Yankees Postgame Notebook: Yanks offense falls flat on Tino's big day
It started on the mound, where the "Bronx Bombers" were brutalized by the long ball; Vidal Nuno's 6 1/3 innings marked the second-longest stint by a starter on this homestand, but the Orioles tagged him for five runs on three homers, the first of which - a solo shot by Adam Jones in the first - put the Yankees in an early hole they never dug out of.
"I left my fastball up a little too much and it got me; leaving fastballs up, sometimes they get hit hard," Nuno said of his performance. "I trusted all my stuff today, it's just they got to my fastball. Sometimes they were looking for a certain pitch and they got it; I left up three fastballs that were supposed to be sinkers and they got to them."
"He made some mistakes. He gave up the five runs in 6 1/3 innings, and a lot of nights that will give you a chance to win a game, but we just didn't score any runs so it probably looks worse than it was," manager Joe Girardi added.
Home runs have been Nuno's bug-a-boo all year, as he's now allowed 13 in 39 1/3 innings at home and 13 total on the year, and the skipper had a simple explanation for that.
"When he makes mistakes, they're hitting them out of the ballpark," Girardi said. "He's somewhat of a fly ball pitcher, so when you make mistakes up in the middle of the zone, it's probably going to leave the park here."
Despite all the struggles, though, Girardi says he's sticking with Nuno in the rotation.
"I've always said here that (the front office is) always looking for ways to make us better in all areas of the game - but this is what we have," Girardi said, "and we're staying on rotation. Our guys have done a pretty good job, so we'll continue to go out there and compete and do the best we can. Right now this is our rotation and this is what it will be, and we'll continue to plow forward."
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Meanwhile, on the other side, the recently-hot Yankees regressed back to the team of a few weeks ago, with their lone run coming on Mark Teixeira's fourth-inning homer and the team going 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position - including three straight outs after Brian Roberts' leadoff double in the fifth.
Definitely a disappointment coming off last night's high of a walk-off win, but the skipper didn't think Nuno's struggles and the early hole had anything to do with that.
"I don't think hitters ever look at that, and I know that as a hitter I never felt that way," Girardi said. "Hitters expect to have a good at-bat every at-bat. I never felt that way (about pressure) and I don't think our hitters do either."
And in the end, all the Yankees can do is put this one behind them and hope to get a win Sunday.
"You never want to lose, that's the bottom line, but you know you're going to have days like this," Girardi said. "We still have a chance to win the series, and that's your goal going in, so you go in tomorrow with a positive attitude."
Added Nuno: "It's just another day, I was trying to get the job done, and some things just didn't go my way. That's part of the game sometimes."