(Courtesy of The AP)
The last 2 games before last night's series finale against Toronto hadn't been pretty. In fact, they might have been the 2 ugliest games the Yankees have played this season. The goal was to get back on track offensively and salvage a series split before heading back home, but the Yankee bats still couldn't shake the cobwebs off to support starter Phil Hughes.
- The rest of the lineup has been quiet, but Robinson Cano has continued to hit over the past few days. He didn't waste any time last night, smoking a double to the left-center field gap to score Curtis Granderson and give the Yankees a quick 1-0 lead in the 1st.
- Hughes worked through the first 2 innings scoreless, but he was hardly sharp. He walked 2 batters, threw 40+ pitches, and was pretty much exclusively 4-seamer & curve with his offerings. In the 3rd inning, after striking out Jose Bautista on fastballs and curves in the 1st, he hung a cutter to him and Bautista hit it for a 2-run homer and a 2-1 Blue Jays lead.
- Hughes didn't allow any more runs after that, but he also didn't give the Yankees the length they needed. I don't know if he just didn't have enough of the reliever mentality or whatever, but there was a lot more of the typical Hughes inability to put hitters away with 2 strikes, and he used an inefficient 107 pitches to get through just 5.1 innings. He wasn't awful, but he wasn't that good either.
- Drew Hutchison pulled a repeat performance of Drabek's outing from the other night. He wasn't overly dominant or efficient in his 6 innings of work, he didn't have great command, he gave up 4 walks, but only the 1 run from the 1st because the Yankee bats could only manage 4 more hits off him. If you're a Toronto fan, you're thrilled with 6 innings of 1-run ball from Hutchison, and that's what they got.
- Cory Wade entered to finish out the 6th, and got 2 outs in the 7th, but he hung a change to J.R. Arencibia with a runner on and Toronto got a couple of much-needed insurance runs. I said earlier in the week that Wade, as good as he's been, wasn't going to go a whole season with a 0.0% HR rate. There you go.
- For the first time, the Yankee hitters swung like they were starting to press at the plate. After Hutchison left, they went down in order in the 7th, 8th, and 9th, only making Darren Oliver throw 7 pitches in the 8th and only making Casey Janssen throw 9 in the 9th. There's plenty of pitches to hit out there, they just aren't doing anything useful with them.
Granderson: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K. He had been a bit of a slump lately, so it was good to see C-Grand get a couple of hits and get on base 3 times.
Cano: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB. The one guy who still looks good at the plate right now in the middle of this time-wide hitting slump.
- Mark Teixeira: 0-4, 1 K, 5 LOB. He needs to be dropped in the order. It's that simple.
- Andruw Jones: 0-4, 2 K, 2 LOB. Got the start in right field as Joe continued to do his version of tinkering with the lineup, and didn't do much.
- Rusell Martin: 0-3. He's hitting on the season. Maybe Chris Stewart should be more than just CC's non-personal catching personal catcher.
The Yankees are mired in their first big slump of the season, losing their last 3 games and 4 of their last 5 going back to last Sunday. In those last 3 games, they have scored a grand total of 4 runs. Maybe that means it's the perfect time for some interleague play, and some home cooking. The Bombers will get both tonight when they open a 3-game series at The Stadium against the Reds. Andy Pettitte is on the hill for his 2nd start of the year and he's up against Bronson Arroyo.