WHAT IT MEANS: Nick Swisher comes through in the clutch. His two-run homer in the 10th gave the Yankees the lead and, after Mariano Rivera recorded yet another save at Camden Yards, the Yankees swept the Orioles. They now return home at 3-3.
BINDER!!!: With the game tied in the ninth, the Orioles had runners on first and second with two outs. Joe Girardi instructed Rafael Soriano to intentionally walk Nick Markakis to face Adam Jones with the bases loaded. Jones had been 0-for-6 with a strikeout against Soriano. Three pitches later, he was 0-for-7 with two strikeouts.
New York Yankees
BULLPEN BULLIES: The Yankees bullpen has been great. On Wednesday, Boone Logan combined with Soriano and Rivera. Rivera's 40 saves at Camden is the most by any closer in an opponent's ballpark. Rivera pitched for the third straight day, which he only did once last year. Maybe Girardi is milking Mo in what might be his final season?
GRAND START: Curtis Granderson got rid of the goose eggs next to his name in the first. After Derek Jeter led off with a double against Jake Arrieta, Granderson went yard for the first time this season. He picked up his first two RBIs as well
GRAND SEVENTH: With the Yankees down a run, Granderson knocked a single off ex-teammate Luis Ayala. It was a nice piece of hitting as Granderson served an outside pitch into left field.
CC GIVES SIX: The Yankees needed CC Sabathia to give them some length to save their tired bullpen. Though the big fella wasn't his sharpest, he was workmanlike, throwing 112 pitches (70 strikes), while allowing four runs (all earned) on eight hits, eight strikeouts and two walks. He left with the game tied.
NO HANDS: Sabathia kept up his habit of reaching for hard grounders with his throwing hand. He did it in the second on a Ronny Paulino chopper up the middle. Sabathia was OK, but it is a habit he has to kick because it could cost him six weeks or more at some point with a broken bone in his hand. Plus, it may have been a double play had he let it go.
UNCLUTCH: Tied in the eighth, Alex Rodriguez knocked a single to lead off. After a Mark Teixeira fly out, pinch runner Eduardo Nunez stole second and moved to third on an error. He was left at third as both Swisher and Russell Martin struck out. The Yankees have had a lot of trouble getting that key single when they need it. But Swisher, of course, made up for it two innings later.
0-ROD: A-Rod will go into the home opener with the same number of homers and RBIs that you have. To go along with his goose-eggs in those categories, A-Rod is hitting just .174 in 23 at-bats.
WHAT IS NEXT: The Yankees are off on Thursday, except for their "Welcome Home" dinner, where they will honor Jorge Posada. Posada will throw out the first pitch on Friday afternoon when the Yankees face the Angels in the home opener. On the mound, it will be Hiroki Kuroda (0-1, 6.35 ERA) vs. Ervin Santana (0-1, 7.94 ERA). On Saturday, it will be Phil Hughes (0-1, 3.86 ERA) vs. C.J. Wilson (1-0, 1.29 ERA). On Sunday, it will be Ivan Nova (1-0, 2.57 ERA) vs. TBA (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
COMING ATTRACTIONS: I will be blog after the game with news and views (Clyde Frazier would be proud) from the clubhouse. Thursday morning, look for First Pitch at 7 a.m. and Opening Day blog stuff all day. I will be writing a column as well.
In a little bit, Mark Simon is going to chime in with a well-researched piece on the statistical state of the Yankees after six games. So keep coming back to the blog. Thanks for reading.
QUESTION OF THE NIGHT: After the first week of games, what is your opinion of the state of the Yankees?