OAKLAND, Calif. — Neither manager Joe Girardi nor pitching coach Larry Rothschild tiptoed around Michael Pineda’s issues after his most recent train wreck of a start.
“We need to end this right now and get this straightened out,” Rothschild said Tuesday night after Pineda (1-5, 6.60 ERA) allowed five runs and nine hits in five innings in a 5-3 loss to the Diamondbacks.
Said Girardi: “He knows he’s better than this.”
Pineda, currently not in danger of losing his rotation spot, will get another chance to prove that Sunday afternoon against the A’s as the suddenly streaking Yankees wrap up a seven-game trip.
After Tuesday night’s game, Rothschild said most of Pineda’s problems have come out of the stretch and can be attributed to the number of pitches, particularly the slider, he has hung.
On Saturday Pineda said he has been working on “staying back” while in the stretch.
“Sometimes I’m too quick,” he said. “When I stay back, my pitches are better, especially my slider.”
Said Girardi: “That’s the hope when you go to work. Because the talent is there and we’ve seen it.”
Tuesday was a classic example as Pineda walked one and struck out a season-best nine. He has struck out 50 and walked 14 in 43 2⁄3 innings this season but has allowed 58 hits, including 10 home runs.
“His numbers don’t make a whole lot of sense,” Girardi said. “The bottom line is it comes down to him being consistent with his pitches. We felt it was a little thing so he went to work on it. We’ll see how he adjusts.”
Day for Didi
Didi Gregorius fouled a ball off his right foot during Friday night’s game, the third time this trip he’s taken a ball off that foot, including a foul ball Monday night in Phoenix and a scorching grounder off the bat of Chase Headley on Wednesday night. Headley was credited with a hit, but Gregorius was out — and hurting.
“It’s beat up, and if I was going to give Didi a day off, it would be against this guy, because he’s so tough on lefthanders,” Girardi said before the game, referring to A’s starter Sean Manaea. “He’s available to me today but his foot could probably use a day.”
Torreyes coming up big
Girardi said when he first saw Ronald Torreyes in spring training, the 5-7 infielder’s slim physique stood out.
“His stature was the first thing you looked at, but you just noticed how he moved around, and he seems like he really understood how to play the game and the versatility he had,” said Girardi, who started Torreyes at third base Friday night and at shortstop Saturday. “But the thing that stuck out to me the most was the way he hit the ball. He always found a way to get the barrel on the ball.”
Torreyes was 2-for-4 with a walk, two RBIs and two runs scored Friday night and 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored Saturday. He’s hitting .289 with a .333 OBP in 19 games.
Welcome to the club
Saturday marked Girardi’s 1,500th game as a big-league manager.
“I was kind of shocked to hear that,” he said. “Means I’m getting old. I’ve been fortunate to manage this many games at this level.”
Girardi, 78-84 with the Marlins in 2006, improved to 755-583 with the Yankees with Saturday’s victory.