Monday, September 12, 2011

Yankees postgame notes following a win in Anaheim

Here are some Yankees notes following their thrilling win over the Angels Sunday afternoon to end their four game losing streak.

The Yankees needed to get a win, they have been struggling and needed to take advantage of Boston struggling and get things stabalized. A third of their lineup has been sidelined with injuries, they haven’t had a full group of available relievers in several days, and even their healthy hitters have been struggling. Today they caught a break on a dropped fly ball, and it was just enough luck to snap a four-game losing streak and extend their lead in the American League East.

“We’ve been through a lot lately,” Mark Teixeira said. “And for us to scratch this one out, we could kind of smell it. Once we got that lead, we weren’t going to give it back.”

“We lost the last four in a row, so we needed a win, period,” Mariano Rivera said. “We got a little bit of luck today, but that’s part of the game.”

Eric Chavez had an early RBI single, and Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano homered in the middle innings, but the decisive blow was a seventh-inning sacrifice fly that glanced off Peter Bourjos’ glove. When he coupled that error with a bad throw, the Yankees were able to score not only the tying run, but also the go-ahead run. And this time, they had all of their late-inning relievers available to seal it.  It was a bit of luck but the Yankees needed it and took advantage of it.

“Tex drove that ball a long way,” Joe Girardi said. “The sun helped us today… We’ve had some tough losses here. These guys are a tough team to beat, and we know that. We had a chance to win three games in a sense. To be able to get this one was important

It’s hardly a surprise that Girardi decided to use Austin Romine as a defensive replacement in the seventh inning — the Yankees have never denied that Romine is a better defensive catcher — but Montero threw out the first guy who tried to steal against him, and the Yankees seemed happy with his ability to hold his own in this situation.  I thought he did a pretty good job, he struggled offensively today and he did allow a ball to go through his legs to score a run althought it was scored as a wild pitch.

Garcia: “He did a really good job. We were on the same page. We talked about it before the game, what I like to do, and he did pretty good. I was really happy for him.”

Girardi: “I thought he did okay. There’s balls going every which direction when you catch Freddy. Some splitters are going to go straight down, some are going to left and some are going to go right. I thought he did a good job. To be thrown into that situation against an aggressive ballclub after losing two games, I thought he did a nice job.”

Montero: “A little nervous the first time, but after that it was like, let’s work. Let’s win today. Let’s help our team to win… We talked before the game. We talked about everything: ‘I like to throw this, I like to do this.’ I was OK. He told me, ‘Be ready to block.’ That’s what I did. We did a nice job together.”

 Rivera got career save No. 599 today. Up next, becoming the second pitcher to ever reach 600. “It’s a great number, definitely,” Rivera said. “It’s going to happen if it happens. I’ll be fine. I won’t lose any sleep if it doesn’t happen, but it’s a great number.”  There is no doubt that he will get it, if not this year then next year but that is Mo to be humble. 

 Obviously this wasn’t Garcia’s finest start — he’s had two shaky outings in a row — but leaving the bases loaded in the fifth inning might have been the key to the game, specifically the 3-1 pitch that Mark Trumbo popped up for the second out. “I was really glad that Joe gave me the confidence to finish that inning,” Garcia said. “It’s really important for any pitcher in that situation. We lost the first two here, so to give me the chance to get out of that inning, it was big.”

 Austin Romine had a crazy day. He woke up at 4:30 ET, flew to LA, got to the park around noon and made his big league debut as a defensive replacement. “I had a million things thrown at me at one time,” he said. “They were showing me pictures of hitters and counts and stuff like that. I just took a deep breath and treated it like spring training. I’d caught him before — I’d caught all these guys before – and I’d played here before, so the comfort level was higher than I thought it was going to be. I just took a deep breath and didn’t think.”

Speaking of Romine, he said he didn’t throw to second on the strange stolen base in the seventh because Torii Hunter was in front of him. “He was in front of me,” Romine said. “I didn’t want to try to throw it around him and throw it into the outfield. I figured, we have a guy on the mound who can get people out. Let him get them out, rather than have me throw the ball into the outfield and put us even or down a run. I just didn’t want to throw it away.”  If he did throw it and it hit Hunter or he did it would of been interference so I actually think that was a rookie mistake but it ended up working out.

Russell Martin said his thumb is better, but Girardi said he expects either Montero or Romine to catch tomorrow night in Seattle. “You’ve got two guys that, if you add them up, are the same age as Jorge,” Girardi said. “They both did a good job. I remember my first game in the big-leagues and I was as nervous as you could be. For them to do what they did, I’m proud of both of them.”  It is better for the Yankees to be cautious and make sure that Martin comes back and he doesn't reinjure his thumb, the Yankees need their guys to be ready for the postseason.

Montero on throwing out the first runner who tried to steal against him: “Well, thank God I make a nice throw right there. I know Callaspo likes to run and I was ready to throw the ball to second base real quick, and that’s what I did.”

Steve Garrison was designated for assignment to make room for Romine on the 40 man roster. 

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