Our long national nightmare is over. Alex Rodriguez has finally hit home run number 600. Maybe this team can start focusing on winning now.
After dropping three in a row and four out of five, the Yankees got back into the win column yesterday, beating the Blue Jays 5-1 in the Bronx.
A-Rod's blast was a two-run shot to dead center and came in the first off Jays starter Shawn Marcum. As I mentioned in a previous post, it also happened to be the three-year anniversary of A-Rod's 500th.
With the way Phil Hughes and the rest of the Yankees staff threw the ball today, those two runs would be enough. Hughes pitched very well, allowing a run on just four hits and two walks, while striking out five over 5.1 innings. The only problem with his start was that he threw too many pitches and had to leave the game earlier than I'm sure Joe Girardi would have liked. Of his 99 pitches, 60 found the zone. The lone Jays runs against Hughes came in the 4th, on an RBI double by Lyle Overbay.
Besides A-Rod, Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira also had big days. Jeter went 4-for-4 with two doubled and scored three runs. Surprisingly, it was The Captain's first four-hit game of season. If you're wondering, last year Jeter had four four-hit games, and two in 2008. Tex had three hits including a double, and drove in three to bring his RBI total to 81. His double made it 3-0 Yankees in the second, and then two inning later he singled with the bases loaded to drive in two more.
After a shaky game yesterday, the Yankees bullpen rebounded with a very solid effort on Wednesday. Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson, and Mariano Rivera combined to throw 3.2 innings of one hit baseball to wrap up the win for the Bombers.
To make things even better, both Boston and Tampa lost so the Yankees are back in a tie for first with the Rays, and their lead over Boston is back to 6.5.
The Yankees can now head into their off-day feeling good about themselves before opening up a big series with the Red Sox on Friday. Javier Vazquez will start the opener for the Yanks, with Clay Buchholz going for the Sox. Friday's first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m., and the game will be on MY9 and the MLB Network.