The Yankees rode a Mark Teixeira double, a Nick Swisher two-run home run and six innings of one-run ball (4 Ks, 1 BB) from Freddy Garcia in a crisp 3-2 win over Baltimore Monday night, splitting the weekend’s four-game set. Alfredo Simon was the tough-luck loser, going seven and only giving up three (while striking out six), and the win improved the Yankees’ record in one-run games to 16-18.
Down 3-1, the Orioles threatened to make things interesting in the eighth, as J.J. Hardy took David Robertson deep to cut the lead to 3-2. This was the first home run D-Rob surrendered all season. It’ll be interesting to see how fractionally his American League relief-pitcher-leading 1.60 FIP increases after Fangraphs updates overnight. Rafael Soriano pitched a dominant seventh, striking Mark Reynolds and Ryan Adams out on six straight pitches (five swinging strikes!), and Mariano Rivera closed things out with a perfect 9th.
Speaking of Swisher — who blasted three home runs in this set against the Orioles — his turnaround has been nothing short of remarkable. On May 26 I took an in-depth look at what at that point was a two-month slump (clearly I’m overdue for a follow-up post), and Swish was hitting .204/.321/.289. Since then, he’s hit .301/.417/.549, not including tonight’s game. Needless to say, that’s outrageous production.
And thank goodness Swish brought his clubbing stick with him to Baltimore, as the Yankee offense went into a mini-coma over the last four games, scoring only 16 total runs. But more importantly, the Yankees’ starting pitching appears to be coming back around — sans A.J. Burnett — as their starters combined for 20.2 innings of six-run ball (2.61 ERA) over the last three games. That’s more like it.
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