Yesterday, the Yankees died by the double play. Today, it gave them new life.
In a scenario eerily reminiscent of last Tuesday’s 5-4 loss to Minnesota, the Yankees took a substantial lead into the eighth inning, but watched as Rafael Soriano gradually frittered it away. With two runs already across the plate, Adrian Beltre lofted a long fly ball down the right field line that missed being a three run homer by about three seats. Disaster narrowly averted, Soriano escaped further damage by getting the Rangers’ third baseman to ground into an inning ending double play.
By escaping the jam, Soriano was able to preserve Freddy Garcia’s first victory as a Yankee. Over six strong innings, Garcia not only kept the Rangers off the scoreboard, but practically kept them off the bases altogether. Going into the game, there was some concern about how Garcia would respond to an almost three-week layoff (sans one relief inning), but the right hander featured a well located mid-80s fastball as well as a steady diet of even slower changeups and sliders to keep the Rangers off balance. His effort was only the fifth quality start turned in by a Yankee, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Freddy Garcia’s Pitch Breakdown
|Pitch Type||Avg Speed||Max Speed||Count||Strikes/%||Swinging Strikes/%|
|FA (Fastball)||84.55||85.2||2||2 / 100.00%||0 / 0.00%|
|FF (FourSeam Fastball)||85.82||87.5||33||22 / 66.67%||0 / 0.00%|
|CH (Changeup)||78.33||83.7||24||16 / 66.67%||3 / 12.50%|
|SL (Slider)||78.83||81.5||16||9 / 56.25%||0 / 0.00%|
|CU (Curveball)||68.47||70.1||6||4 / 66.67%||0 / 0.00%|
|FS (Splitter)||78.67||82.7||3||2 / 66.67%||0 / 0.00%|
In the first inning, Mark Teixeira gave Garcia some early breathing room by belting his fifth homerun of the year (his first opposite field homerun since 2009, and first as a right hander since 2008), joining Jorge Posada, Nelson Cruz and Miguel Cabrera for a share of the league lead. When the Yankees’ first baseman knocked in the team’s third run in the third inning, he also joined Cabrera as co-leader in RBIs. Although his batting average has lagged, Teixeira’s power production in April has more than mollified concerns about another slow start.
Before Mariano Rivera sealed the victory with his sixth save, Robinson Cano added some insurance with a two run blast off the right field foul pole. The Yankees’ second baseman has been one of the few consistent producers in the lineup, but no one has been more prolific than Alex Rodriguez. Unfortunately, Arod was forced to leave the game after the sixth inning with stiffness in his lower back. The injury isn’t thought to be serious, but no word was given on Rodriguez’ status for tomorrow’s game. Despite an 8-5 start, the Yankees haven’t had much margin for error, so, needless to say, Arod’s health is of paramount importance.
|9/10/2001||SEA||ANA||W 5-1||GS-8 ,W||8||3||0||0||8|
|9/13/2006||CHW||LAA||W 9-0||GS-8 ,W||8||1||0||0||3|
|9/19/2006||CHW||DET||W 7-0||GS-8 ,W||8||1||0||2||5|
|4/16/2011||NYY||TEX||W 5-2||GS-6, W||6||1||0||1||1|
Note: Games of at least six innings with no runs scored and three or fewer base runners allowed.