(The offense. Courtesy of The AP)
The devastation of the Mo injury before the previous game was wiped away when he announced he was planning on coming back a few hours before last night's game. The Yankees hit the field with clear heads and their ace on the mound, and got a win they really needed after a recent rough stretch of games.
- Each pitcher started off with a rough 1st inning, Bruce Chen allowing 2 runs on a single to Jeter and a HR by Teix and CC allowing 2 on a single-double-double combination, and it was 2-2 after 1.
- After the 1st, though, suddenly the game turned into Shutdown City and CC and Chen matched 0s through 6 innings. CC was very clearly the sharper of the 2, as he allowed only 2 more hits and did not walk a batter through the 6th. Chen worked harder to get through his first 6 and hit the wall in the 7th.
- And when he hit it, he hit it HARD. After a Robinson Cano single to lead off the 7th, Chen got the next 2 batters out and appeared to be in good shape. A triple from Eduardo Nunez and a single by Chris Stewart and it was 4-2 Yankees with 2 outs, and a home run from Derek Jeter later in the inning made it 6-2. A single 2-out run-scoring hit had been hard to come by lately. 3 in a row was practically unheard of.
- Fun Fact- Derek Jeter now has 5 HR on the season. He had 6 all of last season.
- While Chen ran out of gas, CC kept chugging along and finished up with 2 more scoreless innings. He exhibited great command again, keeping the ball down in the zone and generating a lot of groundballs, and this game marked the 4th straight that he's pitched into the 8th inning.
- If Joe is planning on having some sort of audition for the closer role with Mo out, I think it's safe to say D-Rob has the advantage. Rafael Soriano was warming in the 'pen in the 8th as backup for CC in case he got into trouble. After CC went 8 strong, it was Robertson who came in and sat down the Royals' 4-5-6 hitters in order, all via strikeout.
- Mark Teixeira: 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 LOB. The dude hasn't forgotten how to hit from the right side.
- Sabathia: 8 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K. 4th straight win for the big fella, and he also hasn't lost a game in his first 6 starts.
- Jeter: 2-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Dirty. Just dirty.
- RISP Fail: Every Yankee had a hit except for Jayson Nix, but despite 11 hits and 6 runs they still managed to go just 1-7 with RISP for the game.
Hiroki Kuroda will look to keep his forward progress moving on Saturday night when he faces someone named Felipe Paulino. First pitch at 7:10 EST/6:10 Central.