The Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday for their second consecutive 3-2 win. One game after Derek Jeter ended his 0-28 hitless streak, Jeter hit his first home run at Yankee Stadium of the season. The Yankees won because Chase Headley was the hero once again in the ninth.
The first Yankees run came in the fifth inning after Stephen Drew hit a deep double to right to drive in Headley and then Jeter slugged a homer to left off of an 82 MPH R.A. Dickey fastball. Jeter was able to take advantage of the fastball instead of having to figure out Dickey’s usual knuckleball.
“I always look for a fastball,” Jeter said. “I have faced him (Dickey) quite a bit. He mixes them in every once in a while so I wasn’t surprised by it. It was a big hit for us at the time. I am happy we were able to hang on there. Obviously this year up until this point hasn’t turned out how I would like it to, but you got to keep fighting and battling. I am going to play hard until we are out of games.”
Shane Greene had yet another dominating performance for the Yankees. Greene didn’t allow a run and had six strikeouts in 6.2 innings. Greene retired the side in order in the second, fourth and fifth innings while only allowing three hits. He has an impressive 3.24 ERA in 13 starts this season, and Greene has proven that he deserves a spot in next year’s rotation.
Greene was not able to get the win because Shawn Kelley threw a high fastball that Jose Bautista easily hit out of the park for a two-run homer. Kelley has been much less reliable recently, but the Yankees were able to get magic in the ninth.
In the ninth inning, right fielder Chris Young hit a single to center, Antoan Richardson pinch ran and easily stole second and got to third on Brett Gardner’s bunt and then Headley hit a grounder that went through Adam Lind’s legs at first for an error to send Richardson home to win the game. It was Headley’s third walk-off with the Yankees.
Derek Jeter helped the Yankees win the first game of his final homestand at Yankee Stadium. Jeter and Greene both said that the Yankees are trying to win every one of their remaining 10 games since they are not mathematically eliminated from getting the second wild card (five games behind the Oakland Athletics). Hiroki Kuroda, who allowed one run in his last outing, will start Friday’s game for the Yankees.
Earlier this season, Jordan Brand released a tribute commercial for Jeter that had celebrities such as Spike Lee, Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan, Billy Crystal and Carmelo Anthony tip their cap to Jeter. Yesterday, Gatorade put out a commercial that had a much more local feel. Jeter asked to be let out of his car early and then greeted fans of all ages while walking to Yankee Stadium. He was serenaded by Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” while going into Stan’s Sports Bar for the first time and seeing the mural of himself outside that establishment.
Here is the outstanding Jeter Gatorade commercial that has over two million views in 24 hours:
The Yankees defeated the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night after they scored five runs in the eighth inning. They recorded an impressive six of their nine hits in that pivotal sixth inning. The Yankees did their damage off of the White Sox bullpen as they scored all of their runs in the eighth after White Six ace Chris Sale left the game with one out and runners on second and third.
Hiroki Kuroda did not pitch up to the standards that he had earlier in this season that put him in CY Young consideration up until allowing 15 runs in three starts, but Kuroda showed some improvement after pitching into the sixth inning and striking out seven batters. He had not recorded seven strikeouts since August 12, and the four runs and seven hits were both less then he had allowed in his last two starts.
Sale, whose 2.97 ERA is the sixth best in the American League, dominated the Yankees for the second time in the past month. However, more importantly, the Yankees were able to get the win this time as their offense has greatly improved. They got clutch hits from four players who have spent time on the disabled list this season in that pivotal eighth inning.
In the second inning, Vernon Wells, who has been struggling recently, scored the team’s first run on a steal of home in the middle of a double steal after getting on base via a single. It did not look promising for the Yankees when the White Sox took a 4-1 lead in the seventh after Alexandro De Aza’s 16th homer, but the home team’s offensive onslaught was about to come in full force.
After Joe Girardi made the correct decision to pinch-hit Austin Romine for Chris Stewart in the seventh (Stewart doesn’t have a hit in his last 20 at-bats), Robinson Cano hit a double off the wall in to send Derek Jeter to third, which would start the rally and send Sale to the showers.
After Sale left the game for reliever Nate Jones, Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run single that drove in Jeter and Cano. Those were his 38th and 39th runs driven in during his 36 games with the Yankees. He has given the team even more than Brian Cashman could have hoped for. Those runs made the score 4-3. After an Alex Rodriguez single advanced Soriano to third, Curtis Granderson’s pinch-hit single drove in Soriano.
However, the hero of the game was Eduardo Nunez. Nunez, who is hitting .384 in his last 13 at-bats, smashed a double down the third base line to score A-Rod and Granderson. That hit would seal the win. Nunez received a much deserved Gatorade shower during his interview with Meredith Marakovits after what was his most clutch hit of his career.
Mariano Rivera came in for the ninth inning and retired the side in order to record his 40th save of the season. He has now saved 40 games nine times in his Hall of Fame career. His 2.12 ERA proves that he still has a lot left in the tank and could likely dominate again next year. It has been reported that Joe Girardi will try and delay his scheduled retirement until after the 2014 season.
Their win combined with the Orioles loss moves the Yankees up in the Wild-Card standings to 2.5 games back and half-a-game ahead of the Orioles. It seemed like the Yankees would gain ground on the Tampa Bay Rays who have one Wild-Card spot right now, since they were 0-9 in the Pacific time zone this season, but They could move even closer if the Rays lose the game they are currently playing in Anaheim. The Rays are currently 0-9 in the Pacific time zone this year, but Tampa routed the Angels.
The Yankees edged the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2-1 on Monday night at Yankee Stadium for their third win in four games. Hiroki “Hiro” Kuroda threw eight shutout innings for his 11th win of the season. Kuroda recorded seven strikeouts to improve his season total to 110.
Kuroda has been the best starter on the Yankees this season and should get consideration for the CY Young award at the end of the season. He is currently second in the American League with a 2.33 ERA and is fourth in the AL with a 1.02 WHIP. Kuroda has also only allowed 12 homers in his 24 starts, has allowed zero runs in a start nine times and has limited the opposition to a .226 batting average (eighth in the league).
Kuroda is also deserving of the CY Young because the Yankees would not have anything close to the 60-57 record that they have now without him. He has only allowed five runs in his last 48 innings pitched is a stat that stands out. Put another way, in those 48 innings or seven starts, Kuroda has an out of this world 0.94 ERA. One more stat about Kuroda’s season is that at Yankee Stadium Kuroda has a 1.54 ERA.
A highlight on the offensive side was the Curtis Granderson, who led the majors 84 homers combined in 2011 and 2012, hit his third homer of the season in the seventh inning, which turned out to be the game winner. Granderson now has three homers in six career at-bats against Garrett Richards, who was the starter for the Angels.
In the third inning, Brett Gardner’s single to center drove in Eduardo Nunez. He now has a seven-game hitting streak and his driven in five runs in those seven games. He is not generally thought of as a run producer, but Gardner had two Gatorade showers after his two game winning hits in the series against the Tigers. Gardy is actually fourth on the team with his 39 RBIs.
The Yankees went into the ninth inning leading 2-0, but Boone Logan and David Robertson actually pitched instead of Mariano Rivera because he had pitched in three of the past four games. Rivera had blown saves in three of those games, even though the Yankees ended up winning two of those games. Logan, who had not allowed a run in his last six appearances, allowed a run to score, which caused Joe Girardi to bring in the closer of the future, David Robertson.
David Robertson came in and struck out the final two batters including former Yankee Chris Nelson, after smartly walking Erik Aybar and allowing a cheap double to Josh Hamilton. D-Rob gave the fans at Yankee Stadium some nerves, but it certainly made sense to walk Mike Trout, who is on his way to another possibly MVP season.
There was drama, but all that matters is that the Yankees got the win and they have now won three out of four games for the first time since July 10-13. CC Sabathia, who pitches Tuesday night, will need to continue his solid pitching from his last start to continue the team’s momentum. Before his last start, he had allowed 19 runs in three starts.
The Yankees are now 6.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the second Wild Card spot.