Brandon McCarthy’s nine strikeouts led to his first win with the Yankees

Brandon McCarthy

Brandon McCarthy

The Yankees beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-1 on Saturday afternoon for their second win in a row. They are now 12-7 in inter-league play this season. The Reds were previously the only team that the Yankees were under .500 against, but they now have a 7-7 record against them after their last two wins.

Three different players had multi-hit games and four different players had RBIs, but the player of the game for the Yankees was Brandon McCarthy. He now has a 1.42 ERA in two starts since coming to the team from the Arizona Diamondbacks. McCarthy, who is a ground ball pitcher when he is on, allowed one run and six hits in six innings pitched. He struck out the side in two separate innings, and is the first Yankee since CC Sabathia on April 16, 2010, to have nine strikeouts with no walks.

Joe Girardi is impressed with McCarthy 95 MPH sinker and that he is able to pitch down in the zone. “I really like what McCarthy did in Cleveland, he is able to pitch down in the zone and both of his starts have been outstanding,” Girardi said. Brett Gardner, who was 1-3 with 3 RBIs to improve his season total to 40, was also impressed by how McCarthy has pitched and that the doesn’t waste time between pitches.

“He (McCarthy) can be great,” Gardner said. “Our rotation has taken a big hit over the course of the season. McCarthy has been there and done that and is fun to play defense behind.” In regards to the offensive onslaught, Gardner said solid hitting by one can lead to team wide production. “It can kind of become contagious when guys swing the bat well,” Gardner said.

Brandon McCarthy thinks that a big key for him so far with the Yankees has been his cutter, which is a pitch that the Diamondbacks discouraged him from throwing.  “I am happy that we have won both games and when I was in Arizona that was not the case,” McCarthy said. “It has been a really nice mentally clearing week or two. I felt like I was in a better place towards the end of my time in Arizona, so it was good to come here on a positive note.”

McCarthy has credited catcher Brian McCann for a lot of his success so far as a Yankee. He had a 3.24 ERA in 2012 with the Oakland Athletics, which proves that he has the potential of greatly helping the team down the stretch of the season. The playoffs will be realistic if the team can continue to hit well with runners in scoring position, like today when they were 4-9.

Carlos Beltran started the scoring off for the Yankees with a homer to right in the second. It was his 10th homer of the season, and after two hits he is hitting .296 in his last seven games. In the third inning, Gardner drove in his first run after his single drove in Brian Roberts, after Roberts reached first as a result of an error on a ball that was almost caught by Jay Bruce.

The Yankees scored two more runs in the fifth off of All-Star Alfredo Simon, and were helped by a passed ball by Devin Mesorasco that advanced Roberts and Kelly Johnson to second and third after they both singled. Gardner hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Roberts for his second RBI. Derek Jeter would follow Johnson with a single up the middle to score Johnson. Jeter would steal his seventh base of the season, which proves that he still has some speed left at 40 years old.

In the sixth inning, with J.J. Hoover pitching, the Yankees scored their fifth, sixth and seventh runs. Johnson’s second single of the game scored McCann and Beltran. Gardner’s second sacrifice fly of the game scored gave Roberts his third run scored of the game. The bullpen trio of Adam Warren, Shawn Kelley and Matt Thornton threw three innings and only allowed one hit. After these two wins, the Yankees will now play 10 of their next 14 games against teams that are below .500.

Girardi credited the win to getting hits when they needed them and taking advantages of mistakes by Cincinnati’s fielders and pitchers. “I thought we took advantage of some miscues on their part,” Girardi said. “We faced a good pitcher that we put good at-bats on. I think our offense can get on a roll as a group.”

Before the game, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty and Todd Frazier, who met Jeter in 1998 at Yankee Stadium after his Toms River team won the Little League World Series, gave Jeter signed jerseys of former captains and shortstops Dave Concepcion and Barry Larkin, since the Yankees don’t come to Great American Ballpark.

With the win the Yankees are now 3.5 games behind the first place Orioles, with the potential of being three games out if the Orioles lose Saturday night against the Athletics.

 

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