At this point last week, the Yankees were in turmoil following Mariano Rivera‘s injury and four losses in five game. Now? Everything’s looking pretty great as they beat the Mariners for the second straight day on Saturday, their fifth win in the last six days. Let’s recap…
- BABIPhil: Phil Hughes is a fly ball pitcher, and fly ball pitchers give up homeruns but fewer hits in general. Hughes surrendered one homer on Saturday — a moonshot by Mike Carp — but just five other hits (all singles) in 7.2 IP. He struck out four and recorded 13 of his other 19 outs on fly balls, walking just one. Fly balls can be problematic at Yankee Stadium, but they also help keep runners off base and that’s exactly what Hughes did in his second straight strong start. He’s gotten progressively in each of his last three starts, so let’s hope this little run continues.
- Two Outs: Hector Noesi retired five of the first six Yankees he faced with relative ease and appeared poised to strand Mark Teixeira at second base in the second, but he just couldn’t get that final out of the inning. Raul Ibanez doubled to score Tex, Russell Martin doubled to score Ibanez, and Jayson Nix homered (a Yankee Stadium cheapie, for sure) to drive in Martin and himself. Two outs, three extra-base hits, four runs. It was all the Yankees would need on the afternoon, really.
- Rauuul: Because the RBI double wasn’t enough, Ibanez tacked on a solo homer in the fourth inning, a legit blast that landed in Monument Park about 420 feet from home plate. It was his second homer in as many days and fourth in five games. Raul’s become the 2012 version of 2010 Marcus Thames, hitting big homers and driving in a ton of runs despite the lowest of expectations. Go him.
- Relief: Boone Logan picked up the save, becoming the four different Yankee to record the team’s last four saves. All four of his outs came via the strikeout, but I have to think he’ll get tomorrow off given his recent workload. Logan nearly gave up Carp’s second homer, but it hit off the very top of the wall and replays confirmed it stayed in the park. Either way, Boone’s been absolutely money lately.
- Leftovers: Derek Jeter had two hits and Robinson Cano extended his hit streak to ten games … Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez each went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, the eyesores in an otherwise strong offensive day … the Yankees didn’t draw a single walk, continuing a recent trend of impatience at the plate. I think part of that has to do with the recent competition, including Jamie Shields, David Price, and Felix Hernandez.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees will look to complete the sweep tomorrow when Andy Pettitte (!) makes his triumphant return to the team. That will be a blast, but alas I will be unable to watch. Blame Mother’s Day. That game starts at 1pm ET, and Seattle is sending Kevin Millwood to the mound. If you hurry, RAB Tickets can help get you in the door.