Monday, June 3, 2013

Teixeira Slams Past Tribe

In a game where the Yankees were trying Overbay in right field, most things went right for the team. Andy Pettitte was cruising through four innings and everyone assumed the Yankees were on their way to a win and Pettitte's 250th of his career. However, things unraveled for Pettitte in the fifth inning. The inning began with a double by Stubbs to right-center field and was followed by a swinging bunt base hit from Michael Bourn. After the Bourn hit, things went sour for Pettitte when he walked Swisher and Reynolds with one out and gave up a three run lead on a double down the line to score two more runs. Pettitte exited the game after throwing 83 pitches, looking exhausted and out of sync. After the cheap hit to Michael Bourn the floodgates opened for Pettitte who could have easily pitched his way out of the inning unscathed with a chance to qualify for the win. After leaving the game, Shawn Kelley entered to replace Pettitte and walked a batter but recorded the third out of the fifth inning to keep the game at a tie. The Yankee bullpen was able to record the final thirteen outs of the game by allowing just one hit, ironically enough coming via Mariano Rivera. What I'm trying to say is that the bullpen has been the Yankees rock over the course of the season and without key pieces such as Shawn Kelley, the Yankees would not have been as solid of a team coming out of the bullpen. Kelley and Claiborne, who didn't pitch tonight, have been pleasant surprises out of the bullpen. Claiborne is channeling a 2007 version of Joba Chamberlain with his breakout season, sporting a 0.55 ERA in 16.1 innings pitched.

After scoring only six runs over their last four games, the Yankee offense was able to bring out the bats tonight and they had their power stroke ready for Masterson, who dominated the Yankees a couple of weeks ago in Cleveland as he pitched a complete game shutout. Masterson unraveled in the third inning by loading the bases for Mark Teixeira who drilled a grand slam into the first row of the short porch in right field to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead that they would lose but would get back in the sixth inning. The home run was Teixeira's first of the season. Before the home run he struggled in his first three games back. It is expected that he won't be 100% comfortable at the plate but the Yankees will take what he gave them today. With the game tied at four, Brett Gardner slapped a hard line drive over Masterson's head and into center field to score two runs, giving the Yankees a 6-4 lead that they would not relinquish. Travis Hafner added an insurance run by homering to right field in the seventh inning. Hafner has been struggling lately and watching him launch the home run is a positive sign for the slugging DH.
The Yankees will try to keep this going tomorrow as they will send David Phelps to the mound to face Scott Kazmir, who has won three games but has an ugly 5.13 ERA. Phelps struggled in his last start against the Mets where he only lasted one-third of an inning and allowed five runs. Scott Kazmir has resurrected his career with the Indians but he has had his fair share of starts against the Yankees when he pitched for the Devil Rays. The lefty is 7-6 against the Yankees in his career and Robinson Cano is among the hitters who has done well against Kazmir with three home runs and an even .300 average.

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