Last night’s game was quite similar to Tuesday’s. The Yankees scored in only two frames. The seven-run fourth was enough to propel the Yankees to a series victory.
Joba Chamberlain pitched his best game of 2009, going seven innings and allowing just one run. He struck out six and surrendered only three hits, and kept his pitch count low at 88. He threw his fastball between 90 and 95 mph, mostly sitting 92-93. His curve and slider served him well, too.
The Yanks struck in the fourth, knocking around Porcello and forcing his ouster. The rally started with a hit and run with Hideki Matsui on first and Jorge Posada at the plate. Jorge pulled a single through the right side. Nick Swisher cleared the bases five pitches later.
Melky Cabrera and Ramiro Pena restarted the rally with back to back singles. Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui both doubled, bringing home a combined four runs and extending the Yanks lead to 7-1. That was all the Yanks would need, but Nick Swisher, batting from the right side of the plate, homered again. This marks the second time this season a Yankee hit homeruns from opposite sides of the plate in one game.
The only blemish on the game was the ninth. Jon Albaladejo walked Miguel Cabrera on four pitches. By the time Albaladejo recorded the second out the Tigers had already scored a pair of runs. After a single the Tigers had first and third with two outs. Girardi was forced to bring in Mariano Rivera. Mo hadn’t worked since Friday night. His rust showed, as Curtis Granderson took the second pitch deep to right for a three-run shot, bringing the Tigers within two. Placido Polanco popped out to second to end it.
With two straight effective pitching performances, from the youngsters, much less, have the Yankees grabbing at the opportunity to start something good and continue it in this upcoming homestand against the LA Angels. If the offense can keep stringing together hits, the team will continue to improve. A.J. Burnett kicks things off tomorrow night against Angels pitcher Anthony Ortega.