Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cano and Phelps Ride Yankees to Victory

The start of the game was very foreboding, as David Phelps opened the first inning by walking two batters and was in danger of walking the bases loaded with two outs. However, Phelps caught Bautista sleeping at second base and picked him off to preserve the scoreless game in order for his offense to come out and score him some runs. The Yankees did just that, as Cano hit not one, but two two-run home runs off Toronto righty Brandon Morrow. The first home run just made the seats in the first row, an ultimate short porch home run. However, the second home run he hit hit the facing of the Yankees bullpen advertisements. Robinson Cano has been struggling recently, but today's home runs show why at any moment he can turn it around. Before the game, Hal Steinbrenner said that he was "optimistic" about extending Cano to a long-term deal before he hits free agency. Along with Cano, Travis Hafner hit a two run shot in the eighth inning, after fouling two home runs in earlier at-bats against Morrow. In the eighth, the Blue Jays played very sloppy defense which allowed Wells to get to first base on what should have been a groundout to shortstop. Hafner came up following Wells and jacked a two-run blast into the right field seats. Brett Gardner also slapped an RBI single to center field to score Jayson Nix in the third inning. Austin Romine collected another hit, as his bat is beginning to pick up speed as he gets comfortable with more playing time.

David Phelps gave the Yankees a career high seven inning pitched, allowing just one earned run in the process. There is no doubt that this was the best start of Phelps' career as he is trying to cement a spot in the starting rotation. The Yankees will have a dilemma when Ivan Nova comes off the DL, but you have to believe that Phelps will stay in there if he keeps giving them representative outings. David Robertson pitched the eighth inning and surrendered a solo home run to Edwin Encarnacion to cut the Yankees lead to three runs at the time. After Hafner's two-run shot in the bottom of the eighth, Mariano Rivera was able to sit down as the Yankees led by five runs. Boone Logan closed the game out by pitching a perfect ninth inning.

The Yankees have an American League best 18-0 record when scoring first in a game, which is also the best start in that category in American League history. Tomorrow is a battle of the aces as CC Sabathia will get the ball for the Yankees. RA Dickey will get the start for Toronto. Dickey has struggled in his transition to the American League, but things can change on a dime. That's why you play the game.

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