Yankees Win With Cano Walk-Off, Take 2 of 3 From Jays
Anybody else have absolute confidence in this team to either break a tie or come from behind to win a game? Every single game? In the final game of the 3-game set with the Blue Jays, the Yankees once again reminded us why you simply cannot count them out. Today’s 4-3 walk-off win, the 11th of the season, amounted to just another day at the office for the 2009 Yankees. If we as fans have that kind of confidence in them, imagine the players themselves. Like Michael Kay alluded to during the broadcast, having that confidence is half the battle when it comes to winning late. In that regard, no one in the majors has swagger like us!
The hits were scarce today, as the lineup scattered 7 hits across the 11 innings of play. Only Johnny Damon and Robinson Cano had more than one hit. In the bottom of the 1st, Posada drove in Jeter on a grounder to second. It looked as though the unleashing of our offense on Blue Jays rookie Ricky Romero was imminent. We did tack on 2 more solo homers in the game off him, but besides that, Romero had a pretty decent outing. In 6 IP, he would give up 4 total hits and 3 ER, striking out 5 and walking 3.
Johnny “Rocket” continued his display of power, sending a solo shot over the right field wall in the 3rd, his 22nd dinger of the year. Cano hit the other homerun, his 18th, the very next inning. The bats were relatively silent after that, unable to figure out reliever Brandon League for 3 innings. Shawn Camp came in and was hitless in the 10th. In the 11th, however, he met fate: After striking out Matsui, he hit Alex Rodriguez on the elbow, putting him on base. The very next at-bat, Posada singled to left. Cano, who until recently has been pretty unimpressive with RISP, came to the plate with men on 1st and 2nd. All he did next was add his heroics to the long list of Yankee heroism this season, rocketing a deep double to right field, and scoring A-Rod easily for the game winning run. Just another day at the office.
This win was not without it’s hurdles. AJ Burnett, off the heels of an amazing pitcher’s duel against Josh Beckett in the Sox series, didn’t have his best stuff today. However, in Burnett-like fashion, he battled through 6 IP, giving up 3 ER and walking a couple. Him and Jorge Posada had an interesting time today, registering 3 wild pitches. Jorge kind of makes you want to pull your hair out sometimes because he lets an uncomfortable amount of balls pass him. I’d attribute at least 1, but probably 2, of those wild pitches to him.
Our bullpen had another strong effort, allowing 0 ER after Burnett left the game. We also saw Chad Gaudin in action, the winning pitcher today. He looked good over 2 IP, with one hit allowed and 3Ks. He’s going to be pivotal for our pitching staff down the stretch.
Then there was the home plate umpire. Joe West was awful today. I nearly flung my laptop at the TV when he called a 3-0 strike to Mark Teixeira when he PH in the 10th. He would pop out to Scutaro the very next pitch. It was like this all game. West’s zone was absolutely inconsistent.
Despite that, though, the Yankees leave the South Bronx on a high note. Finishing 8-1, this was an incredibly successful home stand for the Yankees, after first sweeping the Sox in 4, then taking 2 out of 3 from the underwhelming Jays. If you erase the White Sox series from your memory bank, we haven’t lost a series since being swept by the Angels in July (10-12th). As I write this, Boston is beating the Tigers 8-2 in the 8th, so it looks like we’ll maintain the 5.5. advantage in the division.
The Yankees leave for their West Coast trip (where hot streaks go to die) hobbling a little. Derek Jeter left after the second inning of today’s game with a foot contusion. The X-Ray was negative, so we shouldn’t anticipate him being out of the lineup, save for a possible day off for rest tomorrow. A-Rod was also hit in his left elbow in the 11th, numbing it. He also got an X-Ray, and it also came back negative. Posada took a beating behind the plate today. He had a foul ball hit off his hand in the game, in addition to his workout keeping balls in front him. I wouldn’t be surprised if Girardi gave both of them the day off. Our lineup may look a little depleted for game 1 of our series in Seattle, but luckily we’ll be facing Ian Snell.
W: Gaudin 2IP 1H 1BB 0ER 3K
L: Camp 1IP 2H 0BB 1ER 2K
Full box score here.
cross-posted over @ MVN’s The Bronx Block