Yanks nail down first sweep of the year

Somebody finally figured out how to contain Jesus Montero
Hawkins rewards Yankee fans' maturity

It’s a sweep. It may only be two games, but hey, a sweep is a sweep is a sweep. And the Yanks come back to the Bronx to face the Red Sox riding a two-game winning streak.

Overall, tonight’s game wasn’t the best game. Andy Pettitte didn’t have his best stuff but persevered. The Yankee offense didn’t come through too often, but their five runs stood up. And Mo — good ol’ Mo — nailed down this one for his fifth save in five chances this year.

Since a lot of little things struck me during this game, let’s break it down bullet-point style:

  • Derek Jeter sure didn’t like missing games. He went 5 for 9 in Tampa. He’s recorded just one extra-base hit this season, but I’m not too worried about that quite yet. The leg will turn some doubles into singles for now.
  • Jason Giambi wuz robbed! With A-Rod on third, the Rays drew the infield in during the fourth inning. An Edwin Jackson wild pitch allowed A-Rod to score and the infield to move back to normal depth. Giambi scorched a ball that, two pitches earlier, would have been an RBI double, but Carlos “Vacuum” Peña turned it into an out. Maybe Giambi’s coming out of it.
  • Hideki Matsui looks very comfortable at the plate no matter his defensive role. I like his as the long-term DH this season.
  • When I saw Kyle Farnsworth warming in the pen, my heart dropped. But then he nailed down a 1-2-3 eighth for a huge hold. That’s about as surprised as I’ve ever been during a Farnsworth inning.
  • The Yankees left eight runners on base during the last three innings of the game. That’s an alarming stat that will be forgotten because they won. At some point, the Yanks have to start driving in runners.
  • On the season, Mariano Rivera has thrown 6.1 innings over six appearances. He has allowed 3 hits and no runs or walks while striking out seven. He has five saves. Rivera did not pick up his fifth save last season until May 3 when he was 0-2 with two blown saves. What a difference a year makes.

The Yanks are now 8-7, and the sky isn’t falling. They’re one game out of first and are playing better as a team. It’s funny how fan attitudes can shift after seeing the team go from a 1-2 weekend in Boston to a 2-0 swing through Tampa. It’s a marathon, folks, not a sprint, and today was another good leg of the race.

Somebody finally figured out how to contain Jesus Montero
Hawkins rewards Yankee fans' maturity
  • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

    the key was Pettitte holding Tampa exclusively to singles.

  • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

    Per PeteAbe:

    The visiting team clubhouse at Tropicana Field has a contraption I’ve never seen anywhere else: an electric hat stretcher.

    This device heats up to 120 degrees. Then you place your cap this metal dome and spin a hand crank to stretch the material. It looks like some manner of medieval torture device.

    Phil Hughes has a fairly big head (sorry, Phil) but refuses to wear a bigger hat. He rips out the lining and constantly stretches his hat out. Ian Kennedy finds this hilarious.

    Phil saw the hat stretcher today and decided to try it out. With Kennedy helping, they heated the machine up and started to stretch the hat. I stood by watching, fearful that I would have to write a story about the aftermath.

    “Young pitchers injured in hat machine explosion.”

    Fortunately, the Franchise and IPK survived and the hat fit a little better. All’s well that ends well.

    This is why I love the HAM, LoL.

  • http://bleacherreport.com/users/11036-Ryan_Barry barry

    Gotta be honest with you Ben I think a lot of whats happening with the team has to do with the weather, I know their pro ballplayers but I do not have one fond memory of playing in cold weather and I never will. Giambi has been hitting the ball hard but I’m no Giambi fan and I think Shelley deserves not only to be on the team (I know , he will be back eventually) but he deserves a healthy dose of playing time. I’m ecstatic for the game tommorow and I have good feelings about where the team is and is going to be. Either way, can we please dump Wilson Betemit?

    • Rich

      Pettitte also cited the warm weather as a factor in his ability to finally throw the curveball effectively.

  • matt K

    Hey ben, mike, joe or anyone else do you guys recommend any good baseball books? Just looking for some reading over summer break. I looked into some Bill James stuff. Any ideas?

    • BigBlueAL

      i still havent purchased Bill James or Rob Neyer’s newest books yet, so that’s what ill be doin soon. in terms of a “real” sports book, isnt there supposed to be a new book out, or comin out soon, about the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry based around the 1-game playoff in 1978?? thats a book i would definitely be interested in reading……

  • mustang

    “It’s a marathon, folks, not a sprint,..”
    I agree. As my wife constantly reminds me the baseball season last forever. Thank God.
    I like to point out how well the veterans of the starting rotation have done while the young starters struggle a bit during their development. I’m going to make the call that Mr. Hughes will have a great start on friday. The forecast is for good weather and they are playing the Orioles, record withstanding. So lets all think very POSITIVE thoughts about Mr Hughes and channel all our POSITIVE energy towards him. That should really help and 7 runs in the first inning might not hurt. LOL

  • Rob_in_CT

    Remember the batters Farnsworthless faced: the ass end of Tampa’s order. He didn’t pitch particularly well. The first out, IIRC, was Gomes popping up a hanging slider in the middle of the plate.

    I’m happy with the win. I worry that Girardi actually thinks Farnsworth is useful.

  • Kevin23

    I gotta address a few things:

    Giambi has been taking terrible swings lately. He may hit one on the nose now and then (in predictable places), but he has looked awful 90% of the time when he’s not taking. Thank god he can still take walks. But then he’s a liability on the base paths. Not much to be excited about. Girardi needs to do the painful thing and bench him most games.

    Farny was still awful last night. He got bailed out a few times with bad swings and once by Cano. He still scares the hell out of me.

    And the yankees have stranded 3 base-runners countless times this season, haven’t scored runners on third with 1 or no outs, etc. Statistically speaking, they should be putting up some big numbers in big situations soon to even this crap out. All these guys have great career numbers in these situations. No excuse.

    Other than that, good stuff.