Monday, April 8, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Yankees 11, Indians 6
By Wallace Matthews
CLEVELAND -- Crisis? What crisis?
What it means: That the New York Yankees, who were a disaster on Saturday, are officially a hot club on Monday, riding a two-game winning streak after an 11-6 win that spoiled the Cleveland Indians' home opener and wiping the smile off Nick Swisher's face, for one day at least.
Welcome back, Robby: Robinson Cano finally began his regular season, belting solo homers in the fifth and sixth innings. Cano also had a double, a walk and scored four runs, and raised his average to .231. If the Yankees hope to do anything this season, this better be only the beginning for Cano.
Pronks Cheer:Travis Hafner was cheered upon his return to Cleveland, where he played 10 seasons, but the cheers turned to jeers when Pronk drove one over the center-field fence with two men on, giving the Yankees a 3-0 first-inning lead. It was his 100th career home run at Progressive Field -- but first as a member of the visiting team.
Hafner made more frenemies in the third when he lined a single to center field with Cano (leadoff double) aboard to give the Yankees a 4-3 lead. Hafner now leads the team with six RBIs.
Wild Men: Both Hiroki Kuroda and Ubaldo Jimenez struggled through control problems in the first inning. Each walked two batters, each allowed three first-inning runs, and the two needed a combined 61 pitches to get out of the inning. Manager Joe Girardi had Shawn Kelley warming up in the first inning, but incredibly, Kuroda recovered from that first inning and worked into the sixth without allowing another run.
Swish-Direction: Great play by Swisher in the first inning in which he hesitated in the baseline just long enough to confuse Lyle Overbay and Cano, causing Michael Brantley's bouncer to skip past them for a single that scored Asdrubal Cabrera from second and allowed Swisher to go all the way to third in the Indians' three-run first.
In a Stew:Chris Stewart manufactured the Yankees' fifth run nearly single-handedly, singling with two out in the fourth and stealing second -- the Indians were so surprised, catcher Carlos Santana didn't even bother to throw -- and scoring on Brett Gardner's looper to short center.
Off the rails: The game spun out of control in the seventh inning when the Yankees added three more runs to go up 11-3, with the help of a walk, a throwing error, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly.
Kelley Green: Kelley had a horrendous eighth inning, allowing a double, triple, two-run homer and two wild pitches to give the Indians three runs.
JoBBa: Working with a five-run lead, Joba Chamberlain walked two batters and had to face Mark Reynolds with two out in the ninth, causing Girardi to make a visit to the mound and closer Mariano Rivera to get up in the bullpen. Joba wound up striking out Reynolds to end the game after a crisp 3 hours, 50 minutes.
What's coming: A story on Cano's resurgence, a blog on Hafner's happy homecoming, as well as assorted blogs out of the postgame clubhouse.