Javier Vazquez said it was hard for him to learn much from watching Andy Pettitte and A.J. Burnett face the Blue Jays the past two days. Pettitte is a lefty, Burnett is a power pitcher and Vazquez was going to have to find his own way to handle this explosive Toronto lineup.
It was a good night to have his best changeup of the season.
“They always take a big swing, hit a lot of homers,” Francisco Cervelli said. “We just tried to change the rhythm a little bit and offspeed I think is the best way… I think the last four starts he has really shown who’s Javy Vazquez.”
After that awful start to the season, Vazquez is now 5-5, an even .500 for the season. He would be 6-4 had the Yankees scored some runs for him during that doubleheader start in Detroit.
“It was a tough first month for him, but I give him a lot of credit,” Joe Girardi said. “He kept fighting, and he did what we wanted him to do. He missed a start when he didn’t want to miss a start. Got a big strikeout out of the bullpen for us. He did what we asked him to do, and for that I really applaud him. He never stopped trying, and he never got so down that he didn’t do his work and go about his business.”
Vazquez has allowed two runs or less in four of his past five starts. He’s pitched through the seventh inning in two straight.
“I’ve been feeling like that the last couple of starts,” he said. “I’ve been feeling a lot better with my command and what my pitchers are doing. I felt good that I could do it against an offense like the Blue Jays, of course.”
Here’s Vazquez speaking after the game.
And here’s Girardi.
• Vazquez said he was never thinking about a no-hitter. The one hit he allowed was the Vernon Wells home run, on a slider that was supposed to be off the plate. “It was just the wrong location,” Vazquez said. “For me it was the right pitch, but I just didn’t locate it where I wanted it. We wanted it for a ball away and it stayed over the plate.”
• Mark Teixeira was not surprised when the Blue Jays elected to walk him to face Alex Rodriguez in the eighth. “It’s all about the situation,” Teixeira said. “You’ve got a guy that throws the ball down. You want a ground ball there, a hard ground ball, and every single time that’s the right call. That’s just baseball. That’s basic.”
• Likewise, Robinson Cano was not surprised when the Blue Jays decided not to walk him later in the inning. “It was two outs,” he said. “I said, I’m going to go up there and keep the same mind and just get a good pitch to hit.”
• The Yankees saw Brett Cecil, Ricky Romera and Brandon Morrow this series. All three young starters pitched very, very well. “When guys make pitches, most people are going to struggle,” Derek Jeter said. “(Morrow) was throwing 97. Ball moving all over the plate. He was throwing a hard breaking ball. No disrespect to anybody else, but he was throwing the ball so well, I would have probably rather faced anybody.”
• What is it about Francisco Cervelli that leads to all these hit by pitches? “Another hit by pitch in my career,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of tattoos on my back and my arm. It’s part of the game. We scored runs after that, so I’ll take it.”
• Cano’s second-inning double snapped an 0-for-12 streak. Twelve at-bats is nothing, but when your as hot as Cano, it seems like an eternity.
• Mariano Rivera has allowed one hit in his past five appearances.
• Girardi was ejected for the second time this season, his first ejection since May 9 in Boston. It was his 10th ejection as a manager, eighth ejection as Yankees manager and 13th ejection of his career.
• Someone asked Girardi why his team seems to win when he gets tossed. “Sometimes I think I should get thrown out in the first,” he said.
Associated Press photos of Vazquez, Jeter and Teixeira, and Cervelli at the HBP.