Borrowing a phrase that Nick Swisher yells when a teammate hits a home run, Swisher went yard again in the Yankees’ 6-1 win against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night.
Originally penciled in for left field (with Johnny Damon scheduled for the bench), Swisher became a last minute replacement at first base for Mark Teixeira. Teixeira, who celebrates his 29th birthday today, has been bothered by a sore left wrist. He believes it was injured late last week in Baltimore, and it hurts to bat right-handed (the Royals had a lefty starting tonight’s game). Nevertheless, Swisher has been on a roll and Saturday night was no exception.
Swisher walked in the first inning, and scored on a two-run double by Jorge Posada. In the third, he tripled to right, scoring Derek Jeter. In the fifth inning, he homered to left with one man on. He walked to lead off the 7th inning, but was left stranded when the Royals proceeded to strike out the side. He quietly flied out to left in the ninth inning, but the game was firmly in hand at 6-0. The Royals did score a run in the bottom of the 9th, but thanks to Swisher’s heroics, the Yankees now have a winning record at 3-2.
CC Sabathia went 7 2/3 innings with six hits, no runs, and six strikeouts to earn his first victory as a New York Yankee. This was the CC we have waited to see. Hopefully, there will be an encore performance next week when CC opens the new Yankee Stadium against his former team, the Cleveland Indians.
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Swisher, the son of former Chicago Cubs catcher Steve Swisher, was a 2002 draft pick of the Oakland A’s. Ironically, the pick originally belonged to the Boston Red Sox, but the A’s were awarded the pick for the free agent loss of Johnny Damon.
If Swisher’s website motto is accurate, he’ll be playing very hard tonight in Kansas City. Be careful, Mr. Swisher. We need you tomorrow…
· Cody Ransom is now batting .056 after 0-for4 night. Ugh. I didn’t want to begin the season with Cody, and it has only gotten worse. At this point, I’d be willing to give Justin Leone or Eric Duncan an opportunity. Given that Jose Guillen is hurt, it is unlikely that the Royals would consider moving Mark Teahen at this point. I am surprised that the Yankees didn’t make a move for Dallas McPherson when he was released by the Florida Marlins, but he was signed today by the San Francisco Giants.
· The St. Louis Cardinals’ Albert Pujols homered twice and drove in seven RBI’s tonight in an 11-2 win over the Houston Astros. I think this is Pujols’ world and the rest of us just live in it. The guy is clearly the best thing going right now…
· Thanks to the loss by Julia‘s Boston Bruins today, the San Jose Sharks secured the NHL’s best record and President’s Trophy with a mark of 53-18-11. The Sharks haven’t played well of late, but hopefully, they’ll reignite it for the play-offs. I am hopeful for a Stanley Cup clash between the Sharks and the Bruins.
· Speaking of birthdays, it was also Jason Varitek’s birthday today. He was 2-for-3 in Boston’s 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels. Happy Birthday, ‘Tek! But I still don’t like you…
The Yankees conclude their series in Kansas City on Sunday, and head to Tampa to play a big early season series against the Rays. Swish, we’re glad that you’ll be making the trip…
Have a Happy Easter, Everyone!