The fam was in town to visit this weekend, hence the lack of updates and material on the blog. But that don't mean I wasn't paying attention to what was going on in Yankeeland. A series with Toronto that started out ugly ended up being another series win and an extension of the division lead, which is always good news. Let's take a quick trip back in time to review all 3 games.
Friday: 5-3 L
If you saw the quick post on the AB4AR Facebook page on Friday night, then you know that Friday was U-G-L-Y without an alibi. Freddy Garcia was meh at best in his worst start as a Yankee to date, but still gave his team a chance to win. Unfortunately, the rest of the team took that chance and flushed it down the toilet thanks to a failed bases loaded/nobody out situation in the 5th, Dave Robertson heaving the ball into center field in the 6th when he had a Blue Jay runner in a rundown, which led to 2 runs scoring, and the offense going 0-8 with RISP and striking out 10 times.
The one offensive positive was Robbie Cano cracking 2 solo home runs, but overall it more inconsistency and failure to capitalize on the situation. The Horse and Swishalicious were particularly bad, combining to go 0-9 with 2 Ks and 1 BB, including 0-5 combined with RISP.
Saturday: 5-4 W
A.J. Burnett took the mound yesterday, looking to build off his last start, an 8-inning, 1-run gem earlier in the week against Chicago. While he wasn't that good, he was still effective at limiting damage on a day when his offspeed stuff was not there. Over 6 innings he allowed 4 ER on 9 hits, but didn't walk a batter and like Garcia, he left his team with a chance to win. That chance was something they managed to take and capitalize on in the first 3 innings, putting all 5 of their runs on the board against Toronto starter Kyle Drabek. There was no one big star in the lineup, as 7 guys each had 1 hit, 5 guys each scored 1 run, and 5 guys each had 1 RBI.
What was frustrating was the offense's inability to build on their fast start. After Drabek left the game, the Blue Jay bullpen held the Yankees hitless in 5.2 innings of relief. Good thing the Yankee 'pen was up to the challenge of matching Toronto in the form of "The Formula." Joba, Sour Puss, and The G.O.A.T. went 3 shutout innings to preserve A.J.'s win.
Sunday: 5-2 W
The rubber match today featured Ivan Nova looking for another good start to solidify his spot in the rotation after Kevin Millwood bombed in his last Triple-A audition outing. Like he was in his last start, Nova was effective despite not being dominant or consistent. In 6.1 innings of work he put 10 runners on base, but worked out of his seld-made trouble with key strikeouts and ground balls to only allow 2 ER. Once again, Nova showed a better ability to mix his pitches up the 2nd and 3rd time through the lineup to remain effective, and Joe gave him a bit of a longer leash than we've seen, allowing him to start the 7th inning with a pitch count approaching 100.
Offensively, it was Teix that got the Yankees started with a solo Teix Message in the 1st inning and C-Grand that closed it out with a 3-run job in the 5th, one of his 2 hits on the day. Brett Gardner continued to look better at the plate, singling to get himself back to the Mendoza Line and walking twice. But he also got caught stealing for the 4th time this year, so clearly something needs to be worked out there. So and Mo handled the 8th and 9th again and the Yankees head towards the rest of May at 16-9.
There was some bad pitching, but mostly good. And there was some good offense, but mostly bad. A-Rod went 0-9 with 4 Ks in the series and has just 3 hits and 1 RBI since his 6-ribbie game against Baltimore last weekend, dropping his season BA to .274. Also, Robbie Cano left the game in the 9th with a bruised hand. The Yankees have already announced that he's day-to-day, so that's something worth watching heading into this coming week.