The Yanks were ahead 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a third inning home run by Robinson Cano, who swung ahead of a change-up from Brandon Morrow but still managed to yank the ball over the wall in right field.
“Morrow got ‘porched,’” said David Cone in the YES studio.
Now in the fifth, Cano was up again. Two men were out, a runner on first. Toronto’s catcher J.P. Arencibia walked to the mound to talk with Morrow, who’d thrown 56 pitches so far. They arrived at their plan, Arencibia returned behind the plate and set up outside, away from Cano.
Morrow hit Arencibia’s glove with the first pitch a fastball low and outside. It was called a ball. The next pitch was another fastball but this one drifted further outside, 2-0. Arencibia set up outside again, but Morrow’s third fastball was middle-middle. Fortunately for him, Cano swung late. He hit the ball hard but the drive stayed foul down the left field line.
“He’s off just a little bit,” said Paul O’Neill on the YES broadcast, “just behind it, just ahead of the [home run] he hit out of here.”
Next came a beautiful, tight slider. It started straight down the middle and then ducked down and in. Cano sung over it and the count was even, 2-2. Morrow made a mistake on the following pitch and hung a slider. Again he was fortunate as Cano missed it, then rolled his head, looking up at the heavens, grinded his teeth and took the long walk around the back of the plate, Manny Ramirez-style.
Cano got another slider, 89 mph, this one outside. He was ahead of it and the ball hit off the end of his bat. It made a weak sound, good for a broken bat and a foul ball.
Cano walked casually to the dugout where the bat boy handed him a new bat. Cano leaned down and shaved down the handle and Vernon Wells, waiting on the on-deck circle, passed him the rosin bag which Cano tapped on the bat, little puffs of smoke rising in the air. Cano walked back to the plate, spit on his hands, rubbed them together and adjusted his batting gloves. He got to the plate and bent over and stretched his legs. Got in the box, weight on his back leg, waved his bat with his right hand twice and waited for the pitch.
Morrow came back with with the slider. This one was rotten, too, and Cano didn’t miss it.
The ball landed over the bullpen in right center field. Another two-run home run. The only Yankee fan who was disappointed was the guy in the first row who had the ball into and out of his hands.
Travis Hafner added a two-run home run in the eighth, David Phelps minus his good stuff, survived trouble, and the Yanks cruised to a 7-2 win.
No complaints here.
Oh, and Reid Brignac is the newest Yankee.