(Everybody happy. Courtesy of The AP)
With Hiroki Kuroda and Ivan Nova coming up a bit small this last time through the rotation, Phil Hughes is going to continue to be a key piece of this undermanned rotation. He was hittable in his most recent outing and looking to tighten up the command against a dangerous lineup and Toronto starter Henderson Alvarez. The Yankees were also playing the first of 15 games they will play against the Blue Jays over the final 74 this season, so start getting familiar.
- Alvarez wasn't fooling the Yankees at all early. They loaded the bases on him in the 1st, hit a solo HR in the 2nd (Russell Martin), and hit back-to-back doubles in the 3rd (A-Rod & Cano) to take a 2-0 lead.
- Hughes worked the first 3 frames scoreless, and worked around a 2 on/no out situation in the 2nd to do, but he was a little spotty with his command. He missed with a in the 4th and Adam Lind hit it for a solo HR to make it 2-1.
- I don't know what happened, but Alvarez made the adjustment and pitched the next 3 innings clean. He retired 7 in a row to start off the run, then got a key inning-ending DP grounder from Raul Ibanez to escape the 6th.
- Hughes gave up an RBI double to Edwin Encarnacion in the 6th to tie the game at 2, but he didn't pitch horribly on the night. 7 innings of 2-run ball should get it done 10 times out of 10.
- Scary moment in the 8th when Jose Bautista hurt himself on a swing. He looked like he tweaked something in his left wrist on a follow through, and it turns out it . Sucks for you, brah.
- The Yankees had to get something out of that bases loaded situation in the bottom of the 8th. They hadn't fully capitalized on all the opportunities they had earlier in the game, and with 2 outs Raul Ibanez made sure they wouldn't blow this one when he hit a game-winning grand slam to right.
- I was a little surprised to see Joe go to Soriano so quickly. I think Cody Eppley has at least earned the right to try to work out of trouble with how he's pitched recently, but Joe went to Raffy and it was Untuck Time for the win.
- Robinson Cano: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB. Just another day at the office for the best in the biz.
- Raul Ibanez: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI, LOB. I was going to give this spot to Hughes for a job well done on a night when he didn't have his best stuff, but game-winning grand slams take the cake.
- Derek Jeter: 0-4, 1 K, 1 LOB. Not a good night at the plate for The Captain, but he'll take the W.
- Nick Swisher: 1-4, 2 K, 7 LOB. Struck out twice with the bases loaded. "Oof" and "da," good sir.
The Yankees can really start to shovel some dirt on Toronto in the division if they keep winning, and what better way to make that happen quicker than by having the big guy make his return to the rotation? CC Sabathia comes back tonight and, likely sub-100 pitch count aside, I have very high expectations for CC. He's had time to rest his body and get back to 100% physically, and time to work on fixing some things with his mechanics. I expect good things tonight.