So the Yankees lost to the Blue Jays today, continuing their sluggish start to the 2014 season. As always, I’m here to provide the positive parts of this loss. Sure, the offense was terrible, and David Phelps doesn’t seem to be handling not being the fifth starter very well, but did everyone see Michael Pineda‘s outing? Wowsers, Penny!
Pineda fought tooth and nail with Phelps and others for the fifth spot in the rotation all spring long, winning the job during the last week of the pre-season. He threw the ball really well all spring long, and had fans, writers, teammates and coaches alike salivating at the promise the 6’7″, 265 lb former Mariner could bring to the table every fifth day. When he took the ball on Saturday afternoon against the Blue Jays, we were all a little nervous. CC Sabathia had a great spring and got hammered by the Astros, after all. Well Pineda didn’t disappoint. Not only that, he excelled.
The big Dominican needed only 83 pitches to get through 6 inning, and only allowed 1 run on 5 hits, while walking none and striking out 5. The only run came on a bloop single in the second by backup catcher Josh Thole after Adam Lind had doubled earlier in the inning. I was a little surprised that the Yankees went to the bullpen after those 6 innings, but not really. Pineda was having a wonderful game in his first major league start in two long years. There’s no need to push him, and his surgically repaired shoulder, in the fifth game of the year.
Unfortunately for Pineda, the offense was terrible. Runners were left in scoring position like nobody’s business (well, it’s been the Yankees business so far this year), and only Jacoby Ellsbury, Francisco Cervelli and Yangervis Solarte (what a guy!) had multiple hits. In fact, no one else had any hits at all! The two through six hitters in the lineup went 0-18. You’re not gonna score too many runs when that’s going on. To be fair, they were facing R.A. Dickey, who used to be the best pitcher in the National League a couple years ago.
Anyway, this game was both great and terrible to watch. The offense simply isn’t clicking yet, although I’m confident it will. The pitching, on the other hand, except for two innings from Sabathia and every pitch Phelps has thrown, has been very good. At the end of the day, pitching wins games. The offense will come around. In early April, it’s more important that the guys on the mound get it going. Pineda certainly showed he could be a very serious weapon for this team.
Featured image courtesy of: Andrew Theodorakis/New York Daily News
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