With the messy explosion of baseball news last night – from Griffey’s retirement to Galarraga’s excruciating blown perfect game – it was a little hard for me to get my head into the Yankees’ 9-1 all expenses included Royal Caribbean cruise of a win over the Orioles (if memory serves, already the 123rd Yanks-O’s game of the season). Not that I’m complaining: watching the New York hitters tee off while Phil Hughes figures it all out is hardly the worst way you could spend a summer night, and you need to store up games like this one to keep yourself warm during the long cold winter.
I saw the Yankees’ lineup yesterday afternoon and thought: now that’s more like it. No Marcus Thames, Randy Winn, Juan Miranda or Ramiro Pena; the Yankee outfield once again consists of Swisher, Granderson, and Gardner, as God and Brian Cashman intended, and Jorge Posada made it back from the DL faster than he goes from first to third (even if he’s only cleared to DH for now). But it was Robinson Cano, who’s been here all long, who led the way again, hitting early and often: his single in the second began a four-run rally that set the tone for the rest of the game, though ensuing doubles from Granderson, Gardner, and Swisher [contented sigh] did not hurt either. Cano homered in the seventh, too, with the Yankees in tack-on mode, his 12th of the year – and not surprisingly, he’s got more longballs against the O’s than any other team. Granderson, Swisher, and A-Rod all had themselves big games too, and Posada, so far, is moving better than an aging catcher with a fractured foot has any right to move.
Meanwhile, back on the mound, Phil Hughes looked comfortably in charge. After the game, he told reporters that he realized early on that his cutter wasn’t cutting it, and mostly stayed away from it thereafter – the kind of on-the-fly adjustment that, coming from a young developing pitcher like Hughes or, across town, Mike Pelfrey, warms my cold shriveled heart. His only notable stumble came in the sixth, when Ty Wigginton — the Oriole’s best hitter to date, which says quite a bit about the 2010 Orioles — singled in Miguel “Ty Wigginton is hitting how much better than me?” Tejada. (Perhaps in a misguided effort to overcompensate, Tejada would go on to get thrown out at home plate with his team down 8-1 in the eighth inning).
Chad Gaudin pitched the last two innings, allowing a few hits but no runs and lowering his ERA to… uh, 7.43, but hey, it’s a start. Have a good day, Banterers, and if you can’t manage that, at least be glad that you’re not Jim Joyce right now.