(No biggie. Just a little tune-up start against a Quadruple-A team. Courtesy of the AP)
In all honesty, I had no clue who Liam Hendriks was before last night's game. I looked the guy up on FanGraphs and Baseball Reference and I STILL don't know who he is. I'm not entirely convinced he's a real person, let alone a person who got to start a Major League Baseball game. He sounds like a comic book character, like the alias of a superhero. Too bad for him his starting effort against the Yankee lineup was far from heroic, and too bad he was facing the wily old Jedi veteran Andy Pettitte. There's every reason to think that the Yankees can, should, and will sweep the Twins in this series, and they got off to a fine start of that last night behind a solid Pettitte performance and some of that famous Yankee power.
- Hendriks gave up a leadoff walk to Derek Jeter and a follow-up double to Ichiro Suzuki to start the game, which was not good for him. Robinson Cano drove in Jeter with a sac fly, Nick Swisher hit a 2-run home run, and just like that the Yankees had done a little bit of everything to take a 3-0 lead.
- They extended that lead on a Curtis Granderson solo HR in the top of the 4th, his 40th of the season. With that shot, Granderson became the 5th Yankee all-time to have back-to-back 40-HR seasons, a pretty impressive accomplish for a non-HR hitter.
- Andy labored through the 1st inning, gave up a few hits here and there, but managed to work through trouble and keep a relatively low pitch count through the early innings. He got some help on a great throw by C-Grand to nab a runner at the plate to end the 4th and keep it a 4-0 game.
- Pettitte's 6th and final inning might have been his best. Approaching his pitch count limit and facing the middle of the Twin lineup, he retired Joe Mauer, Josh Willingham, and the hollowed-out husk of Justin Morneau in order. A fine performance.
- With the 'pen being counted on for 3 innings, the offense turned the power back up in the top of the 7th with a pair of solo HRs by Raul Ibanez and Eric Chavez to chase a tiring Hendriks from the game.
- Cory Wade allowed a solo shot in the 8th, and Justin Thomas and D-Rob made a small mess of things in the 9th, but not enough to put the win in any kind of jeopardy.
- Honestly, that's exactly the way this game should have gone. Yanks build a big lead against an inferior team thanks to better hitting and better starting pitching, then give some of the lead way late because the opposing team's lineup can only score against New York's worst pitchers. I'm cool with that.
- Ibanez: 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K, LOB. Where did this fresh version of Raul Ibanez come from? Did the dude take a 5-Hour Energy or something?
- Pettitte: 6 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K. Another outing, another good one for Andy. He looked a little bit better than he did in pretty much every aspect of his game compared to his first start back, and pitched exactly the way you should pitch against the Twins. Got 6 innings and 88 pitches last night; should be good for at least 7 and 100 come October.
- Chavez: 3-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K, LOB. Like Ibanez, he's been invisible since a hot early August, but not would be a great time to start coming back around.
- Cano: 0-4, 1 RBI, LOB. Robbie, what the fuck, man?? Clean it up!!
Yanks did what they should do against an inferior team and an inferior pitcher, and they'll get another opportunity to do it tonight against Esmerling Vazquez. Yeah, I don't know who the hell that is either. Phil Hughes takes the ball for New York, looking for his 17th win of the year.