Gloves & bats come up empty for Yanks
David Phelps deserved a better fate Tuesday night. Pitching in front of some 25 friends and relatives in his hometown of St. Louis among the crowd of 45,202 at Busch Stadium, Phelps made a decent if not entirely satisfactory showing, but his teammates let him down with both their bats and their gloves.
The crippling inning for Phelps and the Yankees was the third when the Cardinals scored four runs in what might have been a shutout frame except for a head-scratching infield over-shift and two errors.
The inning began with the Yankees’ infield shifted to the right side against Matt Carpenter, who led the National League in hits last year with 199 and as a leadoff hitter would be looking for any way to get on. He found it, too, by hitting a routine grounder to the hole at shortstop and ending up with a single.
Phelps made a nice play snaring a bunt by Kolten Wong that would be the best fielding play for the Yanks that inning. Matt Holliday singled Carpenter to third before Matt Adams drove in the first run of the game with a ground-rule double. That should have been the only run of the inning, but three more crossed due to a couple of errors.
Kelly Johnson playing first base with Mark Teixeira still out with an inflamed right wrist dropped the ball while trying to tag Allen Craig in the baseline for an error that allowed one run to score. Jhonny Peralta followed with a roller to second that was overrun by Brian Roberts for another error as two more runners crossed the plate. Roberts made the age-old mistake of taking his eye off the ball as he tried to position himself to tag the runner and throw to first for a double play.
It was early enough in the game for the Yankees not to panic at falling behind, 4-0, but they failed to mount any attack on Cards starter Lance Lynn, who pitched his first complete-game shutout, a 6-0 five-hitter. The Yankees got only one runner as far as third base and were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position. St. Louis added home runs by Craig in the fifth off Phelps and by Holliday in the seventh off Alfredo Aceves.
Lynn was not overpowering. He had only two strikeouts, but he got 18 outs in the infield as the Yankees were shut out for only the second time this season.