Pirates can't slow slugging Yankees
Chacon struggles in return to New York; Kuwata makes debut
NEW YORK -- As the Pirates gathered their equipment in the dugout to head back into the clubhouse after a 13-6 loss to the Yankees, they listened to a stadium full of fans singing along to Frank Sinatra's famous New York song.
"I want to be a part of it, New York, New York," the song blared over the loudspeaker.
But on this day, the Pirates wanted nothing more than to get out of it.
It was a long day at Yankee Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Yes, the game lasted three hours, 32 minutes, but somehow it seemed cruely longer for a Pirates team that couldn't be happier to get out of New York.
After the game, Xavier Nady said what the rest of his teammates had to have been thinking: "Let's get back home."
The frustration for Pittsburgh began early and never let up.
It started in the first inning, when manager Jim Tracy got in home-plate umpire Gerry Davis' face after Davis ruled Alex Rodriguez safe in a bang-bang play at the plate that gave the Yankees an early three-run advantage.
It could be sensed in the sixth, when, with one out and the bases loaded, Ryan Doumit yelled at himself as he swung through strike three, wasting an opportunity for the Pirates to cut into what was then a two-run deficit.
And it trickled its way through the bullpen on an afternoon when three of four Pirates relievers gave up runs.
"Obviously, they beat the ball around today, and they did it all day long," Tracy said. "There's nothing really that we did wrong -- we just couldn't stop their offense."
Whether it was the Yankees taking advantage of a struggling Pirates pitching staff or Pittsburgh running into a hot New York team, the end result was the same.
Three games, three disheartening losses and another losing road trip, the fourth in a row for the Pirates since they opened the season with a winning one.
"Coming in, we have the game plan of going right in there and going after them, but when you don't execute, with their ability, it's going to make for a long day," said Pirates starter Shawn Chacon.
It will also make for a long weekend.
It was a weekend when a Yankees team that has struggled through much of the first part of the season looked like a dominant Yankees team of the past.
Derek Jeter knocking in the game-winning run in the 10th inning on Friday.
Roger Clemens picking up a win on Saturday.
Alex Rodriguez pulling out the broom with two home runs on Sunday.
"It's tough," Nady said. "That's a good ballclub over there. We ran into them at the wrong time."
The day start inauspiciously, when it took Chacon 39 pitches to make it through the first inning and 79 to make it through three. It didn't end much better for Chacon, who lasted only 3 1/3 innings before giving up seven runs in his first loss of the season.
"They're so patient; they're so disciplined at the plate," said Chacon, who lasted fewer than four innings for the second time in his four starts. "This is a team where you have to go out right after them, get ahead of them and make good pitches.
"Not being able to execute, and them being so good ..."
Chacon paused slightly, then continued.
"That's not going to be a combo with a lot of success," he finished.
And it's not what the Pirates needed on an afternoon when the offensive was able to knock around Yankees rookie starter Tyler Clippard for six runs through the first four frames.
Before he showcased a couple of highlight-reel defensive plays, Jose Castillo drove in two early Pirates runs. Two innings later, the Pirates put four more across on a Chris Duffy two-run double and Jose Bautista's two-run single.
It gave the Pirates a 6-5 lead, but a short-lived one at that.
"I think if we played like we did the last three games against a National League team, we win all three," said Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson. "Those guys were just smoking anything and hitting home runs. We put up six runs today, and normally, that's going to be a victory for us."
But what followed were two home runs from Rodriguez -- one off Josh Sharpless, the other off Masumi Kuwata, who made his Major League debut at the age of 39 -- and a bases-loaded, bases-clearing double off the bat of Bobby Abreu in the seventh that capped off an offensive outburst by the Yankees.
"The thing about their offense is, they are as good as I've seen as far as the approach to their at-bats," Tracy said. "They just grind at-bats out. They show no panic whatsoever. They don't expand their strike zones. They don't panic when they get two strikes."
In essence, they did everything right.
The Pirates still remain winless at Yankee Stadium in six Interleague games. And after being outscored, 22-6, when they traveled here in 2005, the Pirates didn't do much better the second time around, leaving on Sunday after being outscored, 27-13, over the past three days.
"We've obviously got some work to do, but we've got 99 games left to play," Tracy said. "There are signs with our club that are good, and it's very apparent that there are some things that we definitely need to work on."
Hopefully, they took a few lessons home with them on Sunday, in an attempt to at least make one long afternoon a beneficial one.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.