Yanks offense makes life easy for Javy in 9-3 win

Moseley & Montero guide SWB to a win
Mike Lowell in pinstripes?

Today’s game might not have been as smooth as last night’s, but that’s for a good reason: the Yankees offense needed some more time to run up the score. It made for a comfortable game, where the Yanks had the lead most of the way. There was that microscopic length, which lasted just three outs, where the Astros had a one-run lead, but we knew that wouldn’t last. In fact, before the Astros could record an out in the bottom of the third the Yanks had essentially put the game away.

Biggest Hit: Jorge don’t need no stinkin’ rehab assignment

Photo credit: Seth Wenig/AP

In last night’s recap I mentioned Jorge’s poor numbers, including high strikeout total, since returning from the disabled list. It appears he could have used a rehab assignment, but given that he’s been back since the beginning of the month he’s basically been through one already. While his strikeout to lead off the second was discouraging, he made up for it in his next at-bat.

The entire bottom of the third was one long string of excellent. The Astros had just taken a 2-1 lead, and the Yankees just couldn’t stand for that. Derek Jeter started the inning by drawing a walk on a 3-2 count, and got a bit aggressive on the bases. He bolted for second and would have made it even if the throw didn’t get deflected into shallow center. That allowed him to take third and score easily when Nick Swisher lined one to left-center. Tie game.

Mark Teixeira continued showing a more discerning eye at the plate, drawing another walk. This is nothing but an encouraging sign. Robinson Cano followed with what Michael Kay called a potential double play ball, but probably would have accounted for only one out had the ball landed in Wandy Rodriguez’s glove rather than deflecting off it. That loaded them up for Jorge with no outs. It took just two pitches to put the Yanks out ahead again. Wandy came inside with a fastball for a called strike one, and then tried to go low and away with a curve. Jorge picked it up and smashed it the other way. Over the right field wall it went. 6-2 Yanks.

Jorge got on base in his next two times up as well via a single and an HBP. If he and Teixeira are staring to get into a rhythm, and if rest really does cure A-Rod‘s ailing hip flexor, the Yanks will be set for the summer. Also, I might be sounding a bit like Peter Gammons there.

Biggest Pitch: Stros take a puny lead

Photo credit: Seth Wenig/AP

Javy Vazquez looked good right at the start of this one. He was using his fastball and changeup well, retiring the side on 14 pitches, including a first-pitch pop out Carlos Lee to end the inning. He had a few hiccups, but nothing especially worrisome. In the second, Hunter Pence led off with a game-tying home run on the first pitch. It was a high fastball, a pitch Javy just can’t throw if his fastball is clocking under 90 mph. While he’s improved on that aspect of his game since April, I’m sure it’s easy to forget that his lack of velocity precludes him from throwing certain pitches in certain places.

The biggest blow came in the top of the third. Tommy Manzella, who apparently can hit only Yankees pitching, led off with a single. Javy then had one of the most amusing sequences in the game, throwing Michael Bourn six straight changeups, eventually getting him to tip one into Cervelli’s glove. He actually started off the next batter, Jeff Keppinger, with two changeups, both of which missed low. His next pitch, a slider, caught a bit too much of the plate and Keppinger lined it to the wall in left. With Marcus Thames out there at the time it was a no brainer to send Manzella home.

From there, however, Javy rolled. He retired 10 straight before Carlos Lee hammered a belt high fastball over the left field wall. He then got four of the final five hitters he faced. He threw just 95 pitches through seven innings, which made me wonder why Girardi removed him. But with the top of the order coming up I guess he wanted to get Javy out.

Strange fact of the game: Javy threw more changeups, 39, than he did fastballs, 24 four-seamers and five two-seamers. He also went to the curveball 16 times. The slider he threw most infrequently, 11 times. After the Keppinger double he threw only one, a first-pitch later that inning, until the seventh, when he attacked Manzella with it.

Stuff

Derek Jeter’s two-homer game was the ninth in his career and his first since August 27, 2006. He did it twice, in the same month, in 2004.

Another 1 for 3 with a walk day for Teixeira. Not only is he performing better, but he’s looking better at the place. Though I suppose the two go hand in hand.

Marcus Thames left the game with hamstring problems. He had an MRI. As of this writing I haven’t heard anything.

Jorge will catch tomorrow. I’m guessing they’ll recall Miranda and play him at DH if Thames hits the DL.

Yanks with RISP: 4 for 7. Thaaaaat’s more like it.

Six strikeouts and no walks for Javy. He’s been quite excellent lately.

Graph and box

You know it’s a good game when the graph goes flatline towards the end.

Box and graphs.

Next Up

Another matinee to close out the series. It’ll be Brian Moehler for the Astros against Phil Hughes.

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Moseley & Montero guide SWB to a win
Mike Lowell in pinstripes?
  • http://www.mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

    I want to personally thank Derek Jeter for hitting a HR off of Jeff Fulchino. Fulchino hit one off of me as a 12 year old that may still be rolling. It was an absolute bomb.

  • http://www.twitter.com/stophamm3rtime Dela G

    man the yankees better tee-off on moehler, who throws 86-88mph on his fastball IIRC

    i expect an 8-3 game

    • http://www.mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      Heh, I was looking at the Astros roster the other day and was in shock that Moehler was still in the major leagues. It feels like he’s been around for 20 years.

      • http://www.twitter.com/stophamm3rtime Dela G

        lol i still can’t believe the astros picked up his contract after his horrid last season. he hasn’t been good in 3 years….

    • http://instrumentsacrosstheworld.com Total Dominication

      I’ve got prime seats for my first ever YS# game tomorrow. I was away while my family went to this game. http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com.....b_nyamlb_1
      I might not get itphr’s and a walkoff, but a double-digit to shutout drubbing will suffice.

    • Salty Buggah

      Whoa, didn’t notice how bad his stats were. 6.12 ERA, 3.6 K/9, 3.1 BB/9. Yea, the Yanks make him cry while he walks back to the dugout like Pedroia and Youkilis after a strikeout.

      However, with beastly Bughes going, that just screams trap game to me. Hope that’s not the case.

    • Sleepykarl

      Chad Moeller might have better
      stuff.

  • poster

    I think Tex is about to start going on what I call an “A-Rod 2007″ hot streak.

    This is where you’re just batshit insane pretty much all year and you start murdering baseball so badly they put up Wanted posters with your face on it in opposing stadiums.

    I hope so.

    • Salty Buggah

      That’d be great. Would be even if better if Alex is healed and also goes on a similar streak. That would be a nightmare for the baseballs around the world, especially if the rest of the Yanks keep hitting well.

      • poster

        They’ll be like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. And then they’ll flee the country and go to Bolivia and then…

        Wait a moment, bad analogy. Just ignore this.

  • Salty Buggah

    Javy averaged 87.7 mph on the 4-seamer today, while reaching a max of 89.2 mph, which is also his average for the season, a full 2 mph lower than last year and 2.5 mph slower than his career average (well, at least since 2007, because the data doesn’t go back further).

    Should we worry about this? I know he can succeed without it, since he has a plethora of pitches and location is most important for him, but this is a concern.

    • poster

      It’s only a concern if he starts pitching consistently shitty again.

      • Salty Buggah

        Agreed, but as Joe mentioned, the reduction in velocity doesn’t allow him to throw certain pitches in certain places, which is sometimes tough in the AL East. Also, there are times when he won’t have great control and the lack velocity will only hurt.

        Overall, you’re right, and I think he’ll be fine and will be at the very least serviceable #3 or #4 starter.

        • poster

          4.5 ERA/200 innings and I’m satisfied.

        • YankeesJunkie

          Vazquez’s velocity drop is a complete mystery because he has been consistently between 91-92 throughout the last 7 years and now this. Vazquez’s stuff and control is good enough to get by the AL East, a la Mussina 2008, but at least he is the 4/5 starter and not the ace Moose was that awful year.

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

      I think the radar and cameras were off because they were saying Wandy was throwing an 86-87 MPH fastball all game, which he does not do.

      • http://www.twitter.com/stophamm3rtime Dela G

        according to this, he was throwing 87mph fastballs….

        http://www.brooksbaseball.net/.....evDate=612

        • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

          That’s what I mean when I say the cameras were off. It happens every now and then. When you see *everyone’s* velocity as being different from normal it generally means something in the setup went a little haywire that day.

      • Salty Buggah

        Hmmm, you’ve got a point there. Looking at the pitch f/x link Dela provided, Wandy was throwing unusually slow, as you said. His average fastball is 89.4 mph this year so him averaging 87.88 mph today is seemly incorrect.

  • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

    That’s a nice picture of Jeter and Pettitte. (This is a predictable comment by me.)

    Gooooood game. It was kind of awesome that Jorge’s first at-bat was so ugly and then the second one, salami. Woohoo Javy. I would have sent him out for the eighth but it’s understandable why Girardi didn’t.

  • Justin Beaver

    This only proves that baseball really has a loooong season. Javy has been pretty stellar his last few starts after a disastrous beginning to his season. Also, not too much concerned with his drop in velocity given his good control. Moose did it before. I’m pretty sure Javy can do the same.

  • Sweet Dick Willie

    Also, I might be sounding a bit like Peter Gammons there.

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooo!

  • Cult of Basebaal

    Robinson Cano followed with what Michael Kay called a potential double play ball, but probably would have accounted for only one out had the ball landed in Wandy Rodriguez’s glove rather than deflecting off it. That loaded them up for Jorge with no outs.

    The potential double play they were talking about was clearly if Wandy had let the ball go through rather than attempt to field it. It would have gone more or less right to the shortshop at the 2nd base bag. Looked like an easy 2 to me as well … well, without the intervening hands of Wandy …