Mood Music - Fixing a Hole by The Beatles
First Inning: Freddy Garcia had lots of trouble keeping the ball down and dealing with Chris Getz on the bases, but managed to avoid giving up a run. After a lead-off walk, Getz advanced to second on a ground-ball and stole third, getting a huge jump off of Garcia, but was eventually stranded. In the bottom of the inning, Kyle Davies mowed down Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, and Mark Teixeira, requiring only 14 pitches.
Second Inning: The top of the second was much better for Garcia, who induced three lazy fly balls and threw only 9 pitches, but I'd still like to see him work down in the zone more. The bottom of the second inning featured a very audible expletive from Nick Swisher, but the Yankees were once again set down in order very quickly.
Third Inning: After a lead-off single from Matt Treanor, the Royals small-ball'd themselves out of a potentially big inning, with Alcides Escobar popping up an attempted bunt and Treanor breaking for second base before Garcia delivered the pitch. After a Chris Getz bloop single, he was also promptly thrown out on the bases trying to advance to second on a ball in the dirt. The Yankees played solid defense, but the Royals aggression allowed Garcia to not have to earn a single out at the plate. In the bottom of the inning, after quick outs from Jorge Posada and Russell Martin, Brett Gardner drilled a line drive into right center for a triple, and was brought home on a Derek Jeter single up the middle.
Fourth Inning: With Garcia having more issues leading off innings and keeping the ball down, Melky Cabrera led off the top of the fourth inning with a home run to center field. The next three batters were retired in order, but given the number of fastballs left belt high and hard hit balls, I'm feeling extremely fortunate that this game is tied. In the home half, Alex Rodriguez is still slumping, but line drive singles from Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano made the inning look promising, before harmless fly-outs from Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada ended the frame. Davies is up to 70 pitches, having thrown 49 in the past two innings, so hopefully middle relief is on the horizon.
Fifth Inning: After giving up singles to Mike Aviles and Matt Treanor, a diving catch by Nick Swisher prevented any runs from crossing home. It was a tremendous play by Swish, but Freddy Garcia is making me need a drink with all of these lineouts. In the bottom half of the inning, a Brett Gardner walk, Derek Jeter single, and Mark Teixeira HBP loaded the bases with two outs for Alex Rodriguez, who, after continuing his recent theme of fouling off very hittable fastballs, drove a curveball up the middle for a two run single. The Yankees took a 3-1 lead, and seem likely to get into the Royals bullpen in the sixth.
Sixth Inning: The Royals went down in order in the sixth with three lineouts. They're hitting the ball hard, but not finding any grass, and Freddy definitely owes Nick Swisher dinner. Swisher led off the bottom of the sixth with a single off of the right field wall, chasing Davies from the game in favor of Tim Collins. Collins blew a 3-2 fastball past Jorge Posada, creating a strike-em-out-throw-em-out double play, with Swish running from first. A Russell Martin flyout to the warning track in right field ended the inning.
Seventh Inning: After a lead off single from Jeff Francoeur, David Robertson reflexively began throwing in the pen. This time, however, he would actually be needed in the game, as Garcia was pulled after walking Eric Hosmer to put two on with no one out. After a flyout and a walk, the bases were loaded with one out. Strikeouts of Alcides Escobar and Chris Getz enabled Houdini to escape, but Getz was justifiably upset when he was called out on a check swing without an appeal to third (I don't think he went). The Yankees went down quietly in the bottom of the frame.
Freddy Garcia's final line (6 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 3 K) was impressive, but his pitching really wasn't.
Eighth Inning: Joba Chamberlain is pitching. If Joba can pitch the eighth, I'm beginning to question the validity of other formulae, such as E = MC2 and V = IR. After a one-two-three eighth, including two strikeouts, the formula seems to be collapsing in on itself. If this was the ninth inning and an off-formula pitcher succeeded, my roommates' ability to perform open heart surgery would have been put to the test. The Yankees were again set down quietly by the middle relief of the Royals.
Ninth Inning: Mariano Rivera is ridiculous.
Play Of The Game: A-Rod's single.
Comment of the Game: Rorschach44