All things considered this was a pretty good day for the Yankees. The offense hit four home runs, their starting pitcher was sensational, and the Yankees beat the Blue Jays for the 14th time in 16 tries. But the win was almost a side show to the simple relief that the Yankees will go home on Tuesday without any casualties.
J.A. Happ, who I'm guessing gets a bounty for injuring Yankee hitters, hit Robinson Cano on the wrist in the top of the first inning. He would stay in the game to run the bases and later came around to score, but he was then replaced at second base by Eduardo Nunez. This, to Yankee fans anyway, got very very close to a nightmare scenario in a season where they've lost seemingly every important starting regular at some point or another. Currently four games out of the final wild card spot, making up that kind of ground in a little over a month without their All-Star second baseman would make an already difficult task nearly impossible.
But for once, something good happened to the 2013 Yankees. Happ failed in his attempt to injure multiple Yankees in a span of six months. Cano did not have a broken hand- he instead has a contusion and is listed as day to day. He may not play tomorrow, but he'll be playing next week.
Even with all this heart-stopping injury drama, there was still a game today. And the game itself was all Yankees from the start. Brett Gardner led off the game with a double and moved to third on a wild pitch before scoring on a single by Derek Jeter. Cano then got hit by a pitch courtesy of Happ to put two men on base for Alfonso Soriano. Soriano deposited the next pitch into the left field seats and the Yankees doubled their run total from last night before recording an out.
Soriano would get to Happ again with his second homer of the night leading off the top of the third, the 400th of his career. Happ got through the fourth inning and got the first two outs in the fifth before walking Alex Rodriguez. Sensing that his night was nearly over, Happ was determined to snipe at least one more Yankee from the mound before departing for the evening. His final target was Curtis Granderson, but thankfully he barely missed his hand this time around. Granderson wound up drawing a walk before Happ was replaced by Esmil Rogers.
Mark Reynolds homered to left off of Rogers to lead off the sixth and Rodriguez connected for a monster solo shot in the seventh for the Yankees' seventh run of the night. It was the fourth home run of the season for A-Rod and #651 for his career. This was mentioned on the broadcast, but it took 20 games for Rodriguez to match the home run total of Yankees third baseman over the first four and a half months of the season.
Those seven runs were more than enough for Andy Pettitte, who pitched seven shutout innings tonight, allowing five hits and striking out three. Andy has given up just one earned run in his last 19.2 innings, and tonight was his first scoreless outing of the season. After a difficult stretch through the middle of the season, Andy Pettitte is looking like Andy Pettitte again at just the right time. With the struggles of Phil Hughes and and inconsistency of CC Sabathia, Pettitte's turnaround has been very important to the success of the starting rotation.
Adam Warren came on to pitch the final two innings for the Yankees in relief of Pettitte. He scattered five hits through the final two innings but only allowed the one run, getting some help on a nice play in the outfield by Soriano and a double play started by A-Rod to end the game in the ninth.
Nunez appeared to injure himself on the artificial turf in the top of the eighth, as he fell to the ground on a single off the glove of Jeter and he had his knee looked at on the field. He stayed in the game and singled to center in the top of the ninth before being lifted for a pinch runner. It is just a tweak per Joe Girardi, and he's also day to day. Reynolds played second base in this game.
The Yankees wrap up their series in Toronto tomorrow before an off day on Thursday, and then unarguably the most important homestand of the season. Hiroki Kuroda and Todd Redmond are the starters.