21 outs from Wang + 3 outs from Joba + 3 outs from Mo = Win #1
It's a nice formula, and I think if Joe Girardi could've written the script for his first win as skipper of the Yanks it would've gone something like this. I have a full page of notes and it's getting late so let's just take a look at them.
Wang faced 28 batters tonight, here's the breakdown:
- 16 ground balls
- 3 fly balls
- 5 line drives
- 2 strike outs
- 2 walks
The sinker was pretty obviously sinking. The oddity here is that the Jays did all of their damage on the ground balls. The fly balls and line drives didn't amount to much.
Since I put myself out there as one of the only Yankee blogs to support Melky Cabrera, let's take a look at his night. In his first two at bats he forced Halladay to throw a ton of pitches. His first time up he worked the count full and then hit a rocket right at Lyle Overbay. His second at bat was a thing of beauty. Another full count, a couple of foul balls then he deposited Halladay's 10th pitch over the short porch in right to pull the Yanks even at 2-2. Having a #9 hitter make the opposing starter work that hard is a huge advantage.
In the field Melky had three plays of note. The first I'll call a good catch. He tracked a fly ball to deep right center and made a leaping catch as he crashed into the wall. On the very next play he made what I'll call a great play. Aaron Hill smoked a line drive to deep left center. Melky took a perfect angle to it and extended to make the play on the run. He got a great jump on the ball and honestly not a lot of center fielders make that play. To be fair, Melky also botched a ball in the gap, also from Aaron Hill. Again he got a good jump and got there in time, but he slid/dove too late and over-ran the ball. The smart play would've probably been to take a deeper angle and try to cut it off before it got to the gap, but it was a double either way.
Joba was lights out, but he wasn't exactly the Joba we saw last year. His fastball was around 94 regularly, though he did touch 98 once. He hung a few too many sliders, but he got the job done and went through the meat of Toronto's order allowing only a walk to Alex Rios. The walk bothered me because he went to 3-2 on Rios and threw him back-to-back sliders. I really don't like 3-2 sliders, but I'm probably in the minority here and he's had great success with it. Still, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Mo needed only 12 pitches to dispose of the Jays in the bottom of the ninth.
Jason Giambi played a solid game at first, but did nothing with the bat. At some point, Joey Jr. is going to have to decide if Matsui and Giambi will face lefties late in the game, or if Shelley Duncan is going to be seeing those at bats.
It's good to see the Yanks in their rightful spot in the standings, first place.
Get a good night's sleep because the Moose is on the hill tomorrow night.Player of The Game:
One thing I really wanted to keep track of last year was the number of bats Johnny Damon breaks. I don't know if he enjoys getting jammed, uses a poorly designed bat, or if pitchers just exclusively work him in on his hands, but the guy is responsible for more kindling than anyone else in the league. Since we've started a new season, I thought I'd keep a running tally of Damon's wasted lumber. If I stick with it I'll come up with some kind of graphic to track it.Damon's Broken Bats: