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Yankees, Garcia Blank Rays, 4-0

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 20:  Outfielder Curtis Granderson #14 of the New York Yankees homers against the Tampa Bay Rays July 20, 2011 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 20: Outfielder Curtis Granderson #14 of the New York Yankees homers against the Tampa Bay Rays July 20, 2011 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
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The Yankees had just two run-scoring hits tonight, but that was all they needed after a great pitching performance from Freddy Garcia and three relievers. Garcia continues to defy logic and time. Tampa Bay had a number of good opportunities to score, but Freddy made the pitches he needed to, holding the Rays to 0-6 with RISP. His fastball never reached 89 MPH, but he kept opposing hitters off balance with a five-pitch assortment (four-seamer, slider, splitter, curve and changeup). It was great to see him actually miss some bats tonight (seven K's), which means he was fooling batters, not just relying on his defense.

I wrote in the preview that I would love to see 7 ip, 2 er from Garcia, and he came within one out of that. Eduardo Nunez had two chances to end the seventh inning, but failed to pick up a bunt when it was foul (it eventually rolled fair), and then bobbled an admittedly tough grounder. He made up for it later though...

Boone Logan, for all the crap he's taken, got a very important out. In relief of Garcia, he struck out Casey Kotchman with runners on the corners and two outs.

The first Yankee runs came two batters into the game, on Curtis Granderson's 26th longball, which scored Derek Jeter from second. Talk about hitting lefties - David Price is one of the best southpaws out there, but Grandy has gone 3-8 against him this year with two home runs. Price's last pitch was (coincidentally?) a 95-MPH heater right between Granderson's shoulder-blades. He was in a lot of pain afterwards, but hopefully it's nothing serious. He also atoned for last night's error that let Tampa Bay take the lead: he made a fantastic running catch on the warning track in the fifth inning with two outs and two runners on, crashing hard into the centerfield wall. Add in the HBP and I think we'll see him on the bench tomorrow.

Russell Martin and Andruw Jones continued their race to the Mendoza Line, combining to go 0-6, dropping their averages to .217 and .204, respectively.

David Robertson was brilliant in the eighth. He threw 19 pitches, all of them fastballs, and recorded two strikeouts and a groundout.

Then came Wardo's big hit: he blooped a two-out, two-run single into shallow rightfield in the top of the ninth to give the Yanks a comfortable four-run lead.

Mo was Mo: nine pitches, nine strikes, three outs.

Play of the Game: Grandy's two-run shot in the first (+14%).

Comment of the Game: jetanumba2