Chasen Shreve has earned Joe Girardi's trust with exceptional pitching for most of the season.

But the lefthander has faltered lately, and Girardi has kept going to him in big spots. And it keeps hurting the Yankees.

Friday night, Shreve entered with the Yankees trailing by a run in the seventh inning and gave up a two-run home run to pinch hitter Juan Uribe. The Yankees went on to a 5-1 loss at Citi Field.

Shreve's ERA was 1.86 on Sept. 3. It's now 2.67. Why has he been struggling?

"No clue," Shreve said. "If I knew, I wouldn't be struggling. That's the way baseball goes. It's up and down. I'm down right now. Got to get back up."

Ellsbury sits, then hits

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Jacoby Ellsbury got a text from Girardi Friday. It probably didn't have any smiley faces or LOLs. It told Ellsbury he was not going to start against lefthander Steven Matz.

The move was a bit of a surprise because Ellsbury had two hits in the Yankees' previous game Wednesday. The first one snapped an 0-for-25 skid.

But Girardi chose to play Chris Young in left and Brett Gardner in center against Matz. Young, who hit cleanup, had a sacrifice fly in the first inning to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead.

Ellsbury went 1-for-2 after entering the game as a pinch hitter in the seventh.

Extra bases

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Michael Pineda, who has a 5.82 ERA in four starts since coming off the DL, will face the Mets Saturday. "I think it's extremely important in these next 17 games that he pitches the way he's capable of pitching," Girardi said . . . Nathan Eovaldi (elbow) is planning to play catch Monday for the first time since being shut down.