Believe it or not, I was in Oakland on Monday morning. A family road trip for the Fourth of July weekend had us driving back and forth across the San Mateo and Bay Bridges all weekend long, and Monday found us on the east side of the bay as we started our trip home. Much has been made recently about rule changes that have made it more difficult for teams travelling across the country, and the Yankees certainly faced an uphill battle after playing in the Bronx on Sunday afternoon, flying to Oakland on Sunday night, and squaring off against the A’s on Monday night, but I’ll ask that you not feel sorry for them.
I’m guessing that during their seven-hour trek from Yankee Stadium to their hotel in Oakland, their journey was a bit softer than mine. While they were lounging in luxury, watching DVDs and flagging down cocktail waitresses on a chartered flight, I was battling holiday traffic, oppressive heat, outrageously filthy gas station restrooms, and three fussy children. At the end of my journey I knew I’d have to watch the game and file a game report, all without the help of greenies or amphetamines.
But I digress. The Yankee hitters, perhaps suffering from jet lag, weren’t overly impressive. They got on the board in the second inning when Nick Swisher doubled, Curtis Granderson tripled, and Francisco Cervelli singled — all with two outs — to jump out to an early 2-0 lead, and Mark Teixeira added an insurance run with his 14th home run in the sixth. That was pretty much it, but it was enough.
Javier Vazquez was on the mound on Monday night and continued his resurgence, throwing 110 pitches over seven strong innings while allowing only only three hits, two walks, and a single run. His only struggle came in the third inning, as Chad Pennington tripled with one out and then scored on a Coco Crisp sacrifice fly. He worked around a walk and a single in the fourth, allowed a walk to start the fifth, but then retired the next nine batters in a row to finish his night. Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera took care of the final six hitters, and the deed was done. Yankees 3, A’s 1.