Oakland's Trevor Cahill entered tonight's game as a potential Cy Young Award winner: 14-5 record, 2.43 ERA, 1.00 WHIP. The Yankee lineup, even absent Alex Rodriguez, tacked him for eight runs and his worst loss of the season.
This was a great way to start the 10-game homestand, the longest of the year. It looked like 'one of those games' when Dustin Moseley walked the bases loaded in the first and proceeded to allow three runs, putting the Yanks into an early hole. Against Cahill, the game looked lost.
After a sac-fly to left, Brett Gardner threw to third to nail the tagging runner... only Ramiro Pena failed to catch the (admittedly tough) hop. Moseley struck out the next batter for the second out and Jeff Larish followed with a two-run single.
To their credit, the Yankee batters jumped on Cahill early, assisted by a gutty, gritty walk. Jeter continued his recent string of poor hitting (0-4 tonight, .268 on the year) by grounding out (not into a DP at least). Then followed Tex with a single, Cano with a single, and Swisher with a double. The game was tied at three.
In Jeter's defense, he played excellent D all night.
Moseley settled down after the first but didn't last long. In the fifth (79 pitches in), he was pulled in favor of Javy Vazquez, who would close out the game for his 10th win. Vazquez has been great in relief since his demotion to the pen, and tonight was no exception: 4.2 ip, 2 h, 1 er, 1 bb, 6 k. He even hit 92 MPH on the radar gun and sat 88-90.
Back to back solo homers by Tex and Cano in the third put the Yankees ahead for good. Both were line drives that cleared the wall by mere feet. Oakland fans must've been ridiculing the new Stadium at that time. When you're used to watching 81 games at the Oakland Coliseum, which severely deflates offense and home runs, Yankee Stadium is a slap in the face.
Tex went 3-3 and was a triple short of the cycle. Marcus Thames continued his torrid streak with another longball, a blast into the second deck in left field off a 97 MPH heater. He has six homers and 11 RBI in his last six games (and is second on the team in SLG, trailing only Cano). I was harsh on Thames early in the season when he wasn't producing, but I'm happy to admit I was wrong. Brian Cashman deserves credit for that pick-up, just like Hinske and Hairston in '09.
Play of the Game: Swisher's first-inning double that tied the match at three (+16%).
Comment of the Game: Scooby Snacks, for his oh-so close prediction.