Michael Pineda delivered the type of performance that fans have dreamed of since he was traded to New York in January of 2012, and he led the Yankees to a big 4-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox.
Pineda held the Red Sox without a hit through the first four innings before Xander Bogaerts broke up the no-hitter leading off the fifth inning. He had command of all three of his pitches and was making the Boston hitters look silly.
Pineda was blowing his fastball by hitters and locating early in the count, as he threw first pitch strikes to the first nine hitters he faced. Pineda finished going six innings, allowed one run and struck out seven.
Pictures from the Internet and T.V. cameras showed a brown substance on Pineda’s hand that was gone by the fifth inning, but the Red Sox never questioned it.
Both teams were scoreless through the first three innings before the Yankees put two runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Boston third baseman Jonathan Herrera booted an easy ground ball from Jacoby Ellsbury that got the rally started. Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann both followed with singles through the shift to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead and set the table for Alfonso Soriano to do more damage. Soriano grounded into a double play, but it scored Beltran to give the Yankees a two run lead.
They added two more the next inning on a home run by Dean Anna, that is not a typo, and with a RBI single by Ellsbury.
Boston got on the board with a solo home run by Daniel Nava in the seventh inning, but that was all they would get.
The Yankees had to get nine outs from their bullpen without David Robertson, Shawn Kelley and Adam Warren available. The Yankees and Red Sox always seem to beat up on each other’s bullpen during their games against each other, so this was a scary proposition.
However, Casaer Cabral and David Phelps got the job done with ease. They were perfect, as they retired all nine batters they faced and struck out five of them. Phelps pitched a perfect eight and ninth inning to pick up the save.
The Good Stuff
– Derek Jeter picked up two more hits tonight to raise his season average to .290. He has looked good at the plate, even though his range at shortstop has not looked encouraging.
– Phelps and Cabral were fantastic. Phelps had struggled so far this year, but Joe Girardi showed a lot of faith in him. I was a little surprised that he did not go to Matt Thornton in the ninth, but Phelps got the job done.
– McCann got a huge RBI hit. He hit another ball hard that got eaten up by the shift, so maybe more of his line drives will find holes.
– Pineda was awesome and I was really impressed by his changeup. His changeup was a question mark in Seattle, but he got a few swings and misses on it tonight. If he can continue to develop that pitch it should be huge for him.
The Not So Good Stuff
– Despite Pineda’s great outing, the brown substance that was on his hand was a big subject of conversation. It was assumed to be pine tar, although Pineda claimed after the game that it was dirt. YES cameras showed that it was gone by the fifth inning, and Boston never complained about it. It is a little interesting that Pineda’s velocity went down at about the time that the substance was gone. Pine tar helps you control the ball better, but it shouldn’t add velocity. Maybe, Pineda was throwing more cutters? Was it just fatigue? It is something to watch in his next outing.
– The bats were pretty silent other than the fourth and fifth innings.
– If you’re keeping track, Anna currently has more home runs than Robinson Cano.
– According to Mike Axisa, Cabral has struck out eight of the 12 lefty hitters he has faced in his MLB career.