Yankees 12 Mariners 6: What We’ve Waited For Part II

Traveling back from the Outer Banks, I tried in vain to catch some of the game on radio north of Washington DC. Working our way through southwestern Pennsylvania, I was equally unable to catch any scores announced on various AM and FM radio stations. So when we stopped for a brief layover tonight before completing the 16-hour drive tomorrow morning, I was more than thrilled to see not just that the Yankees won their fourth straight, but did so again in lopsided fashion, battering Carlos Silva for the second time and doubling up the Mariners 12-6. Giambi and Cano are officially hot, Abreu has been big, the offense ripped out sixteen hits, and Joba continued to successfully stretch out while patching up Mussina’s somewhat shaky start by tossing two shutout, one-hit innings. The Yankees again scored a lot early and added on later to put it away. Plus, I got to watch the game via archive on the hotel’s free wireless. Sweet.

A-Rod singled to lead off the second, Matsui followed with a ground-rule double, and Giambi blasted a 1-2 change deep to left-center, 3-0 Yankees. Cano doubled to left again, Molina’s 4-3 moved him to third, and Melky’s single to left scored him, 4-0 Yankees. But the Mariners tied it right away in the third when Betancourt led off with a double, Ichiro lined out to left, Lopez singled, and Vidro homered to right, 4-3 Yanks. After Ibanez’s 3U, Beltre tied it with a homer to right. The Yankees took the lead back in the bottom half of the third. Matsui singled, Giambi doubled, Cano got an intentional pass, Molina flew out to center, but Melky the Clutch scored Matsui with a single to center, 5-4 Yanks.

With two outs in the sixth Jeter reached on an error, and Abreu ripped what looked like a hanging slider to deep left, 7-4 Yankees, making the Mariners pay for a defensive miscue, which they did again in the seventh after Joba’s second inning. Matsui walked off perennial Yankees punching bag Arthur Rhodes, Giambi singled, Cano doubled to left, 8-4 Yanks, second and third with no outs, and there went Rhodes. Molina’s single off Morrow scored Giambi, 9-4, Melky’s FC retired Cano at home for the first out, Beltre’s error on JD’s ground ball loaded the bases and, after Jeter’s out, Abreu’s ground-rule double to left-center scored two, 11-4. A-Rod and Matsui worked back-to-back walks to make it 12-4. Cool Hand Nuke is gone again, surrendering a two-run homer to Sexson, 12-6. But Veras mopped it up, ending it as the Yanks pulled within one game of .500.

Giambi was 3-4 with a double and his 9th homer, 2 runs and 3 RBIs, giving him 24 now and a much more respectable .234 average. Cano was 4-4 with 3 doubles and a walk, a run and his 8th RBI, batting .232 in a hot month. I’m very impressed with how he’s keeping his hands back and steering inside pitches to left. Right now, he has pitchers playing his game, making that key adjustment to take away what had been a poor hitting zone for him this year. Now pitchers need to adjust to him and, with his renewed confidence and vastly improved approach, he’s in a position to hit inside and outside pitches. Matsui was 2-3 with 3 runs, a double, his 23rd RBI, 2 walks, and is now sporting a .317 average. He’s been the steadiest Yankee hitter this year, and must continue to play. Abreu was 2-5 with a run, 4 two-out RBIs to give him a team-high 31 RBIs on the year, a double and his 6th homer, and a .295 average. Melky the Clutch was 2-5 with a run, 2 RBIs to give him 21, JD and Molina were 1-5 and A-Rod 1-4, but Jeter’s 0-5 makes him 0 for his last 15, leading one to suspect the hand is bothering him more than he’d admit. Though the Yankees stranded 9 and 6 in scoring position, they plated six runs with 2 outs, 4 by Abreu–an excellent sign. After the last two blowout wins, the Yankees are batting a ridiculous 29-79 (.367) this series.

Mussina wasn’t great, struggling in the third and working out of trouble early in the game. He allowed 7 hits and a walk with 4 runs earned in 5 innings, fanning 4 on 74 pitches/54 strikes. Joba was solid, allowing only a hit and a walk while striking out 2 in 2 stretch-out innings. Nuke was bad in the eighth, making me nervous about the eighth-inning setup role that has been awarded him as Joba stretches out while confirming in my mind that at least a call-up among Cox, Patterson, Robertson, and/or Melancon will get a crack at late-inning relief work.

Tomorrow, Mike Sommer will attend the game at Yankee Stadium looking to bring back the W and Crazy Stein as lefty Jarrod Washburn (2-6, 6.99 ERA) faces Yankees ace Wang (6-2, 3.51 ERA). Though the Yanks have struggled badly against lefties this year, they’re facing the normally tough Washburn at the right time. He’s struggling, and the team is hitting very well, taking apart the lefty Bedard last night. Two straight series wins is a good sign; so is winning four straight. A sweep would be huge, as would be getting back to .500 to end a bizarre home stand. Keep up the good work and hot hitting, guys. No time to let up. With Boston’s loss last night, the Yankees are now six back. Should Boston lose tonight, and they’re down 3-0, they’d be 5 1/2 back. Keep gaining ground. [Edit: Boston lost after getting one-hit by the law firm of Duchscherer and Street.  The Yankees are 5 1/2 back.]

Also, don’t forget to tune into Yankee Fan Club Radio tomorrow evening at 6 p.m. EDT. It’s always a very good show.

Published in: on May 24, 2008 at 9:20 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. “Edit: Boston lost after getting one-hit by the law firm of Duchscherer and Street’


    that was a fun one you missed today and we missed you as well. long drives have never been something that i’ve enjoyed at all. hope you get home safe , sound and early enough for the game tomorrow!

  2. I’m glad to be back even though vacation was a blast. The drive was very long, and I’m glad we stopped last night instead of trying to do all 16 hours in one day–a crazy thought. HDLR tomorrow afternoon, if you and others are interested.

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