That first game in the majors has to be exciting. Unfortunately for Ronald Herrera, it resulted in a loss.
Herrera was called up from AA Trenton earlier in the day when Ben Heller was sent back to the minors. The Yanks needed a fresh arm. He gave up a late 2-run HR that doomed the Yanks as they lost 7-5 to the Angels Wednesday night. The loss cuts the Yanks’ (38-25) AL East lead to two games since Boston beat the lowly Phillies.
It started out good. In the first, Gardner singled, and with one out, Judge singled. Judge stole second and Matt Holliday just missed a 3-run HR as he hit a SF. After Castro was HBP, Sanchez hit a 3-run HR (11) to make it 4-0.
But Michael Pineda didn’t have much tonight, giving up a run in the first, two in the second and two more in the third. He did gut out six innings.
That run in the first that Pineda gave up could have been more. Aaron Hicks took a grand slam away from Luis Valbuena. It went as a SF instead.
In the second, the Yanks wasted a one-out triple by Rob Refsnyder. I would have loved to have had Gardner squeeze in a run, but as readers of this blog know, the one criticism I have of Girardi is that he never squeezes home a run. This, and other things, contributed to the loss. Instead, Refsnyder was left stranded.
Didi Gregorius (.337) extended his hitting streak to 16 games, but was hit by a batted ball on a single by Chase Headley in the fourth when the Yanks got three hits but no runs.
In the fifth, with two out, Judge reached on an error and Holliday and Castro both singled. Judge was thrown out at the plate however, on a bad send by 3B coach Joe Espada. Judge hadn’t even reached third when the LF fielded the ball and Judge was out easily.
The Yanks did tie the game in the sixth when Sanchez singled and went to second on an error. After Didi struck out, Headley singled to tie the game at five.
In the seventh, Hicks laid down a beautiful bunt for a hit. I wish Gardner had done that with Refsnyder on third in the second.
After Pineda went six innings, Girardi brought in Herrera. I was a little surprised at that because of the flight to CA (figure you’d give a guy a chance to rest a day after the flight before bringing him in… flight could take something out of you, esp. cross-country, and esp. after a 3:30 AM wakeup call to tell you you’ve been promoted) and also that Herrera was doing great as a STARTER at AA Trenton. You don’t know how he would do as a reliever. That’s a different area. Herrera gave up a 2-run HR to Andrelton Simmons in the seventh which decided the game.
It seems as if Girardi was looking long term (at least, according to a NY Post article) and willing to sacrifice one game for the long term benefit of his bullpen, which he described as “fried.”
The Yanks got a break in the ninth, when with two out, Hicks’ long drive seemed to be caught against the wall by the RF. The call was overturned and Hicks was given a double, meaning Judge was up as the tying run. Although he hit the ball hard, Judge grounded out to third to end the game.
Gardner 2 for 5. Hicks 2 for 5 (.314). Sanchez 3 for 4, scored 2 runs, 3 RBI, HR. Headley 2 hits, RBI.
Pineda 6 IP, 5 R, 10 H, 1 W, 2 K. 3.71. Gave up 1 HR.
Herrera (L, 0-1, 9.00) 2 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR.
CC was diagnosed with a Grade 2 hamstring strain. Still no word on how long he’ll be on the DL. CC says he feels good and hopes to miss just one start, but this could put him out until mid-August.
Aroldis Chapman is expected to return to the Yanks on Sunday after a couple of rehab stints.