Javier Vazquez didn’t pitch especially well this afternoon, but the boos that serenaded him as he walked off the mound in the sixth inning seemed to have more to do with his 2004 postseason struggles than his first home start of 2010.
“As soon as he can get a win here, I think it will be best for all of us,” manager Joe Girardi said. “Fans, they remember. His next start will be on the road and it would be nice to get him a win and on a roll. Today we didn’t score many runs. He could have won that game as well if we would have scored some runs today.”
Vazquez called it “disappointing” to hear the boos, but said he was also disappointed in himself. After being asked about it several times, Vazquez final said he didn’t think it was fair to be booed so early.
Derek Jeter, of course, managed to defend both his pitcher and his fans.
“The bottom line is, they’re Yankee fans,” Jeter said. “They want to cheer for you. They come here to cheer for you. Everyone has been booed at some point. You can’t let it affect you. If Javy gives up three runs every time he pitches, he’s going to have a pretty good year.”
Here’s an earlier part of Jeter’s postgame interview.
• Girardi on the key at-bat of the game, Torii Hunter’s lead-off double in the fifth: “Javy didn’t throw a bad game,” Girardi said. “I thought the key at-bat in the game was when he was ahead of Torii Hunter 0-2 in the sixth and Torii wound up getting to 3-2 and hitting a double. I thought that was the key at-bat in the game. Up until that point, he had thrown a pretty good game.”
• Nick Swisher on Joel Pineiro: “I can remember him from back when he was with Seattle,” Swisher said. “He was a power guy. Threw really hard. Now he’s still got that power in there but he’s using it more for movement. He threw some great sinkers today. Just when you think it’s going to be in the zone, it falls off the table.”
• Vazquez on the reaction from the crowd: “It was a little disappointing,” Vazquez said. “It was my first game back. I don’t think they’re forgetting from ’04. Hopefully I’ll get some W’s in the stadium, and hopefully they’ll forget that.”
• Vazquez had some trouble putting away hitters with two strikes, and both he and Girardi blamed some of that on command. That said, both Girardi and Vazquez said his command was better this game than it was last week against Tampa Bay.
• Joba Chamberlain was getting into the mid-90s with his fastball.
• Robinson Cano continues to be a bright spot for the Yankees. Two more hits today. He has a hit in all eight games this season, with more two-hit games (5) than one-hit games (3).
• Scott Kazmir will come off the disabled list to make his season debut against the Yankees tomorrow. Phil Hughes will make his debut for the Yankees.
Both pictures are from the Associated Press.