Thursday, April 10, 2014

Pineda Rocks His Stadium Debut

Many were wondering how Michael Pineda would react to pitching under the bright lights of Yankee Stadium against their rival Red Sox, who are also defending world champions. Well, it was a cake walk for Pineda as he pitched 6+ innings, allowing only one run on a solo home run by Daniel Nava. In total, Pineda allowed just four hits in six innings of work, walking two batters and striking out seven batters. This was a desperately needed performance for Girardi and the bullpen as the relievers are exhausted and Girardi wants to save his pen for the rest of the weekend. This was a big win for the Yankees because they were able to stave off a three game losing streak and did so against a champion caliber team. The Red Sox now have the pressure on them as they get ready for the core of the series which is to come on Friday and Saturday. Michael Pineda made the hitters looks off balance all night, swinging at his devastating slider all night long.

A struggling David Phelps came into the game in the seventh inning with two outs and pitched himself to a save, going 2 1/3 perfect innings while striking out three. The combination of Michael Pineda and David Phelps allows Girardi to have a more full bullpen in tomorrow's game when CC Sabathia will take the mound. 

The offense didn't blow the cover off the ball, but they were able to get timely hits against Buchholz. The Boston starter allowed seven hits and four runs in six innings of work. The Yankees did all of their scoring in two innings, in the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, Ellsbury reached base on an error and came around to score following a single by McCann which put Carlos Beltran, who singled following Ellsbury, at third base. Beltran came around to score in a double play grounder by Soriano. In the following inning, Dean Anna hit the first big league homer of his career and it came against the Red Sox as a member of the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. That will be a moment he will never forget and it have the Yankees a 3-0 lead. Ellsbury followed later in the inning with an RBI single that scored Jeter who doubled earlier in the inning. 

The Yankees go into the core of the series having won the first game and look to begin a small winning streak tomorrow as CC Sabathia tries to improve on each of his previous two starts. If he can do what Pineda did tonight (keep Ortiz off base), then the game will be that much easier for Sabathia and the Yankees. Jon Lester will face the Yankees. Lester is looking for his first win of the season despite pitching well in his first two starts; he is 0-2 with a 2.51 ERA thus far this season. I'll be at the Stadium so I'm looking for a pitcher's duel!

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