Yanks Win 3-2, Take West Coast Swing 5-2

In one of the better trips out West, the Yanks got 3 RBI from Teixeira and a pretty good if truncated start from Gaudin, holding on the beat Oakland 3-2.  They won both series on the West Coast, taking two of three from the A’s after losing the first game.  They return East to Fenway with a good head of steam, retaining their seven-game lead in the division.

Jeter is absolutely rolling, getting two more hits and starting the game with a single.  He then stole second, went to third on JD’s productive grounder, and scored on Teixeira’s RBI ground out.  Teixeira crushed a two-run homer to left after JD led off with a single to make it 3-0.  Gaudin was basically good, but his walks, especially in the fifth, led to his rightly getting pulled in favor of Aceves.  He pitched out of a first-and-third jam in the first, striking out Suzuki and getting Sweeney on a liner rocketed right to Swish.

The fifth had Mike and me fretting in texts that the jam Gaudin got into–and had inflicted on him–might cost the Yanks.  After Davis snared Teixeira’s liner to end a two-out rally in the top of the fifth, Gaudin walked Pennington, the nine-hole hitter, Kennedy lined out to JD, and Davis grounded into at least a sure force, but Cano dropped Jeter’s soft flip.  Ellis then walked to load the bases, ending Gaudin’s night at 90 pitches/51 strikes.  He only allowed one hit, but walked five while fanning five.  Thankfully Aceves got just what he–and everyone else on and rooting for the Yanks–wanted, a DP ball.  Aceves threw a perfect sinker, tailing low and away from Suzuki who tapped it right back to Aceves, who calmly started a 1-2-3 to escape the mess.

Cust crushed a solo homer to center in the sixth to get Oakland on the board, and a two-out rally in the seventh cut it to 3-2 and threatened to get away from the Yanks.  But Girardi went to Coke against the lefty Sweeney with first and second, and Coke set him down on a weak 4-3 to end that threat.  Hughes entered in the eighth and got into some trouble, walking Powell and allowing a single to Cust, but a 5-3 DP nicely started by A-Rod forcing the lead runner, then throwing a one-hop ball that Teixeira calmly caught as it headed toward his face, and an F8 got Hughes out unscathed.  I remarked to Frank the Sage, as we again marveled at his defense, how stoic Teixeira looked as A-Rod’s throw headed toward him.  He makes every play, no matter how difficult or important, look routine.  The guy is tremendous, and carried the offense on a day when the top of the order had five of the team’s six hits, all three runs and RBI, and only Swish mustered a single among the rest of the lineup.  Cano was particularly brutal (my pet word, as Mike accurately said in a text), fanning all three times up and going 0 for his last 12.  A-Rod fanned twice in four at-bats and looks like he could use today’s day off.

Mariano was Mariano, allowing the A’s nothing by throwing a mere seven pitches to retire the side with ease for his 36th save of the year, and 518th of his incomparable career.  There’s never been anyone better at what he does than Mariano, no two ways about it.  His ERA this year is down to 1.90, his WHIP 0.92, and he looked great after a few days off.  Hughes threw hard but, not having pitched since Friday, appeared to be overthrowing and leaving a lot of pitches up.  Kudos to Gaudin for giving the Yanks a good spot start and minimizing the damage.  Aceves was so-so, but the 1-2-3 DP to end the fifth was a game-saver, especially on a day when the Yanks’ offense was limp.

The Yanks remain seven ahead of Boston in the East, and have a chance to put a real stranglehold on the division by taking at least two of three this weekend.  The pitching match-ups favor the Yanks, with Pettite (9-6, 4.09 ERA) facing Penny (7-7, 5.22 ERA) tomorrow night, A.J. (10-6, 3.69 ERA) facing Tazawa (1-2, 5.40 ERA) Saturday afternoon, and C.C. (14-7, 3.58 ERA) facing Beckett (14-4, 3.38 ERA) in a great match-up of aces Sunday night.  New York is back to 31 games above .500 with 41 to play.

Published in: on August 20, 2009 at 9:08 am  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Despite the frustrating loss on Monday and Joba’s blow up on Sunday, I am totally happy with how the West Coast swing turned out. The single most important thing was that they did not lose any ground to the Red Sox. Speaking of whom, it is time to put the Sox on ice and end the division race. Given the pitching matchups the Yankees need to take 2 of 3 which would give them an 8 game lead with 38 to play.

    Doing some quick math for everybody assuming 95 wins wins the division and the wild card comes from the East.

    Yankees win 2 of 3 scenario: The Yankees would only need to go 17-21 to reach 95 wins while the Red Sox would have to go 26-14 over their final 40 to reach 95 wins and win the division on the head-to-head tie breaker.

    Yankees sweep: The Yankees would need need to go 16-22 to reach 95 wins. The Red Sox would need to go 27-13 to reach 95 wins and win the division on the tie breaker.

    Red Sox win 2 of 3: The Yankees would need to go 18-20 to reach 95 wins. The Red Sox would need to go 25-15 to reach 95 wins and win on the tie breaker.

    Red Sox sweep: The Yankees need to go straight .500 19-19 to reach wins. The Red Sox would need to 24-16 to reach 95 wins and win the division on the tie breaker.

    As you can clearly see it is an uphill fight for the Red Sox the rest of the way. Even if the Yankees get swept they will only need to play .500 in order to reach the 95 win bench mark. I think we can all agree that this team will play better than .500 the rest of the way. If they even play five games over .500, 23-18, from now until the season’s end they will finish with 99 victories.

    Relax and enjoy the ride the rest of the way!

  2. Good analysis Wiz, and I totally agree about the West Coast phase of this road trip. Winning both series, taking 5 of 7, was just excellent. The offense needs a blow, they seem tired as you discussed and I’ve blogged earlier, and the day off before playing Boston and coming back home may well do some real good. A-Rod in particular needs a day off, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him DH a game in Boston. The pitching has by and large been fabulous.

    I do think that 95 wins will get the Yanks in the playoffs, although I’d love to see them win 100. However, while I’d love home field advantage, I like what Girardi is doing regarding resting the players as well as Joba for the stretch run. If I had my druthers, I’d prefer to see a healthy team hit the playoffs with or without home field than a tired or banged-up team have home field. That can only go so far when a team is beat up. Give me the health because, while the Angels’ offense is torrid and dangerous, I don’t see the Yanks blowing big leads against the Angels as they did in back-to-back games in July. I think the Yanks have settled in to a good comportment that is steady, productive, and resilient.

    As with the previous series against Boston in The Bronx, the Yanks need to win the first game in Fenway tomorrow night. That would place even more pressure on Boston, would get the monkey of winless-ness in Fenway this season off their collective back, and would make the A.J. versus Tazawa match-up even more beneficial for the Yanks.

  3. nice analysis from both of you guys- we really do need to win game one – that could really set the tone for the whole series

  4. by the way–coolstandings and other sites of the same kind statistically predict the yanks to win 99-100 games.

  5. I agree with both of you to win the last 2 series is huge on the West coast even though I hate the times of the games. Having Mitre, Gaulin pitching and to rest all the player Girardi rested I would have bit your hands of if you said we would win 5 out of 7 on the west cast road trip. We haven’t had the best record against the west coast teams so I was concerned going in to the the road trip. I did think Boston would gain ground to give them confidence to beat us in the 3 game series.

  6. I’m thankful for the win, no doubt about it. Gaudin was decent and gave us pretty much what we needed until that bases loaded situation. And thank God Tex is a Yankee, because we’d be lost without him. I hope Cano is over his west coast allergy, because it’s time for his bat to wake up back east!

  7. Jason, I am doing a thread at my blog tonight for the first time if you care to join.


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