After some discouraging play throughout the past week, the Yankees entered the rubber game of their 3-game series with the Mets, facing Johan Santana, one of the best pitchers in the majors. On the hill for the Yankees was AJ Burnett, who laid an egg in his last start, against the Red Sox. Burnett looked strong through the first two innings, retiring all 6 batters he faced and striking out 3 of them.
Robinson Canó got things started against Santana in the bottom of the 2nd with a leadoff double. After Nick Swisher flew out, Hideki Matsui walked, and Melky Cabrera fanned on a Santana changeup, Francisco Cervelli was up with 2 on and 2 out. The rookie catcher was not fazed by facing the 2-time Cy Young Award winner, hitting a single to right that scored Canó. Consecutive singles by Jeter and Damon plated 2 more runs, and suddenly the Yankees had a 4-0 lead.
Burnett looked ready to give those runs back in the top of the 3rd. A leadoff walk to Daniel Murphy, a single by Brian Schneider, and a walk to Luis Castillo put leadoff hitter Alex Cora at the plate with the bases loaded and no outs. Burnett fell behind 2-0 on Cora, and every Yankee fan in Yankee stadium was thinking “here we go again.” But Burnett bore down, throwing 3 straight strikes to fan Cora. The next batter, 20 year-old Fernando Martinez, had no chance against Burnett’s curveball, and also struck out. This brought the dangerous Carlos Beltran to the plate with 2 outs and the bases juiced, but Beltran lined to Jeter to end the threat.
The Yankees continued to get after Santana in the bottom of the 4th. Nick Swisher led off with a walk, and was driven in by a 2-run Hideki Matsui home run. A double by Melky Cabrera, a single by Cervelli, and an RBI single by Jeter chased Santana, and the Yankees led 7-0. Brian Stokes could not stop the bleeding, as the Yankees scored 6 more runs as the Yankees batted around. Robinson Canó hit a 2-run shot off Stokes, and the inning ended (mercifully) with the Yankees leading 13-0.
Burnett and the Yankee bullpen took care of business the rest of the way. Burnett made it through 7 innings on 111 pitches, striking out 8 while walking 4 and giving up 4 hits. After taking on 2 more runs in the 7th, Dave Robertson took over in the 8th, and struck out 2 in a perfect inning of relief. He has been impressive of late, and should be moving up the bullpen depth chart. Phil Hughes came on in the 9th and struck out 2 while allowing 2 hits to finish the game.
Overall, a very balanced effort by the Yankee offense, as only A-Rod, Teixeira, and Swisher did not have an RBI among the starters. Jeter was 4 for 4, Canó was 3 for 4 with 2 doubles, a homer, and 3 RBI’s, and Cervelli was 3 for 5. This was a satisfying win for the Yankees that allowed them to take out their frustration at their recently mediocre play. Hopefully, this can be the start of another run.
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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