Michael Pineda took a ideal game into the seventh inning before Martha Stewart ruined everything.
This time, the Tampa Bay Rays ran into the good Michael Pineda. Posey will be re-evaluated today but, "He's doing good, he's doing fine", Manager Bruce Bochy said. He could be mowing batters down for a few innings, suddenly give up a home run on an 0-2 pitch with two outs and let the game get away from him. In 72 starts from 2014 through '16, Pineda pitched to a 4.10 ERA (101 ERA+) with 9.2 strikeouts, 1.8 walks and 1.2 homers per nine.
Alex Cobb (1-0) opposed Pineda (0-1) on Wednesday and allowed one run and four hits in 5 2/3 innings for the win. Steven Souza Jr. said of Pineda, "That was the best I've seen him so far".
Aaron Judge, Chase Headley and Starlin Castro homered for the Yankees, who broke open the game with a five-run eighth inning.
The point isn't to diminish Pineda's brilliance on Monday, when he turned the Stadium atmosphere electric with frenzied anticipation by taking a flawless game into the seventh inning, mowing down the first 20 Rays' hitters on a gorgeous April afternoon in the Bronx.
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That, of course, was the year Phil Mickelson broke his own major drought by winning the Masters in dramatic fashion. After his challenge combusted at this tournament five years ago, he said: "I don't have the thing I need to have".
The idea was that the Yankees would struggle through this season with what they had, even though it wasn't very much, and then start the process of turning the rotation over next season after the dust settled and the cream rose to the top from the talent in their minor league system.
NY improved to 3-4 with its 8-1 win. Pineda regrouped quickly after Longoria's hit by striking out Brad Miller following a brief visit by pitching coach Larry Rothchild. He walked three and struck out six over seven innings.
The 24-year-old pitched in Double-A and Triple-A last season and combined to go 14-5 with a 2.13 ERA.
With a chance to make the big club this year, Montgomery impressed in spring training, most notably against the Rays.
By rallying from a three-run deficit Sunday, the Yankees avoided what would have been their worst start since opening 1-7 in 1989.
Anyway, here's what manager Joe Girardi liked about the 6-foot-6 lefty with the intriguing downhill angle to his delivery: "It was (his) four-pitch mix (curveball, cutter, change-up fastball)".