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Javy ‘nother one? No thanks, Thames a-wastin’.

The roller coaster season of Javy Vazquez resumed today as he returned to the starting rotation for the second time in 2010.  His most recent rotation sabbatical resulted in two relief appearances (4.1 and 4.2 innings) in which he allowed a total of four hits and two walks.  Interestingly, those two appearances were each as long or longer than any of the last three starts prior to his banishment to the pen.  Perhaps manager Joe Girardi liked this matchup for Vazquez’s return to the hill, as Javy was 1-0 with a 2.38 ERA and only three hits allowed in 11 innings versus the Jays this season.  On the other hand, the wind was blowing out to right at 21 MPH at gametime, and “Homerun Javy” (27 allowed this season) has been a flyball pitcher his entire career.  In fact, his 0.54 GB:FB rate this season is his career worst.  The next worst season?  2004, when he pitched for … yes, the Yanks.

But the Yanks had hope as they faced Blue Jay starter Mark Rzepczynski.  He came into the game with a 6.03 ERA, and had been torched for six runs and eight hits in three innings by the Bombers just two weeks ago.

Vazquez started strong with a seven-pitch top of the first, getting Jose Bautista on a swinging strikeout to end the inning.  With one out in the  second, Lyle Overbay launched a meatball slider into the jetstream to right, and the Jays took a 1-0 lead.  After a walk to John Buck and an Adam Lind popout to short, John McDonald banged another misfired slider high off the left field foul pole, and all of a sudden it was 3-0.

Meanwhile, Rzepczynski sailed through the first two innings, save for a first inning leadoff single to Brett Gardner.  Gardner swiped his 4oth base of the year (though replays showed him to be out), but he was stranded there.

Then the bottom of the third came, and Rzepczynski remembered who and what he was and whom he was facing.  Eduardo Nunez grounded out to short, but Francisco Cervelli pulled a pitch to left, and hustled his way to a double thanks to a weak-armed Travis Snider.  Gardner walked, and then Derek Jeter also pulled one into left for a double, scoring Cervelli.  Mark Teixeira followed with a walk, and Robinson Cano, who had been in a 0-12 slide, bounced one up the middle, scoring Gardner and Jeter and tying the game at 3.

Meanwhile, Vazquez was continuing to find no command of his slider, instead relying on an 87-89 MPH fastball and a 72-75 MPH change.  He managed to avert further damage in the third and fourth, despite two more walks and a single.

The Yanks took the lead in the bottom of the fourth.  With one out and Nunez on first, Cervelli executed a nice hit-and-run, smacking another double.  Gardner came up with 2nd and 3rd, and flared a ball just between Rzepczynski and Bautista (who was playing third today).  Nunez had broken for home on contact, and luckily the ball fell in, making for an RBI groundout, with Cervelli taking third.  Jeter walked, and Cervelli scored on a wild pitch to give the Yanks a 5-3 lead.

Vazquez came out for the fifth and got two more flyouts (he had one groundout all day).  Then, passing the 80-pitch mark, he issued a walk to Bautista, and a single to left by Vernon Wells.  With Overbay coming up, Girardi came out and replaced Vazquez with Dustin Moseley (Moseley had been warming up as early as the 3rd inning).   Overbay had been 0-7 lifetime versus Moseley, but he laced a changeup down the rightfield corner, scoring both runners.

With the game now knotted at five, the bullpens took over.  The Yanks, whose relievers had compiled a 1.50 ERA in the last 28 games,  got yeoman work from Boone Logan and Joba Chamberlain in the sixth and seventh respectively.  The Jays rode Jesse Carlson for two innings, then turned to righty Jason Frasor in the bottom of the seventh.  With two out, Cano lined a single up the middle, and up stepped Marcus Thames.

Its been four years since the righty Thames has hit over .250 or slugged over .475 versus righties.  2010 has seen a different Marcus.  Maybe its playing for the Yanks.  Maybe its working with Kevin Long.  Maybe its knowing and accepting his role.  Whatever the case may be, he’s compiled a .261/.354/.536 line with six bombs in 82 plate appearances against righties prior to today.  He has come up huge in the absence of Alex Rodriguez, with six homers and 12 ribbies during A-Rod’s DL stint, to replace the right-handed thump in the lineup.

Frasor gave Thames a 83 MPH slider on 0-1, in the middle of the plate, and Thames crushed it off the Zales ad in the back of the visiting bullpen.  Game, set, match as Mariano Rivera nailed down his 29th save in a 7-5 win.

Categories:  Bronx Banter  Diane Firstman  Game Recap  Yankees

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1 OldYanksFan   ~  Sep 4, 2010 7:15 pm

OH NO! Very bad news (get out your bottle guys...)

2 OldYanksFan   ~  Sep 4, 2010 7:29 pm

From Hangin' Chad at Lohud:
'Since making those mechanical changes in Texas, Curtis Granderson is hitting .414 with three doubles and two home runs against lefties.'

3 Alex Belth   ~  Sep 4, 2010 8:16 pm

1) Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...excuse me...ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

That piece was written five days ago. Wonder what Mitch thinks tonight.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Yo, D...amazing title.

4 Mattpat11   ~  Sep 4, 2010 8:18 pm

We prefer "Jome Run Javy"

Alliteration and such.

5 Alex Belth   ~  Sep 4, 2010 8:26 pm

Let's Go Gavin Floyd!

6 Mattpat11   ~  Sep 4, 2010 8:35 pm

And in happier news, I really don't think enough attention is being paid to the fact that a) Mariano Rivera is arguably having his best season ever and b) It seems like we've been saying that every year, doesn't it?

This man is getting better. He's obviously some kind of robot or alien or something.

I just got back from the Hall of Fame, and as absolutely fabulous as it is, its really not something you do every year (how much turn over can there really be?) But I promise you I'll do whatever I can to be at his induction in 30 or 40 years (when I'll finally allow him to retire) because we'll never see anyone like him again.

So yeah, I'm pro Mo.

7 Chyll Will   ~  Sep 4, 2010 8:58 pm

"This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs."

Nor anyone in their right mind for that matter...

8 Just Fair   ~  Sep 4, 2010 9:00 pm

Aaron Hill's reaction to his k to end the game was friggin priceless. He huffed and puffed like a petulant child. He had no chance.. Atta boy, Mo.

9 Alex Belth   ~  Sep 4, 2010 9:01 pm

6) Is this really his best? I haven't looked at the numbers but I know his innings are down this year. Or maybe I just don't want to look to closely so as not to jinx anything. LOL

10 Chyll Will   ~  Sep 4, 2010 9:02 pm

[7] In reference to [1]

11 Mattpat11   ~  Sep 4, 2010 9:19 pm

[9] It depends on how you want to loom at it.

He's having his best ERA, ERA+, H/9 year

He's having his second best WHIP, HR/9

Now, he's more middle of the pack in his BB/9, K/9 and (obviously) K/BB ratio, so I'm sure you could say 1996, 2005 or 2008 was better, and I'm not going to fight you on it. But this is certainly a strong contender.

Now, as you said, going into today, he was on pace to throw 66 innings (curiously enough, in 67 games which would be the first time he's ever averaged less than an inning per appearance) which would be his fourth lowest innings total of his career and over 40 less IP than 1996.

12 Alex Belth   ~  Sep 4, 2010 10:05 pm

Rays lose

13 Raf   ~  Sep 4, 2010 11:11 pm

[12] So did the Red Sox.

14 monkeypants   ~  Sep 4, 2010 11:16 pm

13) who?

15 Raf   ~  Sep 4, 2010 11:45 pm

[14] First Base

16 RIYank   ~  Sep 4, 2010 11:56 pm

[13] Twice.
[14] The interesting race now is the one for third place. Boston has a good lead on Toronto, and we're helping to bury the Jays, but it's not over...

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