Stealin’ When They Shoulda Been Buyin’

That was stealing one, without question.  With half as many hits as the Jays, the Yanks got tremendous work by the bullpen to hold the Jays off the board for the final five innings until A-Rod got plunked on the elbow, Posada singled, and Cano ripped an RBI single to right to beat the Jays on getaway day, 4-3.  That’s a huge win, and attests to just what I blogged about this morning–this team is never out of games, even when it seems languid.  They’re always a swing away as long as they’re within reach and, after the Jays stranded 14, the Yanks made them pay.  New York capped the short home stand with a great 6-1 record, assuring at least a 5 1/2 game lead over Boston and heading to Seattle on a high.

The Yanks got on the board in the first in ugly fashion when Jeter got hit on the foot with a pitch, and was removed before the third inning.  JD the doubles machine lived up to his name, moving a gimpy Jeter to third. Matsui failed to deliver JD with an F7 shallow.  A-Rod reached base when he grounded to third, but Jeter baited Encarnacion to throw home, then safely returned to third.  Even when gimpy, Jeter is still heady.  Posada’s 4-3 scored Jeter, 1-0 Yanks.  Ruiz crushed a homer to deep left center to tie it in the top of the second, and Burnett worked out of trouble later after allowing two singles.  Burnett allowed two singles in the top of the third before inducing Ruiz on a first-pitch 6-4-3 DP.

JD led off the third with a laser to right, his 22nd homer, 2-1 Yanks.  Pena made a great diving stop to his right to rob Encarnacion of a lead-off single in the fourth.  Cano ripped a bomb well into the second deck in right, 3-1 Yanks.  But Burnett and Posada gave away the lead in the sixth when Ruiz and Encarnacio hit back-to-back one-out singles, moved up a base on Burnett’s second wild pitch of the game, and Ruiz scored on Chavez’s single, 3-2 Yanks.  After striking out Inglett, Burnett threw another wild pitch, with little help from Posada, tie game.  Burnett eventually threw 28 pitches in the sixth, his final inning, in a laborious but quality start–6 IP, 10 hits, 3 runs earned, 2 walks, and 7 K on 107 pitches/68 strikes.  Not all bad, but hard to sit through.

As was the Yanks’ offense, which the Jays shut down for most of the game after the fourth.  Coke got Lind, then allowed a single to Overbay before Robertson entered and retired the side.  Pena singled in the bottom of the seventh but got picked off.  Robertson allowed a walk in the eighth, then Hughes entered and allowed a single before getting Hill on an F9 to maintain the tie, both pitching well overall.  But the Yanks’ offense mustered nothing in the eighth, ninth, or tenth.  Gaudin allowed a hit in the tenth and a walk in the eleventh, throwing 44 pitches in the two innings but holding down the Jays, who stranded 14 while going 1-8 with RISP.

The Yanks made the Jays pay for their futility in the bottom of the eleventh.  Matsui struck out looking, A-Rod got hit on the elbow around the pad, sending him to first in pain.  Posada singled, and Cano, batting all of .203 with RISP entering today, hit what looked like a back-door slider deep to right off the wall to win the game 4-3.  Enormous clutch win.

Kudos to the bullpen for picking up Burnett and holding the Jays scoreless through the final five innings, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out six.  Gaudin earned his first win as a Yankee, but Coke, Robertson (who has been very good of late), and Hughes were also very good.  JD was 2-4 with his 22nd homer, 67th RBI, batting .287.  Cano was 2-5 with his 18th homer, driving in 2 for 60 this year, batting .317 and having a great year.  Pena had a single, Posada’s single gave him 53 RBI, and A-Rod doubled.  With the Yanks just 1-8 with RISP, stranding 7, and getting just seven hits, half as many as the Jays, however, this win was most attributable to the bullpen, which performed yeoman’s work.

The Yanks are now 28 games above .500, playing winning baseball even when it looks ugly.  It sounds cliche, but it’s the sign of a good team.  The Yanks are a really good team.

Never count out the Yanks.

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Published in: on August 12, 2009 at 4:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

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