Yanks Trounce Orioles 11-2

I had to watch the game via archive, but it was worth it.  A.J. Burnett put together a pretty decent if inefficient start, Nick Swisher was 3-5 with 5 RBIs in his first start for the Yanks, Cano was 3-4 with a homer and 4 runs looking like the RC we want to see, and Mark Teixeira cranked his first Yankee homer as the Yanks poured it on and blasted Baltimore, 11-2.  The bullpen locked things down as the Yankees pulled away late, throwing 3 2/3 flawless innings.  Mariano got in an inning of mop-up work to keep the rust off before New York heads to Kansas City.

While Burnett worked well through the first two, it appeared that the Yanks’ offense would pick up where it left off, stranding runners and squandering opportunities.  In the third, Brett the Jet singled and promptly stole second, Molina worked a seven-pitch walk, and Jeter’s 1-3 moved the runners to second and third with two outs.  But Damon grounded to first, stranding two.  The Orioles made them pay in the bottom half when Pie singled and stole second, went to third on ex-Yankee Chad Moeller’s single, and scored on Roberts’s single.  But after Roberts stole second and Markakis walked, Burnett fanned Huff on a nasty curve to end the threat.

The Yanks responded right away in the fourth when Teixeira cranked a lead-off homer to left-center to tie the game.  I love that the Yanks responded right away with runs, and I love just as much that Teixeira at least briefly shut up the fickle “faithful” at Camden Yards.  After Cano’s one-out walk, Swisher belted a homer to right-center, 3-1 Yanks.  Burnett struggled a bit in the fourth.  Luke Scott homered to make it 3-2, Pie singled and got nailed on yet another good throw from Molina, which was huge because Chad Moeller doubled immediately afterward.  But Burnett got Izturis on a 6-3 to end the threat.

Burnett settled down with a 12-pitch fifth, ending it by fanning Markakis with a nasty bender.  The Yanks then blew it open, scoring four in the sixth.  Teixeira led off with a single, Nady fanned, Cano singled, and Swisher’s single scored Teixeira, 4-2 Yanks.  Ransom walked to load the bases, and Brett the Jet tapper to pitcher Brian Bass forced him into a two-run throwing error, 6-2 Yanks.  I’d consider that a Gardner run, for his sheer speed forced Bass to panic a bit and botch the throw.  Molina’s bloop single scored Ransom, 7-2.  After allowing a one-out single, Burnett was lifted for Coke to face lefties Scott and Pie.  All Coke did was catch them both looking with nasty sliders; excellent pitching and managerial move.  Imagine Coke as not just an effecive reliever, but potentially a match-up lefty.  Hmmmm…

With two outs in the seventh, Nady hit a ground-rule double to left, and Cano pasted a homer to left-center.  As Mike F. and I discussed on the phone after my class was over and my dissertation chapter sufficiently picked apart by some extremely smart colleagues, Cano is absolutely crucial to this season.  When he’s on, he changes the whole complexion of the lineup by being an almost impossible out.  Veras worked a perfect seventh on only 11 pitches.  Poor Melky fanned in a pinch-hitting stint for Jeter in the eighth, stranding Brett the Jet at third after his double.  Bruney kept the O’s on lockdown with his own 11-pitch eighth, fanning two.  For good measure, the Yanks added two in the ninth just to ensure that Mariano wouldn’t blow it.  Pinch-hitting for JD, Pena singled, moved to second on Teixeira’s ground out, went to third on Cano’s single, and scored with Cano on Swisher’s to right, 11-2.  Thankfully Mariano didn’t screw up, setting down Baltimore 1-2-3 on 15 pitches; you know how he is.  Great win.

Although Jeter and JD, who made a tremendous catch into the left-field stands in the first, combined to go 0-8, Swisher (HR, double, single, 5 RBI), Cano (HR, 2 singles, 4 runs, 2 RBIs), and Teixeira (2-5, HR, 2 runs) carried the day, combining to go 8-14 with 8 runs and 8 RBIs; great response, and I’m absolutely thrilled that Swisher made good on his first start.  The guy simply needs to get at least 400 at-bats this year.  He’ll produce.  Brett the Jet went 2-4, stealing a base and using his speed even on a tapper to score two on an error.  By the way, The Jet had a terrific running catch yesterday, not to overlook his defensive prowess.  Molina drove in a run with a single and got a walk.  I like that Girardi bought Jeter and JD a little rest in a blowout to get Melky and Pena some at-bats.  It shows not just some cognizance of their presence, but more important–and with Swisher and Molina’s insertion–some commitment to the bench, which isn’t bad this year.  Six of the thirteen Yankee hits were for extra bases.  Plus, they only stranded five, going 5-13 with RISP and hitting .250 (3-19) with RISP through 3 games–much better than .158 through two.

But I’d say the pitching, including Burnett, was the key today by holding down the Orioles until the offense got rolling and allowing the Yanks to play with a lead from the fourth inning onward.  He struggled at times, but his final line was good, all in all–5 1/3, 7 hits, 2 runs earned, a walk, and 6 K’s.  That he worked through trouble when he didn’t have his best stuff is a good sign, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.  The bullpen might have some rocky moments this year, but I’m convinced that it’s still a strength of the team despite people’s fears of putting people like Bruney, Coke, Veras, and others in key positions.  They were stellar for 3 2/3, allowing nothing.  As a staff, the pitchers fanned 12 in all while allowing just a walk.

Ransom and Matsui need to get it going, but the team got a big win under it’s collective belt. On to KC and some favorable pitching matchups below, as per beat writer extraordinaire Pete Abraham:

Friday: LHP Andy Pettitte (14-14, 4.54 in 2008) vs. RHP Sidney Ponson (8-5, 5.04 in 2008), 4:10 p.m., YES, WCBS 880

Saturday: LHP CC Sabathia (0-1, 12.46) vs. LHP Horacio Ramirez (1-4, 4.34 in 2008), 7:10, YES, WCBS 880

Sunday: RHP Joba Chamberlain (4-3, 2.60 in 2008) vs. RHP Gil Meche (0-1, 1.29), 2:10, YES, WCBS 880

Before I forget, HDLR on Sunday.

[Sweet Schadenfreude Edit: Also before I forget, PaVoldemort–he who shall never be named again–surrendered nine earned runs on six hits and three walks–in one-plus inning in Cleveland’s 12-8 loss to Texas.  That’s an ERA of 81.00 to start the year.  I’ll sleep the sleep of angels having seen that today.]

Published in: on April 9, 2009 at 8:12 pm  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. oh man–cold–even in my write-up i just finished i didn’t mention the blemish otherwise known as melky 🙂

    It surely was a fun one today and much needed. we have the same take on Cano obviously–he will be crucial. has been so far. The line up really is clicking and we’ll have alex back before you know it.

  2. […] at Heartland Pinstripes, in his analysis of today’s game made this interesting observation that I completely agree with. Cano is […]

  3. Pitching was definitely the key today. It was nice to see that A.J. didn’t let the game get away the few times he had trouble. It would not have been a pleasant sight had another Yankee starter do a horrible job.
    I’m really glad Swish got the start today and did awesome. Also glad Tex got to stick it to those O’s fans. =)
    Who else is looking forward to that match-up tomorrow? Lol.. we mustttt not lose to Sir Sidney.

  4. The best part about yesterday’s game for me was the performance of the bullpen, throwing 3.2 perfect innings. 8 hitless innings in last 2 games. If the SPs can keep the games close, the pen should help us win a lot of games.

  5. I messed up the link in my post, not sure if you can delete that comment, if so cool, of not, sorry for posting it twice…

    The best part about yesterday’s game for me was the performance of the bullpen, throwing 3.2 perfect innings. 8 hitless innings in last 2 games. If the SPs can keep the games close, the pen should help us win a lot of games.

  6. Mike and the 3G guys, no question about Cano. He’s lacing the ball, and makes the Yanks much more formidable.

    It would have been nice to pummel Sloppy Sid even harder V, but I’ll take it. And again today, the pitching was outstanding. Playing with the lead and having a guy like Pettite totally clamp down on a team makes watching games so easy. And I agree, Swisher’s got to play.

    J-Boogie, good to see you and I hope all has been well with you and the family. I agree about the pen. That was total lockdown, and was so again today against KC. No question it should be good again this year. It’s really deep, and today was great because Pettite allowed them to get a breather.

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