As crummy as Monday night's result was, the great thing about baseball is that you almost always get the chance to make up for a bad one the next day. The Yankees did just that last night, putting the Blue Jays in a chokehold and letting up for just a second to trick them into thinking they had a chance before putting them to sleep.
It was really a story of 2 very different games last night, an outstanding 8-inning one in which the Yankees schooled Toronto in almost every facet of the game and a pretty crappy 1-inning one in which they had to scramble to get through it. The 8-inning one was anchored by Michael Pineda, who turned in arguably his best Yankee start to date. He pitched 8 shutout innings and only allowed 6 baserunners during that time. He never had more than 1 runner on base in any inning, he recorded 10 ground ball outs, and he struck out 6 while only walking 1. He was mosltly fastball-slider and he was overwhelming with that combo. Spectacular performance by the new staff ace.
The lineup gave Pineda plenty of support and plenty of it early. They got 2 quick runs in the top of the 1st on a Jacoby Ellsbury leadoff single (as usual), a Brett Gardner double, and an Alex Rodriguez 2-run double off outclassed Toronto starter Marco Estrada. Ellsbury plated another run in the 2nd with an RBI single after Gregorio Petit singled with 2 outs and advanced on an error, and the big bats came out in the 5th when Mark Teixeira clubbed a 2-run home run to right-center. It was his 10th of the season and the Yanks basically put it on cruise control up 5-0.
That was fine while Pineda was still in, but when he exited after 8 innings and Joe went to the criminally underused David Carpenter for the 9th, things got interesting. Carpenter started the inning by giving up a leadoff homer to Russell Martin for Toronto's first run of the game. He got the next 2 outs and then proceeded to go 4-pitch walk, ground-rule double, single to give Toronto 2 more runs and put the game within reach. Joe had seen enough and went to Andrew Miller to close the door, which he did after carefully working around and walking Jose Bautista. From up 6 to the tying run at the plate in a span of 8 batters. Not exactly the way you write it up when you get 8 shutout innings from your starter, but whatever. A win's a win.
- Best stat on Pineda last night may have been his pitch count. He threw a pretty economical 101 in his 8 IP, which was a new high for him this year and the second time in 3 starts that he threw 100+ pitches.
- Another 3-hit game for Ellsbury at the top. He seems to have one every 2 or 3 games these days. He also stole 2 more bases. Up to .358 with 38 hits, 21 R scored, and 11 steals on the season.
- 2-hit night for Stephen Drew. No I'm not joking. His average is back up to a whopping .167.
- Carlos Beltran Glue Factory Watch: 0-4, 1 K, season average down to .193.
- At this point, we have to do believe that this power production from Teix is real. He isn't dumb lucking into this stuff, he's crushing the ball. He has 10 home runs on May 5th. For the sake of comparison, he hit his 10th homer last year on June 3rd.
- I know it's been fun to joke about, and all the really good ones have already been used on Twitter, but I seriously think we might never see David Carpenter again. Joe was already going out of his way to never use him. He might not even let him go out and sit in the bullpen anymore. Carpenter is just going to slowly be erased from existence like Marty's siblings in "Back To The Future".