Phil Hughes throws a sloppy 5 innings, with nearly as many balls as strikes, but he manages to wiggle out of enough jams to stay in it. He'd better get it together over the next month.
I'm going to pause the recap here for a moment to praise the bullpen. Chad Gaudin pitched 3.0 innings of one run, one hit, zero BB. Chad Gaudin will (hopefully) not pitch a single meaningful inning in the postseason, but his strong performance tonight in a blowout game keeps the top arms fresh for the nail-biters we're sure to face in the coming weeks.
Yesterday, Javy Vazquez swallowed his ego and came out of the pen to pitch 4.2 sparkling innings.
On Friday, Sergio Mitre pitched 4.2 one hit, zero run innings after AJ imploded.
The team will not always come back from every deficit, but the bullpen can keep them close. And even more importantly, the bullpen can eat this blowout innings and appearances to limit the exposure and workload of the top relievers. It a value that doesn't get enough praise because there's no tension to it, but having a pen that can do it leads towards October.
Resuming the recap: The offense had been MIA for a while, but the last couple nights they've been firing on all cylinders.
Every Yankee except Marcus Thames reached base tonight at least once (DFA Thames). Swish, Tex and Jorge had the big nights.
Red Sox lose; they're 7 games back.
Rays lose; the record setting 8 day deadlock for first in the AL East is over. The good guys are ahead.
Play of the Game: Swisher's 2 run, third inning homer.
Comment of the Game: YankeesJets for taking the words right off my keyboard when Flaherty slammed Michael Kay without Kay even realizing it.