Friday, May 15, 2009

Godzilla Destroys Toronto

Godzilla Sends Yankees Home a Winner

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
NY Yankees
1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0
3 7 0
0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0
2 5 0

A 4-2 road trip is much better than a 3-3 road trip. While it’s only a one game difference, there’s a world of difference in the confidence that can be built off of the better record. Especially when the final game of the trip is a win. That was the case last night in Toronto where Hideki Matsui’s 7th inning home run put the Yankees ahead for good in a 3-2 win over the Blue Jays.

The Yankees had been bedazzled, for lack of a better word, by journeyman starter Brian Tallet for six innings. They’d managed a run in the first on a Johnny Damon one out double, his 10th straight game with an extra base hit, and three walks, the last coming to Nick Swisher with the bases loaded. But Robinson Cano continued his failure with the bases loaded (.235) by grounding out to end the inning.

The Blue Jays tied the game on Alex Rios‘ solo home run in the 4th and went ahead in the 5th inning when CC Sabathia walked Scott Rolen and gave up an RBI double to Rod Barajas. (The Blue Jays catcher owns Sabathia- he’s now 8-19 with 3 HR and 5 RBI.) John McDonald followed with a single to center, but Brett Gardner made a strong throw home and catcher Francisco Cervelli did an excellent job of applying the tag to nail Barajas for the second out of the inning. Sabathia retired Marco Scutaro to avoid further problems.

The Yankees managed just two singles and a walk against Tallet after the 1st inning, but the 32-yr old left-hander walked Gardner to start the 7th. Joe Girardi put the hit and run on and the Yankees executed it to perfection. Cervelli singled through the hole vacated by Scutaro at shortstop to send Gardner to third. Cito Gaston sent for righty Jason Frasor to face Derek Jeter, whose prior at-bats clearly reflected his strained oblique. But this time Jeter got enough of a pitch to loop it into right-center field for a game tying single.

The Yankees were in prime shape to break the game open with two on, no outs, and the heart of the order up. But Frasor struck out the red hot Damon and retired Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez on fly outs to keep the game tied at two apiece.

Sabathia worked his way out of his own mess in the bottom of the 7th after a lead off double by Rolen and a deep fly out by Kevin Millar advanced the Rolen to third. Sabathia wised up and intentionally walked Barajas before striking out McDonald for the second out. Sabathia issued an unintentional walk to Scutaro, but retired Aaron Hill on a ground to get out of the jam.

Gaston brought in lefty Jesse Carlson out to start the 8th, but anyone who has watched Hideki Matsui play on a regular basis knows he isn’t afraid to bat against southpaws. Godzilla produced further tangible evidence by hitting his 4th home run of the season to right-center field for a 3-2 Yankees lead.

Sabathia retired the side in order in the 8th and then Mariano Rivera pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning, finishing it off by striking out Barajas for his 7th save of the season.

Game Notes

Johnny Damon extended his streak to 10 games in which he has reached with an extra base hit and scored a run. It’s the longest streak by a Yankee since Don Mattingly had a 10 game streak in 1987. Damon leads the team in average, home runs, RBI, and runs scored.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, CC Sabathia has now gone 25 straight starts without allowing an extra base hit to a left-handed hitter. That’s the longest streak since Randy Johnson went 28 games over the 1998-1999 seasons.

The Yankees begin a four game series with the Minnesota Twins tonight at the Stadium. Phil Hughes faces Francisco Liriano in the opener.

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