The Yankees (37-27) and Nationals (16-46) played a tight game through six innings, but an ex-Yankee from the Nationals’ (16-46) bullpen blew a one-run lead and the Yankees went on to win 5-3.
Robinson Cano went 4-for-4 and contributed in three of the five runs. He scored the first run of the game on Melky Cabrera’s sac-fly in the second inning,and then singled home Johnny Damon in the third.
CC Sabathia pitched a great ballgame with one exception; Anderson Hernandez hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning. Sabathia almost completed the eighth inning on his own, but Brian Bruney was called to record the final out. Sabathia was efficient with his pitches, but struck out only two Nationals.
Ron Villone, who last pitched with the Yankees in 2007, relieved starter Shairon Martis in the seventh inning. After five pitches, the game was tied on Mark Teixeira’s double. Two batters later, Cano drove Teixeira home with a double of his own for the winning run. Ramiro Pena, who took over for Derek Jeter in the eighth, added an insurance run with an RBI single. The word on Jeter is a left ankle sprain. Anyway, Mariano Rivera did his thing in the ninth for the 15th time, and the Yankees won. Full box score here.
It was a closer game than expected, but the 5-1 Martis pitched a quality game and kept it tight. I’m really excited about Cano’s big day and Bruney’s return, but am concerned with Alex Rodriguez recent struggles.
- Cano was easily the player of the game. Three singles, a double and two RBI. He’s now up to .309 for the season.
- Sabathia was solid for 7-2/3 IP. It marks his eighth straight start pitching seven or more innings. He’s a workhorse, what can I say?
Game 2 is Wednesday night, and it could be the last time you see Chien-Ming Wang (0-4, 14.34) on the hill for the Yankees. He will face John Lannan (3-5, 3.51).