Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Gardner, Hafner Come Up Big in Comeback Victory

Until the seventh inning, left hander Wade Miley was dealing against the Yankees hitters. The offense looked as weak as it could have possibly looked. Through five innings of work, Miley allowed only three base runners, and escaped one of the innings with a double play ball. In the seventh inning the Yankees were able to get to Miley. The young lefty lost the strike zone after Brennan Boesch doubled in the seventh to put runners on second and third with two outs. After the double, Miley walked two straight batters, one of which drove in the Yankees first run of the inning. Miley was removed with two outs in the seventh after allowing the Yankees first run to score on a bases loaded walk in favor of lefty reliever Tony Sipp. Sipp faced Gardner and Gardner greeted him with a two run single to left field to tie the game. In the next inning Girardi sent Travis Hafner to pinch hit for Ben Francisco with two outs in the eighth and Hafner belted a go-ahead solo blast to give the Yankees a permanent lead. The offense was stagnant for the first two thirds of the game but were able to turn things around with big two out hits in consecutive innings, which is something they were incapable of doing last year. Hafner has been a pleasant surprise for the Yankees, who took a relatively low risk with the injury prone designated hitter. Cashman may get scrutinized in the off-season but his acquisitions usually pan out well during the season, making him look like a genius.

Sabathia struggled early in this one, allowing two runs in the first inning on a Paul Goldschmidt home run and allowed another run in the fifth after a lead-off triple and a sac fly. Sabathia was again able to go deep into the game, pitching eight solid frames and allowing only three runs, which is a deficit the Yankees are usually able to overcome. Sabathia's fastball topped out at 91.17 MPH and his average fastball velocity was at 90 MPH. If Sabathia knows what to do with the reduced velocity on his pitches he should not have trouble even if he throws 85 MPH because it's how you throw your pitches, not how fast your fastball velocity is. Following Sabathia was Mariano Rivera who threw a perfect ninth inning to notch his 612th career save.

The Yankees, who have won seven of their last eight games will go for the series sweep tomorrow with Phil Hughes on the mound, who needs a decent start badly. Opposing Hughes on the mound will be lefty Patrick Corbin who is 2-0 on the young season with a 1.50 ERA.

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