Looks like things haven’t changed too much since November 4th.
The Yankees welcomed back the Phillies along with their newly acquired ace Roy Halladay on Tuesday night. And to be honest, the Yanks haven’t missed Halladay too much.
There is no arguing the spectacular numbers he has posted against the Yankees. Before getting the nod for Tuesday night’s start, Doc was 18-6 with a 2.84 ERA against New York. Yes, that is the 3rd best of any pitcher in history against the Bombers. He has joined the likes of Babe Ruth (17-5) and Addie Joss (28-9) as best against the Yankees.
However, the Defending World Champion New York Yankees (Ah, nice ring to it still) were unfazed by statistics.
After retiring the first four batters, Roy Halladay (8-5) surrendered a single to Nick Swisher and followed that with a four-pitch walk to Jorge Posada. Wearing the protective ring on his thumb, Brett Gardner roped a 2-1 pitch from Doc into the right-centerfield gap that was good for a triple. Swisher and Posada (Yes, from first base) would score with relative ease to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. Escaping from further trouble, Halladay would leave the mound only to hand the ball to Sabathia.
C.C. Sabathia (7-3), in his first three innings of work, gave a preview of what the 2nd half of the year should hold for the Yankees and their fans. Not only did he throw a strike to all 10 batters faced in those innings, he allowed only one walk while striking out six Phillies. The slider was biting hard and his fastball was spot-on.
On a 2-2 pitch in the 3rd, Curtis Granderson launched a ball that landed somewhere in section 205 out in right field. Granderson became the first left-handed batter of 2010 to hit a home run off of Doc and he extended the Yankee lead to 3-0. Robinson Cano would continue his 1st half rampage by doubling into right-center with 1 out. That brought Nick Swisher to the plate, and he would become the 2nd left-handed batter of the year to take #34 yard. Doc served up a 2-0 meatball to Swisher that was launched into the bleachers about 15 rows back to make it 5-0 New York.
C.C. would struggle in the 4th, loading the bases with no one out. Back to back RBI singles by Jason Werth and Raul Ibanez would cut into the Yankee lead. What happened next was odd. A groundball hit to Mark Teixeira by Ben Francisco was thrown to 2nd for a force out. Sabathia didn’t bother covering 1st base and Teixeira didn’t notice that Ryan Howard was the force out at the plate. In any event, C.C. would escape with a 5-3 edge and would pitch through the 7th inning without allowing another runner to cross the plate.Mark Teixeira, in a desperate attempt to rediscover his swing, would blast a 1-out dinger into right field (narrowly missing a cameraman) to give the Yankees a 6-3 lead. After not allowing a single home run to a lefty all year, Halladay had given up three in one night.
With the bases loaded in the 7th for New York, Francisco Cervelli got another RISP hit by driving home two runs for the 8-3 lead. This would prove to be plenty.
David Robertson and Chan Ho Park would pitch the 8th and 9th innings, respectively, and close the door on a great Yankee victory. The Yankees improved their record to a MLB-leading 41-23 while the Phillies fell to 32-30. The Yankees are now 22-7 at home and the Phillies are 16-17 on the road.
Quick note... Alex Rodriguez resumed batting practice as well as fielding and running drills today before the game. Hopefully he will be ready to go Wednesday.
Wednesday night’s starters are A.J. Burnett and Kyle Kendrick. First pitch at 7:05 and can be caught on YES Network as well as WCBS 880.