Thursday, July 11, 2013

Captain Collects Hit, RBI in Return to Lineup

The big story of the day was for sure, the return of Derek Jeter to the Yankees lineup after last playing in the big league level in game 1 of the ALCS last October. The captain collected an infield hit that went down the third base line. He would go first to third in the same inning and scored the Yankees first run of the day on a sac fly by Vernon Wells. The captain would drive in a run on an RBI groundout in the in the sixth inning to cap the Yankees scoring for the day. The Yankees went on to score eight runs after scoring eight in last night's game. Derek Jeter's presence in the lineup certainly had to motivate the team to play at their best today. Unfortunately for Derek, he would leave the game before his final at bat in the ninth inning after his quad tightened up in his third at bat. He felt the effects of the tightness in his final at bat before being removed from the game. Joe Girardi didn't think it would be anything serious and believes that Jeter will play tomorrow, as originally scheduled. However, Jeter will undergo a precautionary MRI tonight to make sure the tightness isn't anything more serious.

The key hit in the Yankees eight run outburst had to be Lyle Overbay's two-run single in the fifth inning following an intentional walk to Robinson Cano and an unintentional walk to Vernon Wells with two outs. The Yankees were on Santana from that point forward as they recorded three successive hits versus the right hander. Following Overbay's two-run single to give the Yankees a 5-4 lead, Zoilo Almonte and Eduardo Nunez would each collect an RBI single to pad the Yankees lead to 7-4. Jeter drove in the final run of the game in the sixth inning on a sharp groundout. Every Yankee starter except Wells got a hit in the Yankees final game against the Kansas City Royals. Wells wasn't completely missing from the party, as he drove in a run in the first inning and scored a run after walking in the fifth inning. Austin Romine, who was looking awful at the plate went 2-4 with an RBI double to put the Yankees back into the game in the early going. The team went 5-11 with runners in scoring position which is in stark contrast to their statistics in that category on Monday and Tuesday.

Andy Pettitte, despite getting the win, looked like he was out of gas from the very first pitch. He ended up going 5.2 innings and allowed four runs to the Royals. He wasn't missing many bats but also got himself into a couple of long innings after errors on the field, one by him and another by Nunez at shortstop. After the game, Pettitte was as hard on himself as I have ever seen him. He went as far as saying that he wanted to hang himself after today's performance. Luckily for Pettitte, he was victorious as the Yankees scored him a lot of runs in support for his 252nd career victory. The All-Star break could be a positive for Pettitte. He needs some time to relax and collect himself before beginning the brutal stretch run in chase of a postseason berth.

The Yankees are happy to see that the Twins are coming to town for a three game series before the All-Star break. Lefty Scott Diamond will start for the Twins tomorrow night at the Stadium and facing the Minnesota lineup will be Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda was snubbed for an All-Star selection but with injury to an existing player, Kuroda could find himself at Citi Field next Tuesday.

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