It took a few times for the formula to work…
Finally, the pitching combination of Javier Vazquez-Joba Chamberlain-Mariano Rivera proved to be an effective…and winning…one in the Bronx as the Yankees defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 3-1. It was a great performance by Vazquez who picked up his 4th win in 9 decisions. The defining moment came in the 7th inning when the O’s had the bases loaded with only one out. Vazquez struck out Adam Jones, and induced a Julio Lugo ground out to end the threat.
I did find it interesting when Yankees radio commentator Suzyn Waldman made the comment that Lugo wasn’t the player he was a few years ago when he was with the Boston Red Sox. If memory serves correctly, Julia of Julia’s Rants was simply saying that Lugo wasn’t a player let alone the player he was. At any rate, he proved his current ineffectiveness which is either a testament to the great start by Vazquez or his own ineptitude. I’d like to think it was the former. I’ve been down on Vazquez, but I am thrilled to see him have some success. Granted, as Julia was quick to point out, it’s only the Orioles, but still, you have to start somewhere. Hopefully, Javy is able to parlay this start and the few other good ones he’s had in the past month into something closer to his 2009 form with the Atlanta Braves.
Javy was the gracious beneficiary of an error by Miguel Tejada that led to two runs in the bottom of the 7th inning. With the game tied at 1 after Vazquez escaped the bases loaded jam, his night was most likely done as Joba Chamberlain was warming up in the bullpen during the bottom of the frame. So, the timely runs gave Javy the well deserved victory. He struck out 7 batters, while allowing only 4 hits. All-in-all, it was a great night for Vazquez.
Fresh off Saturday’s disaster against Cleveland (when he allowed the Cleveland Indians to overcome a 6-run deficit), Joba Chamberlain was perfect in the 8th inning with three up, three down. The final act, of course, was played by Mariano Rivera. He did allow a single, but the runner never advanced beyond first base, and Mo left with his 11th save of the season.
Injury-wise, it was, once again, a costly win for the Yanks. Despite Derek Jeter’s return after getting hit in the hamstring against Cleveland on Monday, Mark Teixeira left the game after three innings after he took a foul ball off his foot in the first inning. Hopefully, he’ll only a miss a game or less.
Curtis Granderson may not be able to hit lefties, but that didn’t stop him from hitting a homer off lefty Brian Matusz in the second inning. Very nice!
It was a good win by the Yankees, and they should be in good shape with Phil Hughes on the mound tomorrow against the O’s Brad Bergesen. Failure is not an option. At least not in the Yankees Universe! J