It was easy to look at this four-game series against the Tigers and wonder if it wouldn't just go terribly for the Yankees. New York's offense has been sputtering all season and their pitching staff only features one starter who broke camp in the rotation. Going up against a team that just recently added another Cy Young winner to their rotation seemed like it might be a recipe for doom that could put the Yankees in a rough position in the push for a playoff spot, but that Yankees team just took three out of four games from the team with three Cy Young winners in their rotation.
You really can't say enough about the job that the Yankees' pitchers have done recently. Shane Greene was absolutely no exception today as he held Detroit scoreless through eight innings. Joe Girardi gave Greene a chance to start the ninth inning after he'd looked impressive all game, but a single to center to open the frame ended Greene's afternoon in favor of David Robertson. The Yankee closer walked the first batter he faced before the Tigers sent up Miguel Cabrera to pinch hit for J.D. Martinez. Cabrera grounded to Brendan Ryan at second base for a double play and a liner to Stephen Drew at shortstop ended the game.
The offense did just enough to get by this afternoon, scoring only one run off Rick Porcello. Drew roped a ball down the left field line in the fourth inning that bounced into the seats for a ground rule double. Carlos Beltran came around to score on the play to give the Yankees their one and only run of the game. Greene's brilliant pitching made sure that one run stood up. He allowed only five hits and three walks while striking out five. Francisco Cervelli was the lone Yankee not to pick up a hit, but he did an amazing job behind the plate in the ninth inning to block a few Robertson curveballs in the dirt with a runner on third to preserve the shutout. The Yankees had another chance to score with the bases loaded in the seventh inning but failed to capitalize on it. It's a good thing that that turned out not to matter.
New York's next challenge will be the visiting Cleveland Indians for a three-game series this weekend. Friday's game will feature Trevor Bauer against a Yankees starter yet to be determined.