There was a time when this one was close, but the Yankees ran away with it late, against the very Royal bullpen I talked up yesterday. The story of this game was the hitting. Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher had 2 hits each. Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez had 3 hits each. The top of the order combined for 6 extra base hits, including A-Rod's 599th career homer and an inside the park job from Derek. When the top of the order does that the Yankees win.
CC Sabathia had his strikeout pitches working, but the batters for both teams had it working as well. CC struck out 9 and walked only 4 in 6.1 innings of work, but he allowed 11 hits and 4 runs (3 ER). He also threw a season high 120 pitches in a game that was close until the bottom of the 8th.
David Robertson once again got the ball in perhaps the highest leverage situation of the game. In the 7th CC put the tying and go-ahead runs on base, prompting a call to the bullpen. Robertson inherited 2 base runners and needed to get 2 outs. He delivered, lowering his season ERA to 4.76.
Joba Chamberlain struggled again in the 8th inning. He allowed no runs to score in what was then a 2 run ball game, but he loaded the bases and never looked in control. Despite all his talk about Joba needing to earn his job, Joe Girardi has yet to turn to anyone else in the 8th inning.
The Yankees scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 8th inning to run away with the game. A-Rod came up with Tex on 2nd base and an opportunity to hit his 600th. The crowd wanted it, but they would have to settle for an RBI double, Alex's 3rd extra base hit and 4th RBI on the night.
Not even Chan Ho Park could blow a 10-4 ballgame in the 9th inning. The Royals were the Royals.
Alex will try again for number 600 tomorrow night. A.J. Burnett looks to bounce back against Brian Bannister. Forget the pitching. All eyes will be on A-Rod and what he does with the bat. Here's hoping for a quick 600th and another strong outing from the offense.