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The halfway point of the regular season is almost here and I still have no clue what kind of team the Yankees are this year. They've looked very, very good in small bursts, good enough at times even when they haven't been at their best, flawed for the majority of the season, overmatched at certain points, and downright awful and pathetic for stretches. This recent 4-game losing streak falls under that last category and more than anything else, the Yankees needed to play a solid, competitive 9-inning game of baseball last night. They managed to do that for a change and salvaged a little something from this series on their way out of town.
- It wasn't the start the Yankees were hoping for at all. Brett Gardner was stranded at third in the top of the 1st after leading off with a double, and Hiroki Kuroda gave up a leadoff homer to Jose Reyes in the bottom half.
- Kuroda shook off the undesirable first at-bat though, and got through the next few innings unscathed. It took some good luck (lineout double play to end the 2nd), but Hirok was generally pretty good with his stuff and got a few big strikeouts when he needed them.
- His offense came around to supporting him in the top of the 3rd, when Kelly Johnson walked and scored on Francisco Cervelli's double to tie the game. With 2 outs, a Jacoby Ellsbury base knock and a Mark Teixeira 2-run homer gave the Yanks 4 runs and the lead.
- Reyes ignited the next Toronto scoring strike in the 5th with a 2-out ground-rule double. Melky Cabrera cashed in with a 2-run on a sinker that didn't sink and the Jays were back within 1.
- The Yanks stretched it to 2 with a Teix sac fly in the top of the 7th. Probably should have been more since they had the bases loaded with nobody out beforehand, but old men Beltran and Roberts couldn't muster a hit for the extra insurance.
- Not that it was needed. Joe pieced together 3 outs from Kelley, Thornton, and Warren to get himself within 5 of closing, then went to D-Rob for the 5-out save (3 straight Ks, 2 straight groundouts).
- Teix: 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI, 3 LOB. Big hit after big hit, home run after home run. When he's been on the field this season, he's been money.
- Ellsbury: 3-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 LOB, 1 CS. 4 times on base. Not too shabby.
- D-Rob: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K. Hadn't worked in a while. Didn't show any signs of rust and came up big when Joe needed a big night from his best reliever.
- Brian Roberts: 0-4, 1 K, 3 LOB. See? I told ya. Right back to sucking.
Off-day today to head home for a weekend series against the Sawx. Vidal Nuno and Brandon Workman are the scheduled starters for Friday's series opener. That should be fun.