Ian Kennedy finally broke the string
of bad-to-very-bad starts by the big two in the rotation with six innings of quality work tonight. Unfortunately, the pen blew the lead when Kennedy had to leave in the bottom of the seventh after taking a line drive off the hip. Billy Traber and Brian Bruney coughed up a 7-2 lead in short order. Luckily, Joe Girardi had one last string to pull in the top of the eighth, and Robinson Cano delivered with a long bomb into the right field seats. More after the jump...
The biggest thing to take away from this game is that whenever Ian Kennedy draws a home-plate ump with a generous strike zone, he's going to cruise. In fact, once he's been around the block a couple of times, and umps realize he has the control to flirt with the corners, he's going to be just fine.
The pen, on the other hand, is not. If you haven't heard, Joba Chamberlain is on bereavement leave, back home to be with his father who was in critical, but stable condition as of game time. My thoughts are with Joba and his father for a quick recovery. In the mean time, Girardi is going to have some shuffling to do. Mo came in for his first save of more than an inning tonight, and it sure would've been nice to have gotten a solid seven out of Kennedy. The pen could've used the rest after Hughes' early exit yesterday.
The Yankee bats finally came to life, sending 4 bombs into the seats, and A-Rod seemed to break out of his slump with an impressive 4/5 night with a monster shot in the first. Damon got the whole thing started, and regrettably did not break a bat.
Does anyone else feel like a team with a payroll of almost $200M should have a better option for their third catcher than Chad Moeller? Me too. Jorge and Molina are both sort of on the shelf, but both are also eating up roster spots. Wilson Betemit came down with conjunctivitis since last night's game, and was put on the shelf to make room for Moeller.
Jeter returned to the lineup, and looked pretty good doing it. Early on, he legged out an infield hit and seemed to get down the line just fine. Late in the game he made a nice play getting to a ball up the middle, spun and gunned to first but just missed getting the runner. He wouldn't have gotten to that ball last year.
No complaints about Girardi tonight. Heck, even Ensberg hit a bomb in his surprise start.
Pettitte takes the hill against Edwin Jackson tomorrow in a rematch of Andy's horrible debut in the Bronx two Saturdays ago. Let's hope the bats stay awake. (By the way, Cano will probably stay hot as long as the team is playing in a dome. He's a hot-weather hitter, pure and simple).
Player of The Game: Robinson Cano, one swing, one bomb, one win. Efficient.
Team Record: 7-7
Damon's Broken Bats: 0 tonight, 9 on the season.