The New York Yankees 3-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals last night did not come with a breakout offensive performance. Instead, they received solid pitching performances from Phil Hughes and a collection of relievers and just enough run support to get into the win column, moving them one game above .500 and out of the AL East cellar for at least one day.
If there is a back story to this game it is that they found a way to win after being down 2-0. The last several games have showcased the Yankees offense’s inability to come form behind. At the same point the Yankees pitching staff had trouble keeping the game within reach.
After the Royals took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning on a home run off the bat of Jeff Francoeur, Yankees starter Hughes buckled down and didn’t allow a run during the rest of his outing. He ran into a bit of trouble in the sixth but got out of it without any damage.
The Yankees finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning after Royals starter Luke Hochevar held them at bay for the first three innings. The Yankees came into the game with a good amount of success against Hochevar, especially Robinson Cano who was 5-for-10 with two home runs in their previous matchups. Cano delivered a one-out solo homer to right field to bring the Yankees within one.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Yankees mounted a rally, albeit a small one. Hochevar gave up a single to Mark Teixeira, hit Russell Martin with a pitch and allowed a bunt single to Dewayne Wise to load the bases with zero outs. Yankees’ captain Derek Jeter strode to the plate and ripped a line drive to right scoring Teixeira. Curtis Granderson grounded out second base to first scoring Martin and giving the Yanks a 3-2 lead. Hochevar intentionally walked Cano to load the bases back up, but then struck out Alex Rodriguez and Raul Ibanez to end the threat. For those scoring at home that inning produced a line for 2-for-5 with RISP. It wasn’t anything special but Hughes and a group of Yankees relievers made it hold up.
Joe Girardi mixed and matched pitchers for the seventh and eighth innings, using four men as a bridge to closer Rafael Soriano. Soriano shut the door on the Royals allowing a double in the process.
- The Yankees held optional batting practice before yesterday’s game. Cano, Nick Swisher and Andruw Jones were among the hitters involved according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com
- Mariano Rivera was in the clubhouse and walking well with the assistance of crutches. There is no date set for his surgery as he needs to treat the blood clot in his right calf first.
The Yankees send Andy Pettitte to the mound tonight in a effort to win the series for the Yankees. He will face rookie left-hander Will Smith, who will be making his major league debut. Pettitte is coming off a brilliant start and will likely have to be nearly as good as the Yankees lineup typically struggles against pitchers they have yet to face.
MY TWO CENTS
For what it’s worth, we have to be happy with a win which showed even the slightest improvement in run production. The offense once again delivered little in the drama department last night. The big blast was yet another solo homer, but the Yankees managed to score just enough runs to win the game. At this point, they must be happy to get back into the win column.
The fact that they were able to come from behind and then hold onto the slim lead perhaps points to similar and then better results down the road. This offense is going to click again, there are too many very good hitters to keep them all down at once for very long.
It is nice to write a column with some positives in it, even if just a few. Soon, the tales of the rejuvenation of the Bronx Bombers will once again grace this site. Until then, we’ll be happy to discuss wins regardless of the scoring output.
Check back later today for the Yankees Minor League Report.
Topics: Alex Rodriguez, Andruw Jones, Andy Pettitte, Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter, Joe Girardi, Kansas City Royals, Mariano Rivera, Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees, Nick Swisher, Phil Hughes, Rafael Soriano, Raul Ibanez, Robinson Cano, Russell Martin, Yankee Stadium, Yankees