With the mighty Red Sox striking out (and Brad Penney’s ERA continuing to balloon), an unlikely win last night with Sergio Mitre on the hill pushed the Yankees lead back to 2.5 games in the hotly contested A.L. East. Despite only getting 4 and a third innings out of Meatball, er Mitre, the bullpen managed to step into the breach and shut down the Jays, allowing only 1 run over the remaining 4+ frames.
Weaving together a tapestry consisting of Aceves, Coke, Hughes, and Robertson, the pen allowed only 3 hits and no walks while striking out 7 over the aforementioned 4+ – pretty stellar stuff. Aceves looked much better than his recent form, showing no signs of the rumored arm trouble, fatigue or soreness, committing only 1 mistake: an 0-1 changeup which Adam Lind deposited in the right field seats. Mitre was actually not quite as bad as his numbers indicate. The 2 runs in the first coming off of a series of ground ball singles and a jammed blooper to center. He was, perhaps, unfortunate to give up so many ground ball hits, but most of the grounders were hit pretty hard. He seems to have enough sink to keep the ball mostly on the ground when his sinker’s working, but his lack of velocity yields an awful lot of hard worm burners.
So if Mitre continues only to shine a sponlight on the Pinstripers desperate need for another starter, why was this such a big win? Well, several reasons come to mind:
- Any time they can get a W out of Mitre’s turn is pretty huge. The temptation at this point is to pencil in a shiny L next to every time his name appears as the scheduled starter.
- On the eve of the Red Sox series, it seems particularly important to right the Yankees ship and get it moving back in the proper direction, particularly with the apparent psychological edge the Sox have enjoyed so far this season in the head-to-head matchups. A little extra boost of confidence could go a long way.
- The bullpen is a significant key to the Bombers’ success. Getting Aceves straightened out, getting Coke in form, saving Mariano for the Red Sox and Robertson continuing to impress (kid has a +12 K/9!) are all great signs.
- The Swishometer has turned back to hot as Nick Swisher continues to mash, going 2-5 with another homer. This guy is one of the streakiest players I’ve ever seen and having him hot going into the Sox’ series can’t hurt.
- The Yanks were able to push back Joba a few days to get him some extra rest and put the team’s three best hurlers back-to-back-to-back for the big series.
So how confident are you guys going into the big matchup tonight? Do you think that all signs point to turning around the Yankees’ luck against the Beantowners?
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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