Excellent pitching by Pettite (whose back stiffened up, forcing his somewhat early exit), Aceves who has been outstanding, and the one and only Mariano pushed the Yanks not just to a neat 3-1 win in Cleveland, but into first place by a half-game with Toronto’s win over Boston. Mariano and Pettite also set a major-league record by teaming up for their 58th combined win-save, a tremendous accomplishment and testament to their shared longevity. Jeter drove in Swish with an RBI single in the second Teixiera followed with an RBI ground out to plate the resurgent Brett the Jet, and Swish hit a sac fly in the third to score Cano. Pettite was good but walked five and had to leave in the sixth with no outs, but Aceves surrendered only a sac fly. He then dominated, allowing just a hit while fanning three in three full innings. Mariano’s save was his 10th of the year and 492nd of his amazing career, earned by working around a hit and fanning two.
Jeter had two hits and JD one, with both at .299. Jorge’s return was a good one, going 2-3 with a double and hitting .325. Cano continues to hit well at .318. Brett the Jet’s hit put him at .279, filling in well for Melky and showing himself capable and worthy of playing time. A-Rod’s single put him at .257, Teixeira’s at .273, and Swish is just at .227 but had a single and important sac fly. Only Matsui, poor guy, didn’t get a hit last night.
I would have liked for this game to have been put out of reach, especially early since the Yanks worked Cliff Lee over, ratcheting his pitch count up to 87 after just four innings. They had loads of chances from the first inning onward, but stranded 10 in all, hitting just 2-12 with RISP. Yet with pitching that good, it was enough for they denied Cleveland a single hit with RISP, forcing Cleveland to strand 11.
CC (4-3, 3.42 ERA) squares off against hard-throwing sinker-baller Fausto Carmona (2-4, 6.42 ERA) at 7:05 ET tonight.