Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Slowly Over the Hump

The Yankees played a well-balanced game tonight, from getting good pitching out of Phil Hughes to clutch hits by Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano. The bullpen did its job tonight, firing three innings of scoreless ball. Soriano got into a jam with one out in the ninth but escaped the inning unscathed thanks to a brilliant play by A-Rod at third and an even more brilliant stretch by Teixeira at first to end the game.

Hughes wasn't dominant tonight by any stretch of the word, but he did what he had to do, limiting the capable Royals offense to two runs in 6 innings of work. Again, long counts and the lack of putting batters away hurt his outing. Girirdi did a great job matching batters up with his pitchers. Cody Eppley pitched a scoreless eighth thanks to another great play by Teixeira. Girardi is playing with his bullpen using his binder. Tonight, it worked well for the Yankees as the Royals managed to stay off the board after the Francoeur home run in the fourth inning.

The hitting is still suspect. After the Jeter single to drive in the tying run, the next three batters all made outs, one of which drove in the go-ahead run thanks to an RBI groundout by Granderson. What makes you scratch your head is that the Jeter single in the fifth was the last hit by a Yankee batter for the remainder of the game. To conclude, the offense still isn't there but tonight it managed to get just enough to prevent the team to going below .500.

Tomorrow I will be at the game, so a late post game reaction is likely. Andy Pettitte takes on rookie Will Smith in Smith's first career start in the big leagues. It should be interesting to see what the Yankee offense does against a pitcher they've never seen. Will their hitting shoes be on, or will Smith make the hitters look foolish?

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