Yankees 9 White Sox 5; Abreu Clutch, Damon Warm

Heck of a win tonight, with the Yankees getting some clutch pitching from Wang late in his stint, Abreu smacked a grand slam to give the Yankees a 6-3 lead in the 7th, and Damon provided clutch insurance runs with a three-run shot to make it 9-4. The offense is warming up, Wang struggled at times but was at times clutch and on the whole good enough, and the Yankees are back above .500 at 11-10. That’s a good start to the series, and a nice prep for our family sojourn to Chicago for the game tomorrow night. We cannot wait.

The Yankees took the 1-0 lead right away in the first. Damon led off with a double and later scored on a force, 1-0 Yankees. Two people delivered in the top of the second–Big G and my wife. The Big G homered to deep left-center to make it 2-0. Before the homer, I posted a comment at The Sommer Frieze imploring him, “Big G, what do you say?” He said plenty, and it’s about time. Never one to mince words, my better half blurted out, “It’s about time, you jackass.” My wife is a straight arrow, alright. But the White Sox tied it in the bottom half off Wang, who struggled but ultimately held it together. His primary problem was leaving pitches up in the zone, and the White Sox hitters, who have started the season well, made him pay. Quentin singled, and Crede and Uribe doubled to left to tie it. Uribe pasted a hanging slider that Wang left fat. Yet Wang fanned Swisher and got Cabrera on a 6-3 to escape.

Cano doubled to lead off the fourth but was ultimately stranded when Melky fanned. The highlight of the inning was when Giambi lined a deep F9 with Cano on second for the first out, and Dye threw a one-hop rope to third to hold Cano at second. Great throw. Wang surrendered the lead in the fifth but wriggled out of trouble to keep it within one. Cabrera singled, Thome walked, and Konerko doubled to score Cabrera 3-2, second and third with one out. But Wang fanned Dye on a terrific slider, and got Pierzynski to ground into a 4-3 to end the fifth only down 3-2. He also held it in the sixth, when Crede and Uribe reached on back-to-back singles, only to fan Swisher looking and get Cabrera to ground out, still 3-2. Wang bent but didn’t break, going six and while allowing ten hits, provided a quality start with three runs earned, two walks, and five strike outs on 105 pitches/66 strikes. The White Sox laid off his sinker and belted some hanging off-speed pitches, but in all Wang was pretty good, and good when he had to be.

The Yankees blew it open in the seventh. With one out, Ensberg walked on four pitches, Melky the Clutch singled to left to chase Contreras. Boone Logan entered but Damon beat out a slow tapper to short, loading the bases for The Captain. But facing Octavio Dotel, Jeter chased fastballs up and in to strikeout. But Abreu delivered big time. After watching the first two pitches sail outside, he tattooed a 2-0 fastball to deep left-center for a two-out grand slam, 6-3 Yankees. That just might be the biggest, most clutch hit for the Yankees thus far this year. Importantly, the Yanks held it together in the bottom of the seventh. Traber entered to face Thome and walked him after having him down 1-2. Bruney then entered and walked Konerko before blowing a fastball past Dye to fan him. Yet he allowed a single to Pierzynski to load the bases, passing the torch to Joba with one out. He summarily fanned Quentin but, after getting Crede down 1-2 by painting fastballs over the outside corner, couldn’t locate the heat and walked in a run, 6-4 Yankees. But Joba got Uribe to pop out behind home to Jorge, ending the rally.

In the eighth, Cano came back from 0-2 to work a terrific walk, after Giambi fanned Ensberg singled, Melky forced for the second out, and Damon entered against hard-throwing lefty Matt Thornton, and for the second straight game turned on an inside fastball and yanked out to deep right, 9-4. With a single, double, and homer, plus three runs and three RBIs, Damon has come alive, batting .243 now and pulling his second homer out in two games, totaling 10 RBIs this far this season. Nuke entered and allowed a homer and a walk, but 9-5 is how it ended, safely in the bank for the Yankees after the late-innings heroics.

Damon had a big game. Abreu was 2-5 with the grand slam, a run and four RBIs (14 on the year) batting .312. Giambi’s third homer of the year boosted him to .120, and Melky, Ensberg, Posada, and Matsui singled and Cano doubled. All this, importantly, without A-Rod who was back home with his family.  Congratulations on the birth of your second daughter, A-Rod! Terrific offense in the clutch. Wang wasn’t great but held it together and close until the offense took care of business late. Traber and Bruney weren’t their best, Joba allowed a hit and a walk in 1 2/3 IP but after 24 pitches, and the offense left little doubt. Nuke wasn’t good, allowing the homer and a walk but, well, what else is new. Importantly, Yankees pitchers forced Chicago to strand 13 runners, 10 in scoring position.

Tomorrow, the family and I head to Chicago to see the Yanks play the White Sox. We’re very excited. The kids are already listing snack orders. All I want is the family to enjoy themselves, to grab a program and score the game, to have a cold one, and watch the Yankees win. All else is gravy. Let’s Go, Yankees!

Published in: on April 23, 2008 at 12:50 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Jason,

    Thanks for adding me to your non-Yankees blogroll.

    I was keeping an eye on the Yanks last night via Gameday. The offense broke out minus A-Rod, which makes me wonder if they were a bit complacent, what with A-Rod’s heroics all of last April. Sometimes a team needs the top star to sit out a game so everyone else can realize that every run is crucial and that all 9 in the lineup need to contribute. Good win for the Yankees and good support for Wang.

  2. Hank has ordered the moose to get you guys a win!

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