Offensively, the Yanks managed nine hits off of Nick
Baker Blackburn but didn't walk once, allowing him to cruise through seven innings of two run ball in just 92 pitches. They mustered only one baserunner after he left the game - a single by A-Rod in the top of the eighth. It was the first time all year they went a full game without working a walk and they only did it six times last year, going 2-4 in those contests. And in those two wins, they hit a combined eight home runs. So there are ways to win without walking, but it involves delivering a few knockout blows, not a pair of doubles like they did tonight.
Granted, Nick Blackburn is notoriously stingy with the base on balls, but not earning one free pass all game is not a recipe for success for the Bombers.
Despite the continued futility of the Yanks' bats - just six runs in this series and six straight games without scoring more that four runs - this one is on Javy Vazquez. The Twins slapped Javy around for five runs on eight hits, an incredible six of them going for extra bases. Luckily he was able to strand runners (five in his 5 2/3 innings) or else this would have been a much shorter outing.
I didn't have very high expectations for Javy considering he was coming off that finger injury and the Twins have an extremely left-handed-heavy lineup, but this was particularly bad. Javy managed to keep the ball inside of Target Field for the most part, with the exception of massive home run by Jason Kubel in the fifth, but he induced just two strikeouts and five groundballs compared to ten flyballs and seven line drives.
Vazquez just didn't fool anyone tonight. Out of the 112 pitches he threw, only four were swinging strikes. Similar to the Yankees not working walks, there might be a fine line where a pitcher can consistently induce weak contact without missing bats, but typically, if guys can get a piece that often, they are going to be squaring up with regularity.
Chad Gaudin made his Yankee re-debut tonight and allowed a three run shot to Jason Kubel (although Chan Ho Park put two of the runners on for him). Including the one against Vazquez earlier in the game and the one off Mariano Rivera the weekend before last, Kubel has hit three homers off of the Yanks in his last three games against them.
In more amusing news, during the most pointless segment of this and every Yankee broadcast, some drunk dude who was standing behind Kim Jones with the broom from a dustpan hung around his neck decided to take a bite out of her cold, prop pork chop. So there was that.
This game really sucked, mostly because of Vazquez's regression to his early year performance, but the Yanks still took two out of three from a very good team on the road. Next up, they get the Indians for a 4 game, wraparound, holiday weekend set in the Bronx starting with a game a 7:05 tomorrow night.