The Yankees got beat up today. It started with their first batter of the game. Ricky Romero tossed a curveball inside, and it bounced right off Jeter’s right instep. He staggered in pain, but somehow convinced Joe Girardi and Gene Monahan that he was fine. After limping to first in his next at bat, Jeter left the game. X-rays, thankfully, were negative.
Then in the eighth, Jorge Posada took a foul ball off his throwing hand. How he stayed in the game after that, I have no idea. He’s insanely lucky that it didn’t break his hand — it’s happened to plenty of others. The problem is that Jorge doesn’t hide his throwing hand like catchers are taught in little league. Most guys won’t put their hands behind their back like in the old days, but they at least hide it behind the thigh. Jorge rests his on top of the thigh, and it almost cost him the rest of the season today.
Perhaps the worst incident came in the bottom of the 11th. On an 0-2 pitch, Shawn Camp came inside on A-Rod — a bit too inside. It hit right off his pad, but it was a direct hit. A-Rod went down, and if it wouldn’t take a tough defensive rejiggering (Tex to third, Jorge to first, Molina catching), he might have left the game. He ultimately stayed in, but there’s certainly a fear this could be worse.
They might have been beaten and battered, but the Yankees played through it all (without charging the mound). They didn’t look bad, either. After the leadoff hit by pitch, the Yankees put together a first inning run. It wasn’t the prettiest — if not for Aaron Hill bobbling his first of about four grounders on the day, it might have been a double play. And if Jeter hadn’t strayed off the bag on A-Rod’s grounder to third, they might have never had the chance to plate the run.
Things were going swimmingly through five. Burnett had surrendered just one run, the second in as many days by rookie Randy Ruiz. The seven baserunners through five, six hits and a walk, might seem like a lot, but he used six strikeouts and a ground ball double play to work out of a few jams. With the Yankees up 3-1, it looked like another victory. But, like Joba the night before, A.J. ran into a tough inning.
The boxscore notes that all three Blue Jays runs were charged to A.J., and technically it’s not wrong. He did throw two wild pitches in the inning, which first moved runners into scoring position and then allowed the tying run to score. It’s known that A.J. has a bit of a wild streak — he does lead the league in wild pitches, after all. But Jorge has to get to at least one of those, preferably the one that bounced between his legs and allowed Encarnacion to score. So yes, A.J. and his inherent wildness were at fault. But Jorge certainly was, too.
The bullpen did a good job of holding down the fort, allowing no runs on three hits and two walks through five innings. Chad Gaudin was a pleasant surprise in his first pinstriped appearance, tossing two innings while allowing one hit and striking out three. That should serve as a nice tune-up for a Sunday start, should the Yankees opt for that scenario.
In the end, the day belonged to Robinson Cano. His homer to lead off the fourth gave the Yankees a two-run cushion. But then, in the bottom of the 11th, in a dreaded runners in scoring position situation, Cano delivered a liner to the gap in right center. It looked like a homer off the bat, but it bounced off the wall, allowing A-Rod to score the game to mercifully end.
That capped a 6-1 homestand for the Yankees, about as good as they could have asked for. They even had a chance at a double sweep, losing the first game to Toronto by just one run after having them on the ropes early. Still, no one’s complaining about 6-1. The Yanks head westward for seven games on the coast. This will include six 10 p.m. starts. Anyone up for an RAB meet-up for Saturday’s 10:00 affair?
It’s 7:00, so that means it’s open thread time. Talk about the game, talk about the upcoming road trip, talk about anything. Just don’t be a total dickbag. That’s all we ask.