Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Good Ol' Fashioned Slug Fest

The Yankees really put the pedal to the metal today, both in offense and pitching. The same offense that scored three runs in its' last three games scored a whopping eight runs in a rout of Kansas City on a hot, humid night at Yankee Stadium. The big blows came off the bats of Robinson Cano and Lyle Overbay. Cano hit a three run shot in the second inning off starter Wade David that really traveled to almost straightaway center field. The Yankees had a 4-0 lead to that point in the game and they weren't ready to call it a night. In the sixth inning, Lyle Overbay stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and swung at a 3-2 pitch out of the strike zone. He took the outside pitch and went with it, drilling it into the lower deck in left field for his eleventh home run of the season and the Yankees first grand slam in what seems like decades. The Yankees had big innings tonight, which is something they were not able to do last night against Shields when they had him on the ropes in the first inning. Robinson Cano has been as hot as anyone in baseball in July, and he proved it tonight as he homered for the 21st time this season. Cano is on pace to break his personal best home run record, which stands at 33 from last year. Cano is also two long balls away from 200 in his career. If he spends his entire career with the Yankees, Robinson Cano will shatter offensive records that have been held sacred for decades. He has the ability to be the best hitter on the planet if he was more selective at the plate. Cano will win a batting crown in his career when he figures out how to work in the strike zone. With no protection behind or in front of him in the lineup this year, Cano has learned to be more selective because he realizes that many pitchers won't give him anything to hit, which means Cano has to lay off pitches that are out of the zone.

Ivan Nova threw a gem tonight, going eight innings and allowing just a lone run on an Eric Hosmer RBI double in the eighth inning. He had everything working tonight, especially his curveball. The Royals were 0-8 tonight in at bats ending with a curveball from Nova. I knew that with Ivan Nova it wasn't a question with his ability. Nova his a head case who tries to tell himself that he did better than he actually did. Seemingly every time Nova gets sent to the minors, he returns and pitches like an ace. Tonight, Nova provided the Yankees with his second straight ace performance even though the Yankees held a comfortable lead. Many pitchers would have gotten comfortable and would throw more fastballs down the middle but Nova knew what he had to do. He isn't a lock in this rotation, so even if he had a 20 run lead he would need to show Girardi that he deserves to stay in the rotation.

The night wouldn't be complete without a couple of injuries. Travis Hafner and Brett Gardner were both his by pitches. Hafner was hit in the foot and Gardner was plunked in the right leg. Both were removed from the game with contusions (bruises). They are day-to-day but then again, aren't we all?

The Yankees will hope to keep their momentum rolling tomorrow night so they can earn a split with the Royals. Andy Pettitte will try to pitch them to that split. The Yankees old friend, Ervin Santana will pitch to the Yankee batters. The Yankees always seem to catch up to Santana, as most of the games he starts end up in lob-sided affairs with the Yankees usually ending up on top.

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