Don’t look now, but the Yankees have suddenly won four of five and were an uncharacteristically bad David Robertson inning away from winning five in a row. The last three starting pitchers they’ve beaten are Jamie Shields, David Price, and Felix Hernandez. I’m sure all three just had off-nights since the Yankee can’t hit good pitching. To the bullet points…
- My Hiro: To be perfectly honest, I don’t think Hiroki Kuroda pitched all that great on Friday. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take two runs in seven innings eight days a week and twice on Sundays, but he seemed to fall behind every batter — first pitch strike to 14 of 29 hitters — and only struck out a pair against the club with the fourth highest strikeout rate in the league. In his last three starts, Kuroda has seven walks and seven strikeouts in 18.1 IP. Underwhelming, though he’s the kind of guy that bends the laws of DIPS theory. Still, I’ll take this type of outing all year long.
- De-Crowned: Felix came into this start having allowed one earned run in 24 IP at the New Stadium, but the Yankees got to him for a run when Robinson Cano singled in Curtis Granderson in the very first inning. The also tagged him for three runs in the fifth when Raul Ibanez assaulted a first pitch fastball with two runners on. The three-run dinger was Raul’s sixth of the season and his third in four games. Four runs on eleven hits and two walks against Hernandez is more than I could have ever expected. Great job.
- Matchups: With Rafael Soriano on the shelf due to his recent workload, eighth inning duties fell on the shoulders of three guys. First Clay Rapada retired Ichiro, then Cory Wade retired Jesus Montero, then Boone Logan retired Kyle Seager. Boone got the first out in the ninth before allowing an infield single. Roberson came on to record two stress-free outs on six pitches, and it was good to get him back out there so soon after that hideous blown save.
- Leftovers: The Yankees won so I can be happy Montero homered, a solo shot to (where else?) the opposite field … Andruw Jones‘ two-run pinch-hit homer was the team’s first pinch-hit dinger since Jorge Posada in September 2010 … Cano went 4-for-4 with a double and now has 12 hits in his last 20 at-bats, raising his season line to .308/.350/.462. That’ll do … Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira had two hits apiece while Derek Jeter, Granderson, Nick Swisher, Ibanez, and Eric Chavez had one each.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the advanced stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The second game of this three-game set is a rare 4pm ET, non-FOX broadcast on Saturday afternoon. Phil Hughes gets the ball against former teammate Hector Noesi. Check out RAB Tickets for some sweet deals.