(Somebody's glad to be back. Courtesy of Getty Images)
The heat is getting turned up on the Yankees as they begin the final month of the regular season. They've been mediocre for weeks now, lost a major chunk of their division lead in the process, and got their asses handed to them in the first game of a very key series against Baltimore on Friday night. They weren't showing any signs of turning things around anytime soon, and called up a larger-than-expected group from Triple-A yesterday to try to bring some fresh arms and legs in to inject a little life into the club. David Phelps
was on the mound yesterday afternoon against Wei-Yin Chen
, trying to do what Hiroki Kuroda
couldn't the day before and get the Yankees back in the win column.
- It wasn't a good start for Phelps, who didn't have nearly the command he's shown all season. He walked 3, gave up 2 hits, and hit a batter on his way to allowing a run in each of the first 2 innings. Only some well-timed double plays helped limit the damage.
- The Yanks had another injury scare when Curtis Granderson
left after the bottom of the 2nd with hamstring tightness, but all indications are that it's nothing serious and he could play today.
- Phelps got through the 3rd in order, but started off the 4th by giving up a home run to Matt Wieters
to make it 3-0 Baltimore. He still wasn't locating, the lineup still wasn't hitting, and it looked like another beatdown in the making.
- Fortunately, Robinson Cano
started the turnaround quickly in the bottom of the 4th by getting the Yankees on the board with a homer of his own. It was just a solo shot, but with 2 outs and in an 0-2 count, it was a boost the Yankees needed.
- Phelps didn't make it out of the 5th, and it was up to the Yankee bullpen to hold the Orioles at 3. Boone Logan
was brought in to pitch the 6th and the 7th and he came up big, pitching around a walk, a hit, and an error to throw 2 goose eggs on the scoreboard.
- After laying dormant for most of the first 6 innings, the offense finally came alive with 2 outs in the 7th. Jayson Nix
drew a walk to put 2 runners on, Eduardo Nunez
singled a run in on the first pitch he saw to make it 3-2, Ichiro and Derek Jeter
walked to force in the tying run, and a fielding error by J.J. Hardy
helped Nunez score the go-ahead run. It wasn't pretty by any means, but it was enough.
- The Yankees switched to their better defensive lineup to preserve the lead, and D-Rob and Sour Puss did the job in the 8th and 9th. Soriano looked especially nasty for the second straight time after his last blown save.