A day after the Kentucky Derby, everything came up roses for the Yankees. Phil Hughes busted out of the gate with the same mid-90s fastball that has allowed him dominate in the early going. Once again, Hughes pounded the strike zone by throwing 69 of his 99 pitches for strikes. He mostly used a well located fastball and sharp cutter to breeze through 7 innings with only four hits allowed. Hughes also mixed in a handful of change-ups for the first time all season, but as in his past starts, the efficiency of his fastball didn’t require too much further development of that pitch.
In the early part of the game, it looked as if Mark Buehrle would match Hughes in a pitcher’s duel, but Robinson Cano and Brett Gardner combined to pull the Yankees into a comfortable lead. In the second inning, Cano doubled and then scored on an RBI single by Gardner that bounced off Paul Konerko’s glove and trickled into right field. In the fourth, Gardner turned on the power and deposited his first HR of the season into the first row of the right centerfield stands. Following Gardner’s unlikely blast, the Yankees broke open the game with HRs in the next two innings. In the fifth, Cano belted his ninth home run of the season, a three run shot off Buehrle, and then in the sixth, Nick Swisher added a two-run shot off reliever Tony Pena.
In total, the Yankees plated 12 runs, their highest tally of the season. Mark Teixeira continued his month of May transformation by cranking out four hits, while Swisher doubled his hit output at Yankee Stadium by recording three safeties. Even Nick Johnson showed signs of breaking out of his season long slump. After hitting the ball hard for outs earlier in the game, Johnson finally broke through with a two-run double in the eighth inning.
While everyone was all smiles on the Yankee side, frustration could be seen across the White Sox faces. Several misplays in the field combined with impatient at bats made the White Sox seem like a team going through the motions. The frustration for Ozzie Guillen eventually boiled over in the seventh inning when he was ejected from the game while intervening in a disagreement between A.J. Pierzynski and home plate umpire Dan Iassogna. One bright spot for the Sox continued to be the year long resurgence of Paul Konerko. In the ninth, Konerko belted his league leading 12th home run of the season off Mark Melancon, who was making his 2010 debut after being recalled from Scranton.
After the game, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman challenged Joe Girardi about the injury status of Alex Rodriguez. Earlier in the afternoon, Sherman reported that Brian Cashman stated Arod had missed the game because of soreness behind his right knee. Girardi responded to Sherman’s confrontational question, which was asked with a tone of condescension, by firmly stating Arod was fine and would be in the lineup tomorrow. In an ESPNNewYork article, Cashman refuted that Arod was experiencing any knee-related discomfort, instead clarifying that the issue was more “muscle related”.
- The Yankees have now won seven of the eight series they have played this season.
- Phil Hughes joined AJ Burnett and Andy Pettitte with 3-0 records. The Yankees are the only team in baseball with three undefeated starters who have at least three victories.
- Robinson Cano and the Diamondback’s 2B Kelly Johnson lead all left-handed hitters with nine HRs. Six of Cano’s nine HRs this season have been hit off of lefties.
- Cano and Jeter added yet another multi-hit game this season. Jeter’s 13 multi-hit games lead all of baseball, with Cano right behind at 12. Since 2009, Jeter and Cano have had at least two hits in 79 games, trailing only Ichiro, who has 85.