Nine huge hits from the three big guns in the middle of the Yankee offense blew the doors off Trevor Cahill and the A’s. Left spinning in the dust on the back of the mound was the license plate and the once-sterling (still fantastic) ERA of a fringe Cy Young candidate. Yankees 11, A’s 5.
Mark Teixeira, after missing almost two full games with a bruised thumb, Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher combined for four doubles, two home runs, and seven RBI. And since a proper one has four chambers, Marcus Thames with six homers in his last five starts, ably fills out the current heart of the order.
(About a month ago, having given up hope of rebounds from Jeter and Arod, I asked Alex if Cano and Teixeira could carry the Yanks to the division title. He said big Teix would come through and it looks like Cano and Swisher will be in the trenches with him. Thames has been amazing, but I’m not counting on it to continue, though for no other reason than he’s never been this good for this long before.)
Dustin Moseley was the beneficiary of the outpouring, not because he picked up the win (that honor went to Javy Vazquez for his four-plus innings of very effective relief) but because it spared him the loss of what probably should be his last meaningful start of the 2010 season.
Vazquez deployed a slow, loopy curve ball which sat in the high sixties. He has been throwing his curve ball both more often and harder this year than in his incredible 2009 campaign. Whether or not that factors into his poor results thus far, there’s no denying that the A’s were flummoxed by the new curve. Let’s see how it looks against the hard homerin’ Blue Jays before we get too excited.
I won’t mind if I never have to watch another Daric Barton at-bat. At least when he’s facing the Yankee pitching staff.
In mid-August, the Yankees’ schedule yawned and stretched revealing a soft underbelly of middling teams – Kansas City, Detroit and Seattle. Instead of gorging themselves, the Yanks behaved like polite dinner guests and left enough meat on the bone to ensure their hosts that they were well-fed. The Yanks won seven of eleven games with those teams, and balanced by a sorry seven-and-nine mark against the better teams in August, they are treading water atop American League East.
The Yankees won’t face another streak of poor teams like that for the rest of the year, but they do get a few chances to fatten up on the Orioles in September. They also have four home games against the good-pitch, no-hit A’s. If there was one game in this series that looked like an A’s win, it was tonight. The Rays are charging, winning 12 of 16. The Yanks would do well to open their jaws wide, eat their fill, and, damn Miss Manners to hell, suck the bones dry.