Javier Vazquez was not impressive last night, but the Yankee offense was, as the Bombers rolled over Toronto on a muggy evening in the Bronx. It was a blow-out but it didn’t seem to come easily for the Yankee pitchers. On the YES broadcast, Jim Kaat explained how Vazquez’s motion has become too long in recent outings. In the first few innings–when Vazquez threw an awful lot of pitches–it was clear that he was trying to shorten his stride. He didn’t bend his back as much as he usually does. In fact, it looked so odd at first, I thought Vazquez was doing his best Tim Wakefield impression. But while Vazquez attempts to work himself out of this mid-season rut, Gary Sheffield continues to mash, hitting his 398th career dinger. He had company last night too. Every Yankee starter collected a hit; yo, even our boy Bernie Williams had a couple of hits, as well as two RBI.
Derek Jeter sat out with a broken bone in his right hand (he may miss today’s game too, but it appears as if he’ll be ready to play in Boston over the weekend), but looked to be enjoying himself in the dugout. He laughed at Alex Rodriguez in the top of fifth inning, when Rodriguez caught a high pop fly for the first out of the inning. Catching fly balls, especially ones behind him, does not come naturally to Rodriguez; in fact, it is one of the few acts that he isn’t able to make look graceful on a baseball field. In the bottom of the fifth, Rodriguez beat out a slow dribbler for an infield single. He was the last Yankee regular to collect a hit. Again, Jeter was on the top step of the dugout laughing at his pal.
Jason Giambi did not play either. He left the Stadium in the middle of the afternoon to have more tests done on his ailing body. After the game, he spoke to reporters, and mentioned that he was being tested for cancer. According to the Daily News:
“I try not to focus on that because I got diagnosed earlier (as having a parasite),” he said. “They just wanted to go that route just to make sure. They don’t – I’m not trying by any means to say I have anything like (cancer)…they just wanted to rule (that) out (and say) we’re strictly dealing with what I got diagnosed with before and there’s nothing else underlying.”
Carlos Delgado was removed from the game in the middle of the seventh inning. Mercifully, Michael Kay wasn’t working the game for YES, and Kaat and Singleton didn’t mention Delgado’s politics. I didn’t hear much from the fans through my TV set. Cliff Corcoran was sitting in the bleachers; perhaps he had a different experience (expect a write up from Cliff later in the day).