The Yankees were only four outs away from a shutout when the Jays tied the game in the bottom of the eighth.
The crowd of over 46,000 in Rogers Centre erupted as if it were a playoff game but those three runs were all the Blue Jays would be able to get against Yankees’ pitching. And luckily for the Yankees, they took advantage of a big Toronto error in the 11th and scored two runs to put them ahead for good to pick up their tenth win of the season.
Hiroki Kuroda was the star of the game. He nearly matched his previous start, the complete game shutout last Sunday against Baltimore, by shutting the Jays down for the majority of the game. He gave up only three hits, one walk, struck out seven and only surrendered one earned run. That only happened because David Robertson suffered his first bad outing of 2013. He came in to relieve Kuroda and gave up two hits, walked two, struck out two and gave up two runs in two-thirds of an inning.
Mariano Rivera came into the game to pitch the bottom of the 11th, gave up a hit and struck out two to pick up his fifth save of the season.
Offensively for the Yankees, Vernon Wells, continued to celebrating his Toronto homecoming by belting another home run, this time off the left field foul pole. Kevin Youkilis hit a single that scored two runners – Jayson Nix and Brett Gardner – after the ball hit off Brett Lawrie‘s glove and went into left field.
Youkilis was pulled from the game and replaced by Lyle Overbay. It seems Youkilis was suffering from a stiff lower back. He battled back issues last season so let’s hope some rest will help what ails him.
Some quick notes:
- Andy Pettitte: 7.1 IP, 6H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5K and 1 HR
- Robinson Cano, Travis Hafner, Francisco Cervelli and Ichiro Suzuki all had doubles. Ichiro and Cervelli had two apiece.
- Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay and Hafner all homered. Overbay’s was the 50th of his career in Rogers Centre.
- Kevin Youkilis and Eduardo Nunez were the only startes without hits for the Yankees who had 13 in total. But Nunez did get on base with a walk.
- Jose Bautista and J.P. Arencibia homered for the Blue Jays who fell to 7-10 on the year.
- The Yankees are now 9-6.
You know it’s a good game when CC Sabathia gives up two runs while tossing over 30 pitches in the first inning and he not only picks up the win but lasts until the eighth inning and hands the ball off to Mariano Rivera for the save.
But before we get to that, let’s review what happened.
Paul Goldschmidt put the Diamondbacks up 2-0 with a line drive home run to the short porch in right field in the first. They scored again in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly by A.J. Pollock while the Yankees couldn’t get anything going against Wade Miley.
In the seventh, the Yankees scored three runs to tie the game and snatch a win from Miley’s grasp. The first run was scored on a bases loaded walk by Jayson Nix that scored Ben Francisco. Miley was replaced by Tony Sipp who was immediately greeted by a two-out, two-run single by Brett Gardner to tie the game.
Sabathia threw 108 pitches in eight innings of work. He gave up the three runs on six hits, walked three and struck out six.
In the bottom of the eighth, Joe Girardi pinch hit Travis Hafner for Ben Francisco when David Hernandez was brought for the Diamondbacks. Hafner made the most of his chance by driving a ball out of the park on Hernandez’s first offering to give the Yankees a 4-3 lead.
Rivera came in and pitched a scoreless 1-2-3 inning to collect his 612th career save and fourth save of the season.
The hapless Yankees, the team people were predicting doom and gloom for are now 8-5 on the year. And yes, I know it’s only April but they’re winning games they need to win while they’re missing key players and it’s nice to see the new guys like Hafner stepping up.
It’s only fitting that the Yankees won tonight’s game by a score of 4-2 while every player was wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson, the man Robinson Cano, who hit the go ahead home run was named after. Oh, and of course, future Hall of Famer and the man who will be the last player to ever wear #42, Mariano Rivera, was the one who came in to get the 611th save of his career.
Ivan Nova managed to pitch five innings. He wasn’t great, he wasn’t terrible but he was serviceable and he earned his first win of 2013. Like I said in the game thread, instead of hoping for Super Nova, I wanted him to be “Good Enough To Win Nova,” and he was. He pitched five innings, gave up two runs on seven hits, walked two and struck out six.
Cano, who hit what would be the game winning home run in the fourth off Diamondbacks’ starter Brandon McCarthy, has been on fire in his last six games. He’s batting has four doubles, four home runs and 11 RBI.
After Nova exited the game, Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson and Rivera shut the door. They combined to throw four innings of one-hit ball with three strikeouts (two by Logan and one by Rivera).
Other notable numbers:
- Travis Hafner hit two doubles in his four at bats.
- Chris Stewart, Kevin Youkilis and Cano all finished with two hits.
- The only batter without a hit was Vernon Wells.
- Eduardo Nunez returned to the lineup and hit a sacrifice fly to put the Yankees up two runs in the bottom of the seventh
The Yankees are now 7-5 on the season.
The New York Yankees, behind a complete game shutout by Hiroki Kuroda, and a three-run fifth inning by the Yankees’ makeshift lineup, took the series from the Baltimore Orioles, two games to one. Jayson Nix drove in the first run in the fifth inning off of Orioles’ starter Wei-Yin Chen with a sacrifice fly and then Brett Gardner hit a booming two-run homer to round out the scoring.
Kuroda was magnificent. He had all of his pitches working and induced 21 ground balls in 25 batted balls by the Orioles, allowing only five hits and no walks. Kuroda struck out five and even worked around two errors by the left side of his infield. The Yankees’ starter threw 70% of his 113 pitches for strikes and it was not until the ninth inning when a runner got to second on defensive indifference, did the Orioles get a runner into scoring position.
Wei-Yin Chen matched Kuroda for the first four innings though he was not as sharp as Kuroda. It seemed like Chen was in the middle of the strike zone most of the time and the Yankees could not square him up. Kevin Youkilis just missed a homer in his first at bat. In Brett Gardner’s second at bat, the center fielder fouled off six straight down-the-middle pitches before hitting into a double play.
But the Yankees broke through in the fifth. Brennan Boesch, a surprise starter in place of Ichiro Suzuki, hit his second straight single to lead off the inning. Francisco Cervelli followed with another single to left. Lyle Overbay hit a deep drive to right that allowed Boesch to tag up and go to third. Then Nix hit his sacrifice fly to deep right to score Boesch. Gardner then turned on an inside fastball and hit it a mile. The only question was if the drive would stay fair. It just barely did by bouncing off the top of the foul pole. The Yankees took a 3-0 lead and that is how the score ended.
Robinson Cano did not do much at the plate on this night, but he was terrific in the field and converted a double play in the eighth inning that was spectacular.
This win was all Kuroda. He exploited the Orioles weakness of not being patient a the plate to perfection and never gave them a chance. Kuroda improved his record to 2-1. Chen took the loss and dropped his record to, 0-2.
Well, that wasn’t fun.
Phil Hughes couldn’t find the plate and the Orioles took advantage early. Hughes only lasted three innings, gave up five runs on nine hits, walked two and gave up three home runs.
But hey, a good thing was that the bullpen, David Phelps, Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson, combined to toss six scoreless innings giving up only two hits, striking out seven and not allowing a free pass.
Some good things:
- Francisco Cervelli, Robinson Cano, Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay all had two hits apiece.
- Um…yeah, I got nothing.
Okay, so that was fun, funny and there were some fireworks. (We’ll get to those later.)
First up, the offense which was fun to watch. Over the past two games, the Yankees have scored a combined 25 runs against Cleveland pitching. Brett Gardner finished 4-5 with two RBI to raise his average nearly 100 points to .257 (don’t you love April?). Robinson Cano‘s bat continued where it left off yesterday with Cano going 4 for 6 with a home run, two doubles and 5 RBI.
The other two guys with multi-hit games are part of the funny portion of this recap: Francisco Cervelli and Lyle Overbay. In all fairness, I shouldn’t laugh at Cervelli because he’s been great so far in this young season and is batting .353 at the moment. Will he sustain that? Probably not but it’s fun to watch right now. Cervelli finished 2-4 with an RBI. As for Overbay, he was also part of the home run derby portion of the game and finished 3-5 with an RBI.
Youkilis was involved in the fireworks portion of tonight’s contest. Apparently, Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco was not happy with the Bronx Bombers scoring seven runs off of him in three and 2/3 innings of work so he plunked Youkilis. It was obvious it was intentional and he was thrown out of the game. It was also obvious that the Yankees weren’t done scoring because they scored 14 runs total.
Back to Youkilis, his home run was the 150th of his career and here’s an interesting tidbit from Jeff Quagliata of YES: “Youkilis has been HBP & HRed in same game 11 times. This is 3rd time he was hit 1st, then HRed. Though he did HR get hit, then HR again once.”
And how can I not mention Mr. Andy Pettitte who pitched seven strong innings, gave up one run on five hits, struck out four and walked three? He earned his second win of the season and the 247th of his career and that ties him with Jack Quinn for 47th on the all-time wins list.
The Yankees will try to get the series win with a victory tomorrow, yes, it’s a four-game series. And speaking of four, the Yankees are now 4-4. You can step off the ledge now.
The Yankees played in their third home opener of the year this afternoon, a duel between Hiroki Kuroda and Ubaldo Jimenez. Both pitchers came into the game with their own concerns. Last week, Kuroda took a linedrive to his middle finger and was pronounced day-to-day. Meanwhile, Jimenez was coming off a strong outing in Toronto after an awful 2012 season.
The pitching worries were a big part of the first half of today’s game. Jimenez opened up the first inning with an 84 mph fastball, after averaging 96 mph just a few years ago in Colorado. After walking Robinson Cano and allowing a single to Kevin Youkilis, hometown hero Travis Hafner launched a 3-run home run to dead center.
Kuroda lacked control in the first inning, and immediately walked Michael Bourn. What followed was a series of unfortunate events for the right-handed pitcher. There were three ground balls that could have easily been double play balls, but they just happened to bounce off bags and gloves for infield singles. Kuroda’s pitches had the right movement, but defense, bad luck, and wildness helped the Indians tie the game up by the end of the first.
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I was going to do a good news/bad news feature for this recap but there wasn’t a lot of good news today. I guess the fact that the Yankees scored one more run than they did yesterday was a good thing, right? Unfortunately for the Yanks, who scored four whole runs, Detroit scored eight runs on 17 hits against Yankee pitchers.
The only guys who seem to be hitting in the Yankees’ lineup are the new guys. Vernon Wells hit another home run today while Travis Hafner and Lyle Overbay each had RBI singles. Robinson Cano walked and scored but was hitless with two strikeouts in his other at bats.
Actually, if there was a hitting star of the day for the Yankees, it would be Overbay who finished 2-4 for two RBI.
Phil Hughes had three good innings – good as in the Tigers didn’t score – sandwiched between two not so great innings. In the bottom of the first, he gave up a run on a Prince Fielder sacrifice fly. In the bottom of the fifth, with the score tied, Hughes gave up an RBI double to Torii Hunter and an RBI single to Miguel Cabrera.
The damage didn’t end there. Detroit scored four runs in the fifth off a combo of Hughes and yesterday’s star – yes, that’s sarcasm, Boone Logan. Hughes finished with a pretty bad line: 4.0 IP, eight hits, four runs, three earned runs and four strikeouts. Two positives from Hughes because yes, there were some. He didn’t give up a home run and he didn’t walk a batter.
David Phelps, who was scheduled to start today’s game, pitched 2.2 innings in relief and gave up two runs on six hits, while walking one and striking out one.
Another positive for the Yankees pitching staff, I guess, is that they didn’t give up any home runs today. (Look, I’m trying to find a silver lining.)
So the Yankees are now 1-4 and people are freaking out about how bad the Yankees are. I get being upset because a 1-4 start is never fun but it’s not like the Yankees will go 1-161.
Tomorrow is the finale of the series and will feature CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander on the hill. The Yankees will try to avoid the sweep and Sabathia will try to rebound for his not-so-great first start.