Wednesday, August 27, 2014
DETROIT—The Yankees have been talking about working better quality at-bats throughout their batting order, one through nine, over their last winning week. In one memorable inning Wednesday night at Comerica Park, every single hitter in the lineup delivered on that promise.
Beginning with leadoff man Jacoby Ellsbury, nine straight batters collected hits as the Yankees took a swing at the record books. The resulting eight-run inning sent David Price to the showers early as New York defeated the Tigers, 8-4, to move to within 2 1/2 games of Seattle for the second American League Wild Card spot.
The Yanks are quite familiar with Price from his previous service in the AL East, but they have never seen him like this. After being forced to throw 43 pitches in the first two innings, Price didn’t record an out in the third as eight earned runs came around, matching his career high.
Derek Jeter had two RBIs in the frame, starting the damage with a run-scoring double to right field off the left-hander. The Yankees stayed on Price’s pitches throughout the inning, as Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann followed by stringing three consecutive RBI hits together.
Brett Gardner and Francisco Cervelli also collected run-scoring singles before Tigers manager Brad Ausmus finally claimed the ball from Price, who recorded no swings and misses in the inning. Blaine Hardy recorded the first out on an Ellsbury sacrifice fly, and Jeter lifted a sac fly to push home the eighth run.
The nine straight hits off Price—who hadn’t allowed nine hits in any of his last 10 starts—were three shy of a Major League record set by the 1920 Cardinals and equaled by the 1930 Brooklyn Robins. Price permitted 12 hits overall, working two-plus innings.
The Yankee offense actually looked like a legitimate MLB offense for an inning there. Still, take away those nine straight hits and eight runs in the third inning and they lose 4-0.
Shane Greene had another strong game and I am starting to believe he’s developed to the point that his minor league track record is of limited utility when trying to forecast him going forward. There’s nothing in his peripherals that indicate particularly unsustainable good fortune, as he entered the game with a BABIP against of .321 and a HR/FB rate of 12.5%, both above league average. He’s pitched about as well as his ERA says he has.
I was just hoping the Yankees wouldn’t get swept here, but now a series win seems like a real possibility.
Not a likely one, but a possibility nonetheless.