Saturday, August 17, 2013

Soriano Smash, Reynolds Foils Bosox

The Yankees front office overruled GM Brian Cashman when Alfonso Soriano could be had from the Chicago Cubs for a young pitcher at this year's trade deadline. For a time it was a decent trade with Soriano providing much needed help against left-handed pitchers. For the last four games it has been an incredible trade.

The 37-year old has made like the Incredible Hulk and smashed baseballs and pitcher's egos at an alarming rate. The Boston Red Sox and starter Felix Doubront became the latest victims in the Yankees 10-3 win Friday night.

After he hit four home runs and drove in 13 runs in back to back games against the Los Angels, Banner Soriano had four hits and a one ribbie in the finale against the Halos. The Hulk was back for the opener of a three game series in Fenway Park. Soriano gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI single and then broke open a 3-0 game with a 3-run home run in the 3rd inning.

It gave the left fielder 18 RBI in his last four games over which he has gone 13-18 (.722) Fellow Yankees Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Tony Lazzeri, and Jim Bottomley and Sammy Sosa are the only other players that have driven in 18 runs in four games. The hot streak has given Soriano a 1.021 OPS in 19 games since his acquisition.

Soriano wasn't the only right-handed hitter to do damage last night. Mark Reynolds, who hadn't hit a home run in his last 68 at-bats before his release by Cleveland, found the top of the Green Monster in his first at-bat as a Yankee. It turned a 1-0 game into a 3-0 game and the rout was on. Reynolds, who also drove in a run with a single in the 9th, became the 22nd different Yankee to a hit home run this year. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it tied the franchise record set by the 1965 and 2000 Yankees teams.

Andy Pettitte earned his 8th win with his best game in months. It would have been even better if Joe Girardi hadn't left him in the game too long. He allowed three unearned runs - Eduardo Nunez with yet another error on his resume - in 6.1 innings pitched. Pettitte scattered six hits, walked one, and struck out five.

Doubront had dominated the Yankees the prior two times he faced them this season, but was charged with six earned runs in just four innings of work.

Alex Rodriguez was booed as expected with an accompaniment of "You do steroids" chant. Needless to say it was hypocritical coming from fans that saw their team win two World Series with failed drug test veterans Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz. A-Rod hit the ball sharply all night and reached base safely with two hits and a walk.

To make room on the roster for Reynolds, the Yankees demoted Preston Claiborne from the 25-man roster and designated Luis Cruz for assignment from the 40-man roster.

Mariano Rivera was prepared to enter the game in the 9th until the Yankees scored three times in the final frame. He had to get up in the pen again though when the Red Sox loaded the bases against Joba Chamberlain with two outs in the bottom of the 9th. David Huff made it unnecessary when he got Jacoby Ellsbury to ground out to Robinson Cano to end the game.

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