(200 non-HRs and counting. Courtesy of The AP)
This road trip officially became a bad one after Saturday night's loss, so the Yankees would really only be putting lipstick on a pig with a win yesterday. But a little bit of lipstick to make the pig a 2-4 pig instead of a 1-5 would still be a good thing and still help maintain the division lead. The Yanks are getting to the point where the magic number in the division is worth paying attention to, and every win helps cut it down. Freddy Garcia was back on the hill yesterday, trying to keep the lefty-heavy Cleveland lineup at bay for a third time in the series.
- The bottom of the order hasn't been carrying their weight lately, but they were responsible for getting the scoring started in the 2nd. Eric Chavez led off with a single, Raul Ibanez walked, Ichiro drove Chavez in with a single, and the top of the order drove in 2 more for a 3-0 lead.
- Each of the first 3 innings for Freddy was an adventure, but he overcame a passed ball on a strikeout in the 2nd and an error in the 3rd to keep Cleveland off the scoreboard.
- After a 1-2-3 4th inning, Garcia cracked with 2 outs in the 5th, allowing 4 straight baserunners and 2 runs before giving way to Boone Logan to get out of the inning. It was a short outing for Freddy, and
- Curtis Granderson helped boost the lead back out with a solo HR in the top of the 6th off of Tony Sipp. In doing so, Granderson reached a milestone that few non-HR hitters do by hitting his 200th career bomb.
- There was another good chance in the 7th after a Nick Swisher double and intentional walk to Robinson Cano, but Mark Teixeira struck out to end the inning. The free pass was a good sign that Cano is starting to break out but a bad sign if it means pitchers are willing to face Teix right now.
- With an off day Thursday and Kuroda's CG Saturday, the bullpen aces were well-rested and Joe rode them to victory. Logan pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless ball, David Robertson backed him up with 1.1 scoreless, and Rafael Soriano went 1.1 for the save.
- Swish: 3-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI. The only constant source of production for the offense through this series, and probably the hottest bat in the lineup for the last 2 weeks.
- Bullpen: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K. Cleveland is a lineup that Logan can thrive against, so good on Joe for using him as much as he could. Yesterday was a game Joe wanted to win, he had his best relief pitchers to ride to a win, and they held up their end of the bargain.
- Derek Jeter: 0-5, 1 RBI, 1 K, 2 LOB. Jeter's allowed an off day at the plate every now and then. Just a shame it happened when the gentlemen hitting right behind him combined for 5 hits.
- Teix: 1-4, 2 K, 5 LOB. Ugly series for Teix at the plate. I still can't get the thought of his injured wrist getting worse and worse out of my head.
The Bombers come back to The Stadium tonight for 3 games against the bottom-dwelling Blue Jays, who have just had the bottom fall completely out on their season in the past few weeks. It's the first of 22 straight games against AL East opponents, so the opportunity is there to really make some hay on the division lead. David Phelps takes on Ricky Romero tonight.