Check out the recap of April.
May Record: 17-11
Hitting Stars (OPS): M. Teixeira (1.138), A. Rodriguez (.997), B. Gardner (.955), J. Damon (.920)
Pitching Stars (ERA)(>6 IP): M. Rivera (2.45), CC Sabathia (2.56), A. Aceves (2.75)
The Yankees finished their series with the Angels by splitting the final two games. In the first game, the Yankees led 4-0 heading into the 6th inning, before an implosion from Andy Pettitte, Mark Melancon, and Jose Veras put them down 9-4 going into the bottom of the 8th. The Yankees put up 4 in the 8th, highlighted by a two-run single from the suddenly productive Ramiro Pena. The Yankees then loaded the bases with nobody out in the 9th off Brian Fuentes, and Jorge Posada sent everybody home with a two run single. The Yankees started a five game losing streak the next day, falling 8-4 behind another middling outing from CC Sabathia.
The next 4 games were a pair of two games series with the Red Sox and Rays, and both were disastrous. In the two games against Boston, Hughes and Joba put the Yankees down 4-0 before home runs by Johnny Damon closed the gap. Joba actually struck out 12 batters after allowing 4 runs in the first, and drew criticism for his theatrics in a losing effort. The Yankees could never actually catch the Sox, and fell to 0-5 against Boston on the young season.
In the first game against Tampa, the Yankees trailed 3-0 in the 8th before Mark Teixeira had his “True Yankee” moment, a bases clearing double in the rain to tie the game. However, Carlos Pena homered off Phil Coke in the 10th, and the losing streak continued. The last game of the series was also a thriller. The Yankees trailed 6-4 with 2 out in the 8th when Johnny Damon launched another clutch home run to tie the game. However, Mariano Rivera entered in the 9th and served up two solo homers, one to Carl Crawford and a second to Evan Longoria, and the Yankees fell 8-6 and dropped to 13-15.
The next day changed everything, as Alex Rodriguez returned and hit a 3 run homer on the very first pitch he saw. The Yankees won the game over the Orioles 4-0 behind a CG shutout from CC Sabathia. They lost 12-5 the next day as Phil Hughes got destroyed, but the team already had a different feel about it. They won the series finale 5-3, behind a 3 run homer from Johnny Damon in the 7th inning. This game is better remembered for the Aubrey Huff fistpump that came when he homered off Joba in the 1st inning.
The Yankees followed up this series with a series victory against the Jays. They lost the first game to Roy Halladay, as AJ Burnett lost in his return to Toronto. They took the next game 8-2, behind Brett Gardner’s first career homer, starting a nine game winning streak. In the finale, the Yankees trailed 2-1 entering the 7th, but got an RBI single from Jeter in that frame and a Hideki Matsui home run in the 8th to bring home the victory.
Next up was the Minnesota Twins, and the start of what was later dubbed “walkoff weekend.” The first game was loaded. Mark Teixeira got into a war of words with a number of the Twins for running inside the baseline and nearly taking his hand off on a close play at first. Then, with the Yankees trailing 4-1 in the 7th, Brett Gardner, only in the game because Johnny Damon had been tossed, thrilled the crowd with an inside-the-park homer to draw the Yankees closer. In the 9th, the Yankees had a daunting task, with Joe Nathan in the game holding a 2 run lead. Gardner lead off with a triple, and Teixeira knocked him in with a single. After one out and another runner reached, Nick Swisher grounded a ball to the right side that looked to be a game tying single, but was robbed by Justin Mourneau. After an intentional walk to Robinson Cano, Melky came through with a 2 run single to win the game. The next day, the Yankees walked off again, as Teixeira tied it with a single in the 8th and A-Rod walked off with a homer in the 11th. The Yankees came through with a third straight walkoff the next day, with Johnny Damon doing the honors. Also memorable in this game was this play by Tex to keep it tied, and Joe Mauer’s diving play at the plate. The Yankees completed the sweep 7-6 the next day, scoring 6 in the first and then holding on with Phil Coke earning the save. Mark Teixeira hit two homers in the game and drove in 4 runs.
The Yankees followed that thrilling sweep with a nondescript mauling of the Orioles. They took the first game 9-1 behind CC Sabathia and a 7 run 7th, and won the second game 11-4 behind a solid outing from Phil Hughes (( K’s in 5 innings) and back-to-back-to-back homers from Swisher, Cano, and Cabrera. The final game of the series and the winning streak was a 7-4 victory in a game where Joba Chamberlain left with an injury in the 1st.
The next series marked a return to excitement, with the Yankees welcoming the Phillies in for what turned into a World Series preview. The Yankees lost the first game 7-3, as AJ Burnett was outpitched by Brett Myers, who was out of the Phillies rotation once November rolled around. Chien Ming Wang made his return to the mound in this game, and allowed two runs in 3 innings, including the longest homer in NYS this season. JA Happ pitched well in the next game for the Phils, but he too was not in the rotation in the World Series. Happ outpitched Andy Pettitte, and the Yankees trailed 4-2 heading into the 9th and a meeting with Brad Lidge loomed. With one out, A-Rod hit a two run homer to tie the game. Robinson Cano then singled, stole second, and scored on yet another game winning hit by Melky Cabrera. In the final game, Cole Hamels pitched well in a matchup with CC Sabathia, and the Yankees entered the 9th down 3-2. One of the Yankee runs came on a broken bat home run to left by Mark Teixeira. In the 9th, Cano and Cabrera reached Lidge again, as Cano singled, pinch runner stole second and scored on Melky’s single. The Yankees put the first two hitters on in the 10th, but Teixeira hit into a double play to hamper the threat, and Brett Tomko blew it in the 11th.
The Yankees followed up this disappointing series by taking 2 of 3 from Texas. They took the first game 11-1 behind 8 shutout frames from Phil Hughes and 5 hits from A-Rod. They dropped the middle game 7-3 as Joba went just 4 innings and Alfredo Aceves was hit around a bit for the first time. Melky left this game after slamming into the CF wall in the first inning, and missed the next 4 games. The finale went to the Yankees 9-2, as AJ Burnett chipped in 6 shutout and Hideki Matsui homered twice.
The Yankees wrapped up May by beating the Indians in 2 of 3. They took the first game 3-1 in a game that saw Andy Pettitte leave after 5 due to back stiffness. Pettitte did not miss a start. The Yankees scored all three runs off Cliff Lee, who went 6 innings and allowed 11 baserunners. The Yankees won the next contest 10-5 in CC Sabathia’s return to Cleveland. CC went 7 innings and allowed 3 runs, but did not allow a hit until the 5th inning when the score was already 7-0 Yankees. The finale was a thriller, as the Yankees trailed 4-0 through 5 innings. CM Wang pitched 3 scoreless innings in relief of Phil Hughes to keep the deficit at 4, and Mark Teixeira went to work on Carl Pavano, who was once again shutting the Yankees down. Teixeira had a 2-run homer in the 6th and then tied the game with a 2-run double in the 8th. However, in the bottom of the 9th, Phil Coke walked the leadoff man, and made way for David Robertson after a bunt moved the runner to second. After a walk, D-Rob allowed a game winning double to Jhonny Peralta. The Yankees finished the month at 29-21 overall, and were half a game ahead of the REd Sox in the Al East.
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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