Disaster Avoided

June 6, 2010 – 7:48 pm

You tell 'em, Joe!NYY 4, Toronto 3. For a while there, the Yankees were teetering on what would have been a very ugly loss, particularly coming after the disaster from yesterday. Javier Vazquez was pitching a near-perfect game, the only blemish unfortunately being a big one, a two-run homer to Vernon Wells. But the Yankee offense was still a no-show, running the streak to 25 innings with nothing but three runs to show, and getting shut out in this one. But at last it was old reliable Derek Jeter to the rescue with a run scoring double in the eighth, and then newly reliable Robbie Cano with the two-run single that produced the winning runs.

In a game that bordered on being so ugly, this one had several bright spots. The obvious one was Vazquez, who has now pitched very well in three of his last four starts, putting him very much in A.J. Burnett territory as far as reliability goes. Other than the one terrible pitch he made to Wells that ended up in the bleachers, Javier actually threw a no-hitter over seven innings. He struggled a bit with his control early, walking three the first time through the lineup, but then retired eleven straight before again losing some command and walking Adam Lind and then leaving an 0-2 pitch right over the middle of the plate for Wells. After a slow start to the season, Vazquez is more than carrying his weight in the starting rotation, which all things considered has got to be one of the strongest in the league right now.

The other interesting thing in this game was the way that Derek Jeter came back from two very bad early at-bats to break up the shutout with his run-scoring double in the eighth which triggered the game-winning rally. What impressed me here was not so much what Jeter did, as how it compares to what Mark Teixeira is going through. In his first two plate appearances, Jeter looked just as lost as Tex has of late. But Jeter was able to quickly adjust and come through in the clutch. Exactly the opposite of what Teixeira is doing — he just doesn’t seem to be making any progress at all in figuring out what is wrong. And like I said yesterday, that really can’t go on much longer.

Photo: ESPN

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