Rapid Reaction: Yankees 10, Blue Jays 4
August, 10, 2012
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com
What it means: That was started out as a disastrous road trip now has a chance to wind up being a terrific one. The Yankees jump on the Blue Jays' shaky bullpen -- and stifle its Jose Bautista-less lineup to post their third victory in a row, and suddenly those two losses in Detroit seem like a loooong time ago.
Center of attention: Ichiro Suzuki started in centerfield for the first time since 2008, and perhaps in celebration, drove in five of the Yankees 10 runs with a second-inning groundout, a two-run single in the eighth and a two-run double in the ninth, although the scoring on that last one was admittedly generous as Rajai Davis made a clumsy attempt at a sliding catch and allowed the ball to get by him. But no matter -- it goes into the record books as a 2-for-5, 5 RBI night.
Steady Freddy: Once again, Freddy Garcia turned in a solid outing, allowing two runs on five hits, one of them a solo home run by Kelly Johnson, over six innings. Garcia's performance raised a question was only Joe Girardi could answer -- why did he pull Garcia after only 78 pitches?
Mark it up: Mark Teixeira's 22nd home run of the season, a blast just inside the rightfield foul pole, came on the first pitch thrown by Blue Jays reliever Steve Delabar, who replaced Ricky Romero to start the eighth inning. It also gave the Yankees a little breathing room -- a 4-2 lead -- with six outs to go in the game.
Face hit: Russell Martin was credited with a hit when his soft pop fly to short left missed the glove of Jays' second baseman Kelly Johnson-- and glanced off his face. The mishap cost Toronto two more runs when Ichiro followed with a single that scored Martin and Jayson Nix.
Sloppy second: the Yankees got two runs in the second inning with help from the Blue Jays defense, when catcher Jeff Mathis fielded a sacrifice bunt by Nix and fired the ball into left field, allowing Robinson Cano to score from first and giving the Yankees runners on first and third with none out. Andruw Jones, the runner ar third, then scored on Ichiro's ground out.
Tough shift: The Blue Jays employed an unusual shift against a right-hand hitting Teixeira and it cost them both a double play and a run in the third inning, because with second-baseman Johnson playing to the left of the bag, shortstop Escobar had no one to flip to for the forceout on Tex' grounder. Nick Swisher, who had singled, was safe at second and scored on Cano's single to right to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead.
Thanks, Jim!: The Yankees got a break in the eighth inning when first-base ump Jim Joyce called Colby Rasmus out, completing a double play, although it was clear that Swisher -- who had moved to first base from right field that inning -- came off the bag fielding the throw from Derek Jeter.
(Over-)manage much?: For some reason, Girardi felt the need to replace Clay Rapada with Cody Eppley with two outs in the ninth inning -- and a seven-run lead. Eppley gave up an RBI single to the first batter he faced, something Rapada could just as easily have done.
What's coming:A night of blogs on Garcia, Ichiro, Teixeira and whatever other goodies the post-game clubhouse may provide.
What tomorrow brings: Game 2 of this three-game series, Ivan Nova (10-6, 4.81) tries to get back on track, faving LHP Aaron Laffey (3-2, 4.39), first pitch at 1:07 p.m.
- There are no games scheduled for today.