Odd game in the Bronx yesterday, especially for Javier Vazquez. He started off the day very well, holding the Angels to only three hits over the first four.
While Javy was rolling along, Angels' starter Joel Pineiro was leaving his sinkers up and the Yankees jumped out to a six-nothing lead. Mark Teixeira (2 doubles, 3 RBI), Alex Rodriguez (RBI), and Robinson Cano (two-run homer) took care of the runs for the Yanks.
Then the game took its odd turn. Javy completely lost it, allowing three runs in the 5th and then a two-run bomb to Hideki Matsui in the sixth to knock him out of the game and cut the Yankees lead to one. After having great command over the first four, his ball began finding too much of the middle of the plate, and the Angels took advantage.
On the other side, Pineiro settled down and held the Yanks off the board in the 5th and 6th. It would be a battle of the bullpens the rest of the way and the Yanks came out on top.
David Robertson replaced Javy after Matsui's homer, and didn't allow a run. Then a combination of Boone Logan and Joba Chamberlain took care of the 7th before a few homegrown Yanks would blow the game open in the bottom half of the inning.
Juan Miranda hit a long solo homer into the Yankees bullpen off Scott Shields to make it 7-5 Yankees. Later in the inning, the Yankees would put two men on for Brett Gardner, but he argued (sort of) balls and strikes and was thrown out of the game during his at-bat. He did nothing to deserve the ejection, but umpires suck so I'm not really surprised.
This meant that Colin Curtis would have to come up with an 0-2 count. It didn't matter, because after Shields missed three times in a row to run the count full, Curtis hammered a 3-2 fastball into the seats in right for a three-run homer. It was the first homer of his career and he also received his first curtain call from the Yankee faithful.
Joba was his inconsistent self in the 8th, allowing two hits and a run, but limited the damage and got the ball to Mariano with the lead, so I guess he did his job.
Mo needed 13 pitches to get through a 1-2-3 ninth and the Yanks had their 59th win of the year.
It's not a great win, as the Yankees starting pitching problem once again showed its face. But when the Yankees hit, they win, and yesterday they racked up 10 runs and 15 hits. Tampa won and Boston lost, so the Yanks remains 2.5 games up on the Rays, and 7 up on the Red Sox.
The Royals come into town for a four-game series starting tomorrow night. CC Sabathia starts the opener against Royals lefty Bruce Chen. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. and the game will be on YES and MLBN.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Colin Curtis (1-for-1, HR, 3 RBI -- first career HR)
HONORABLE MENTION: Mark Teixeira (3-for-5, 2 2B, 3 RBI, R -- now batting .256)