The Bronx Bombers were out in full force last night. Not only did the Yankees' five home runs propel them to a 6-4 victory over the rival Red Sox, but the team also racked up several milestones along the way. With his game tying long ball in the fifth, Derek Jeter also tied Graig Nettles for ninth place on the all-time franchise list. Jeter also became only the fourth player in baseball history with 250 home runs, 3,000 hits, and 300 stolen bases. The red hot Nick Swisher also inched closer to a milestone by hitting home runs from both sides of the plate for the 12th in his career, one behind teammate Mark Teixeira for most all time.
From a team perspective, the Yankees have now hit five or more home runs against the Red Sox on 10 occasions (the all-time high is seven), including twice this year. With 28 home runs versus Boston this season, the Yankees are only seven behind their high water mark of 35, which was set in 1961.
Phil Hughes was the beneficiary of the Yankees' power display. The right hander, who had struggled in August, surrendered four runs in the third inning, thanks in large part to his own throwing error, but settled down thereafter. Earlier in the week, I wrote about Hughes' recent troubles with his curveball and wondered whether he would come up with a new game plan against Boston. And, sure enough, that's exactly what he did. According to BrooksBaseball.net, Hughes threw only seven curveballs in last night's game, opting instead to work his fastball off the change-up, which he threw 29 times. For perspective, Hughes only threw 35 change-ups in both June and July.
Although he hasn’t been as heralded as recent Yankees’ pitching prospects, David Phelps has emerged as the best young arm recently promoted from the farm system. However, does he have a chance to stick in the rotation going forward?
It wasn’t all good news for the Yankees last night. Absent from the lineup was Mark Teixeira, who was held out with a sore wrist. Although the first baseman is listed as day-to-day, the lingering pain in his wrist is worthy of concern.
On Sunday, softball standout and Olympic gold medalist Michele Smith with become the first woman to serve as an analyst during a nationally televised Major League Baseball game.