(Have a day, Jayson. Have a day. Courtesy of Getty Images)
After a noteworthy pitching matchup in the series opener featuring the 2 best Japanese pitchers on the planet, there was another interesting matchup last night when grizzled veteran Andy Pettitte went up against rookie Justin Grimm. Pettitte has been "meh" since coming off the DL, leaving some to question his health, and a good start against a good offensive team would have gone a long way in helping to ease some of the concerns about him. Another Yankee victory would have secured a winning homestand and hopefully gone at least a little way in quieting all of the negative A-Rod/Cash/Teix talk that dominated Yankeeland yesterday.
- Lyle Overbay got off to a nice start as the official everyday first baseman again, cranking a solo HR to right-center in the bottom of the 2nd to give the Yanks a 1-0 lead. He got a hanging slider and put a beautiful swing on it. More of this please.
- Andy danced around a near disaster in the 1st after putting 2 on with no outs. He wasn't so lucky in the 3rd when some horrific Jayson Nix defense and a few poorly-located pitches up in the zone led to 4 Texas runs.
- Nice rebound for Andy after the ugly 3rd. He found his slider, started hitting the corners of the zone that he was missing earlier, and retired 8 hitters in a row into the 6th while keeping the Rangers off the board.
- The top of the order came up to start the bottom of the 6th and set things up perfectly with a leadoff infield single by Brett Gardner and a follow-up double by Ichiro to drive Grimm from the game. Robinson Cano and Travis Hafner spoiled the lefty-on-lefty matchup with RBI singles to bring the Yanks back within 1.
- Joe went to Joba Chamberlain in the 7th and on just 5 pitches Joba managed to undo the good work the offense did the previous half-inning. 1-out single and a 2-run homer by Nelson Cruz on a hanging curve and it was a 3-run game again.
- Ichiro breathed life back into the Yankees' chances with a 2-out, 2-run homer to right off lefty Robbie Ross in the bottom of the 7th, but that breath was quickly choke off by a Gardner error that led to 2 more Texas runs in the 9th.
- Ichiro: 3-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB, 1 LOB. Another big night for Ichiro at the plate. His overall offensive profile still isn't much and the bad games greatly outnumber the good, but he's been pretty good lately.
- Boone Logan: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K. Good to see an appearance like this from Boone, especially against lefties.
- Nix: 0-4, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 3 LOB, 1 E. Just an awful display of all-around baseball from Nix last night. He could have easily been charged with 3 errors and he just sucks as a hitter. If you seriously don't want A-Rod back at third right now, you are a fucking idiot.
- Joba: 0.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER. Has done nothing but throw in-game BP since coming off the DL. The fact that he even got the call in a 1-run game over Kelley and Claiborne was nuts.
Rubber match this afternoon. Starting pitchers are Phil Hughes and Derek Holland.