Javier Vazquez seemed to cruise through his first three innings, but after he walked Ben Zobrist to lead off the fourth, his entire outing seemed to crumble.
“From the stretch he seemed like he wanted to rush a little bit,” Jorge Posada said.
Vazquez said it wasn’t only that his pitches were up, they were over the middle of the plate. And the middle of the plate is no place for a pitcher to be.
“Obviously you want to start out on the right foot, and to lose this game is disappointing,” Vazquez said. “First three innings I was doing a pretty good job controlling their lineup, but I made a lot of mistakes in the zone, and in the big leagues they get hit hard.”
Here’s the Vazquez postgame audio.
• Francisco Cervelli will start tomorrow’s afternoon game against the Rays. “Jorge will be off tomorrow,” Joe Girardi said. “I’m not going to catch him too many day games after night games.”
• Vazquez is really the first of the new guys to get off to a terrible start. Chan Ho Park allowed that home run in the opener, but he bounced right back with an outstanding relief appearance on Wednesday. “You worry about a guy that’s younger more than you do a guy that’s experienced,” Girardi said. “Javy’s been through this.”
• Speaking of new guys who have been here before, Nick Johnson and Marcus Thames each got their first hits tonight. Johnson and Derek Jeter were the only Yankees with two hits.
• Every Rays starter had a hit.
• David Price was pretty dominant. Girardi praised his curveball, but both Posada and Mark Teixeira seemed impressed by his curveball, his four-seam, his two-seam and his changeup. “We hit a couple of ball hard off him, but he pitched pretty darn well,” Teixeira said.
• Speaking of Teixeira, he’s 0-for-16: “I’ve hit a few balls hard, but not enough to really feel great about myself,” he said. “Unfortunately I do this to myself every year. I just punish myself early on and then I get it going.”
• Girardi’s take on Teixeira: “I’ve got a feeling it’s going to happen tomorrow.”
• Solid work from Sergio Mitre, who allowed base hits to the first two batters he faced but retired the next eight in a row.
That’s an Associated Press photo of Vazquez after the fourth inning home run to Carlos Pena.