This could have been a disastrous loss for the Yankees. Thankfully, they were able to overcome blowing a four-run lead and pick up a win against the Astros tonight. It marks their 17th win of the season and it’s their sixth win in their last seven games.
David Phelps started in place of injured Ivan Nova and made it through one turn before the Astros lineup figured him out and scored four runs in the top of the fourth inning. He allowed six base runners and even hit two batters during that inning.
The Yankees added an insurance run in the sixth inning on double play ground out by Ichiro Suzuki which scored Eduardo Nunez. Lyle Overbay was out at second but because he avoided a quick tag, Nunez scored before he was called out.
I guess it’s a good thing this was a game against the Houston Astros because if the Yankees were facing another team, a better one, I’m not sure this win would have been possible.
Hiroki Kuroda, even though he didn’t give up any runs, had a rough first three innings and again, was lucky he was facing the Astros. He settled down and retired 11 of 12 batters after the third inning. He gave up only four hits in seven innings, walked four and struck out eight. He finished with 4-1 record in April and a 2.25 ERA. He’s 3-0 in his last three starts with a minuscule 1.23 ERA.
Another great stat for Kuroda from those last three starts? He’s averaging 7 1/3 innings.
The Yankees offense was able scratch and claw their way to some early runs and they had a 4-0 lead heading into the eighth inning when David Robertson came in. Robertson got two outs then gave up two runs on a home run by Chris Carter.
The Astros, with the help of Yankee reliever Shawn Kelley, made things interesting in the ninth inning when Jose Altuve hit a two-run double to make it 7-4 and to set up a save situation for Mariano Rivera.
Rivera, who was 9-9 in save opportunities in April, made it 10-10 with an easy five pitch appearance to end the game.
That game was the pits. Do I have to rehash it? Really? Okay, fine.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Andy Pettitte was awful.
- So was the offense.
- Vidal Nuno was pretty good even though it was in mop up duty.
- Oh, Kevin Youkilis‘ MRI was negative. Not that it has anything to do with the game but I have to post something, I suppose.
- Hmmm. What else?
- Yep, I got nothing.
On to the next one as they say…
R.A. Dickey was good. Lyle Overbay and Phil Hughes were better. Dickey gave the Blue Jays seven innings of four hit baseball. Normally that’s enough to get your team the victory, but not when two of those hits were homers. Brennan Boesch gave the Yankees their first run with a solo shot in the second inning. That was enough to keep the Yankees in the game until the seventh inning. With Travis Hafner on base Lyle Overbay hit a home run in the seventh frame to put the Yankees ahead three to two, the eventual margin of victory.
I jokingly referred to this game as a Friday night fright in the game thread, mainly because of the pitching matchup. I figured a game started by Ivan Nova and Aaron Laffey had the potential to be really awful.
When Francisco Cervelli left the game with an injury about 37 seconds (give or take) into the game, I just shook my head. When Ivan Nova left the game in the third inning with an injury, I wanted to crawl into a hole.
What on earth is happening to this team? Can the training stuff just start lining people’s uniforms with bubble wrap? Thankfully, both of their replacements came up big.
Of course, the Blue Jays’ usual suspects, Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista, hit home runs – Encarnacion hit two: one off of Nova and the other off of Phelps but thankfully, the Yankees scored more. Bautista’s came in the eighth against David Robertson.
Luckily for the Yankees, the Jays’ sloppy play helped them out and canceled out those home runs.
Brett Gardner hit a home run in the eighth inning to put the Yankees up two which was good because the Blue Jays made things interesting for their fans by loading the bases in the top of the ninth against Mariano Rivera. Thankfully, Mo settled down and calmly picked up his eighth save of the year.
Funny notes from the game:
(I apologize for the title. I’m tired.)
I know it’s early in the season and I know it may be too soon to say this but I’m going to say it anyway.
I love when the Yankees beat the Blue Jays. And do you know why that is? Because Blue Jays fans have become entirely too confident and a tad too obnoxious for me. Just because your team won the offseason doesn’t mean that will translate into wins in the regular season. Hello? Doesn’t anyone remember the 2012 Marlins? You know, the team the Blue Jays essentially traded for in November?
With that said, I do follow a lot of cool Blue Jay fans on Twitter and I don’t wish them any ill will.
All right, let’s get to the recap. This one started off on the wrong foot with Hiroki Kuroda having a rough first two innings.
He gave up a two-run home run to Edwin Encarnacion in the first and then a solo home run to Brett Lawrie in the second. Kuroda looked all out of sorts and then he did what any good starter does, he made adjustments and was able to shut down the opposing team down for the remainder of his time on the field. He finished with six innings pitched, gave up those three runs on six hits, walked one and struck out three.
On the other side, Mark Buehrle, had a strong first inning and then gave up runs in the second, third and fourth innings – all on home runs, just like Kuroda.
In the second, Vernon Wells, who loves hitting Buehrle – he’s 24-48 in his career with three home runs and 10 RBI, hit a solo shot to cut the Jays lead to 3-1. Then Robinson Cano hit a three-run shot in the third inning to put the Yankees up 4-3. In the fifth inning, Buehrle got “Cerved” when Francisco Cervelli hit a solo shot, his third of the year, to put the Yankees up 5-3. (I can’t believe I just wrote that; both the horrible “cerved” thing and that he actually hit a home run. Like I said above, I’ll chalk it up to being tired and loopy.)
The bullpen continued to keep the Blue Jays off the board with three strong innings of work. Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera only gave up one hit (off Chamberlain) and strike out three (1 by Robertson and 2 by Rivera). Rivera picked up his seventh save of the season and the 615th of career.
Oh and in a cool, “Hey, I know that guy!” moment, my friend Mark caught Cano’s home run!
Tropicana Field continues to be a house of horrors for the New York Yankees and I, for one, am thrilled this series is over and that the team is returning home even if it’s for a four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Tonight, Andy Pettitte was tough luck loser. He shut down the Rays until when fifth inning when he was victimized by a Brennan Boesch error and then by a Ben Zobrist double that made it 2-0 Tampa. And again in the sixth when Sean Rodriguez hit a solo shot to make it 3-0.
Pettitte’s final line was 6.0 IP, seven hits, three runs, two earned, one walk and 10 strike outs. Yes, 10. This is the first time he’s lost a game in which he’s struck out 10 or more batters since July 20, 2000 when he lost to the Tigers. He’s also had five no decisions in that span.
The Yankees offense was baffled by Alex Cobb who threw 8.1 innings, gave up only three hits, walked one and struck out seven.
Of course, the Yankees made it interesting in the top of the ninth against closer Fernando Rodney who came into the game to pick up the last two outs.
The Yankees had the tying run at the plate but alas, couldn’t capitalize. They finished this six game road trip 3-3.
That game was actually a lot worse than I imagined it would be.
Honestly, I knew the lineup would probably do nothing against Matt Moore. They can’t hit lefties as it is but a guy with 1.00 ERA coming into the game? Yeah…
And I was right but I was hoping CC Sabathia would be able keep the Yankees in this one. Unfortunately, after the first inning, the Yankees found themselves down 4-0.
For his part, Sabathia recovered and ended up pitching seven innings but the damage was done and the Yankees couldn’t do much against Moore who pitched eight strong innings.
Sabathia finished with eight strikeouts but gave up three home runs and two of them were to Ryan Roberts.
It was that kind of night.
Josh Johnson and the Blue Jays handed this game to the Yankees in the fifth inning. With the Blue Jays leading 2-1, the Yankees loaded the bases on three hits by Chris Stewart, Robinson Cano and Vernon Wells. Johnson managed to get Travis Haffner out, but after that he completely lost the strike zone. Johnson issued bases loaded walks to Lyle Overbay and Eduardo Nunez, handing the Yankees a 3-2 lead. The Yankees expanded that lead the next inning when Brett Gardner scored Jayson Nix on a sacrifice fly. Suddenly the Yankees were up by two heading into the final innings with a possible sweep on their hands.
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