It’s another beautiful day in Yankee-land!
The New York Yankees, making their last trip to the west coast this season, dabbled with the Oakland Athletics last night to open up a 3-game series. Javier Vazquez and Ben Sheets got the nod to start the game.
The Yankees pushed across the first runs of the night when Nick Swisher lined a 2-out double into rightfield and Curtis Granderson tripled him home. Francisco Cervelli would go on to single and give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. Thankfully, that’s all that Vazquez would need. Other than allowing a Cliff Pennington triple and Coco Crisp sacrifice-fly, Javy was brilliant.
Vazquez didn’t bring his overpowering stuff into Oakland last night, striking out only 2 batters, but he did go 7 innings giving up only 3 hits and 2 walks along with that 1 run.
With a slim 2-1 lead heading into the top of the 6th inning, Mark Teixeira blasted a ball deep over the centerfield wall to add an insurance run to New York’s lead.
Although there was no tremendous outpouring of offensive fireworks Monday evening, there certainly was a fair share of spectacular defense flashed by the Bombers. Derek Jeter made a great play to his glove side by fielding, spinning and firing to 1st base to nail Mark Ellis in the 3rd inning. Alex Rodriguez made another infield gem diving to his right, popping to his feet and throwing a bullet on the money to Teixeira in the 6th. Most notably, however, were the wonderful back-to-back diving catches made by Curtis Granderson and Colin Curtis in the 7th inning to help Javy get through the frame unscathed.
Joba Chamberlain came on to face Oakland’s 9-1-2 hitters and retired the side by striking out 2 and hitting as high as 98 mph on the radar gun. Of course, with a 2 run lead, Joe Girardi and Co. were happy to turn the ball over to Mariano Rivera. Even after a blown save the day before (hey, the guy is human), no one had that on their mind. He retired the side with relative ease, notching save #19, and the Yankees took the first game from the A’s 3-1.
Javier Vazquez improved his record to 7-7 and pushed his ERA under 5 (4.81) while Ben Sheets, who pitched fairly well, moved to 3-8 following the loss.
The funniest part of Monday was how desperate the Oakland organization was to attract buzz around this series. They created shirts that read, "Get Off My Mound". Somewhere, Dallas Braden is giggling like a sissy school girl. You stay classy, Oakland.
Other important news from Monday:
2) Nick Swisher is part of the Final Vote ballot. Vote unlimited times to SEND SWISH!
3) Jorge Posada sat out yesterday with a sore left ring-finger.
4) The Yankees are now 20 games over .500, sitting at 51-31.
5) Tampa Bay defeated Boston 6-5 last night. The Yankees now lead Tampa by 2 games and Boston by 2.5 games.