Public enemy number 1 Carl Pavano pitched extremely well for Cleveland, as he allowed just one run and 6 baserunners in 6 innings. AJ Burnett allowed two home runs and walked 7 batters, but willed himself through 6.1 innings of 3 run ball. The Yankees entered the 7th inning down by 2 runs (3-1), but Jon Albaladejo’s relief work in the top of the inning and some clutch hitting from Cano and Matsui set up Jorge Posada’s reviewed go-ahead two run homer in the bottom of the frame. The Yankees added 3 more in the 8th and won the game 7-3.
What I Liked
1) AJ Burnett- He clearly did not have his best stuff from the start, as he was all over the place with his breaking stuff and walked 7 batters. However, the Yankees desperately needed some rest for their bullpen, and Burnett found a way to get into the 7th without allowing the big blow to give the game away. He has followed CM Wang in each of his starts, and has pitched well and fairly deep into the game in all three.
2) Job Albaladejo- Albie notched the win today after retiring Mark DeRosa and Victor Martinez with the bases loaded in the 7th. With players such as Edwar Ramirez, Jose Veras, and Damaso Marte struggling in front of him on the pecking order, Albie has been given a chance to move up the ranks, and has performed admirably thus far. The two outs that he got were the key to this ballgame, as it kept the Yankees in striking distance against a team who has a struggling bullpen. I just want to mention Brian Bruney here, who pitched a perfect 8th inning once again, and is quieting calls for Joba Chamberlain to move to the 8th.
3) Cody Ransom- We have been very hard on Cody, so we have to give credit where it is due. He got a lucky three run double in the 8th when Choo lost the ball in the sun, but Ransom’s value today came in his defense. He made a very good play on Mark DeRosa’s bases-loaded grounder in the 7th, throwing around the runner to nip him at the plate. He also made a nifty barehanded pickup to start the 9th inning.
4) Mark Teixeira- Tex made a great defensive play on a Victor Martinez grounder, had a big two out RBI single to break up the shutout, and walked once. He is starting to round into form since his cortisone shot, and it could not come at a better time, with A-Rod still out, Nick Swisher slowing a bit, and Hideki Matsui and Xavier Nady hurting.
5) Robinson Cano- Cano started the 7th inning rally with a double off a very tough lefty in Rafael Perez. He scored twice and walked, something he seems to be doing with significantly more frequency than he has done in the past. He also turned a nifty double play to end the 6th, ranging up the middle to snag a ball that seemed ticketed for CF and flipping to Jeter while on the run. He has looked locked in on defense thus far this season, a very good sign for the Yankees.
6) Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui- Posada had the big hit, with a pinch hit two run homer to put the Yankees ahead. The ball was touched by a fan and the play was reviewed, but the right call was made and Jorge was left with a dinger. It was a clutch home run in a game that would have been embarrassing to lose. Matsui set the stage for that big hit with an RBI single of his own, and walked as well in his return to the lineup. The Yankees really need him to hit with Xavier Nady out, and he showed a bit of improvement today.
What I Didn’t Like
1) Derek Jeter- Jose Molina and Brett Gardner singled to start the 6th in a 3-1 game. With the Stadium beginning to rock, Derek Jeter stepped to the plate and promptly snuffed out the rally by hitting into a double play. He has hit too many of those over the last few seasons, and really needs to cut down on them. Now. Wow, are they frustrating or what?
2) The offense against Carl Pavano- 1 run in 6 innings? Against that loser in that ballpark? Pavano manhandled the Yankees, pitching 6 innings while allowing 1 run and making it look easy. I wanted to put my fist through the television on various occasions. Getting the win was sweet, but the first 6 innings were very, very bitter.
3) Instant replay- I am for instant replay, but it should not take 8 and a half minutes to review a play, even one as close as the Posada home run. That was just a ridiculously long pause in the game, and the system needs to be shored up to prevent replay from taking anything more than 3-4 minutes.
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TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees