Quality Start for Michael Pineda but Yankee Pen Fails
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 21-On Wednesday night, Michael Pineda made his second major league start since April 23. On that date, the 25 year old was ejected from the game after 1.2 innings and given a 10-game suspension for possessing a foreign substance.
When his suspension ended, the right-hander was placed on the disabled list with a right shoulder muscle injury. Pineda missed 87 games while on the disabled list.
After two minor league rehab appearances in August, the native of the Dominican Republic was reinstated to the Yankee roster on August 13 to start against the Orioles.
Pineda pitched extremely effectively in Baltimore. He yielded only two hits and one run in five innings. He did not walk a batter, but fanned four. Although he left the game with the Yanks leading, 2-1, the Yankee relievers were unable to save the game for Pineda as the Yanks were defeated by a 5-3 score.
On Wednesday night, Pineda was on the Yankee Stadium mound for the first time since August 16. As in his first three starts of the season in April, Pineda pitched an impressive six innings. He retired the first nine batters he faced in the contest until Robbie Grossman led-off the fourth with a single. With two out, Dexter Fowler doubled to right to knock in the first run of the game.
The only other hits surrendered by the Yankee starter came with two out in the fifth as third sacker Matt Dominguez and left fielder Jake Marisnick singled back-to-back. Grossman was retired on a grounder to end the frame without a score.
Pineda retired all three batters he faced in the sixth.
The only walk he issued was to Jason Castro to lead-off the seventh. Yankee skipper Joe Girardi then removed the starter after he threw his 89th pitch. Unfortunately the move was a mistake that cost the Yankees the victory.
Reliever David Huff struck out Jon Singlerton and then gave up a single to Marwin Gonzalez before Huff departed. The next relief pitcher, Esmil Rogers, yielded four consecutive singles. Before the inning concluded, the Astros scored four runs, which brought the score to 5-2. No further scoring ensued after that half inning. The first run of the frame was charged to Pineda, who thus was not involved in the decision.
Pineda commented about his ability and desire to go further than he was allowed, “I’m feeling good. I had good energy, but I don’t have control for this situation. I want to pitch, but they have control.”
Girardi, while praising Pineda’s performance, explained why he removed the starter, “I thought he was a little tired at the end, but that’s to be expected. We pushed him a little bit, but he gave us a really good performance.”
Pineda has the highest active streak of consecutive starts of giving up six hits or less, 14 games. He has the fourth lowest active career mark of opponents’ batting average with .211. He only trails Jose Fernandez, Matt Harvey and Clayton Kershaw.