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Posted by: David
Ivan Nova was more than respectable on Sunday afternoon in Chicago. The rookie pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed only one run while striking out seven, walking one and giving up five hits. He was relieved by Kerry Wood, Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera.

The Yankees got runs in the 2nd and 3rd and that was all there was. Gavin Floyd also pitched well. Marcus Thames hit a home run in the 2nd inning and Brett Gardner grounded an RBI single to center field in the third for the two Yankeee runs.

Thames had five home runs on the six game road trip and 8 RBI.

In the ninth, Rivera faced pinch hitter Carlos Quentin even though he is a right handed hitter. It only took one pitch and Quentin grounded to short for the first out. Gordon Beckham battled for nine pitches and eventually received a rare walk from Mo. Juan Pierre grounded to second and Cano forced Beckham with a throw to Jeter. Pierre tried to run on the first pitch to Omar Vizquel but he popped out foul to Cervelli to end the game.

For Rivera the save was his 27th in 29 save opportunities and the 553rd of his career. His 2010 season ERA now stands at 1.13.

The Yankees now head home for their longest home stand of the season. Tampa plays Boston tonight. The Yankees could do no worse than return home in a tie for first place in the A.L. East.
Posted by: David
It looked like the Yankee bats would be enough and Mo would sit for another day. CC Sabathia left after seven innings with a five run lead but the bullpen could not hold it. Joba Chamberlain and Boone Logan pitched the eighth and gave up two runs. However, the Yankees would add two more, but it almost was not enough.

David Robertson started the ninth with a five run lead but he surrendered a home run to Alexi Ramirez then a lost in the lights triple to Alex Rios and a single to Paul Konerko and the score was 12-9 with a runner on and no one out.

Enter Sandman! Mo got Carlos Quentin to hit into a smooth 5-4-3 double play but then Ramon Castro singled up the middle on the first pitch. With Rivera not having any work in a week, his command was somewhat off and he ended up walking Andruw Jones. Mark Teahen became the potential tying run but Mo got him to hit a soft liner to Cano at second to end the game.

The save for Rivera was his 26th in 28 save opportunities and the 552nd of his career. His 2010 season ERA now stands at 1.16.

The Tampa Bay Rays battled the Bosox and won in walk off fashion in the tenth on a home run from Dan Johnson. The Yankees and Rays remained tied for first and the Red Sox fell to 5 1/2 games behind both teams.
Posted by: David
Javier Vazquez has been up and down all season. Recently, it has been mostly down. On Saturday afternoon in the Bronx, Vazquez started the game by allowing a home run to Ichiro Suzuki and then two batters later allowed a mammoth shot to Russell Branyan. Branyan's solo shot reached the upper deck in right field (the first ever at the new Yankee stadium) and the Yankees were down 2-0 before they ever stepped to the plate.

The Yankees however erupted quickly with a key two run single from Robinson Cano and a two run home run from Jorge Posada and New York had a 4-2 lead. However, Ichiro hit another home run off Vazquez and they later tied the score at four. Vazquez was done after three innings and worry has beset the Yankee starting rotation. With Burnett's awful outing last night and Pettitte being hurt it looks like Sabathia and Hughes are the only two reliable starters. Hughes also will be set back with the unknown innings limit.

The Yankee bullpen with Gaudin, Logan, Robertson and Rivera only gave up one run in six innings. The Yankees would score in the seventh with rookie call up Eduardo Nunez getting hit first major league hit to score a run and put the Yankees ahead at 5-4. They would add two more before the inning was over. Robertson got two on in the eighth with two outs and Rivera was summoned for his first potential four out save since last August.

He got Michael Saunders to hit a foul pop up to first to end the inning. The Yankees would add two more runs in the bottom of the eighth and held a comfortable 9-4 lead with Rivera needing only three more outs.

Rivera caught Josh Wilson looking for the first out. However, Ichiro with his magical bat looped a single over short for his third hit of the day. Ichiro would take second on defensive indifference and then Chone Figgins was jammed and punched a soft bloop single to center field. Suzuki took third on the play. Russell Branyan then grounded to third but Cano was playing deep in the hole and just made the force play for the second out and Suzuki score to make the score 9-5. Jose Lopez then grounded back to Mo to end the game.

For Rivera the save was his 25th of the season in 27 save opportunities and also the 551st of his career. With the run allowed, his 2010 season ERA now stands at 1.18.
Posted by: David
On Wednesday night in the Bronx, Mariano Rivera was called upon even though the game was not in a save situation. He entered with the Yankees ahead 9-5 and closed the door as usual.

Rivera struck out Austin Jackson for the first out and then sawed the bat off of Ramon Santiago and induced a weak ground ball to Cano. Ryan Raburn was the last hope and he flied to center to end the game.

It was a night for the long ball and bean ball. The Yankees scored three in the bottom of the first with back to back home runs from Teixeira and Cano.

The Tigers would bounce back with Miguel Cabrera hitting two solo home runs to pull the Tigers to within a run. Curtis Granderson struck back for the Yankees and the Bombers would add additional runs later with two scoring on a double from Austin Kearns.

Yankee starter Dustin Moseley lasted only five innings and left with a 6-4 lead. He was relieved by Chamberlain, Logan, Wood, Gaudin, Robertson and then Rivera. In the 7th, Kerry Wood struck out the last two batters of the inning with the bases loaded.

Brett Gardner was hit with a pitch in the first inning and both benches were warned. Later in the game, Chad Gaudin drilled Miguel Cabrera, but no ejections came. Jim Leyland fumed and eventually got tossed but no players were ejected. Derek Jeter got a pitch behind him in a later AB.

Rivera lowered his 2010 season ERA to 1.02.
Posted by: David
CC Sabathia became the first American League pitcher to reach sixteen wins as the Yankees rebounded from two dismal offensive performances to defeat the Detroit Tigers 6-2.

Sabathia allowed only two runs with both coming on solo home runs. Former Yankee farm hand Austin Jackson connected to start the game and Brandon Inge also went deep in the seventh. That would be all that the Yankee ace would allow as the Bomber bats returned with home runs from Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano and a key two run single from Nick Swisher in the first inning to give the Yankees the lead at 2-1. Justin Verlander only lasted five innings because of a pitch count well over 100 and was pulled.

Sabathia pitched through seven innings and David Robertson worked the eighth allowing only one hit and gave way to Mo for the ninth.

Rivera faced Ryan Raburn to start the inning and got him to ground to Jeter for the first out. Brandon Inge singled to left but then Brennan Boesch was retired on a come backer on the first pitch and Avila grounded to short to end the game.

Rivera did not record a save but did lower his season ERA to 1.04.
Posted by: David
Javier Vazquez did not have it again! Cliff Lee was sailing and it looked like the Yankees would be swept in a two game series in Texas. However, Cliff Lee's pitch count was climbing and the Yankees got to him with the help of Marcus Thames.

The Yankees rallied to chase Lee and pull within a run at 6-5. With runners on second and third, Texas pulled the infield in and Derek Jeter just bounced a single threw the middle to tie the score. Thames then followed with a sharp bouncing single pass third basemen Michael Young and the Yankees had the lead at 7-6. Thames has hit a home run earlier to pull the Yankees to within a run.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Sandman was summoned and it didn't start ell. Mo did not have his usual impeccable control the previous night and was tagged with the loss.

On Wednesday night, Elvis Andrus led off with a triple to right center but Rivera got tough and escaped with the save. With no outs Michael Young blooped a fly ball to short right which Austin Kearns raced in and just caught around his shin for the first out. The ball was not deep and Andrus could not attempt to score on the play. The next batter was Josh Hamilton, the MLB leader in batting average.

With three hits on the night and a 2-0 count, Mo got inside with a cutter and he bounced back to the mound with the runner holding on third. Vladimir Guerrero was the last hope and he bounced to third with A-Rod backing up and making the grab in the hole and throwing to Swisher at first to end the game. The save for Rivera is his 24th for 2010 and 550th of his career. His 2010 season ERA now stands at 1.06.

What a comeback for the Yankees. I have to be truthful when the score was 6-1 with Lee sailing, I bailed and went to bed. I awoke around midnight and checked my phone to see the game was still in progress. I rushed up to my den and just saw the replay of the last out. What a great gutty win for the Yankees. Somewhat lost in the offensive comeback is the relief pitching of Sergio Mitre and Kerry Wood who held the potent Texas lineup scoreless for a combined 3 2/3 innings.

The Yankees now head to Kansas City for a four game series with CC Sabathia looking for his 15th win tonight.
Posted by: David
The Yankees played shorthanded all night. Mark Teixeira did not make the trip to attend to his wife and newborn. Jorge Posada was not in the lineup and Robinson Cano did not start either.

The Yankees fell behind early 1-0 but battled back to take the lead at 2-1. David Murphy who got the winning hit vs. Rivera earlier hit a two run homer to put the Rangers ahead at 3-2 in the sixth inning.

A-Rod tied the score in the eighth on a long home run to center but the Yankees squandered further chances in the same inning as well as the ninth with leaving runners in scoring position.

In the tenth, Rivera came in to face the heart of the Rangers order. Michael Young reached on an infield single to deep short and that was followed by a soft single through the right side by Josh Hamilton. Vladimir Guerrero hit a ball hard to third which A-Rod dove to stop and got the runner at first for the first out.

However, the runners moved up to second and third on the play. Nelson Cruz was intentionally walked to load the bases with out. David Murphy was the batter and Mo fell behind 3-0, but then battled back to 3-2. His next pitch was right down the middle and Murphy lined it over second for a single to win the game 4-3.

The loss for Rivera makes his record 3-2 on the season and his ERA now stands at 1.09. With the loss and wins by Tampa and Boston the Yankee lead in the A.L. East is reduced to 1/2 and 5 games respectively.
Posted by: David
Joe Girardi did not want to take any chances with Big Papi on deck so he summoned Mo even though he still needed one more base runner to have a save situation.

David Robertson got two outs but walked Jacoby Ellsbury to put runners on first and second with a 7-2 lead. Ryan Kalish reached to start the inning on a Ramiro Pena error at third.

Mo entered and needed only one pitch to induce a force play off the bat of Marco Scutaro to end the game. Rivera's 2010 season ERA now stands at 0.88.

The Yankees got out to an early 2-0 lead with the help of Lance Berkman. He doubled and scored when Bill Hall made a great stop on a grounder up the middle but then threw past first for an error allowing Berkman to score with the game's first run. Derek Jeter would add an RBI single later to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. Bill Hall would pull the Red Sox to within a run at 2-1 on a home run but the Yankees would erupt right back in the next at bat.

Dustin Moseley was a replacement starter for A.J. Burnett who came down with back spasms and was great through 6 1/3 innings and also made three fine defensive plays to help his own cause.

Mark Texeiera led off the fifth with a home run and before the inning was over the Bombers would add four more runs with the last two coming on a two run double up the gap in right center from Jeter. Jeter's hit sent Beckett to the showers and the Yankees held on.

The Red Sox would load the bases in the 7th when Joba Chamberlain could not get the last out of the inning but Boone Logan got David Ortiz to ground out to second with the bases loaded to end the inning.

The series concludes tomorrow afternoon at 2 PM with John Lester against Phil Hughes. With the win and another loss from Tampa the Yankees now lead the A.L. East by 2 1/2 games.
Posted by: David
CC Sabathia did not start out that great but finished very strong to lead the Yankees to a 5-2 win over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday afternoon in the Bronx. The game was nationally televised on FOX as their game of the week.

In the second inning Sabathia fell behind Victor Martinez and came inside with a fast ball and Martinez crushed it to left to give the Boston an early 1-0 lead. Adrian Beltre and Mike Lowell followed with consecutive doubles to make the score 2-0 but Sabathia battled and got out of the inning without any further trouble.

The Yankees battled back when Lance Berkman walked and scored on a triple to right center from Curtis Granderson. Granderson would score on an infield ground out from Ramiro Pena. Pena was in the lineup to replace A-Rod who was hit in the shin with a line drive during batting practice. X-Rays were negative on A-Rod and he is being listed as day to day.

In the fifth, the Yankees would have a two run, two out rally with consecutive singles from Swisher, Texeira, Cano and Posada. In the sixth, Pena produced another RBI with a sharp single to right to give the Yankees a comfortable three run lead. Granderson scored on the play as he was walked and stole second and took third on an errant throw.

Sabathia pitched through the eighth inning and had very little trouble after the second inning. He was able to strike out David Ortiz three times and only surrendered one walk for the day.

Rivera entered in the ninth and pitched a perfect inning. Victor Martinez led off and hit a sharp grounder down the first base line which Texiera was able to glove and threw to Mo covering for the first out. Beltre flied out deep in foul territory in right field and then Mike Lowell hit a fly ball of the end of the bat to right center which Granderson caught to end the game.

The save for Rivera is his 23rd of the season in 25 save opportunities and the 549th of his career. His 2010 season ERA now stands at 0.89.

With the win and another Tampa loss the Yankee lead in the A.L. East now stands at 1 1/2 games. The series with Boston resumes tomorrow night on ESPN with Josh Beckett for the Red Sox and A.J. Burnett on the hill for New York.
Posted by: David
Even though the game was played on a bright sun shiny and muggy day, all the stars must have been aligned properly and the Yankees rebounded with a 5-1 win in the series finale vs. the Blue Jays. A-Rod started off the day and finally hit his 600th career home run to put the Yankees out to an early 2-0 lead. The Yankees would not relinquish the lead all day and Phil Hughes along with the bullpen held Toronto to only one run.

Mark Texeira would add an RBI double in the third and a two run single two innings later to complete the scoring for the Bombers. Phil Hughes only gave up one run, but his pitch count got close to the magic 100 number and he was removed with one out in the sixth. He was followed by Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson and finally Mariano Rivera. The bullpen pitched 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Rivera faced Lyle Overbay to start the ninth and got him to ground to Cano for the first out. The second pitch to Edwin Encarnacion sailed inside and just grazed the jersey for an HBP. John McDonald hit to third for a force play at second and Travis Snider was jammed and popped back to Mo to end the game.

Rivera's 2010 season ERA now stands at 0.91.