Rapid Reaction: Yankees 7, Blue Jays 6
September, 17, 2011
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com
Recap | Box score | Photos
What it means: That Trevor Hoffman has some company atop the formerly exclusive Mt. 601, and very good company indeed. Mariano Rivera's 42nd save of the season is also the 601st of his illustrious career, pulling him even with baseball's all-time saves leader and closing out a rousing come-from-behind win for the Yankees.
Life begins at 40: Curtis Granderson reached the big 4-0 -- homers that is -- with a two-run shot over the center field fence off reliever Carlos Villanueva to give the Yankees their first lead of the day, 7-6, in the seventh inning. Granderson fouled off seven straight pitches before connecting with the 12th pitch of the at-bat, a changeup. Granderson now has 113 RBI, also a career high, 39 more than his previous best, when he knocked in 74 for the Tigers in 2007.
Thumb-thing good: Alex Rodriguez, playing for the first time since Sept. 9 due to a sprained left thumb and using his new split-hands grip, jacked one into the left-field seats off Henderson Alvarez in the sixth, a three-run bomb that closed the gap to 6-5. A-Rod also singled in the first.
Big Bad Bart: Bartolo Colon struggled through his worst outing since July 14, when these same Blue Jays chased him off the Rogers Centre mound after just two-thirds of an inning. Today, Colon last four, but got smacked around good, allowing six runs on seven hits.
Cano, where'd ya go?: The lowlight of a sloppy, comical fourth inning was the sight of Mark Teixeira scrambling back toward third base to tag up after Colby Rasmus' spectacular running catch of Nick Swisher's drive to deep center and frantically trying to wave Robinson Cano back to second -- only to discover that Cano was behind him, having charged all the way around third thinking the ball had dropped. The vaudeville baserunning routine resulted in a bizarre and costly inning-ending DP.
Oh, what a relief: In addition to Rivera, the Yankees bullpen didn't allow a hit after Colon left the game. Scott Proctor, Aaron Laffey, Hector Noesi and Rafael Soriano faced 12 Blue Jays and retired 11 of them, with only Jose Bautista reaching on a walk from Proctor in the fifth before being erased in a double play. For the second straight game, Soriano struck out the side in his only inning of work.
Shortstop to shortstop: Derek Jeter came to bat four times in the first seven innings, and hit the ball right at Toronto shortstop Mike McCoy all four times. The first three resulted in routine 6-3s, but Jeter beat out the the last one, in the seventh inning for an infield single, and wound up scoring on Granderson's home run.