The Yankees threatened in the fifth, when Jorge Posada worked a walk with one out. Curtis Granderson drove the ball to right field, moving Posada to third base, while Granderson tried to stretch it into a double. Shin-Soo Choo fielded the ball and gunned down Granderson at second. Francisco Cervelli struck out to end the Yankees’ threat.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Indians got a small rally going. Jason Donald doubled to left and Michael Brantley reached on a fielders choice. Choo then ripped a double to right, scoring Brantley and giving the Tribe a 2-1 edge. After getting two quick outs in the seventh, Vazquez got into some trouble, giving up a double to Matt LaPorta and a walk to Trevor Crowe before getting Donald to ground out to end the inning.
Running out of time, the Yankees struck in the top of the eighth. Posada singled to left and Granderson connected with a big two-run homer to give the Yankees their first lead of the game. Vazquez came back out in the eighth, but after walking Brantley to start the inning, Girardi called on David Robertson to hold the lead. He got Asdrubal Cabrera to ground into a double play, while Boone Logan came in and struck out Choo to end the inning. Mariano Rivera came out in the ninth, and picked up a big save to give the Yankees a 3-2 victory over Cleveland.
Derek Jeter: The Captain went 0-4 with a strikeout. He’s been hitting well lately, but Westbrook really seemed to have it working for him yesterday.
Alex Rodriguez: Alex also went 0-4, striking out once and stranding two players on base. He did get robbed of what might have become a key hit in the fourth. After Swisher’s homer and Teixeira drawing a walk, that single could have lead to Cleveland unraveling, but instead a questionable (putting it nicely) call on A-Rod’s hit to left, resulted in a big inning ending double play for the Tribe.
Javier Vazquez: Javy continues to give the Yankees strong outings, which is all the more important with Dustin Moseley moving into the five spot in the rotation while Pettitte is out. Javy went seven innings and gave up just two earned runs and five hits. He walked three and struck out five.
Nick Swisher: Swisher went 1-3 with a solo homer. He also drew a walk.
Curtis Granderson: Grandy has been hot lately. He’s riding a six game hit streak and has at least one hit in nine of his last ten games. He’s hitting .306 during that time. Yesterday he went 2-3 with a run scored and two RBIs on his game-winning two-run homer. He was the only hitter on either team to pick up multiple hits.
Thoughts on the Eighth Inning:
When Girardi sent David Robertson in for Vazquez in the eighth I am sure most Yankee fans took it to be a sign that he has lost faith in Joba Chamberlain, and perhaps that is true. Joba has been so inconsistent that to put him in with a one run lead in the eighth would have been nerve-wracking for sure. Still, we should keep in mind that Joba threw 20 pitches the day before. I also found it interesting that it did not look like David Robertson was being given the eighth inning job, as many people suspect may happen soon. Robertson pitched to one hitter, getting a big double play ball, before handing the ball over to Boone Logan. Seriously, did you see Boone Logan coming in to the eighth inning of a one run game? I sure didn’t, but Girardi came out looking like a genius as Logan struck out one of the Indians’ best players. I would be hesitant to assume Joba has completely lost the eighth inning job, as Girardi cited liking the matchups he used as the reason for not pitching Joba. I’m convinced Joba’s problem at this point is more mental than anything, perhaps after his last outing and returning to the scene of Midge-gate, Girardi wasn’t quite ready to throw Joba into a close game. I may be completely over-analyzing this situation, but isn’t that half the fun of being a Yankee fan? What are you all thinking about this?
In the On Deck Circle:
CC Sabathia will return to his old home, taking the mound at Jacob’s Field (okay, Progressive Field) for the Yankees. Sabathia entered the All-Star break super hot, and has cooled off a little, though he continues to put together decent starts. He will face off against Josh Tomlin, a young pitcher making his Major League debut. Tomlin comes in after going 8-4 with a 2.68 ERA in Triple-A Columbus. The 26 year-old righty minimized his walks while averaging 6.7 strikeouts per nine innings in the Minors this year. First pitch is at 7:05pm tonight.