Robbie, Phil power Yanks to 11-5 win

Christian sets a record among several pro debuts
Mailbag: Venditte, Draft Contracts, Signing Bonuses

Before the Tigers came to town, the Yanks had been scuffling through August, and even after Monday’s tough loss, the Bombers’ fearsome offense had managed just one run over its previous 18 innings. Bad pitching though is the cure for what ails you, and powered by a Derek Jeter triple and a Robinson Cano home run, the Yanks sent 13 hitters to the plate in the sixth inning en route to an 11-5 blowout win. Over their last three games, the team has scored 26 runs or as many as they had plated in their eight prior contests.

Phil’s early troubles and late domination

AP Photo, Kathy Willens

The tale of Thursday afternoon will be about the offense, but Phil Hughes‘ pitching is what stole the show. He didn’t open the game sharp as Will Rhymes knocked a one-out hit, and Miguel Cabrera bombed a 3-2 hanging curve ball into the Yanks’ bullpen. It took him 24 pitches to get through the top of the first, and with the sun pounding down on the stadium, it seemed as though Hughes would not be long for the game. A 20-pitch second inning didn’t help the cause.

But Hughes found his rhythm and his command. After the first nine hitters knocked out seven foul balls with two strikes and after the Tigers had a good look at the Yanks’ youngster, Hughes settled down. He needed just seven pitches to dispatch the top of the Detroit order in the third, 14 in the fourth, 11 in the fifth and just eight in his sixth and final frame. He threw 61 of 84 pitches for strikes with six Ks en route to his 15th win of the year. It was a very solid start for Hughes.

The right-hander’s innings limit came into play this afternoon too. Once the Yankees scored nine runs in the 6th, it seemed a fait accompli that Hughes would see no more action. The score stood at 11-2, and the Yanks had spent 34 minutes at the plate. So Hughes, on a roll through six, would see no more action, and his innings would be saved for another day. It was an obvious and wise decision by the Yanks.

So many runs in the sixth

Robinson Cano, do you know him? Credit: AP Photo, Kathy Willens

As a spectator, innings such as the sixth are a sheer pleasure to watch. Throughout the first third of the game, the Yanks’ bat had been dreadfully silent. Rick Porcello needed just 43 pitches to get through the first three innings, and the Yanks didn’t knock out a hit until Mark Teixera singled in the fourth. Three more hits that inning plated two runs for the Yanks, and with the score knotted at two, Teixeira came to bat to start the sixth. The merry-go-round would not stop for 13 batters.

Walk, double, walk, single, walk, wild pitch, double, ground-out, walk, triple, ground out, home run, walk, ground out. 34 minutes, 13 batters, nine runs, six hits. It was a thing of beauty, capped by an Austin Kearns double, Derek Jeter’s triple off the wall and a towering Robinson Cano home run into Monument Park, his second extra-base hit of the inning.

The Tigers needed four pitchers to get through that mess, each worse than the last, and for the Yankees, it seemed as though the great offensive dam had broken. After nearly a week or just a hit or two with runners in scoring position, the team went 6 for 10 in those situations, and the early August slump seemed to be but a memory. For the Yanks, only Brett Gardner and Ramiro Pena did not get base hits.

A save to end all saves

This actually happened. Photo by Amanda Rykoff

With the score at 11-2 and Phil Hughes in showers, the Yanks handed the ball over to the only reliever who didn’t appear in Wednesday’s game. By hook or by crook, Sergio Mitre would finish up the final three innings of an 11-2 game and finish it he did. I will charitably say that Mitre pitched to the score.

He started his appearance out on a high end, striking out Johnny Damon. Jhonny Peralta, though, took Mitre deep, and while the crowd groaned, I appreciated Mitre’s willingness to throw strikes. After a single and a double though, Sergio needed to do something. Dan Kelly struck out, and then Austin Jackson knocked in a run. After a mound visit from Dave Eiland, Mitre got Will Rhymes to fly-out to end the 7th.

The Tigers plated a run in the top of the 8th to pull with six, but by then, the regulars had long since departed. Miguel Cabrera, Yankee killer, was off for the rest of the day, and a variety of other Tigers popped in for a cameo. Mitre settled down and induced two double plays over the final two frames. It was, as the stadium scoreboard proudly, broadcast his first career save and the Yanks’ 75th win of the season.

The Box Score

Is nice. I like. Fan Graphs/ESPN

Up Next

The Cliff Lee-less Mariners come to town, but they’re coming out with guns blazing tonight. Felix Hernandez, 1-5 but with a minuscule 1.93 ERA since the Infamous Joba Meltdown in Seattle, will face off against A.J. Burnett at 7:05 p.m. King Felix’s last start in New York was a dominant one.

Christian sets a record among several pro debuts
Mailbag: Venditte, Draft Contracts, Signing Bonuses
  • JGS

    Why does pitching the last three innings of a game give you a save? I know that’s the way the rule is written, but how did that come about?

  • Total Dominication

    1-5 but with a minuscule 1.93 ERA WoWoWoWoWoWoWoWoWoWoWoWoWoWoWoWoWo…

  • Apollo22237

    Haha, the curse of the first inning 2 run home run.

  • Rebecca-Optimist Prime-Jesus & Maquinito FTW

    I bought cheap tickets for tomorrow just because. I may end up regretting it.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Whether the Yankees win or lose, you get to see King Felix. Thus, it’s worth it.

    • Cecala

      Eh they already have seen Felix this year so he might get hit pretty hard. There is always an opposite to the Yankees cant hit crappy pitches meme.

    • Matt Imbrogno

      I’ll be there, too! Where are you sitting?

      • Anthony

        I’ll be there too!!

  • Carlosologist

    I was out today and I was checking my At-Bat app periodically. It’s a bit slow, so when it refreshed it was showing the nine run outburst from the offense. Needless to say this was a really good day. We are now a full game up on the Rays.

    • Dirty Pena

      But…but…Dan Plesac told me the Rays had ALL the momentum!

      • bexarama

        Buster Olney told me they were exactly like the 1998 Yankees!!!

        /memes from April’d

        • Pat D

          What have I told you about making fun of Buster????

          • bexarama

            I … I don’t remember????/

            • Pat D

              Well…actually…nothing. I just got upset when all yous guys kept making fun of his “heard this” tweets.

              Until I realized how dumb they sounded when he uses them constantly.

  • bexarama

    Miguel Cabrera, Yankee everyone killer, was off for the rest of the day…

    The sixth inning was really nice.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      True but Miggy’s 1.133 OPS against the Yankees is the second highest against all teams for his career.

  • Pat D

    Well, I just saw my fantasy football team. I am very sad.

    But then I remembered the Yankees won a baseball game today, and the Rays and Red Sox lost, so now I am happy.

    And I’m not really going to sweat tomorrow’s game. I know Felix killed the Yankees last time, but their career line against him is pretty good:

    • JGS

      but their career line against him is pretty good

      Yes and no. Overall it looks ok, but virtually all of that is two starts, one of which came when he was 20 years old.

      Since 2007, this is what he has done to the Yankees:

      9/3/07–7 innings, 1 run
      5/3/08–5.2 innings, 6 runs (the second start quoted above)
      9/18/09–9 innings, 1 run
      6/30/10–9 innings, 0 runs
      7/10/10–9 innings, 1 run

      • Pat D

        First, I’m being optimistic.

        Second, some of the guys on the current team weren’t on the teams you cited…but I guess that’s why you said yes and no.

        Third…I’m being optimistic, dammit!

      • Kit

        This makes me want to cry a little, but I know Felix is damn good so I’m not too upset.

        • Rose

          Mr. Feeney?

  • Cecala

    Why are all these day games so exciting! I hate having to work…Damn you Bud Selig and putting day games on weekdays…

  • Carlosologist

    Just noticed that Miggy is the first 100 RBI man in the Majors.

    • Sean C

      Alex will be there a few games after that calf stops barking.

      • Carlosologist

        What sucks is that two years ago Alex was a model of health for a mid 30s third baseman. Now he’s getting banged up every other week. :/

        • Sean C

          Little injuries creep up with players in their 30s, so the story goes.

  • ChuckKnoblog

    Mitre’s first save!! People will be dying to get their hands on tickets from this game.

  • Mariano’s Pimp Hand

    A Yankee win today will make them 30 games over .500 for the first time this season. This is the third time they have reached 29 over.

  • Anthony

    “The Tigers needed for pitchers to get through that mess, each worse than the last, and for the Yankees, it seemed as though the great offensive dam had broken.”
    Four, not for.


    • Brian in NH

      Don’t be such a grammar nazi…they are putting these together late at night cut them a little slack.

      • Anthony

        I am just imforming them so they can fix it whenever they please.

        • Chris

          They’ve asked for these types of comments to be submitted using the tip box (right below the Montero watch).

        • Benjamin Kabak

          If you’re just informing us, then use the contact form as we’ve requested numerous times.

  • Matt Imbrogno

    Even though I couldn’t watch this one live, I’m glad I caught the highlights. Hopefully after the last three games, people realize this is exactly what the Yankees can do. Like I said last night, let’s break out the bayonets and charge hard into the last month of the season and do it public news style: no commercials. No mercy.

    • Ross in Jersey

      I was more happy to see Hughes rebound than to see the offense break out. Porcello had nothing the second time through the order and the Tiger bullpen was even worse.

      Back to Hughes though, I think that’s the best we’ve seen him at any period since the break. Once he settled down he had great command with the cutter and the curve seemed to have a lot more bite to it. I think he had 3 guys K looking on fastballs? That’s a great sign. As a result, guys started swinging earlier in the count and he was able to keep the pitch count down. Hopefully he continues that into his next start.

  • CS Yankee

    Regardless of his innings, Phil will be the 3rd or 4th starter come postseason; which will be great. I hope they give Super-Nova a start in the next few weeks before things get tough around Sept 10 (& forward) schedule wise.

    Although 3/4 of the IF are having “down” years, I believe the 2010 version is better overall than the 2009 team.

    Soup to nuts, this team is poised to roll.

    • Anthony

      That’s not going to end up happening though because Cashman refuses to DFA horrible pitchers for some reason.

      • Ross in Jersey

        Like who? He’s not going to release Gaudin until Aceves is ready to be activated. Nova isn’t getting called up unless they’re ready to give up on Moseley. Maybe it took a bit too long to get rid of Park but.. he’s gone now.

  • theyankeewarrior

    Fun Fact: Granderson now has a higher OPS than Austin Jackson

    • Benjamin Kabak

      Fun Fact: Austin Jackson is probably the most overrated everyday player in the Majors right now.

      • Andrew

        But…but…the .300 batting average!!!

      • Zanath

        I’m still trying to figure out how he is still hitting .300. From all accounts, he has struggled since his hot start. But somehow, he is still slightly above .300 on his average. Seems like he should be below that by now.

        • Benjamin Kabak

          He still has a .419 BABIP. It’s a combination of a 28 percent line-drive percentage and speed that allows him to beat out dinky infield ground balls. I don’t expect him to end the season above .300.

      • theyankeewarrior

        Yup. I’ve just been waiting for this to happen for months. Finally it did. And I fully expect the numbers to continue on their paths. It would be nice to see Curtis get his OPS up to .800 by season’s end.

  • Zanath

    I know I keep saying this, but I’ve been pretty impressed by Austin Kearns. Even when he has made outs, his at bats have, for the most part, been very strong. I think he’s going to help us a lot down the stretch. Same with Kerry Wood. Big props to both of them.

  • rek4gehrig

    It was fun watching Yankees encore :-))))