The postgame chatter involved three aspects of the game:
The energy Melky Cabrera and Robinson Cano have given the team. Melky is 21 of 51 over the last 12 games with 11 extra-base hits and 18 RBI. Asked whether the arrival of Jason Giambi could result in Cabrera losing time, Joe Torre shook his head. “He’s our center fielder,” he said.
Cano struck out his first two at-bats before getting the biggest hit of the game, that two-run double in the sixth. He said Don Mattingly has impressed upon him the need to forget about poor at-bats and not give away opportunities.
There also was a buzz about how great Mariano Rivera looked. His cutter hit 97 mph as he struck out Alex Rios, Vernon Wells and Frank Thomas on 16 pitches.
“You have to live up the challenge,” Rivera said. “That’s my job.”
It also seems fairly sure that Kyle Farnsworth is now a forgotten man. When the opportunity to win the game presented itself, Torre leaned on Luis Vizcaino get five outs.
Can that strategy work for 50 more games? Torre says they’re, “taking care of Vizcaino.” But he has now made 58 appearances and thrown 59 innings. The Viz pitched 65.3 innings in 70 games last season.
His career highs are 76 games and 81.3 innings back in 2002 with Milwaukee.
The Yankees need Joba Chamberlain and soon, if only to use him in the seventh inning. Vizcaino can’t keep this up.
Here’s Torre’s postgame press conference:
As of right now, here are the wild-card standings:
Tigers 61-49, .5545
Yankees 62-50, .5535
Mariners 60-49, .5504
It’s pretty much a tie. The Tigers host Tampa Bay tonight. The Mariners are idle.