That play you see above has to be the Yankees defensive play of the year, no? It’s either that or one of Brett Gardner’s catches against Daniel Murphy and the Mets. Give it up to Chris Stewart, that was both a great play and a huge play at that point of the game. Instead of having Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz bat as the tying run in the eighth, the inning was over. Huge props for that.
Oh, by the way, the Yankees got a much-needed 5-2 win on Saturday afternoon. No disrespect to Stewart, but that’s the bigger story of the day. Let’s recap the victory:
- HIROKstar: It was a day that ended in y, which means Hiroki Kuroda gave his club (at least) seven innings of (no more than) two-run ball. It’s the tenth time he’s done that in 20 starts this year. Kuroda limited the best offense in baseball to those two runs on five hits, one hit batsman, and one walk in those seven innings, and the two runs didn’t score until his final inning of work. What more can you say? Kuroda was outstanding yet again.
- Scratch: Five runs qualifies as a great day for this offense, but for a while it looked their fifth inning run on Gardner’s two-out hit would have to last. They broke things open with a three-run seventh thanks to run-scoring singles from Luis Cruz, Robinson Cano, and Lyle Overbay. The Cano and Overbay hits came with two outs. Cano plated a fifth run in the eighth with a sac fly. The Yankees didn’t draw a single walk, but they strung together 12 hits (eight singles, four doubles) and got some big two-out knocks. Bravo.
- The Three-Hit Club: Nine of those dozen hits came from three players — Gardner, Overbay, and Eduardo Nunez had three apiece. Overbay and Nunez had two doubles apiece. It’s the third time New York has had three players record at least three hits in a game this year and the first time in April. They only did it twice last year, believe it or not.
- Leftovers: David Robertson and Mariano Rivera closed things out in the eighth and ninth, though Robertson needed some help from Stewart’s great play … Cano, Cruz, and Vernon Wells had the club’s other hits … Cruz scored three runs … Wells threw Daniel Nava out at the plate in the first inning, though Nava slipped coming around third and that surely helped … New York had runners on base in every inning but the third and eighth.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the WPA graph, and ESPN the updated standings. The Rays won and the Orioles are destroying the Rangers, so the Yankees are five back in the division and will be two back of the wildcard in the loss column. Jon Lester had his start pushed back due to general “wear and tear,” so it’ll be Ryan Dempster against CC Sabathia in the rubber match on Sunday night.