The Yankees continued where they left off Wednesday night with runs in each of their first four innings last night, and jumped out to an 8-1 lead. Derek Lowe having absolutely nothing on the mound last night didn’t hurt.
Alex Rodriguez looks like he’s coming out of his slump. Yesterday, he went 3-for-5 with four RBI, He also hit a solo homer with two out in the first to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. The homer was his 563rd of this career, tying him for 11th all-time with Reggie Jackson.
He would drive in two more with a big two-out single with the bases loaded in the seventh. Like a lot of teams have been doing Atlanta chose to avoid facing Mark Teixeira and walked him intentionally to face A-Rod. It didn’t work this time as he got two RBIs.
Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon also had very big games last night. Jeter picked up four hits and scored four times. Damon had three hits, including a big three-run triple in the top of the third. He drove in his fourth run with an RBI single in the eighth.
You could have swore Cano was not sitting tonight with the play of Cody Ransom. Ransom had a nice game playing in place of Cano. He went 2-for-5 with a double, 2 RBI, and two runs scored.
It was a very rough night for Andy Pettitte who couldn’t even hold a seven run lead. After getting the first two outs in the first he walked Chipper Jones and Brian McCann, and then allowed an RBI double to Yunel Escobar. Then, after a scoreless second and third everything fell apart for Andy in the fourth. By the time he was taken out of the game the Braves had scored five times and sent nine men to the plate.
The Yanks’ defense didn’t help Pettitte either. One pop up to the outfield fell in no-man’s land, and another fell off Brett Gardner’s glove for an error. His final line was pretty ugly; 3.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 95 pitches/59 strikes.
Besides David Robertson who allowed a run on three hits in a shaky two-third of an inning the bullpen did a very good job last night. Alfredo Aceves relieved Pettitte and pitched 2.1 scoreless innings. Phil Coke was also very impressive, he struck out two and allowed just one hit in two scoreless innings (26 pitches). And thanks to Robertson’s ineffectiveness, Mariano Rivera was forced to pick up a one-out save, the 499th of his career.
Good to see the Yanks take two of three heading into the second round of the Subway Series starting tonight at Citi Field. Boston lost with John Smoltz on the mound so the Yanks gained a game on the Sox.
The Yankees did get some bad news from the minor leagues. Xavier Nady took himself out in the fifth inning of last night’s Scranton/Wilkes-Barre game after feeling something in his right elbow. Brian Cashman said this could be a “worst-case scenario”. In other words his season might be over.