How much respect did Javier Vazquez get when he arrived at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum this afternoon? So much that his name was spelled “Vasquez” on the name plate above his locker.
How much respect did Vazquez get when he left the park tonight? So much that he took the Yankees championship belt with him.
The championship belt is back, and it belongs to Vazquez after his first win of the season. His last pitch was a mistake that Kurt Suzuki hit for a two-run homer, but otherwise Vazquez was better than in his first two starts. Still not perfect, but better.
“My breaking pitches all were crisper than in my first couple of games,” he said. “Still with my fastball I’m having a little bit of trouble locating, but all around I felt a lot better.”
Here’s Vazquez speaking after the game.
• The Yankees drew 10 walks tonight, including three from the suddenly more patient Robinson Cano. “They got ahead of him and he coaxed some walks,” Girardi said.
• Nick Swisher was hitless in his previous 16 at-bats before an RBI single in the first inning. “I feel like they’ve been the same swings,” Swisher said. “They’re just finally finding some grass.”
• Pretty solid debut from Boone Logan. He retired the first four batters he faced, and when he loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh it was on an infield single, a legit single and an oh-so-close walk.
• Speaking of that bases-loaded jam, Joba Chamberlain got out of it by striking out clean-up hitter Kevin Kouzmanoff. The gun here had him hitting 96 mph several times tonight.
• The Yankees 2, 3, 4 and 5 hitters — Cano, Nick Johnson, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez — combined for two hits and seven runs.
• On the day he got his World Series ring, Edwar Ramirez pitched two hitless innings for Oakland, but he also walked four.
• The latest on home plate umpire Ed Rapuano, who left the game after being hit by a foul tip: He was taken by ambulance for a CT Scan at a local hospital, and was alert when he left the stadium.
That’s an AP shot of Vazquez and an AP shot of Swisher.