Take the good with the bad from Javier Vazquez tonight. His first two innings were awful, and Vazquez was lucky to get out of them with only three runs scoring. If not for two nice plays by Mark Teixeira, there’s no telling how bad it could have gotten.
But he also got through his final 13 batters with only two hits. There were plenty of hard-hit balls — including, Jason Kubel’s home run and Orlando Hudson’s triple — but he was better later in the game.
“My first few games, early in the season, I wasn’t battling as well as I did today,” Vazquez said. “Really, the first couple of innings were the two innings that hurt me the most because I didn’t make good pitches.”
Those bad pitches were offspeed, not so much the fastball problems Vazquez was having earlier in the season. He said his smashed right index finger had no impact — “Didn’t even feel it,” he said — but he hung some curveballs and missed with some changeups.
“He left some breaking pitches up tonight and they didn’t miss them,” Girardi said. “A couple of curveballs. A couple of changeups. He got on the side of pitches and that’s going to happen. His command wasn’t as good as his last two starts but we’ll have to get it back… He made some mistakes with his breaking stuff tonight, so that was a little bit different than what we had been talking about.”
• It’s been a week since the last time the Yankees scored more than four runs, but there have been some good signs the past few games. Mark Teixeira has six hits in the past four games, Derek Jeter has turned things around and Curtis Granderson should be back tomorrow. “Baseball has ups and downs,” Robinson Cano said. “We went through this last year too. We are going to be ready for this. We have to keep fighting and just keep our head up.”
• Girardi said he still doesn’t know what the move will be to add Granderson to the roster.
• Chan Ho Park faced four batters and allowed three base runners: Two hits and one walk. He said he’s having trouble keeping his pitches down in the zone, and he hasn’t felt quite the same since his hamstring injury. He’s still getting his strength back. “A little bit different than before,” he said. “But still I think it’s fine.”
• Girardi said he hasn’t noticed his players pressing with runners in scoring position, but the team was 2-for-7 in those situations tonight, with both hits coming from Cano. “I don’t see a real pattern,” Girardi said. “We’re just not impacting the baseball at times.” It didn’t help that both Kevin Russo and Brett Gardner hit the ball hard but lined out in key spots with runners on base.
• This was the Yankees first loss in Minneapolis since August 13, 2008.
• Jeter has an 11-game hitting streak and Cano has a 10-game streak.
• According to Elias, Vazquez had not allowed a home run in 63 straight at-bats before Jason Kubel’s home run in the sixth. It was the Twins first home run since May 17, a streak of 349 plate appearances.
• In case you missed it in the game post, Granderson told Donnie Collins that he feels about 90 to 95 percent overall. “The groin is actually good,” he said. “I haven’t felt anything with it. If you dig in and touch it, it’s still tender to the touch. But I don’t feel anything with it.”
Associated Press photos of Vazquez and Teixeira.