You're not drunk or seeing things. You are indeed reading this recap's title correctly. Chris Stewart, the very same Chris Stewart who can frame pitches like the Greek Gods of old, hit a three-run home run today and gave the Yankees all the go ahead runs they would need to win Game 1 of today's double header. For the record, I called that Stewart HR. Victories all around.
Before the recap gets into how the offense continued to win the wrong way, let's talk about Ivan Nova. Nova was not his SuperNova self today. His second inning of work was shaky, especially the second inning. Adam Lind started the inning with a single. Nova then proceeded to hit the very next batter, Brett Lawrie, followed by a single by Maicer Izturis to drive in a run. A passed ball by Chris Stewart would move the runners up to 2nd and 3rd base with no outs. Josh Thole grounded out to Nova, who held the runners. The next ground out by Kevin Pillar would score the runner from third base, giving the Blue Jays a two-run lead. After Jose Reyes' single, Rajai Davis then drove in both runners with a single. Those four runs would be the only runs the Blue Jays would score this afternoon.
After the second inning, Nova settled down, get his pitches lower, and manage to go another 4 plus innings. In total, he pitched 6.1 innings while giving up nine hits and four earned runs while striking out two and walking two. With this being the first game a double header, not having to use long relief in this game was very beneficial to the Yankees. Especially with Phil Hughes starting Game 2. Good luck with that recap, Mr. Flynn. Boone Logan would come into the game in the 7th to get Anthony Gose to ground out. Shawn Kelley would follow Logan, walk the next two batters to load the bases, then finally get Brett Lawrie to pop out to Gardner. Whew. David Robertson did his 8th inning thing beautifully and effortlessly. Joba Chamberlain would do his 9th inning thing ugly and disappointingly, which lead to Mariano Rivera coming in to get the final two outs.
I have not had to write a recap in a long time. Writing about the offense use to be filled with heartache. Today it is filled with joy. In the bottom of the 3rd, Brett Gardner did what Brett Gardner does and got on base with a single. Ichiro Suzuki lined a double down the third base line for his 3,998th hit, moving Gardner to third. Robinson Cano then realized how easy the game really is and hit a three-run monster shot into Monument Park to bring the Yankees to within one run. That dinger was his 200th career home run and the second hit on his 4-4 day. Amazing what Cano can do with actually offensive protection behind him.
Alex Rodriguez started off the bottom of the 6th with a single to left field. Curtis Granderson and pinch hitter Mark Reynolds would follow that hit with some strikeouts. You might want to sit down for what you're about to read. Jayson Nix was then walked and Chris Stewart came to the plate. Chris Stewart, whose name has to be fully typed just so you do not mistake him with another Chris or Stewart, proceeded to hit a three-run home run into the left field stands to give the Yankees a 6-4 lead. What did I just type? While that Chris Stewart dinger would be all the runs the Yankees would need to win, Cano would double in Ichiro, who notched his 3,999th hit, from first in the bottom of the 7th and Gardner would sac fly Nix into score in the bottom of the 8th. Nix stole second, then took third on the error by Thad Weber. Good pitching and good offense. I've missed writing these recaps.
Game 2 of this double header will start at 7:00 PM tonight. Phil Hughes will "pitch" tonight against Mark Buehrle. The forecast is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.