Coming into tonight’s game, no one would have thought that Alex Rodriguez and Brett Gardner would be the ones to stop the bleeding to a Yankees 6 game skid, as they defeated James Shields (4-2) in a 6-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
The game was tied going into the third when the Rays took a quick 1-0 lead over the Yankees with an Elliot Johnson home run, but the Yankees were quick enough to tie the game at one in the 4th after A-Rod hit it out, showing signs that the home run power was still there. A-Rod then homered again in the 6th inning. The Yankees scored 2 runs in the 6th giving them a 4-1 lead, helped by Jorge Posada’s 2 for 3 night and a beautifully placed bunt single by Brett Gardner. Yankees had gotten into a jam in the 6th when Ivan Nova (4-3) had the bases loaded which was when David Robertson was summoned from the bullpen. Robertson struck out both B.J Upton and Casey Kotchman preserving the Yankees lead by 3. The Yankees got two more in the 9th with a Russell Martin base hit, a Brett Gardner double and a Derek Jeter single which gave the Yankees a 6-1 lead.
In the 9th, the Rays stumbled into some trouble when Gardner made a catch, but wearily looked towards Curtis Granderson. The Rays thought that the ball hit the catwalk, which in Tropicana Field signifies a home run. Umpires took it to the video room and looked at the replay. The play was called an out and Gardner had made the catch. Rays scored 1 run in the 9th before turning the ball over to Mo who got former Yankee Johnny Damon to ground out, snapping the 6 game skid.
Note: This is Brett Gardner’s first 3 hit game this season. He raised his average to .265 surpassing Jeter, Teixeira, Rodriguez and Martin; After striking out three times, Jeter got a base hit, giving him 34 hits til 3,000; This is A-Rod’s first homer game since April 24th; After Saturday’s controversial day for Jorge Posada, he had a 2 for 3 night with a double and a single; Nick Swisher sat out tonights game with a stomach virus. Girardi said that Swisher was throwing up the night before which prompted Girardi to call up Chris Dickerson from AAA Scranton; Rafael Soriano was placed on the 15 day DL with elbow soreness. MRI’s were done and the tests shown inflammation. Soriano expects to start throwing in 10 days prior to coming off the DL.
The New York Yankees wanted to leave this home stand with a bang, and certainty they did against the Toronto Blue Jays.
The pitching match-up seemed a little threatening. It was Ivan Nova (1-2) against Jesse Litsch (2-1) and fans were wondering if Nova was going to get a win. In the first inning after Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson grounded out and struck out, Mark Teixeira hit a home run giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead, but they didn’t keep the lead for long when Adam Lind hit a home run that snaked the foul pole to tie the game.
The Blue Jays were in the lead in the third inning when Rajai Davis manufactured his own run by earning a walk, swiping second and third and coming home on a Jose Bautista ground ball to shortstop. The Yankees didn’t take it lying down and in the 5th inning the Yankees scored 4 runs.
It started on a Jorge Posada double and Brett Gardner single. Posada scored on a Derek Jeter’s fielders choice only Yunel Escobar couldn’t get Gardner at third. Curtis Granderson put the finishing touches by blasting a 3 run shot giving the Yankees the lead for the rest of the game.
After Joe Girardi used Chamberlain yesterday, he gave him the day off and went to David Robertson in the 7th inning. Robertson went a third of an inning on a strikeout, but there were 2 runners on and 2 outs thus Girardi bringing in Boone Logan. A ground ball came right back to Boone Logan, but he unknowingly caught the baseball before throwing it to first to get out of the jam. Rafael Soriano had a scoreless eighth and Mariano Rivera had a perfect ninth to give the Yankees there 16th victory of the season.
Note: Eric Chavez pinch hit for Robinson Cano in the 7th inning. The cause was a bruised hand, Girardi said that Cano was day to day; Phil Hughes goes to see specialists in St. Louis tomorrow; Brett Gardner had a perfect day today with a single and 2 walks. His average is now .200; Jorge Posada had his first extra base hit today raising his average to .133.
As A.J Burnett (4-1) took the field, anybody could see that he was ready to take on the Toronto Blue Jays against Kyle Drabek (2-1).
Burnett had worked himself into some jams, starting with Rajai Davis getting to third base due to a miscalculation by Curtis Granderson though the Yankees were able to bounce back from the 1-0 deficit in the first.
Russell Martin had an RBI single and Derek Jeter hit a SAC Fly to plate Granderson in a 3 run second inning. In the third inning the bases were loaded and two runs scored on Eric Chavez and Brett Gardner’s RBI singles before Drabek was taken out in the third inning. Since then it was lights out pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays.
The score was 5-4 in the 7th inning when Joe Girardi went to his bullpen. Joba Chamberlain pitched a perfect seventh inning with just 6 pitches, Rafael Soriano had a scoreless eighth and Mariano Rivera had a scoreless ninth to shut the door on the Jays. The Yankees had secured there 15th win this season.
Once again, the Yankees looked over matched against the White Sox. This time it was to the White Sox starting pitcher Gordon Beckham (3-1) who was battling against Yankees starting pitcher Ivan Nova.
The difference between Monday Night’s game and Tonight’s game was Nova left with the Yankees in the lead. The only two runs scored were on Robinson Cano’s home run in the 2nd inning and Brett Gardner’s home run in the 5th inning making it the second time this week that Gardner has hit it out of the park. The mistake that Joe Girardi made? Going to Rafael Soriano (1-1) in the 8th inning. While Soriano is the 8th inning guy, he didn’t act like it giving up 2 runs on the Paul Konerko home run giving the White Sox a 3-2 lead.
Yankees had runners on second and first with one out in the bottom of the 9th when Alex Rodriguez drove a ball to deep right field, only to be caught by White Sox replacement right fielder Brent Lillibridge. One batter later, Cano scorched a line drive down the line only for Lillibridge to make the catch and win the game for the White Sox. The Yankees had dropped 2 straight to the White Sox, prior to tonight’s game being the only team not to lose 2 straight games.
Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner congratulate each other in the still from today’s Yankees 6-3 win over the Orioles. The game wasn’t an easy game unlike the 15-3 win the Yankees had the night before. In a pitching battle Jake Arrieta v.s Freddy Garcia, it was pretty matched. The Orioles had collected 14 strikeouts while the Yankees rolled 13 K in the ultimate pitching duel.
The first two runs scored on a hard single by Derek Jeter and a 2 run homer by Curtis Granderson. Afterwards Arrieta slowed down and started striking out Yankees. In the 5th inning, Alex Rodriguez had grounded into what would have appeared to be a double play, until Cesar Izturis bobbled the ball, unable to get A-Rod meanwhile scoring Granderson on the play.
The Orioles responded in the 7th inning, when Joba Chamberlain gave up a 2 run homer to the struggling Mark Reynolds, making it 3-2 Yankees. The game would have went to the Orioles but Joe Girardi seemingly made 2 good plays. One of them was to put Mariano in the game, the other was to leave speedy left fielder Brett Gardner in. On a long drive to left field, Gardner made an over the shoulder catch before jumping the wall on a game saving catch which if it got over his head, the Orioles would have won it.
Mariano Rivera however was unable to get through the 9th inning without giving up the run in the bottom of the 9th, however Nick Swisher and Russell Martin tagged teamed to gun down Robert Andino at home plate, which made it a tied ball game. The Yankees started off there 10th inning with a Derek Jeter single, a Mark Teixeira single but everything went downhill when with one out A-Rod hit a fly ball which should have gotten Jeter home, until Adam Jones and Matt Wieters tagged teamed and got Jeter out at the plate. They say Karma comes right back around doesn’t it.
The 11th inning experienced a 45 minute rain delay before the inning continued, the Yankees capped 3 runs on 3 errors made by the Baltimore infield which didn’t go well with there pitcher Jason Berken (0-1). Boone Logan (1-1) had pitched the 10th inning and the first batter in the 11th before Joe Girardi went to his bullpen and retrieved Buddy Carlyle for mop up duty, which led to the Yankees 6-3 win. The Yankees (12-6) are currently in first place after sweeping the Orioles, sending Baltimore (8-12) down to there third straight game.
Note: Rafael Soriano did not pitch the 8th inning due to back stiffness. Soriano is expected to pitch tomorrow.
The New York Yankees may have not gotten the big name starter, but they sure did get the big name reliever. The Yankees picked up Rafael Soriano from the Tampa Bay Rays and Pedro Feliciano from the Mets to work in the bullpen before Mariano Rivera. Feliciano signed with the Yankees for 2 years while Soriano signed for 3 years. The Yankees felt that they needed a setup man since Kerry Wood went back to the Cubs, and they felt that no one better than Soriano could compliment Rivera in the bullpen while they believed Feliciano could complement Boone Logan or David Robertson.
Meanwhile, the Yankees might not have their starting pitcher or starting left fielder for Spring Training since both of them are recovering from surgery. CC Sabathia is recovering from knee surgery that had to be done after the 2010 season and Brett Gardner is recovering from wrist surgery which was done December 7. Both of them might sit out until the start of the 2011 season which is March 31. No word on who will replace Sabathia and Gardner during Spring Training, which is probably why Cashman is interested in either resigning Johnny Damon or signing Andruw Jones.