2. In the second inning, Nick Swisher worked the count to 2-0, then 3-1 and yanked a heater on the outer half of the plate deep into the gap between the bleachers and lower level of seats closer to the foul pole. 2-0 Yanks.
3. The Yankees loaded the bases in the third inning via a single by Derek Jeter and walks by Johnson and Mark Teixeira. A-Rod lined a single up the middle, scoring Jeter but Johnson was called out trying to score at home plate. The strong throw from Luis Montanez beat him but Orioles catcher Craig Tatum appeared to miss the sliding Johnson with a swipe tag. Since there were still no outs, it's pretty terrible for Johnson to get thrown out at home, but I would have been upset if they didn't send him given how long it took for the ball to get to Montanez. The takeaway: Nick Johnson is even slower than I thought.
Nonetheless, the Yanks went up 3-0 on A-Rod's single but got nothing more as Robinson Cano struck out swinging and Nick Swisher flied out to center.
4. Andy Pettitte packed the sacks with one out in the fourth inning on back-to-back singles by Nick Markakis and Miguel Tejada and a walk to Garrett Atkins. Andy struck out Matt Wieters on a high fastball but let the count go full on Nolan Reimold before walking in a run. Tatum grounded out to end the inning but the O's cut the Yanks' lead to 3-1.
5. David Hernandez walked Brett Gardner to begin the bottom of the fourth. Frankie Cervelli bunted past the pitcher's mound and instead of throwing to first, Miguel Tejada looked towards second but ultimately just held onto the ball. It was scored a hit but that was generous considering Tejada had plenty of time to get the out at first.
With runners of first and second still with no one out, Randy Winn bunted the runners over. Jeter then tapped a ball to short, scoring Gardner, but Cervelli got hung up between second and third. It may have been a blunder but it seemed as if Julio Lugo, when he first fielded the ball, was looking towards home and was distracted by Cervelli straying off the bag. At the least, it was a somewhat productive blunder.
Nick Johnson followed with his second walk of the game and Mark Teixeira lofted a double to deep right center just past the try of an oncoming Montanez, scoring Jeter and Johnson. The O's intentionally walked A-Rod to get to Robinson Cano, who struck out to end the inning. 6-1 Yanks.
6. Andy Pettitte left the game after 5 innings (more on that below) and Sergio Mitre took the mound. Mitre pitched scoreless sixth and seventh innings and got one out in the eighth before surrendering a single to Julio Lugo. Ty Wigginton made him pay with an absolute blast into the mezzanine level in right field, making it 6-3 Yanks.
That was the last batter Mitre faced as Joe Girardi called on Damaso Marte and David Robertson to finish out the inning.
7. The Yanks plated a run with two outs in the 8th inning to make it 7-3. Randy Winn knocked a single, stole second and was driven in when Nick Johnson "singled" to second. Wigginton pretty clearly booted the ball but for whatever reason it was ruled a hit.
8. Matt Wieters homered off of David Robertson with one out in the top of the 9th. It was a fastball over the middle and Wieters - like Johnson and Wigginton also did today - mashed it into the mezz. The next batter, Nolan Reimold, worked the count full and took DRob deep, high off the left field foul pole. 7-5 Yankees.
Boone Logan came on to try to get the final two outs and promptly walked Rhyne Hughes. Logan then got Montanez to fly out to shallow center but after getting ahead 0-2 on Julio Lugo, lost him to a base on balls.
And on Cinco De Mayo, Mexico's favorite son, Alfredo Aceves, came into close the game. Ace got Wigginton to fly out to deep right and that was that.
IFs, ANDs & BUTs
- Andy Pettitte had thrown just 77 pitches when he was pulled in the 5th inning. He wasn't especially sharp during that time, allowing 6 hits and two walks, but had limited the damage, only allowing one run and keeping his pitch count relatively low.
- When Pettitte loaded the bases in the fourth inning and it was just the first time he's done that all season.
- Pettitte felt some stiffness in his elbow during warm ups - something that dates back to his start against the White Sox although back then it was the top of his forearm and now it's in the back of his elbow, according to Joe Girardi. Andy took it easy during his bullpen session between the two starts but felt it it pop up during warm ups today. He felt fine during the first four innings but after the fifth, Girardi coaxed out the fact that he was a little stiff. Pettitte's going for an MRI (update: the results are in - just some mild inflammation) but based on what Girardi said during the press conference, it sounded like they removed him for precautionary reasons and hopefully it's not too serious.
- Posada, Mo and now Pettitte? SI COVER JINX!!!1!11! Encase Jeter in glass immediately!
- Yankee pitchers induced three inning-ending double plays, two by Pettitte in the second and fifth and one by Sergio Mitre in the seventh.
- When he took the field today, Derek Jeter tied Lou Gehrig for second place on the Yankees' all-time games played list.
- Nick Johnson had an excellent day at the plate, reaching base five times in five plate appearances with two walks, a single, a double and a home run. He drove in one run (they took the one in the 8th away) and scored two (can't take those away).
- Johnson was the only Yankee with more than two hits and Cano was the only batter who didn't get one.
- Mark Teixeira had a couple of hits and a walk. Amazing what turning the calendar to May has done for him.
- The picture of Johnson they show on the scoreboard now includes a ridiculously cheesy photoshopped mustache, an homage to his real one.
- There were
fourthree very generously scored hits today. Cervelli's bunt, Teixeira's double, Johnson's grounder in the 8th and Teix's nubber to first after that(Teix's play was changed to an error).
- There was an odd play in the sixth. Garrett Atkins dribbled a ball down the third baseline that looked like it was going to go foul. It bounced along the foul line, hopped over the bag and hit the line one more time before A-Rod snatched it up and threw to first to get Atkins, who wasn't hustling. YES cameras showed Dave Trembley and he was not pleased. With Rhyne Hughes nipping at his heels and Atkins struggling, that could be turning point as far as his playing time is concerned.
- After using two pitchers to get through the first 7 1/3 innings, Girardi started matching up and ran through 4 in his quest to get the last five outs. The only two pitchers left in the 'pen were Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera, both of whom Girardi said were unavailable before the game. Luckily Aceves shut it down, but things got have gotten ugly real quick if the O's tied the game. That's Joe Girardi bullpen management for you, folks.
The win tonight completes a sweep over the O's and gives the Yanks their 8th series win out of 9. They have tomorrow night off and are heading up to Fenway to face the Sox on Friday.