It wasn’t what I’d call a pretty win, but it was a win nonetheless. The Yankees picked up Tyler Clippard, and carried him with a barrage of hits, two long balls off A-Rod’s bat and aggressive baserunning.
The win completed a three-game sweep of the Pirates, ran the winning streak to 6 in a row and upped the Yanks record to 9–2 since Melky was inserted in center on a regular basis.
Clippard was horrendous today, (3.2 innings, 6 earned, 6 hits, 3 walks, 2 Ks), but the pen was outstanding (5.1 innings, 0 runs, 3 hits, 3 walks, 4 Ks). A-Rod is going to grab the headlines, and deservedly so. He hit two big bombs, a three-run job to regain the lead for the Yanks, 8–6, and an opposite-field two-run shot to put the game away. What might get overlooked, however, is the day Bobby Abreu had.
Batting in front of A-Rod, Abreu came to the plate five times. His final line, 4–4, 4 runs scored, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 stolen base, while amazing, only tells part of the story. Abreu saw 35 pitches today. 7 pitches per at bat. This is what he means to the lineup. The psychological toll a long at bat takes on a pitcher is immeasurable. Needless to say, today after facing Abreu the concentration was diverted when A-Rod came to the plate. A-Rod made the pitchers pay.
About 11 days ago, ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap did an extended piece on SportsCenter proclaiming Alex Rodriguez Mr. April. I highly doubt he’s going to update that piece to reflect what A-Rod’s done so far this June. If the season ended today, he’s your A.L. MVP, no doubt about it. Here are his June numbers:
– 10 Games, 35 ABs, 13 hits, 11 runs, 5 HR, 18 RBIs, 8 BB, 3 HBP, 1 SB.
– For all you sabermetric freaks out there: .371 BA, .511 OBP, 1.37 OPS.
Abreu has been equally impressive:
– 10 Games, 38 AB, 19 hits, 14 runs, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 10 BB, 2 SB.
– Sabermetrics: .500 BA, .615 OBP, .789 SLG, 1.40 OPS.
Pretty nice production out of the three and four holes, huh? Off day tomorrow for the Yanks, then the D-Backs come to town on Tuesday.
Player of the Game: Bobby Abreu. If you flipped a coin to choose between A-Rod and Abreu, you couldn't go wrong. I'm going with Abreu because he set the tone (and the table) with his 5 long ABs.