Yanks Top Halliday Again, 5-3

For the second straight game against Roy Halliday, the Yankees scored five runs and hit three home runs off the great Jays starter.  The Yanks mustered two in the first off him, with A-Rod lacing a double into right center to score JD, then score on a series of miscues from Halliday, then Barajas, dropping balls at first then home to extend the inning and add a run.  In the eighth, the Yanks hit back-to-back homers off Halliday, with JD ripping one into right (I called that one as I listened to the game with Frank the Sage) then Teixeira homering consecutively off Halliday for only the second time in Halliday’s career, 4-1 Yanks.

The Yanks brought Hughes in to finish the seventh and, after he allowed two lead-off singles to start the eighth, he caught Lind and Millar looking with gas on the corner.  Mariano entered for a four-out save–more about that later–and he surrendered a two-run double to Vernon Wells, who does have some career success off him and who had hit a walk-off homer in Toronto off Mariano in 2006.  Yet Mo got Rios on a 6-3 to escape with the lead still intact.

Matsui provided a big insurance run for the Yanks, homering to dead center off the second deck facade, 5-3 Yanks.  As Frank pointed out, that was three homers in four at-bats off Halliday.  My guess is no one has ever done that off him before.  Chavez and Scutaro singled in the ninth, but after getting behind Hill 2-0, Mariano got him to pop out to shallow center, 5-3 Yanks, a huge win off an ace.  It was made even bigger when the Rays came from behind against Boston, forced extras when they had the bases loaded and no one out in both the eighth and tenth innings yet couldn’t score a single run, then finally won 4-2 on a walk-off homer by Longoria 4-2, his second homer of the game.  The Yanks now sit 1 1/2 games up on Boston.

Pettite was very good but flirted with some trouble.  His one-out walk in the third was erased when Scutaro lined into a 5-3 DP–which I called, with all due humility.  While he allowed a run in the fourth, it could have been worse, for he had the bases loaded and just one out for Rios, whose sac fly produced the run, before getting Encarnacion on a 4-3.  Barajas’s lead-off single in the fifth disappeared with Teixeira’s beautifully turned 3-6-3.  Some stellar defense by Jeter, snaring two liners with great leaping catches, also helped Pettite considerably.  I’m not trying to compromise Pettite’s terrific start much; he was very good and ultimately outpitched Halliday.  Yet his defense did a lot of heavy lifting for him, as he acknowledged.

Mike and I texted after the game about Girardi’s increased use of Mariano in four-our situations, with him not liking it at all and my tolerating it as long as Mariano is rested.  I look at it this way–although Mo has now come in for four-out saves twice in three days, he hadn’t pitched for three days before Sunday, only threw 20 pitches then, and had Monday off.   What I don’t want to see is this become a fairly regular thing, especially since Hughes is certainly capable of working the eighth.  I think it reflects concern Girardi might have for Coke, who has not been sharp of late, being in the late-inning mix.  Still, I wouldn’t jettison Coke to any proverbial dog house just yet.  I also wouldn’t put too much on Mariano.  If he has lacked work, one or two extra batters won’t matter too much because he’s rested, and typically efficient.  That should be more a product of particular circumstances and not of a developing mindset that it is preferable.  It’s not. Plus, in this situation last night, Hughes just got rolling, then was pulled.  It was a more questionable move last night than Sunday, to me.

Mitre goes tonight, and needs to go 5+ and not yield more than 3 runs–if at all possible.  I won’t hold my breath, and hopefully the bats are out in full force for the Yanks before heading home to face Boston in what will be the biggest series of the year.  Win this series, and cap an up-and-down road trip with a win, which would put them at 5-4 for a key road swing.

Beating Halliday was huge.

Published in: on August 5, 2009 at 9:09 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. it’s become clear that now jor only trusts hughes and mariano–and not even hughes to finish one damn inning- he’s already ruined aceves and possibly coke. and people complain about joe torre….

  2. I think taking 2 games here was so HUGE Im not gonna lie I thought we would be lucky to finish the series 1-1. With ANdy you dont know what your gonna get going against Halladay then Mitre going next day. Great result here lets beat the Sux

  3. what is a real shame is that girardi felt the need to use hughes last night so we wont have him for tonight? isn’t bruney to be trusted with a 3 run lead?

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