Though Rick Porcello started strongly -- bringing to mind his ridiculous performance against the Yankees back in May -- things began to go south for the soft-tossing righthander in the 4th as the Yankees tied the game at two, and then promptly blew up in his face in a sixth-inning that ultimately saw 13 Yankees come to the plate and nine of them score. Believe it or not, this actually wasn't the Yankees' biggest inning of the season -- that came in an 11-run third against Toronto at the Stadium on July 3.
Porcello ended up tossing 5 innings and giving up six runs as the Yankees got revenge in an 11-5 victory. On the flip side, Phil Hughes had another strong outing, the only blip being a two-run home run in the first to Miguel Cabrera -- hard to get too terribly upset at yielding a bomb to a guy with a legitimate claim to the 2010 AL MVP -- en route to six innings of two-run ball on only 84 pitches. Sergio Mitre somewhat comically pitched the remainder of the game and was mercifully able to record nine outs without surrendering a nine-run lead, though he did get charged with three earned runs. I know Wins are stupid, but it's pretty cool that Phil now has 15 of 'em on the season.
Speaking of Phil, I'm very curious to see what the Yanks end up doing with him come the postseason -- despite the innings cap, can the team really afford to bump its second-best starter to the bullpen and go to war with ridiculously inconsistent A.J. Burnett and possibly-at-the-end-of-his-career Javier Vazquez as their #2 and #3 starters if Andy Pettitte can't make it back? There's no way Dustin Moseley will get a start in the playoffs, and it seems highly unlikely that a Sabathia-Burnett-Vazquez trio could 2009-World-Champion-Yankees their way through the postseason. Hopefully Pettitte returns and makes these decisions much, much easier, but if not, yuck.
Anyway, the offense was a joy to watch in this one, as every starter except Brett Gardner and Ramiro Pena (obviously) got a hit. Robinson Cano went 3-5 with a homer, three runs scored and three RBI, and Austin Kearns just missed a grand slam for the second game in a row and again had to settle for a two-RBI ground rule double. Not to kick him while he's down, but raise your hand if you thought the Yankees would get more production out of Kearns than Lance Berkman thus far. That's what I thought.
Curtis Granderson picked up another RBI hit and walked, and while it's still a very small sample he has really looked like a new man over the past week. Nick Swisher had two more hits and drove in the first run of the game -- I thought he was going to go yard once he got the green light on 3-0, but the base hit was more than enough. Swish is in a bit of a home run drought, having not gone yard now since pumping two against the Toronto Extra Base Hits on August 2.
All in all, the Yankees did exactly what they needed to do in this series, taking three from a flailing Detroit ballclub while waking the offense from hibernation in the process. Considering the Yankees get to face Felix Hernandez tomorrow night, hopefully they spend every waking hour watching videotape and somehow figure out how to get to a pitcher that has held them to one run over two complete games this season.