Things were looking pretty grim for the first six innings, but they sure turned around in a hurry. The Yankees are back into the win column after a quick little three-game losing streak and are 21-7 over the last month. That’s pretty great. Let’s recap…
- Comeback: Chris Young and his 85 mph fastball shut the Yankees right down for the first six innings, but the third time through the order was a charm for the Bombers. Mark Teixeira opened the seventh with a walk before Nick Swisher blooped a Lucas Duda-aided double to right, bringing the tying run to the plate in the form of Raul Ibanez. He launched a line drive three-run homer to right, a rocket that snuck over the wall. The best part? The whole thing happened in the span of three pitches. Swisher’s double and Ibanez’s homer both came on the first pitch after ball four to Teixeira.
- Zombie: With the score knotted at three, Joe Girardi went to his bench with the pitcher due up and watched Eric Chavez hit his first career pinch-hit homer two batters after Ibanez tied the game. It was the exact opposite of Raul’s — a big fly ball the other way that snuck inside the foul pole. The solo homer gave the Yankees the one-run lead they would never give back. Chavez has now hit five homers this season, the same number he hit from 2007-2011. Obviously he missed a bunch of time due to injury, but still amazing nonetheless.
- Bullpen: Ivan Nova pitched well enough, not great, but the relief corps really slammed the door shut after he left the game with two outs in the sixth. Clay Rapada struck out the only man he faced to strand two runners in the sixth, Boone Logan struck out the two men he faced to strand a runner at third in the seventh, David Robertson struck out the side to strand a pair in the eighth, and Rafael Soriano struck out two in the ninth. Eight of the ten outs the bullpen recorded came on strike three, as did a season-high 15 of the 27 outs overall. The Mets went 1-for-14 with RISP because the Yankees’ hurlers wouldn’t even let them put the ball in play. Great job by these guys.
- Leftovers: Both Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez booted routine ground balls, though Nova was able to pitch around the former … aside from that four-run seventh inning, the Yankees had just two other hits all night … the 1-5 hitters went a combined 1-for-17, with the one being a Jeter single to leadoff the game … the Yankees have hit five homers in the series and all five cleared the old dimensions at CitiField.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. Since both the Orioles and Rays lost, the division lead is up to a season-high three games in the loss column. The rubber game of this three-game set is three things: 1) the final interleague game of the season, 2) the ESPN Sunday Night Game, and 3) perhaps the most interesting pitching matchup of the season (CC Sabathia vs. R.A. Dickey). That’s gonna be a blast. Make sure you check out RAB Tickets if you make a last-minute decision to catch the game.