Another night and again the Diamondbacks get an impressive performance from their starting pitcher. This time it was Patrick Corbin, a slinging lefty with a nice fastball and a nice slider. Phil Hughes was good too. He allowed two solo home runs and that put the Yanks in a 2-1 hole (they scored their run on a solo homer by Robbie Cano).
In the eighth, Eduardo Nunez was robbed of an extra base hit by Martin Prado to lead off and then Travis Hafner, pinch-hitting walked against reliever David Hernandez and Brett Gardner singled. It was only the third hit of the game for the Yanks.
Wells walked on four pitches, the crowd was alive, and for the first time this season, my pulse quickened. Cano took a fastball low for a ball and then fouled off a good fastball–oooooh, just missed it. Another fastball, this one upstairs, probably not a strike, but Cano swung at it anyhow and fouled it off. Next pitch was a wicked breaking ball, Cano, couldn’t check his swing even though the ball hit him in the left foot. The initial call was that Cano did not swing but the appeal–to the first base ump, not the third base ump who is responsible for the call–had Cano out. It was the correct call, too.
So it was up to Kevin Youkilis, who took a fastball for a strike–too low, Blue, too low–and then fouled off a breaking ball, waved at another slider, barely fouling it off, and took a fastball high. He got another fastball, this one just inside enough and Youkilis fouled it off. The next pitch was a slider up and Youk leaned his elbow out but it missed him (and you wonder why opponent’s don’t like him). He swung and missed at the next pitch, a breaking ball and the inning was over.
And for the first time this season I was irked.
That quickly changed to fuggin annoyed when Gardner overran a fly ball for a two-base error to start the ninth–he ran a long way to make an error. A bloop single over Cano’s head (did he mis-time his jump?) put runners on the corners with nobody out, Joba on the mound. He struck out Eric Chavez and then got a little tapper hit right to him, chased down the runner at third, got him in a run down, and Youkilis tagged the runner out. Youk spun, threw the ball to Nunez, who was covering third and they had Cody Ross out, but Ross slid in under the tag and was safe. Catcher’s interference on Frankie Cervelli loaded the bases and left our catcher smarting. But wouldn’t you know it a fly ball ended it. Lots of weirdness, but no runs.
And a good performance by Joba.
J.J. Putz–pronounced “Puts,” as only a Putz would do–hung a 1-2 splitter to Cervelli with one man out and the little guy planted one into the first row of the left field stands: tie game. It was no bomb but it had a nice ring to it. Sure sounded sweet.
We might as well leave there because soon enough the irritation I mentioned earlier returned when David Phelps worked out of a jam in the 11th. And resignation set in after Nunez ended the bottom of the 11th with a well-struck ball that almost took off on Cody Ross in right field. Yeah, the winning run was on second and would have scored easily. Cervelli had another catcher’s interference in the 12th and Ross came up with the go-ahead RBI; our old friend Eric Chavez collected three RBI with a long double.
Final Score: Diamondbacks 6, Yanks 2.
Two-of-three was good but the Yanks should have swept ’em.