Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Two Game Sweep Is Still A Sweep, Am I Right?

When Sergio Mitire took the mound in the first inninng and struck out Marco Scutaro and Aaron Hill to begin the game, it looked like he might be headed for a solid outing. After he proceeded to give up consecutive four base hits including two run scoring singles to Vernon Wells and Alex Rios and it looked like he was destined for a horrible one. Neither of those tunred out to be true.

Mitre settled down and followed the two run first inning with three scoreless ones, working around two more singles and two walks. Meanwhile, the Yankees responded with two runs of their own in the top of the 3rd, staying right on the Jays' heels.

To begin the 5th inning, Mitre got Aaron Hill to ground out but then allowed a huge blast to right field by Adam Lind. It was the only extra base hit he allowed all night. After giving up a single to Lyle Overbay, he was taken out of the game in favor of Anthony Claggett, who had been brought up specifically for this purpose Alfredo Aceves. Four and a third innings is not nearly long enough of an outing for a starter, but he only gave up three runs which isn't all that bad.

Alf got Vernon Wells to pop out before Alex Rios struck out looking to end the inning. He came back on for the sixth and sat down the side in order, two more via strike out.

After playing catch up until that point, the Yanks finally came alive in the top of the 7th. Nick Swisher led off the inning with a homer, which Robinson Cano followed with a double. That was the end for zep-CHIN-ski. The rookie lefty put together a solid effort, striking out 7 in six innings and left when the game was still tied. That didn't last long, though.

Cito Gaston called on Josh Roenicke, who got Melky Cabrera to ground out to second, advancind Cano to third. He was driven in on a single by pinch bitter Hideki Matsui which put the Yanks on top 4-3. Jose Molina walked, Jeter struck out swinging but Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira both tacked on run scoring singles. In all, 10 men batted in the inning and four of them crossed the plate.

Cano doubled and scored again in the top of the 8th, but Aceves gave up a homer to Marco Scutaro in the bottom half of the inning to make it a 3 run game. According to Pete Abe, if Johnny Damon hadn't hit a solo shot of his own in the top of the 9th, Girardi would have called on Mariano Rivera for the third game in a row, after two four out saves, taking him out of the picture for tonight's game against the Sox. To protect a 3 run lead... More on Girardi's questionable decisions in a bit.

For now, we can take comfort in a few things. First, the road trip ended in the black at 5-4. Secondly, the Yanks' margin in the AL East is, as it was when then embarked on the 9 game swing, 2.5 games over the Red Sox. Third, Alfredo Aceves looked to be back to his normal self tonight, throwing sharp breaking stuff and a fastball that was touching 92 MPH. He struck out three in two innings and the only hit he allowed was the homer to Scutaro. These are good notes to head back to the Bronx upon.

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