Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Yankees 3, Rangers 0
By Matt Ehalt
A brilliant outing by Hiroki Kuroda and back-to-back homers by Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira powered the New York Yankees to a 3-0 win over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.
A HERO ON THIS NIGHT: Arguably, Kuroda has been the Yankees' best pitcher all season and he showed it Tuesday as he tossed a complete-game shutout against Texas. He carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning and pitched perhaps his finest outing against arguably the best lineup in baseball. He gave up just two hits.
Texas did not hit many balls hard during the first six innings as Kuroda held them hitless. He mixed and matched his pitches and Texas kept grounding out, often to second base. Making Kuroda's outing all the more impressive was how he was given no run support through the first six innings, meaning he had no breathing room.
Kuroda finally surrendered a hit in the seventh on an infield single but held Texas to just one more hit the rest of the game. He's now 11-8 on the year and continues to be a key reason why the Yankees have the best record in the American League.
GOING YARD: Tuesday's game boiled down to a blinking match, seeing which team would be the first to give up a run. The Yankees' big bats made sure they didn't lose.
Swisher had the big hit for the second straight night, stroking a two-run shot to right to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. He had hit a grand slam Monday, and his homer on Tuesday was even more important as the Yankees had struggled to get much going all night.
His at-bat was followed by Teixeira, who also drilled one to right to give the Yankees an insurance run. It was a showcase of why the Yankees can be so dangerous as it went from being a scoreless game to a 3-0 lead in a stretch of three batters. They may not always be able to hit well with runners in scoring position, but being able to hit home runs always gives the Yankees a chance to win games.
FINE AT THIRD:Casey McGeehee, filling in at third, reached base in each of his first three at-bats, including two singles. As the Yankees wait for Alex Rodriguez to return, they continue to get stellar production from their replacements, who are 26-for-67 (.388).
STAYING IN FIRST: With singles in the first and the seventh, Derek Jeter continues to lead the AL in hits. He has 156 on the year, which trails only former Yankee Melky Cabrera of the Giants for the major league lead. Jeter scored the first run of the game.
COMING ATTRACTIONS:Andrew Marchand is going to write about Tuesday's heroes, Kuroda and Swisher, and how the Yankees will need them in October. I'll touch on those subjects, as well as blog some other items from around the clubhouse.
UP NEXT:Freddy Garcia (6-7, 4.64 ERA) will try to give the Yankees three straight wins over the Rangers when he opposes Scott Feldman (7-6, 4.92 ERA) at 7:05 p.m. ET on Wednesday.