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Thursday, September 20, 2012

YANKEES SWEEP DOUBLEHEADER BEHIND ICHIRO SUZUKI


The Yankees and Blue Jays were rained out on Tuesday, and because of that they had to play a doubleheader on Wednesday. In case you missed it, the Bombers won the first game of the double dip 4-2. Read PETTITTE & YANKEES ARE A-O-K IN GAME 1 for the recap. In game 2, the Yanks got some serious help from Ichiro and spot-starter David Phelps in a 2-1 win.

Let’s start with the man of the hour, or in this case, the man of the day; Ichiro. In game 1 he went 3-for-4 out of the lead off spot with a double and two runs scored, to go along with a spectacular basket catch in the eighth inning to preserve the lead. However, in game 2, he one-upped that performance by going 4-for-4 out of the eighth spot with four steals and the go-ahead RBI single in the eighth. On the day, Ichiro went 7-for-8 with four stolen bases, two runs scored and one huge, huge RBI. With the 7-for-8 in the two games for Ichiro, he raised his average as a Yankee from .288 to .317. But the thing is, we shouldn’t be too terribly surprised by what Ichiro has done because we knew he would provide a needed spark for this team. Read TRUST ME: WITH ICHIRO, THE YANKS HAVE THE EYE OF THE TIGER.

With the rain out, the Yankees would eventually need a spot starter. Smartly, Joe Girardi planned ahead and used his spot starter, David Phelps, against the weaker Blue Jays instead of waiting for the weekend to use him against the contending Oakland A’s. Also, the move means they can put him back in the bullpen for the A’s series, if needed, after a few days. Anyway, Phelps was fantastic as he allowed just one run in 6.2 innings. He gave up just three hits while walking three and striking out six. Phelps was also able to throw a career high 110 pitches. In fact, he had not thrown 100 pitches in an outing in his big league career.
Following Phelps were the trio of Boone Logan, Cody Eppley, and Rafael Soriano. Logan came on to clean up Phelps’ bases loaded mess in the seventh, and in total he retired all three men he faced including two strikeouts. Eppley retired the only man he faced, Brett Lawrie, on a strikeout to end the eighth. Finally, after collecting four outs on 23 pitches in the day game, Rafael Soriano needed just nine pitches to retire the Jays 1-2-3 in the ninth. The save was his 42nd of the season.

You know the rest of the offense didn’t do much when Chris Stewart is your second biggest contributor on the night. He actually had a pretty good game overall, though, as he went 1-for-2 with two walks, an RBI, and a stolen base while throwing out Rajai Davis at second in the second. The run he drove in came on a ground rule double off Ricky Romero in the second. Other than that, there wasn’t much offense as Derek Jeter, who made a throwing error in his return at shortstop, Nick Swisher, and Robinson Cano each singled. Jeter’s hit was his 200th of the season, the eighth time he’s done so in his illustrious career.

Final was 2-1, Yanks.

It was imperative that the Yankees swept the doubleheader since the Oriole continue to prove that they’re for real. The lead in the AL East is a slim ½ game, and the Yanks will be looking to sweep their series against the Blue Jays, as the O’s travel to Boston. Phil Hughes (15-12, 3.96 ERA) will match up against former Yankee Aaron Laffey (3-5, 4.55 ERA) in the series finale.




--Jesse Schindler, BYB Lead Staff Writer
Follow me on Twitter @SchindlerJesse


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