  1. This was the first game at the new Yankee Stadium without a homer from either team.  2.  Brett Gardner made a great catch in the eighth inning, but crashed into the wall afterwards.  He was carted off the field, but it sounds like he’s okay.

Noteworthy Performances:
- Nick Swisher
had a solid day at the plate: 2-for-4 with a double (nearly two, but was thrown out at second).
- Alex Rodriguez went ‘0-for’ the fourth straight game, and is in one of the biggest slumps in his career.  He has three hits in his last 34 at bats.
- I’ll praise the bullpen again just to give Yankees fans some hope.  Alfredo Aceves, Phil Coke and David Robertson each tossed one scoreless inning.

Up Next:
It’s time for Yankees pitchers to grab some pine tar.  The Yanks begin their nine-game road trip to NL ballparks in Florida to face the Marlins.  Lefties Andy Pettitte (6-3, 4.52) and Sean West (2-1, 3.00) will go at it on Friday night at 7:10 p.m.

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