Now that’s more like it. The Bronx Bombers lived up to the nickname on Saturday afternoon, swatting five homeruns en route to a 7-1 win over the Pirates. They should do that more often. Let’s recap the win:
- Five Scoreless: David Phelps threw some of the ugliest five scoreless innings you’ll ever see. He was in trouble all afternoon, allowing five hits, three walks, and a hit batsman, yet he did not allow a single run because Alfonso Soriano threw a runner out at the plate and some hard hit balls were hit right at people. Phelps navigated the 2-3-4 hitters with two on and no outs in the fifth thanks to a gift called strike three and two balls smashed right defenders. It was very ugly but it was effective. Phelps and the Yankees got away with one.
- Dingers: The Yankees had six hits against Edinson Volquez in 6.1 innings, and four left the yard. Mark Teixeira hit a two-run Yankee Stadium cheapie in the first inning, then Zoilo Almonte, Brett Gardner, and Soriano clubbed legit blasts later in the game. Zoilo’s a moonshot into the right field bleachers. Pretty good chance it was the team’s longest homer of the year to date. Volquez was good in the middle innings (retired nine in a row at one point), but the Bombers got to him early and late in his outing. Brian McCann tacked on a two-run shot in the eighth against the bullpen. It was the Yankees’ second five-homer game of 2014 after doing it once all of last year.
- Bullpen on Parade: Phelps struggled for five innings and did not allow a run, so, naturally, Dellin Betances gave up a solo homer on his first pitch of the game. Baseball is weird. Betances allowed just the homer in two innings, striking out only three. He’s slacking. Adam Warren threw an uneventful eighth against the middle of the lineup, then Matt Daley finished it up in the ninth. Nice and easy.
- Leftovers: I don’t know why, but four of the first eight hitters the Yankees sent to the plate showed bunt. I know Pedro Alvarez stinks at third base, but it’s Edinson Volquez. Swing the bats … Soriano went 2-for-4 with a homer and a double. Including his double in the last game against the Mets, it looks like he’s about to go on one of his tears. He’s always been streaky … Derek Jeter had two singles and Brian Roberts had one. Every other hit was a homer or Soriano’s double … Yangervis Solarte went 0-for-4 and now has back-to-back 0-for-4s for only the second time in his brief MLB career … the Yankees have allowed one or less in three straight games for the first time since June 2012.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees and Pirates will wrap up this three-game series with two games on Sunday as part of a rare single admission doubleheader. Hiroki Kuroda will start the first game, Vidal Nuno the second. Charlie Morton and Gerrit Cole will be on the bump for Pittsburgh, though I’m not sure who is pitching which game. Check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch two games for the price of one on the final day of the homestand.