You don’t want to read a recap of this game.
I don’t want to write a recap of this game.
Indians started a 25-year-old command and control righty Tuesday night. A total non prospect with a recent violence-related arrest making his major league debut. So the S.O.B. goes out and faces the minimum the first two times through the Yankee order. The only Yankee baserunner in the first six innings against Josh Tomlin last night was Derek Jeter, who singled to start the fourth, then got caught stealing with two outs and Alex Rodriguez at the plate.
Rodriguez didn’t hit hit 600th home run. We can get that one out of the way. There was no big birthday milestone for the now-35-year-old third baseman. He did come to the plate representing the tying run in the ninth, but he tapped out to short on an 0-1 pitch. In his first three at-bats, he grounded out twice, then flew out to strand Nick Swisher at third in the seventh.
The fourth inning was the nadir. After Jeter got thrown out to end the top of the inning, CC Sabathia started the bottom of the frame by yielding a single to Asdrubal Cabrera and a double to Shin-Soo Choo to put runners on the corners. Austin Kearns followed with a hard grounder to third and Alex Rodriguez fired home to get Cabrera. The bottom of the first had ended when Brett Gardner threw out Choo at home on a single through the shortstop hole with Francisco Cervelli making a nice block of the plate. This time Cervelli had to reach into fair territory to get Rodriguez’s throw then reach to make the tag on Cabrera in foul territory. He did both successfully, but when his left arm hit the ground, the ball bounced out of his glove and Cabrera was ruled safe on Cervelli’s error.
Did I mention Cervelli was starting because Jorge Posada’s left knee is acting up on him? It’s an old injury; he has a cyst back there that causes him occasional pain, but, yeah.
After Shelley Duncan popped up, Jhonny Peralta hit into a would-be double play, but Kearns was called safe at second after Robinson Cano came off the bag too early on the pivot, and his relay throw was just a hair too late to get Peralta, so instead of ending the inning, the play loaded the bases with just one out. Matt LaPorta followed with a sac fly, and though Sabathia held the line there and both runs were earned, it mattered little with the Yankee bats unable to touch Tomlin.
The Indians scored two more runs in the sixth, which were Sabathia’s fault. The highlight there came when Joe Girardi ordered CC to intentionally walk the number-eight hitter, righty Jason Donald, to load the bases with two outs, and Sabathia responded by walking the number-nine hitter, right-handed swinging back-up catcher Chris Gimenez, to force in a fourth Cleveland run.
Even when the Yankees finally scored it was embarrassing. After Swisher was stranded in the seventh, Robinson Cano led off the eighth with a double. Indians manager Manny Acta the lifted the rookie Tomlin and brought in lefty Rafael Perez to face Curtis Granderson. Perez sent Cano to third via a wild pitch, but got Granderson to ground out to first. The play on Granderson’s grounder wasn’t easy for LaPorta, but Cano failed to come home on it. Girardi then sent up Marcus Thames to pinch-hit for Juan Miranda only to have Acta counter with righty Joe Smith, at which point Girardi counter-countered with . . . Colin Curtis? Yeah, I know he had that improbable pinch-hit homer the other day, but I’m reasonably confident that any strategy that ends in Colin Curtis has failed, even if Curtis succeeds. Indeed, Curtis got the run in with an even better-placed groundout to the right side, but that was all the Yankees got out of the inning.
In the ninth, Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter led off with singles against closer Chris Perez, but Nick Swisher struck out and Mark Teixeira popped out to Cabrera in shallow center on the first pitch he saw. That set up Rodriguez to get number 600 on a game-tying three-run shot, but, as I mentioned above, he meekly tapped out on two pitches.
Indians win 4-1.
You want bright side? here’s the extent of it: Jeter went 2-for-4 and the Yankees only needed seven pitches from their bullpen, all from Chan Ho Park. That’s it. Heck, we didn’t even get to see Carlos Santana play.