For a stretch earlier this season the Yanks rolled with the following formula for success:6 innings from the starter + Veras + Farnsworth + Mo = Win
Well, today was a perfect example of the new formula:Score 5 runs + 0 tough decisions for Girardi = Win
This game started horribly when Moose was touched up for 3 runs in the top of the first, but A-Rod came through in the bottom half with what I consider the biggest hit of the season for the Bombers, a three-run blast into Monument Park, to tie the game up. That bomb sent the message that this game wouldn't be like so many others the Yanks have sleepwalked through this season. For once, the Yanks took a punch from the other team, immediately responded and then never let up
Moose was brilliant after a shaky start to the second and left the game retiring 15 straight batters. He had nothing for the first 10 batters of the game, then just bared down and dominated. A well-earned 16th win for the Yankee MVP.
When you score 15 runs there are always plenty of offensive guys to talk about. Jeter was 4/4 and got beaned in his final at bat. Giambi hit a salami which really broke the game open. Cano looked re-energized again today. Brett Gardner had an especially good game, as far as I'm concerned, better than yesterday's, with one caveat. Gardner hit a triple like you've probably never seen before in the bottom of the first. The ball was ticketed for the gap in right-center off his bat, but Jose Guillen made a nice play to cut it off about 15 feet from the wall. He took his time getting the ball back to the cutoff man, but not that much time. Gardner never stopped from the time he left the box and wound up safe at third with a triple. Good hustle? Yes. Aggressive base running? Yes. Stupid base running? Absolutely. There were two outs in the inning and if the relay throw is online he's meat at third. No need to take that risk in that situation. I love the kid's speed, and I especially like the way he was hitting the ball today (grounders the other way, line drives to the outfield, playing within himself), but you have to use your head along with your legs at this level. He was safe, so no harm no foul this time. In the future, he has to take situations into account.
When that's really my only gripe from a game, you know the Yanks played well. It's good to see them take a series for the first time in almost a month. Tomorrow's an off day, then Tuesday the next challenge comes in the form of A.J. Burnett.
The Sox and Beckett got hammered by the Jays today, and the Central is tied, so the Yanks are still 5 behind the Sox for the Wild Card and 4.5 behind the ChiSox/Twins. Best-case scenario for the Yanks at this point is the Twins winning the central and the ChiSox coming back down to Earth. The Yanks have a four-game set with Chicago left, in the Bronx, so they can make up that ground on their own.Player of The Game: