Tex + Coke-to-Hughes-to-Rivera = Win

August 20, 2009 – 11:17 am

NYY 3, Oakland 2. This one bordered on being ugly, but thanks to Mark Teixeira and Chad Gaudin, the Yankees won their fifth straight series, making that 9 of the 10 series since the All-Star break that they have won. Gaudin made an interesting case for himself, pitching 4.1 innings of 1-hit shutout ball — but also walking 5 and hitting one batter, which ultimately caught up with him and cost him the opportunity to pick up the win. But he was certainly good enough to merit another start on down the road as a No. 5 starter. Going in the opposite direction was Alfredo Aceves, though, as he got rocked for the second outing in a row. He’s clearly now in the “can’t count on” category as far as the relievers go. I’m guessing we will now see less of him in these situations and more of Brian Bruney as Girardi tries to nail down exactly who he can rely on in the bullpen.

Tex Goes YardOffensively, it was pretty much up to the first three of Jeter, Damon, and Teixeira to carry the team. Unlike the recent pattern, the bottom six in the order got all of one hit between them. But Jeter got two hits (not exactly man bites dog news there), Damon got two, and of course Teixeira got the big one, the 2-run blast in the 4th that ended up being the game winner. In fact, after that home run the offense went in to “get out of town” mode and the last 13 Yankee hitters went down in order. But with Coke-Hughes-Rivera working the 7th inning on, they had all the runs they needed.

With a 7-game lead in the East and 41 games left, it’s going to be interesting to see how Girardi manages the starters and the bullpen for the remainder of the season, as he sets up the pitching for the post-season. This may well prove just how well Girardi measures up as manager of the Yankees — after all, for them it’s not making the post-season that is the measure of success as that’s taken for granted. It’s how well you do in the post-season and how many World Series championships you win that’s the real measuring stick for Yankee managers. And it was the lack of post-season success that ultimately led to Joe Torre’s gentle shove out the door. But we are getting ahead of ourselves a bit here, what with a 3-game road trip to Boston looming!

Photo: Newsday

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