Saturday, September 3, 2011

Yankees win as Jesus Montero records his first major league hit

Here is my game recap from this afternoons victory over the Blue Jays.

The New York Yankees defeated the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon by the score of 6-4. Bartolo Colon made the start and pitched pretty well but not great. He got a no decision in this game. The bullpen was outstanding as usual and they were shorthanded with Rafael Soriano and Mariano Rivera not being available due to being used a lot lately. The offense saw Montero pick up his first major league hit and Robinson Cano deliver the big blow in the game.

Colon pitched 6 1/3 innings giving up four runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out seven. Boone Logan picked up his fifth win of the season pitching 2/3 of an inning and striking out one. Dave Robertson picked up his first save of the season pitching two scoreless innings. He gave up a hit and struck out three.

Brett Gardner had two hits and a walk, Derek Jeter had the day off and Mark Teixeira was still out of the lineup with a sore knee. Alex Rodriguez was back and had a hit and a walk, Cano had a hit and two RBI and Nick Swisher had a hit, RBI and a walk. Andruw Jones had a hit, Montero had his first major league hit and Eduardo Nunez had a hit, RBI and a walk. Francisco Cervelli had two hits and two RBI, Jones and Cano had a double each. Cervelli hit a homerun and the Yankees were 4-7 with runners in scoring position. The Yankees left six men on base. Gardner had two stolen bases and Cervelli was caught stealing and picked off.

In the second inning the Blue Jays took a 2-0 lead on a Adam Lind solo homerun and a J.P. Arencibia sacrifice fly. The Yankees came right back in the bottom of the second with three runs to take the lead. Nunez had an RBI single and Cervelli hit a two run homerun. In the third inning the Blue Jays tied the game at three on a Jose Bautista RBI single. In the fifth inning Dewayne Wise who had a great game hit a solo homerun, his first of the season to give the Jays a 4-3 lead. Cano had the big blow in the game, a two run double in the seventh to give the Yankees a 5-4 lead. Swisher added an RBI single in the seventh to give the Yankees a 6-4 lead which wouldn’t change.

The Yankees will be going for the three game sweep on Sunday afternoon. CC Sabathia will be on the mound. The Yankees remained ½ a game ahead of the Boston Red Sox in the AL East. The Red Sox also won on Saturday evening to keep pace. The Yankees are hoping that Teixiera will return to the lineup on Sunday and Jeter will be back in there after the day off on Saturday. The Yankees will be looking for Sabathia to pitch deep into the game to give their bullpen a break. Robertson won’t be available on Sunday but Soriano and Rivera should be. Montero should be making his second straight start at DH, after getting his first hit out of the way he will probably relax more now and his natural instincts should take over. It is amazing to watch Posada being fazed out and if Montero hits he will be on the postseason roster and make the team next year if everything goes right. The Yankees of course are trying to win a division title and that is the most important thing to them right now but the future is also important and they have seen a lot out of the so called young guns this season. Nova has a chance at rookie of the year, Nunez has done a lot of good things especially offensively and now Montero is getting his chance. Hector Noesi has also done a nice job this season in long relief.

Yankees Post Game Notes after another victory

Here are some of today's postgame notes after the Yankees won their third straight game and second straight against the Blue Jays. 

Girardi talking about Colon: “(Colon) was able to give us some distance. They got some runs off him. He got the unfortunate break of the ball hitting the bag, the third run he gave up. I thought he used his fastball pretty well today and I thought he had pretty good movement. He got some groundballs.”  I personally thought he was pretty good but he wasn't great.  The Yankees offense is good enough though that you don't have to be great and they have a strong bullpen.

“The real rough inning was the one when he gave up the two runs. They hit him pretty good that inning, but he seemed to settle down.”

“I knew that I didn’t have Soriano or Mo, either, today. I didn’t even ask. I wasn’t going to pitch them no matter what. I was going to (Robertson) even if was still 4-3 and we were losing. Where they were in the order, I was going to try and keep it close. My thought was, ‘I’ll worry about the ninth when we get there. Let’s just try and control the eighth.’ Then he had a pretty quick eighth inning which allowed us to send him out in the ninth.”  I don't think he had much of a choice really but the pitch count started climbing in the second inning for Robertson.  “He probably had one more hitter after the final out. Our thought was somewhere between 35 and 40 pitches that we would let him go. But that was going to be it.”

Girardi was asked about Arod and he said he took a deep breath when A-Rod dove for the ball in the second. Said he didn’t hear anything negative from Rodriguez about how the thump survived the game.

Cano “just never chased. He made Janssen throw strikes. And Robbie’s dangerous at any point in the count, whether he’s down or not. Throw him a strike and he can get the head to it. And we got to see Alex run, so that was good too. Then you get a big hit by Swish. “But to see Robbie Cano drive in the go-ahead run yesterday and then the go-ahea run today, it’s big for us.”  Cano may be the face of the franchise moving forward so it is important for him to do things like that.  He is the best pure hitter on the team.

“We saw him really step up last year. I thought that was really kind of his breakout year. Which I thought he had as good a chance as anybody to win the MVP because of what he does offensively and defensively. The expectation is he’s going to do that every year. He had to slide into the fourth hole a number of times last year and was very successful. I don’t think it matters where you hit Robbie. He’s going to hit. And he’s not going to mind the stage. This kid loves the stage. Loves the pressure moments. It’s one of the reasons why he’s so successful.”

“I wouldn’t write him off in that MVP race, that’s what I wouldn’t do. Because we know what he’s capable of doing, and carrying a club, and putting up a big month. God knows where his numbers might end up at the end of the year. So, Robbie Cano is a staple of our lineup. It’s a pleasure to pencil his name in there every day. It’s real easy. The hard part is when to pick a day to give him a day off. That’s the hardest part of my job when it comes to Robbie Cano.”

Girardi said he’s leaning toward giving Robertson a day off Sunday. “He was upset that we shut him down (Friday). He said it was normal soreness you have after you pitch.”

“I told him, i said, ‘Robbie (Robertson) I could use you anywhere from the eighth to the ninth inning. Just be prepared.”

“We have 82 RBI from out catchers this year. That’s pretty good.”  Cervelli has improved offensively and done a pretty good job back there.  His defense has declined but it has been better then earlier in the year.  The Yankees will go for the sweep of the Blue Jays tomorrow afternoon with their ace on the mound.  Teixeira should be back tomorrow.  It was a big day for Jesus Montero who recorded his first major league hit.  He said he was really excited and the ball will be going to his father who is in Minnesota but he was watching.  Montero will probably get another start tomorrow and mostly all against the lefties especially if he keeps producing.


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