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I was going to write this last night, but you know how it goes when you get the old belly full of pasta and meat sauce before you watch a ballgame. After Masahiro Tanaka‘s coming out party in the first game of yesterday’s doubleheader, the Yankees took on the Cubs again in the nightcap, this time with Michael Pineda on the mound. The more things change, the more things stay the same, as the Yankees shut out the Cubs again to sweep the double dip.

Much like in the first game, the Yankees didn’t get that much offense. They got plenty of hits, notching an even dozen on the night, but couldn’t seem to get the big hit across to get some runs home. The two runs they did score, however, came on two out hits, so at least they can hang their hats on that. The first run came in the bottom of the fourth. Scott Sizemore, who was called up prior to the first game, had an infield single to short, which was followed up by a looping single by John Ryan Murphy and an RBI single by Brett Gardner. The very next inning, Alfonso Soriano and Yangervis Solarte singled with one out. After an Ichiro pop out, that man Sizemore came up and dunked a broken bat single to left to plate the second run. That was all the Yankees would get, but fortunately, it was all they’d need.

Pineda definitely wasn’t as sharp in this game as he’s been in his others, hanging some sliders and only generating a career low 5 swings and misses on the nighta. If he’d been facing a real major league lineup, things might have been different. Fortunately, he was facing the Cubs, who flat out stink. Pineda got out of a 2nd and 3rd situation in the 5th, and had runners on base throughout the night, but there was never really any threat against him from the Cubbies. He didn’t really get his velocity pumping (he mostly topped out at 91 or 92 when I was watching), but that’s not the craziest thing on what was such a cold night in the Bronx. Pineda exited after 6 innings and just 89 pitches (4 hits, 1 walk, 3 Ks), which showed Joe Girardi‘s commitment to keeping him healthy and fresh following his two year shoulder injury hiatus. So far, so good!

The No-Name Bullpen (NNB) continued its outstanding performance of late, making those two runs stand up through the last 3 innings. David Phelps bent but did not break (again), giving up a single and a walk to the first two batters in the 7th, and then working his way through the next 4 outs without incident. Matt Thornton came in to finish the 8th after Phelps got the first out. Here’s where I thought Girardi got a little too cute. Rather than just go down the pecking order and putting Adam Warren in to close the game (#ShawnKelleyEra had pitched earlier in the day and was unavailable), he went with Thornton against the first batter, who singled. Warren then came in and walked the first batter he faced, before finally gathering himself and locking down his first career save.

By the way, this was the first time a Yankees team had swept a doubleheader with matching shutouts since 1987. Sure, the offense could have been better, but any time you go 18 without allowing a run, it was a good day (I think that was in a verse that Ice Cube cut from his hit song back in the 90s). Up next, the Yankees go down to Tampa to take on the ailing Rays. I’ll check in later.

Featured image courtesy of: Robert Sabo/New York Daily News

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Martin Stezano

About Martin Stezano

Uruguayan born and American raised with a unique perspective on the domestic and international sports scenes. It will both tickle your funny bone and enlighten your mind. Love it or hate it...just read it.