(Courtesy of the AP)
A 4-game sweep of the Blue Jays would have been a great statement for the Yankees to make early. After the offseason ended, the Jays were generally praised for their aggressiveness in adding players to their team and talked up as the new favorites in the AL East while the Yankees were generally bashed for their inactivity and unwillingness to open their wallets for anything more than cheap plug-ins at every position. The Yanks have gotten great production from almost all of their acquisitions so far as they've stayed in the hunt in the division while the Jays have not and find themselves firmly entrenched in the cellar. Just goes to show that you can't predict baseball, Suzyn.
- Strong start for Phil Hughes, who allowed just 1 hit and struck out 5 through the first 3 innings. He was attacking with his fastball, mixing his offspeed stuff well, and working quickly from the windup.
- His lineup got him an early run in the bottom of the 2nd. Only a few pitches after Travis Hafner just missed a HR to deep center, Brennan Boesch stepped in and got just enough of one to right for a solo HR.
- Hughes got burned on some bad luck in the top of the 4th after Jayson Nix let a ball go down the third baseline for a 2-out single and 2 more cheap singles plated a run to tie the game at 1. He had to throw way more pitches than he should have to get out of the inning.
- The 6th was really the problem area for Hughes. Despite striking out the side, a leadoff double by Jose Bautista came back to haunt him after a questionable call by Joe to intentionally walk Adam Lind and a poorly-placed fastball to Macier Izturis led to a 2-out RBI double to give Toronto the lead.
- R.A. Dickey, to his credit, shut the Yankees down with his knuckler after the 2nd inning. He didn't give up another hit after that inning, retiring 12 of 13 through the 6th.
- A Travis Hafner leadoff single in the 7th seemed harmless enough, but then Dickey threw a 1-1 knuckler that didn't move to Lyle Overbay and Overbay parked it in the Yankee bullpen for a 3-2 lead. They didn't do much against Dickey, but they made the most of the hits they did get.
- Boone Logan, David Robertson, and Mariano Rivera handled the 7th-9th and the sweep was completed. Four in a row against a divisional rival in four close games. That's good stuff.
- Overbay: 2-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Hasn't been a consistent offensive threat, but it seems like every hit he's gotten so far has been a big one. His homer in the 7th was no different. Completely unexpected and easily the best contact anybody made against Dickey all day.
- Hughes: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K. More good work from Phil, who turned in his third straight good outing using the same formula that got him through the first two. He certainly looks like he's making a point to throw his fastball for strikes early, and he's getting more comfortable with his slider and curveball. Still a few too many 2 and 3-ball strikes sometimes, but he had a rested bullpen behind him today.
- Chris Stewart: 0-3, 2 K, 1 LOB. Typical C-Stew offensive game. His warning track fly in the 8th would have been a home run off a regular bat.
The Yanks stay right where they are and welcome the Houston Astros to the Stadium on Monday night for what should be a great opportunity to keep this winning streak going. Andy Pettitte takes the ball for New York, opposed by Lucas Harrell.