Jobu reacts to the first win of the season, the other night against the Red Sox.
Thursday night, the Yankees scored only four runs. That’s the same amount of runs they scored in their game two loss to the Sox (8-4), and only one more than they scored on opening day. Their shady offense did not perform any better than they really have been so far this season. So why do things feel so much better in Yankees Land this morning? Simple. We got to hear John Sterling do his stupid “Yankees win” thing at the end of nine innings.
While a win doesn’t really erase any of the concerns I have about this team, it just feels good to get that first one out of the way. It was also a classic Yankees win, with the ageless Andy Pettitte going a really strong 8 innings and Mariano Rivera shaking off some rust to get his first save since last year’s knee injury. That’s why we love those guys. The team has been playing like crap. The pitching staff, which was supposed to be the part of the team that would carry them through the dry months without Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson and Derek Jeter, hadn’t shown up yet. Andy Pettitte is about as true a stopper as the Yankees have had in my era of fandom. The guy wins important games. Mo… well he’s just Mo, isn’t he? It will be a real shame when he’s no longer there after this season.
Anywho, we talked about how the offense didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard, but sometimes you only need four runs. What the Yankees were able to do, however, was get a couple of pretty clutch hits. In the bottom of the second, the Yankees had second and third with two out and Lyle Overbay up. It seemed pretty bleak, but Overbay, who was released by the Sox at the end of Spring Training, came through with a single the other way, and the Yankees had their first lead of the season at 2-0. Brett Gardner led off the third with a solo homer that he golfed off the ground with a 4-iron, and the Yankees led 3-0.
In the top of the seventh, the Sox got back into it. Jackie Bradley, Jr. hit a double high off the wall in right to score Will Middlebrooks, and the Sox made a couple of very loud outs to end the jam for Pettitte. That could have swayed momentum a bit, but Francisco Cervelli came up in the bottom of the inning and hit what will probably be the furthest ball of his career. The solo home run hit off the back wall of the bullpen in left-center and the Yankees got the run back with a bang. Seriously though. Frankie got an 88 mph fastball down the pipe and belt high from Clayton Mortensen, and he unloaded on it. If a guy like Vernon Wells had taken that swing, on that pitch, it might have landed in Citi Field, but it was Frankie, so the back of the bullpen is what we got.
The homer capped an interesting day for Cervelli, who earlier in the game turned a mental lapse into a great hustle play to get the Yankees out of a jam. The Sox had first and second and two out. Pettitte unleashed a wild pitch that snuck under Frankie’s glove. He kind of lazied after it, and Pettitte didn’t cover home either, and Shane Victorino almost came all the way around from second to score. Luckily for Cervelli, he woke up just in time to run and dive at “The Flyin’ Hawaiian” as he was sliding into the plate. The tag was made and the threat was over, but it was annoying to see Frankie, whom we recall was sent to AAA last year because of his defense, almost give up the lead because of a lapse. Gotta be alert out there, fellas.
Either way, the Yankees got a win. They are now 1-2, a record they share with Tampa and the World Champion Toronto Blue Jays (at least during the off-season), who have also stunk up the joint. We recall from my rant last April that the Yankees started the 2012 season being swept by the Rays, and they ended up winning the division. Not saying that’s gonna happen, but after a win last night, I feel better about the Yanks’ chances of somehow piecing together a decent season.
Featured image courtesy of: Elsa/Getty Images
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