You read that right, good readers. It’s no joke–Mitre didn’t allow a hit until the 5th, then surrendered a lead-off walk in the seventh before getting a Pierzynski liner off his arm, causing him to leave the game. Yet Gaudin continued what Mitre began, holding Chicago without a hit the rest of the way. The offense was tremendous, scoring four in the second and again in the fourth, then adding a run in the sixth and another in the eighth to blow out the Pale Hose 10-0.
I just watched the highlights while listening to a good deal of the archived game, in good part just to confirm that this in fact occurred. The family and I make an annual sojourn to a large corn maze, so I missed the game. In the meantime, my wife and I won the annual corn maze challenge among the three teams–my wife and I, my son and his friend, and my daughter and her friend–to go through the maze and find all the different hole-punchers first. This year it was eight we had to find, and we found them in about 50 minutes, no easy task, I must say.
I checked the game score about halfway through the maze, and was pleasantly surprised to see it was 4-0 in the fourth, and Mitre hadn’t allowed a hit. As I helped my son and his friend find their last hole-punchers, I checked back in and saw it was 8-0 in the sixth, with the Sox having just one hit. My surprise did not abate much after seeing that. We then went to a very good Chinese buffet in town, and I feasted–16 pieces of sushi with lots of soy sauce and wasabi, a plate loaded with spicy Mongolian beef and vegetables, another plate of a half dozen jumbo mussels with mushroom chicken, and a plate of General Tso’s Chicken, Sesame Pork, and several breaded chicken wings. Good thing I ordered that Diet Pepsi. :-)
When I got home and saw the box score at http://www.yankees.com, I was shocked to see that New York allowed a mere hit for the game. Every dog has its day, and today’s was Mitre. Good for him. Today he was a stud, working 6 1/3 on a mere 73 pitches/48 strikes, getting 11 ground outs, fanning two, and allowing just a double to Thome in the fifth, and the lead-off walk in the seventh before taking the shot off his arm. Hopefully he’s OK and, next time out–something I would not have said or presumed would occur before–he can provide a start anywhere in the same vicinity of today’s gem, at least with the efficiency and ground ball rates. Today was far more than the “decent” start I had hoped he would provide. After last night’s dramatic win, it seems as though Mitre and the offense working over Contreras early–as I had hoped–may well have excoriated Chicago.
Speaking of the offense, the team battered Contreras for nine hits and eight runs six earned in just 3 1/3. In the second, Swish led off with a single, Cano doubled, Hairston doubled them both home with a shot into the right-center gap 2-0 Yanks, Molina walked, and it was a good thing I wasn’t tuning in for I would have flipped at Jeter’s sac bunt. Come on already with this! I agree with Mike S. who said in a comment earlier this week that there is a time and place for a bunt. I would add that there is a person right and wrong for that, as he said and we knew that Swish was all wrong for that on Tuesday night. While Jeter is a fine bunter, he’s a far better hitter. Just as importantly, I got no indication from my reviewing the audio archive of the game that Contreras was anywhere close to getting outs, that he was anything but being battered. Why give away an out, especially by the guy who has been murdering the ball the last month? Putrid decision.
Thankfully it didn’t cost much, for JD followed the sac bunt with a double, 4-0 Yanks. In the fourth, Jeter singled and stole second, then went to third on two throwing errors by Nix and Contreras when JD’s comebacker had Jeter in a potential rundown. Yet Contreras made a poor throw, followed by Nix’s poor throw. No wonder Chicago leads the league in errors with 100. Their defense is atrocious. [Edit: Contrast that with the Yanks, who got defensive gems from A-Rod diving to his right in the fifth to rob Konerko of at least a single down the line, and Cano making that patented play to his right up the middle in the sixth, whipping the ball across his body to rob Nix of a single up the middle. As good as A-Rod's play was, Cano's was even better, for he was on the outfield grass on the shortstop side of second when he uncorked that throw. I've said it before and I'll say it again--no second baseman is better than Cano at going to his right, period.] Teixeira struck out, but A-Rod singled in Jeter 5-0 Yanks, Matsui doubled in JD 6-0 Yanks. Swish singled off Carrasco 7-0 Yanks, and Cano’s 4-6 force scored Matsui 8-0. Cano’s RBI single in the sixth scored Teixeira 9-0 NY, and A-Rod’s 23rd homer of the year and 576th of his career capped the scoring, 10-0 Yanks.
A-Rod’s average continues to climb, to .269 now after going 2-5 with a homer and 2 RBI, 70 driven in this year. Cano was 3-5 with his 37th double and 2 RBI; he also has 70 RBI and is hitting .315. Matsui was 2-4 with his 21st double and his 72nd RBI, batting .271. Swish was 2-5 with his 68th RBI. Jeter was 3-4 and is back to .333. JD had his 30th double and 2 RBI, 70 this season, batting .289. Hairston had the 2-RBI double to start the rout in the second.
Look at the steadiness of the offensive production: 8 players have at least 60 RBI, with 4 between 70-72. 9 players have double-digit homer totals, with 6 above 20 and 5 between 21-23. 8 players have over 20 doubles, 4 between 21-23. 8 players have an OBP above .350. They’re getting excellent productivity from the lineup and, just as crucially, throughout the lineup. Tremendous.
The team is now at 33 games above .500 for the first time this year with 33 to play. The magic number for clinching the East is down to 28 and, depending upon the outcome of the games later, that could go even lower. Regardless, great win today to win the series. Now get the sweep, guys.