I’m hopefully we’ll see a lot more games like this over the next seven weeks. Yeah, it wasn’t a laugher until the late innings, but I’ll take it. I’ve seen enough one-run games to last me a season already. Let’s recap…
- Early Runs: The Yankees jumped out in front early, scoring two runs in the second and another in the third. There was only one hit in there, a Robinson Cano single, the other two came on an error (Jeff Mathis threw the ball into left field) and a fielder’s choice (Ichiro Suzuki beat out a double play). Diverse and efficient, I approve.
- Steady Freddy: Freddy Garcia gave the Yankees exactly what they wanted in his latest solid effort, a two-run, six-inning affair. He even had a four-pitch inning to end his night. I thought Joe Girardi pulled him at exactly the right time (despite his 78 pitch count) as well, with Kelly Johnson due up in a one-run game. Johnson had homered and doubled earlier in the game. For the third time in his last four starts, Freddy walked zero batters. Pretty awesome for a fifth starter.
- Blown Open: I was pretty disappointed that the Yankees only scored three runs in seven innings off the certifiably awful Ricky Romero, but they made up for it with seven runs in the eighth and ninth innings. Mark Teixeira‘s solo homer was the big blow, but there were also run-scoring doubles from Nick Swisher and Ichiro to go along with run-scoring singles from Ichiro and Raul Ibanez. It was nice to have breathing room after an inordinate number of tight games these last few weeks.
- Leftovers: David Robertson was the only reliever to throw a full inning after Garcia, the rest was split up between Boone Logan (two outs), Joba Chamberlain (one out), Clay Rapada (two outs), and Cody Eppley (one out). Joba and Rapada allowed a run each, but both guys weren’t even on the mound when it happened … every starter had at least one hit aside from Casey McGehee, who did nothing at the plate … the top four hitters went a combined 7-for-14 … Derek Jeter now has many multi-hit games this year (45) as last year … the Yankees drew more than walks (four) than strikeouts (three) for just the second time in the last 66 games.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. Both the Orioles and Rays won, so the lead in the division remains six games over both. Game two of this three-game set will be played Saturday afternoon, when Ivan Nova gets the ball against former teammate Aaron Laffey.