Phil Hughes started for the Yankees today and started off very well.
Hughes ran into some trouble in the third. Jhonny Peralta lined the first pitch he saw for a two-run single to right. Mark DeRosa hit a sac fly and the Tribe were up 3-0 after three.
Hughes then had a quick fourth and may have had a quick fifth too if not for a Brett Gardner miscue in center. Cabrera led off with a line drive to center, but instead of going back on the ball Gardner broke in and couldn’t recover in time and the ball went over his head for a double. He would later score on a Shin-Soo Choo sac fly.
The results weren’t there and once again Hughes threw too many pitches, but his stuff was very good and he threw a lot of strikes. His fastball was sitting at 92-94 and his slider and curve ball were very good too, and he threw 95 pitches on the day, 66 for strikes.
Chien-Ming Wang pitched three scoreless innings in relief and had by far his best sinker of the season. Not only did it have great movement by the velocity was back at 93-94 mph. He also had a very good slider today. In three innings he allowed no runs on three hits, walked one and struck out three. He threw 42 pitches, 28 for strikes.
Carl Pavano kept the Yankees bats quiet. He kept them off the scoreboard completely until the top of the sixth when with two outs, Johnny Damon singled, and Mark Teixeira followed with a two-run homer, his 16th of the year. It should have been a three-run homer, but the umps blew a call against Derek Jeter.
Indians pitcher Matt Herges allowed a two-run double to Teixeira deep off the wall in left-center and the game was tied. Teixeira drove in all four Yankee runs today and now has 44 RBI on the season.
With the score still tied in the ninth the Yankees had a golden opportunity to take the lead. Hideki Matsui led off with a walk and Ramiro Pena pinch ran for him. Nick Swisher then followed with a nice sac bunt and Brett Gardner reached on an infield single and the Yanks were set up, runners on first and third with one out for Jorge Posada. This was where the Yankees let the game slip away.
The obvious move was to have Brett Gardner steal second to keep the Yankees out of the double play. But Gardner never moved and inch and Posada eventually grounded into an inning ending double play. Gardner admitted after the game he didn’t follow the steal signal. He said he wasn’t ready. Duuuude, you gotta be ready ALL the time!
Coke came on to pitch the bottom of the ninth and walked the leadoff batter. How can you walk a .171 hitter? Asdrubal Cabrera then laid down a sac bunt and the winning run was on second base. David Robertson then came out of the pen and he walked Ben Francisco, then fell behind with Jhonny Peralta 3-1. Peralta then lined a 3-1 fastball down the line scoring the winning run.
On the positive side, the Yankees did not commit an error for the 17th straight game tying them with the 2006 Red Sox for the MLB record. The Yankees will look to make it three of four from Cleveland tonight. Joba Chamberlain will start for the Yankees.