Yankees Unable to Capitalize on Late Opportunities, Fall to Pirates 2-1

The New York Yankees fell to 11-7 on the year as they lost a close game, 2-1, against the Pittsburgh Pirates Sunday afternoon.

Young pitcher Jordan Montgomery pitched well enough to deserve a win, but the run support never showed up.  After giving up two runs early in the game, the Yankees took advantage of three timely double plays in the 4th, 5th, and 6th inning to keep the Pirates off of the board.  In the 7th, relief pitcher Bryan Mitchell loaded the bases but was able to escape unscathed after getting a high pop up, a liner to short, and a strikeout to end the inning.

The Yankees bats were silent until the 7th, when Jacoby Ellsbury hit a home run that landed in the right field bleachers.  In the 8th, Chris Carter reached base on a pinch hit single, and Brett Gardner drew a walk.  Pete Kozma came in as a pinch runner for Carter, who promptly stole 3rd on a ball that got away from Pirates’ Catcher Chris Stewart.  However, no one scored as Chase Headley popped out, and Starlin Castro struck out to end the inning.

There was life again in the Yankees bats in the 9th as they loaded the bases, but again came up short.  With one out, Aaron Judge hit a single to right,  and Matt Holliday drew a pinch hit walk.  Next up, Ronald Torreyes hit a ground ball to Second but the fielder misplayed the ball, likely looking ahead to a potential game winning double play.  The bases were loaded with only one out.  Aaron Hicks then proceeded to strike out on 3 pitches, and Kozma grounded out to end the game.

Things to look for going forward:

Greg Bird Struggles:  After a blazing Spring Training, Greg Bird is batting an abysmal .104 on the season with only 5 hits in 48 at bats.  He connected on several long foul balls this past series, and isn’t looking as lost a the plate as he was earlier in the season, but something isn’t right. If he doesn’t get it turned around over the next three games, maybe he needs to be sent down to AAA to get it sorted out.

There’s No Place Like Home:  Through 9 road games thus far, the Yankees are 3-6 and have yet to win a series away from Yankee Stadium.  Meanwhile at home, an 8-1 record feels very comfortable.

The season is still early.  The Yankees look to regroup against their bitter rival, the Boston Red Sox Tuesday night.



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