The Yankees won a taut, low-scoring affair with a big performance by a starting pitcher, some good defense and a solid bullpen. As long as you don’t have to answer any follow up questions, that’s our story for this game, OK? The Yanks can win close ones. All is well, everything will be OK from this point on, yada, yada. This 2-1
victory over the Blue Jays was the huge sigh of relief that the team needed after Monday’s disappointment. Got it?
Phil Hughes was good for the second straight game – a Yankee-Stadium-Special his only blemish. Never mind that he was up 1-2 on the hitter, and that the hitter was someone named Adeiny Hechavarria, who may or may not have discovered the silent “V”. It was Hechavarria’s first career home run, though I wonder if he’ll be fined in Kangaroo court for smiling – I’m not sure opposing batters are allowed count Hughes and Nova homers for personal milestones.
The Yankee offense jumped out to an early lead, that’s good right? Should it matter that the pitcher the Blue Jays sent against them is so lost this year he’s walked 5.1 batters per nine innings? He walked eight Tigers in his last start. He shut the Yanks down for seven innings.
But that’s not the whole story, because for Ricky Romero to have a shut-down game this year, something else must be at work. And yeah, there it is, the Yankees had recent re-acquisition Steve Pearce batting cleanup. Russell Martin batted fifth. Russell Martin, who may not be the fifth best hitting catcher in the Yankee system, was the fifth best hitter the Yanks could send out there tonight.
The game threatened to tilt in a tricky sixth inning, but the quick reactions of Robinson Cano saved the day. De-Fense, that’s important, right? Hughes walked the first two hitters and Adam Lind tried to order another Special, but the kitchen was all out of meatballs. He skied it to the wall in the right field corner. The tying run moved to third with one out. Yunel Escobar stung one Willie-McCovey style right to second. Cano snared and fired to third to catch Rasmus dancing by himself. The double play balm soothed those nagging doubts that began to appear.
If someone does start asking follow-up questions, like “why was that game against that pathetic team so damn close?” Or “can you imagine a team like the Yankees fielded tonight winning many future games?” you just say, “how about that Red Sox trade?” And cross your fingers.
Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty