|Nix's game winner - courtesy of greenwichtime.com|
Unless GM Brian Cashman pulls off a deal for another asset, Nix and Eric Chavez will be looked upon to provide production at third base in light of Alex Rodriguez's broken hand. Nix entered the game hitting just .235 with 7 RBI, and faced a bases loaded situation after Josh Kinney hit Derek Jeter to start the 8th and Lucas Luetge gave up back to back singles to Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira.
Curtis Granderson fouled out before Joe Girardi sent Nix up to pinch-hit for Raul Ibanez. Seattle manager Eric Wedge countered with right-hander Shawn Kelley, but Nix ripped a ball up the alley in left-center field to clear the bases. Russell Martin added an RBI single later in the inning for some insurance, but Nix's hit was huge for a player who entered the game just 1-9 with runners in scoring position.
Yankees starter Ivan Nova struggled his way through five innings and walked a career high six hitters. The final two free passes started the 6th inning and ended Nova's day. The Yankees bullpen was outstanding once again though as Clay Rapada, David Phelps, and David Robertson combined for three scoreless innings as a bridge to Rafael Soriano.
The Yankees' closer allowed a 2-out single in the 9th, but struck out Ichiro's replacement, Carlos Peguero, to end the game.
Utility Infielder Ramiro Pena was recalled from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take A-Rod's spot on the roster.
Derek Jeter (twice), A-Rod, and Ichiro were all hit by pitches in the last two games, but no Yankees pitcher retaliated. Felix Hernandez, who through the pitch that broke A-Rod's hand, said after Tuesday night's game that he "felt bad" about what happened. Hernandez does not have a reputation of a hitting batters.
David Phelps picked up his second victory of the season and struck out two batters to give him 51 K's in 46.2 innings pitched.
With A-Rod out of the lineup, Girardi moved Ichiro in the lead off spot and slipped Jeter back into his old number 2 hole.
Jesus Montero had to feel pretty good about himself after throwing out Ichiro when his former teammate tried to steal second base in the 5th inning.