(CC didn't look too enthused about coming out either. Courtesy of Getty Images)
I really don't want to be a downer about this, because the Yankees did win the game and that's all that matters at the end of the day. But even when they win it seems like it's a struggle. Up 7-0 in the 4th inning, with your ace on the mound cruising, and they manage to turn it into a 1-run game just 3 innings later. The offense came back to life last night and absolutely pounded Anibal Sanchez with another new-look batting order, but the pitching on the Yankees' side was still suspect and the defense was sloppy so they're clearly not out of the woods yet.
- The rearranged lineup didn't waste any time going to work. With 2 outs and 2 on, Eric Chavez and Curtis Granderson singled back-to-back to give the Yankees an immediate 2-0 lead in the top of the 1st.
- Granderson kept the good vibes going from the 6-hole with a 3-run homer, his 30th of the season, in the top of the 3rd. And yes, it was with 2 outs.
- The teams engaged in a little early-inning beanball war in the first 3 innings, which the Yankees lost 2-1 (Teix & Cano-Fielder) thanks to the bullshit umpire warning after the Cano shot, so that was fun.
- CC was money through the first 3 innings, giving up 0 runs and 1 hit, and recording 6 of his 9 outs either on the infield or in the catcher's glove, but he got a little shaky after getting a 7-0 lead in the middle innings, allowing 6 hits and 3 ER in the next 3 innings.
- Little surprising to see Joe yank CC after he just got Prince Fielder for the 2nd out of the 7th inning and was only at 94 pitches, but in fairness to him CC had given up 5 R in a little over 3 innings, bad defense or not. I can understand a quick hook with the way the Yankee starters have given back runs lately.
- Of course D-Rob got dinked and dunked to death after coming in to relieve CC to make it an 8-7 game after 7 innings. I wish I was making this shit up but that's been SOP for the Yankees over the past couple weeks.
- The teams traded runs in the final 2 innings, but the Yankees got the better of that with 4 to the Tigers 1, the dagger being Robinson Cano's RBI single in the 9th, and Rafael Soriano closed out the victory.
- C-Grand: 3-5, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, 1 K, 3 LOB. Move the guy out of the leadoff spot that he never belonged in to begin with and good things happen. It's the magic of baseball, or something like that.
- Chavez: 2-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 3 LOB. I'm still not keen on the idea of him playing every day, but it's hard to take him out of the lineup when he's hitting like this. Dude has been the MVP of this series.
- Joe: Taking CC out when he did was a head scratcher, even if he was going to his best fireman in the bullpen. And letting D-Rob start the bottom of the 8th after the amount of work he had to do in the 7th was also strange. Not sure what was going through Joe's mind in the strategy department last night.
- D-Rob: 1.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 K. He got burned by some shitty BABIP luck, which has been a common occurrence for Yankee pitchers, but he also was not sharp last night.
Final game of this series is tonight, and even with the win last night I'm sure the Yankees are like B-Rabbit and dying to get out of Detroit. They've got a chance for a split, which would be a small victory, and they've got summer ace Hiroki Kuroda on the mound against Doug Fister trying to get it done.