Daily Archives: May 20, 2011
Not much going on in Yankee world today, so here’s your game thread for tonight.
1. Jeter SS
2. Granderson CF
3. Teixeira 1B
4. Rodriguez 3B
5. Cano 2B
6. Martin C
7. Posada DH
8. Swisher RF
9. Gardner LF
Freddy Garcia (2-3, 3.22) vs. R.A. Dickey (1-5, 5.08)
From MLB.com’s Gameday:
Dickey pitched poorly in his last start, a loss Saturday at Houston, giving up six hits and four runs in the first inning. He managed to last 5 1/3 innings, but surrendered two home runs in the sixth that sent him packing.
Garcia tied a season high by allowing four runs in his last start, a loss to the Red Sox in which he allowed six hits and walked two over 5 1/3 innings. In his career, Garcia is 21-8 with a 2.92 ERA during Interleague Play.
Enjoy the game.
From MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:
BALTIMORE — Chugging into second base after logging one of the many big hits to come, Nick Swisher peeked into his dugout and let free the kind of laugh the Yankees have been waiting all too long to uncork.
After a pregame rain delay of 48 minutes, Swisher drove in four runs and Mark Teixeira knocked in another three, building an early lead and allowing CC Sabathia to coast during a 13-2 pounding of the Orioles at Camden Yards on Thursday.
“It feels like the clouds have parted a little bit and it’s breaking,” Swisher said. “It kind of feels like everything’s opening up for us. We just want to keep this roll going.”
The stress of a six-game losing streak is history as the Yankees head home to write the first chapter of this year’s Subway Series. Closing out a two-game set at Baltimore, New York won its third straight game.
The two contests in the Inner Harbor couldn’t have been more different — Wednesday presented a taut pitchers’ duel that went 15 innings, while the only lingering question about Thursday’s game concerned the margin of victory.
But they had a common denominator — terrific starting pitching. Between Bartolo Colon and Sabathia, the Yankees logged 16 scoreless innings from their starters.
“Our pitching has been really good, we’ve swung the bats pretty good for the most part and got some big hits when we’ve needed them,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “It was nice to get that lead tonight and just let CC go to work.”
New York blasted Brad Bergesen for eight runs on five hits in 3 1/3 innings, as the right-hander was pressed into duty after Baltimore used Thursday’s originally scheduled starter, Jeremy Guthrie, to wrap up Wednesday’s 15-inning marathon.
Swisher had the big hit in the Yankees’ five-run first inning, doubling in three runs off the glove of left fielder Felix Pie — just the tonic to bust out of a lingering slump.
“I feel like it’s been going on long enough,” Swisher said.
That big lead in his pocket, Sabathia did what he does best, attacking the strike zone and challenging hitters.
“It calms you down a little bit to go out and pound the zone,” said Sabathia, who scattered seven hits. “You try to get these guys back in to score as many runs as possible.”
Sabathia silenced the Orioles in a nine-strikeout, no-walk gem, winning for the fourth time in six starts and improving to 16-2 in 22 lifetime starts against Baltimore — one of five clubs against which he owns double-digit wins.
“That’s one of the benefits of having a guy like him,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “After a 15-inning game, you just hand the ball off to him knowing you’re probably not going to have to use much of your bullpen.”
Girardi agreed, saying that a huge plus was that Sabathia’s 109-pitch effort saved Mariano Rivera, Dave Robertson, Joba Chamberlain and others from getting loose.
“Those guys have been throwing a lot of innings, and we know that’s one of the strengths of our team,” Sabathia said. “To be able to give them a night was pretty cool.”
The whole night wasn’t breezy. Both benches were warned by home-plate umpire Larry Vanover in the first inning, when Sabathia drilled Nick Markakis beneath the numbers in the small of his back.
It appeared to be in response to Robinson Cano’s hit-by-pitch in the top half of the inning, one night after backup outfielder Chris Dickerson suffered a concussion after being beaned by a Mike Gonzalez pitch.
“That’s part of the game,” Markakis said. “We hit a couple of their guys and it was bound to come, but you wear it and you move on.”
Sabathia denied any intent, claiming he’d been trying to go inside and the pitch got away, but even he understood the warning.
“The umpires are doing their jobs,” Sabathia said.
As it turned out, that brief exchange of bruises would prove to be the biggest drama of the evening.
Brett Gardner and Jeter piled on with back-to-back RBI triples in the fourth inning, ending Bergesen’s night. Teixeira blasted a two-run shot off reliever Chris Jakubauskas, his 10th homer of the season.
Swisher added an RBI single in the fifth and Jorge Posada smacked a run-scoring double in the sixth, his bat more important than his glove as he started at first base for the first time since 2008.
“When you’re not there a lot, it’s not an easy job,” Posada said, relieved that he hadn’t been hit any grounders.
Eduardo Nunez hit a two-run homer off Troy Patton in the eighth, and the Yankees wrapped things up with an infield that featured three catchers — Posada at first, Russell Martin at third and Francisco Cervelli behind the plate.
The mood was so light-hearted, Girardi even considered how he’d align his dream all-catcher infield, pondering adding himself and bench coach Tony Pena to the mix.
“I would have had to put Jorgie at second, because that’s where he started [in the Minors],” Girardi said. “Russell would definitely go to short, because he’s the most athletic. Tony’s the oldest, so he’d go to first. That leaves me at third.”
And this night left the Yankees with smiles all around.
“We feel pretty good right now,” Swisher said. “We’ve got a lot of talent in this room, and when it all comes together, it’s fun to watch. Tonight was one of those nights.”
|Nunez, E, 3B-2B||1||1||1||2||0||0||0||.300|
|Rodriguez, A, 3B||3||0||0||0||1||1||0||.261|
|a-Jones, An, PH-LF||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.205|