Tonight’s Yankee game was remarkable for one reason: It was utterly unremarkable. The Yanks beat up a pitcher with terrible numbers; their starter held down the fort; the bullpen held the Rangers scoreless; and when all was said and done, the Yanks restored some order to a universe in chaos.
It had been, of course, a rough few days around the Bronx. With Joba’s injury and two losses that could have been wins on everyone’s minds, the Yankees needed a no-nonsense game like this. But it didn’t quite start out as it ended.
Early on, things looked a bit rough for the Yankees. Two innings into the game, Sidney Ponson had already put on five base runners, and only a play at the plate — in which the Yanks lost Ivan Rodriguez and the Rangers David Murphy — prevented Texas from breaking the game open. The collision was a clean play at the plate, but it could cost both teams nonetheless. Pudge is currently listed as day-to-day with a bruised knee. As the Yanks’ injury plagued season continues, he figures to miss a few games at a key stretch of the month but won’t need an MRI quite yet.
In the third, the Yanks quickly restored order though. The Yanks knocked out four hits to plate three runners and would never look back. They would later add runs on a Jason Giambi home run and a Derek Jeter double while Michael Young would homer in the fifth to bring Texas to within two. It would matter very little.
After that rough second inning, Ponson went 6.1 strong, allowing just a shade over one base runner per inning and striking out four. The bullpen would keep the Rangers in check the rest of the way, and Mariano Rivera would record the final three outs — two by the K — to emerge with his 27th save.
At some point, we’ll have to tackle the gaping holes in the rotation. At some point, we’ll have to figure out if Melky Cabrera has finally been permanently demoted to fourth outfielder status. But for tonight, we can revel in a crisp win and a remarkably unremarkable game, just the way it should be on an August evening in Texas.