The Yankees have a frustrating habit of getting shut down every now and then by a pitcher who has no business shutting them down. Aaron Harang is that type of pitcher. Last night was not one of those frustrating instances I was talking about. Instead it was exactly what you want and expect to see the Yankees do against a guy like Aaron Harang and it was an easy 6-1 win to start the series.
Harang got off to a good start through 2, but it was like the Yankee hitters had seen everything they needed to see and they punished him the second turn through the order. With 1 out and 1 on in the top of the 3rd, the lineup turned over and the Yankees rattled off 7 straight hits, the 2 biggest being back-to-back homers from Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira 2 pitches apart, to take a 6-0 lead and essentially end the game. Your mid-80s changeup isn't going to fool anybody when you're only throwing your fastball 87-88 and the Yankee hitters were locked in on both. Very satisfying inning.
The reason the game was over at that point was because Good Phil Hughes made the trip out to Seattle. Hughes was both effective (1 unearned run, 3 hits, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts in 7 IP) and efficient (111 pitches, 70 strikes, 20/26 1st-pitch strikes) in limiting the Mariners to their lone 8th inning run that only scored because of a Kevin Youkilis error. Hughes attacked with his fastball and located it well, and that's when he's at his best.
- That's 3 HR in 4 games for Teix, and he's hit them lefty, righty, lefty. I'll take that after just 7 games back.
- Stress-free 2 innings of relief work for Claiborne, Logan, and Kelley. Logan gave up the run-scoring hit in the 8th, but struck out the next 2 batters he faced to end the inning. If you haven't been paying attention, he's been sneaky awesome this season.
- Not such a fun situation out in the Seattle 'pen. They got worked to the bone on Wednesday night in that 16-inning marathon and Blake Beavan got used up for 6.2 innings in relief of Harang last night. Hopefully the Yanks can capitalize on that overwork as the weekend continues.
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