The afternoon started with the Yankees honoring Derek Jeter and his 3,000th career hit, and it ended with another Yankees great showing everyone that the gas tank isn’t empty just yet. To the bullet points!
- You think Jorge Posada’s got a chip on his shoulder? In his first game in exactly a week, Posada singled in the game’s first two runs in his first at-bat, blooped a single in his second at-bat, and walloped a grand slam in his third at-bat. That was his first homerun since the interleague series against the Brewers at the end of June, and he had three hits this month total before this game. I don’t know if this game will get him more playing time, but it was fun to re-live the glory days, wasn’t it?
- While Posada was busy partying like it was 2007, Phil Hughes was getting his 2010 first half on. Philbert struck out six walked one, and allowed just four hits in six innings of work, giving up just two runs in what was essentially garbage time. He also got seven ground ball outs compared to five in the air, which was a welcome change. Hughes threw 96 pitches, held his velocity throughout the start, and mixed his pitches were well: 46 fastballs, 25 curveballs, 13 cutters, and 12 changeups. That’s much more like it. Phil has now thrown three straight quality starts, and has allowed two runs or less in five of his six starts since coming off the DL.
- The Yankees offense was brutally effective as a whole, working deep counts and punishing mistakes. Jeremy Hellickson needed 99 pitches to get 13 outs, and Brandon Gomes needed 21 pitches to get two outs. Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, and Robinson Cano all had two hits, and Posada had the three. The Grandyman whacked his 33rd homer of the season, tying him with Jose Bautista for the MLB lead. Cano’s double was his 30th, making him the first player in franchise history with 30 doubles in each of his first seven seasons. Bananas. Eric Chavez and Russell Martin had one hit each, and although Nick Swisher didn’t pick up a knock, he walked three times. All told, the Yankees put 22 men on base and managed to score nine runs despite being 2-for-11 with RISP.
- Cory Wade chipped in two scoreless innings (on just 21 pitches), and Hector Noesi actually came out of his burrow to see his shadow and throw a scoreless inning. That means he’ll go another six weeks before pitching, right?
- The win stretches the lead over Tampa for the wildcard to 8.5 games. Jered Weaver and the Angels took a pounding in Toronto, so the Yankees lead them by eight full games. Here’s the box score, here’s the WPA graph, and here’s the updated standings.
The rubber game will be played Sunday afternoon, at least in theory. The weather report is looking pretty grim, so there’s no guarantee they’ll be able to play. Freddy Garcia was supposed to start, but he’s been scratched with a cut on his finger. A.J. Burnett will go against Jamie Shields instead.