(That'll do, Fred. That'll do. Courtesy of The AP)
Good starting pitching always beats good hitting. The Yankees know that better than most from some of their recent postseason exits, and they've been on the giving end of that in this series against the Rangers. They got 2 great pitching performances from Phelps, Lowe, and Kuroda in the series' first 2 games and got another one last night from Freddy Garcia to secure another win in a close, low-scoring game. The Yankee pitching has kept the Rangers' lineup in check all 3 games, and that's been the difference.
- Freddy retired the first 7 hitters he faced and really had his slider working for him from the start. He was efficient, he was throwing strikes, and cruising through the first 3 innings.
- The lineup got him all the run support he would need in the bottom of the 3rd against Scott Feldman, who was not nearly as efficient or effective as Garcia. Back-to-back singles by Jayson Nix and Derek Jeter and an RBI double by Nick Swisher made it 1-0 before an out had been recorded. A sac fly from C-Grand and a 2-out RBI single by Eric Chavez pushed the lead to 3-0.
- The one thorn in Freddy's side last night was Josh Hamilton. He hit a solo HR in the top of the 4th to get Texas on the board, and a bomb in the 6th to pull them within 3-2.
- But the rest of the Texas lineup was stifled by Freddy's slider, and the trio of Boone Logan, D-Rob, and Sour Puss held them to 2.1 hitless innings of relief to save the win.
- Garcia: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, W. Take away Hamilton and his solo shots and the rest of the Texas lineup managed to put just 3 baserunners on against Garcia and do nothing with them. It's not Derek Lowe 4-inning save impressive or Hiroki Kuroda CG 2-hit shutout impressive, but that's pretty damn impressive.
- Chavez: 3-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB. Dude is on another level right now.
- Martin: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K, 7 LOB. There could have been a little more breathing room for Freddy and the 'pen if Martin had come through just once in his chances with RISP.
I'm legitimately shocked and incredibly excited about it, but the Yankees are going for a sweep of the Rangers this afternoon. They've outpitched them so far in this series, they've out-hit them by a slight margin, which is just enough when you're getting the kind of pitching they are, and they can run them out of town with another W today. Ivan Nova looks to keep building off his last great start against Derek Holland.