For the third consecutive game the Yankees won by a score of 2-1. It has never happened in the history of the New York Yankees and I would imagine that the fact that the last two games all three runs were scored via the solo home run.
Aside from the jacks by both Eric Hinske (who has turned into a beast for the Yankees with four jacks in five games, hopefully that shuts up anyone who thought this a throw away deal) and Hideki Matsui, the Yankees won this game on stellar pitching and even more exceptional defense. Mark Teixeira is proving that the Yankees were more than justified in paying him the $180 million. The guy is slick with the glove and has the arm of a shortstop, as shown by his throw to nail Cesar Izturis at the plate and keep the game tied. It's not hard to envision a season ago when Jason Giambi would throw that ball into the concourse behind the third base line allowing both runs to score.
Beside being bailed out by the defense, the pitching was solid yet again. Andy Pettitte bounced back after several dismal starts before the break, much like Joba Chamberlain, and Phil Coke and Alfredo Aceves did a good job of giving the offense the time it needed to win the game.
These games illustrate the difference between last season and the present. Last year these four games could all have been lost and the Yankees would have fallen back further from the Rays and Red Sox. Tonight we see the debut of Sergio Mitre in pinstripes. Mitre doesn't have to be great, just effective. That's asking a lot for a guy with a career record of 10-23, but with Wang possibly laid up for the rest of the season, he is the best option that the Yankees have. This is what Phil Hughes was going to prevent at the beginning of the season, but Cashman and Girardi put too much faith in Wang coming back to full strength before his rehab was complete.
I was hoping the Yankees would send Hughes down over the All-Star to begin stretching him out, but alas the Yankees believe he is more valuable in the pen. We'll see if they still feel that way if Mitre fails and the next best option for the Yanks is Kei Igawa. I don't think we'll have to wait long to see Hughes stretched out in the same fashion as Joba was a year ago.