Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Postgame notes: Gardner, Hafner and more
By Wallace Matthews
On a roll: Wednesday's 4-3 win over the Diamondbacks was the Yankees' third win in a row, and seventh in their last eight games. Anyone remember when they were 1-4?
Dry spell:Brett Gardner led off the bottom of the first with a single, and then the Yankees went 18 batters before their second hit -- Vernon Wells' double with two outs in the sixth. An inning later, Gardner had the second-most important hit of the night, a two-run single that tied the game at 3.
Pronks Bomber:Travis Hafner's pinch-hit home run in the eighth was the fourth of his career, and also his fourth homer of the season -- a number he did not reach until May 25 last year, when he finished with 12.
Best of CC, worst of CC: Actually, it's the other way around. CC Sabathia needed 31 pitches to struggle his way through the three-run first inning, and just 77 more to get through the next seven innings. The victory, his third of the season, ran his record to 10-1 against teams from the NL West.
The Ben Francisco treat: After 10 at-bats, Francisco finally collected his first hit as a Yankee -- a scorched single down the left-field line leading off the seventh that sparked the Yankees' three-run comeback inning. That was also his last at-bat of the night -- Joe Girardi sent Hafner up to hit for him in the eighth, and you know the rest.
Mo milestones:Mariano Rivera's fourth save of the season was also his 70th in interleague play (an all-time record), and his 28th straight at home over a National League club -- a streak that extends back nearly 12 years, to June 14, 2001. It was also his first time going back-to-back since his season-ending knee injury last May.