Andy Pettitte (6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 HR)- He allowed just 2 base runners in the first 4 innings, both of which were the speedy Rajai Davis. He actually had Davis picked off at first in the first inning, but no one was covering second. Davis stole second twice against Pettitte, and with a runner in scoring position for so long, Pettitte had to grind through a couple of early innings. Pettitte allowed a run to score in the fifth inning off of a J.P. Arencibia bomb, but then worked out of trouble later in the inning thanks to a great double play by Alex Rodriguez. Overall, he’s looked very good for 3 straight starts now, and hopefully he’ll continue this once we get to September.
Curtis Granderson (1-3, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 RBI, 2 R)- With all the Rodriguez discussion, and the scorching hot streaks by Alfonso Soriano and Robinson Cano, Granderson has gone under the radar. But he actually came into this game hitting .288/.417/.441 since returning on August 2nd. It was hardly a surprise when he got some vengeance off of J.A. Happ (the pitcher who broke his hand in Spring Training) by hitting a ridiculous solo home run to right field in the 5th inning and tied the game at 1-1.
Alex Rodriguez (0-3, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 SB)- He didn’t light up the scoreboard, but he made a huge double play on a Rajai Davis ground ball with the basis loaded. If Rodriguez doesn’t make that play the Blue Jays probably score 3 more runs and make it a 4-0 game.
Umpires (2 E) – Rodriguez would have had a hit in the 4th inning if not for a blown call by first base umpire Scott Barry. It would have brought Granderson to the plate with the bases loaded, and of course the center fielder proceeded to homer with no one on in his next at bat.
The umpires also had a mess on their hand in the 6th inning, when Rajai Davis made a diving catch on a Vernon Wells line drive. They eventually called it a trap, and with the base runners scrambling around and confused, both Chris Stewart and Ichiro Suzuki were tagged out. The umpires only called Stewart out, and an RBI scored on the play, making it 2-1 Yankees. Essentially, the Blue Jays pulled a triple play, but only got one out for it.
Eduardo Nunez (1-2, 1 BB, 2 RBI, 1 R)- The Yankees worked another rally in the sixth inning, drawing 3 walks off J.A. Happ and Brad Lincoln. Eduardo Nunez came through with a big 2 run line drive single to center, which was followed by ground out RBI for Chris Stewart. With 8 chances, the Yankees only had this one hit with runners in scoring position.
The Bullpen (3.0, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K)- Shawn Kelley was rocky, and even with a 5-1 lead, he made Joba Chamberlain eventually warm up. After allowing a run and the first 4 base runners to reach, Kelley seemingly settled down, allowing just a fly out and an RBI ground out. The rest of the bullpen was solid. Boone Logan worked out of Shawn Kelley‘s jam with a strike out to Adam Lind, and Preston Claiborne allowed just 1 hit in his 8th inning. David Robertson got the save opportunity, and worked an easy 1-2-3 inning, but needed 18 pitches to do it. Maybe it’s nitpicking, but one worry about Robertson closing in 2014 is the amount of pitches he throws.
With this 5-3 win and sweep over the Blue Jays, the Yankees are now 68-59. They’re 3.5 games behind the Athletics for the second wild card spot, and they’re 6.0 games behind the Red Sox for the division. With a big series against Tampa Bay coming up, the Yankees could make up a ton against the Rays, who currently own the other wild card spot. The Yankees have maneuvered their rotation to start arguably their three best starters for this series, as we’ll see Hiroki Kuroda, CC Sabathia, and Ivan Nova in that order.
For more on scoreboard watching, check out Daniel Marcus’ new daily column that debuted today. Otherwise, we’ll see you tomorrow night at 7:10 PM.