(Courtesy of the AP)
The Yankees have gotten fatter off playing the Blue Jays than any other team this season. They entered today's game 7-1 against Toronto and looking to extend a 5-game winning streak against them. David Phelps was getting the start, his next in the chance to prove his worth as a long-term rotation option and not just an injury stopgap, and he did it with one of the better lineups the team had put on the field in a while behind him. Travis Hafner was back in his customary DH role after a few days off, and with Curtis Granderson in right field there was some more teeth to the middle of a lineup that had already beaten up Toronto starter Brandon Morrow once this season.
- Phelps made it interesting early, working around 2 1-out walks in the 1st with a pick off and 2 leadoff singles in the 3rd with a double play ball and a big strikeout.
- Morrow stymied the lineup the first turn through the order. The second time he wasn't so lucky. With 2 outs in the 3rd Brett Gardner singled home Jayson Nix and then scored on a Robinson Cano Yankee Stadium 2-run HR 1 pitch later.
- Cano put on a repeat performance with 2 outs in the bottom of the 5th. Morrow threw him a slider for a swinging strike 2, then 3 more that Cano made contact with. He left the last one up in the zone just enough for Cano to square up and Robbie parked it over the fence.
- Phelps continued to put runners on base, but never in a way that created a real threat and never anything that led to another run through 7. He also continued to display plus stuff with 8 more strikeouts.
- Hafner marked his return to the lineup with an exclamation point in the bottom of the 8th with a 2-run HR of his own. Good to see the time off didn't affect his timing.
- Aside from another D-Rob homer hiccup in the 8th it was another solid job by the bullpen. Boone Logan looked very good striking out 2 in a non-save 9th inning.
- Cano: 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, 1 K. Always good to see a day like this from Robbie. He's due to start heating up again.
- Phelps: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K. He's flying under the radar with how well Kuroda is pitching, how poorly Hughes is, and how much of a concern Andy's health continues to be, and in doing so Phelps has suddenly become the unofficial #3 starter on this staff. The guy continues to quietly impress.
- C-Grand: 0-4, 2 LOB. They can't all be winners. There will be more games like these early on, no worries.
I'd say this was a nice recovery from the series loss to Seattle, no? The Yanks go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon with CC Sabathia on the mound. R.A. Dickey gets the start for the Jays.