BRONX, NY – When it comes to the breaks, the Yankees got them. Some might call it luck, but you get the breaks by playing good solid baseball.
Take tonight’s 3-1 Yankee win over the Baltimore Orioles. This had the making of a slugfest wit Brian Matursz taking on Javier Vazquez, two pitcher that would make Oliver Perez proud with a combined record of 5-10 and an ERA of over six.
But both starts throughout their records and played very good baseball, each giving up one earned run with Matursz going 6 2/3 and Vazquez the full seven.
So something needed to break here and the Yankees got it with two on and two out during the bottom of the seventh.
Alex Rodriguez’s long groundball to Miguel Tejada at third went for an era as Ty Wigginton couldn’t haul in the low throw. Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher scored as the ball trickled down the line.
“We are going to keep coming at ya,” Swisher said. “If we don’t score runs early we are going to keep coming at you. I don’t care how they score. A win is a win.”
Yet, this is more than just any ho-hum win. Another good outing by Vazquez, who just three weeks ago was on the Perez boat out of the rotation, but seemed to right the ship at Citi Field two Fridays ago.
“I feel good the last few starts,” Vazquez, who now improves to 4-5 on the season with a 6.06 ERA. “I think I am throwing better pitches. I have better command on my pitches and throwing strikes.”
Vazquez was sharp all night and was able to get out of trouble when he had to. In the seventh, with one out Matt Weiters was intentionally walked with one out to load the bases. But Vazquez was able to cap off his night with a strikeout to Adam Jones and Julio Lugo grounding out to finish off the inning.
That was the most trouble Vazquez had all night as he cruised through five and gave up a homer to Corey Patterson in the sixth. His balls looked sharp, on what may be his best outing of the season.
“He was great,” said manager Joe Girardi. “He attacked the zone all night. I thought he used his fastball very effectively. We got into a jam in the seventh. He was outstanding tonight. Everyone is going to run into bumps in the road, but we are very encouraged on how he threw the baseball.”
Also encouraging was Curtis Granderson, who hit another homer off a lefty to give the Yankees an early lead.
All of this made for a great night in the Bronx, one that could have been marred with the loss of Mark Teixeira. The first baseman left the game in the third inning after fouling a ball off his foot in the first. Girardi said the first baseman is day to day and may be in the lineup tomorrow.
“We will see how he feels.”
With the Yankees luck these days, it’s probably going to be pretty good, since they are playing well and getting the breaks.