I devoted pretty much all of tonight's preview to how poorly I assumed that Javy Vazquez was going to pitch, but the actual results couldn't have been further from the truth. Vazquez gave up just one run through seven innings, got nine grounders and seven strikeouts as opposed to three fly balls and five line drives, and gave up only four hits and a walk. In short, it was almost the polar opposite of his last outing in Minnesota.
Javy had faced just one over the minimum in the sixth inning when he grooved a belt-high 1-2 fastball to Corey Patterson that got sent into the mezzanine level in right field. That shot tied the game at one and the Yankees and O's took turns blowing great scoring opportunities in the next two half innings.
A double by A-Rod and a single by Robinson Cano gave the Yanks runners on first and third with no one out in the bottom of the sixth. However, Marcus Thames and Francisco Cervelli both popped out and Curtis Granderson struck out on a 2-2 curveball that replays showed was clearly off the plate.
In the top of the seventh, Vazquez got into his first real jam of the night. The O's strung together a single and a double, putting runners on second and third with one out. Vazquez intentionally walked Matt Wieters to get to Adam "Not Pacman" Jones, who struck out looking in part because of a called strike on a 1-1 pitch that was well below his knees. Javy got Julio Lugo to ground out to short to end the inning and his night was complete.
In the home half of the seventh, the Yanks had runners on second and third with two outs when A-Rod rolled over on the first pitch he saw and bounced it to Miguel Tejada at third base. Tejada fielded it cleanly but bounced the throw to first and Ty Wigginton couldn't hold onto the throw as both runners scored. The error went against Tejada but I'd venture to guess that Wigginton would take responsibility for it because it was in his glove and bounced out.
Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera combined to record the final six outs while allowing just one baserunner - Luke Scott, who singled off of Mo in the ninth. Final score: Yankees 3, Orioles 1.
IFs, ANDs & BUTs
- I guess the bruise on Javy's finger is feeling better? That or the Orioles just really suck. Or both.
- Mark Teixeira fouled a ball off of his foot in the first inning and was taken out of the game in the top of the fourth. He bruised his foot, X-Rays are negative and he's day-to-day.
- If there was a movie made about the Yanks this season, wouldn't it have to be called Day-To-Day?
- Curtis Granderson ripped a homer off of the left handed Brian Matusz in the fifth inning, his fourth hit off of a lefty since emerging from the DL on Friday.
- That was the only run Matusz really gave up because the other two scored on Tejada's throwing error. He deserved better.
- 2007 Joba is BACK! For realz this time, yo!
Same time, same place tomorrow night as Phil Hughes faces Brad Bergesen.