The Yankees were trailing 5-3 heading into the top of the fourth inning. But all that was about to change drastically. Brett Gardner led off the inning with a bunt single, Derek Jeter smashed a double down the left field line to bring home Gardner and slice the lead to one. Curtis Granderson's reached on a fielder's choice that failed, and Mark Teixeira's RBI single tied the game. Enter Robinson Cano.
1) Here's the obnoxiously long sequence of pitches: 1. Fastball (ball), 2. curveball (foul), 3. curveball (ball), 4. fastball (ball), 5. fastball (foul), 6. fastball (foul), 7. fastball (foul), 8. fastball (foul), 9. slider (foul), 10. slider (foul), 11. fastball (foul), 12. slider (home run).
2) The most amazing part of this at-bat was the fact that it was twelve pitches and Cano happened to foul off seven consecutive offerings from Danny Duffy.
3) Cano isn't necessarily an easy out for a southpaw. His triple slash against lefties this season is .327/.366/.524. He also tagged them up for five home runs in his 142 at-bats prior to last night's game.
4) The location of the first four pitches in the at-bat were fairly poor: missing low with the fastball, hanging a curveball up over the plate that was fouled off, missing outside and low with a curveball and then moving Cano off the plate with heat. 3-1 count, Duffy threw his fastball on the outside corner of the strike zone to force a foul. Now is where the games begin. Duffy tries a mixture of inside, outside, high and low in the zone on the ensuing six pitches. The two fastballs on the outside half of the plate were dialed up to 94 mph, but fouled away. Cano then chased two sliders out of the zone, one high and one low, but fouled those attempts off as well. The next fastball low and away was a great pitch spoiled as well.
5) On the twelfth pitch of the at-bat, Duffy hung a slider up and over the heart of the plate. Cano didn't miss it and provided some fireworks of his own. That baseball traveled 449 feet into the Kansas City night and proved to be the difference.
Follow me on twitter @csm5206