Robinson Cano’s 16th home run of the season was his 10th off a left-handed pitcher. No one in the major leagues has hit more against lefties. Cano has been so dangerous against them that lefty Ryan Rowland-Smith intentionally walked Cano in the sixth to face switch-hitting Jorge Posada.
“That’s good,” Cano said. “I got another walk.”
Joe Girardi listed three reasons Cano has been so effective against lefties. He literally numbered them off the top of his head.
“Robbie is really talented, number one,” Girardi said. “Number two, Robbie works really, really hard. Number three, Robbie plays every day. He’s used to seeing lefties.”
Of course, one of the best lefties in the game happens to be pitching for the Yankees, not against them. It was Kim Jones who asked the hypothetical question: What would happen if red-hot Cano faced red-hot CC Sabathia?
“I’m going to hit a groundout to second base,” Cano said. “Who knows? I don’t want to face him. We’ve got him here and he’s a guy we need here.”
Here’s Girardi talking about Cano and Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees win.
• CC Sabathia has won six straight starts going back to June 3. He said his command wasn’t great today, but he was one out away from eight scoreless innings before Russell Branyan’s two-run single in the eighth. “It would have been tough for me to sleep,” Sabathia said. “I was upset. I was so close to getting the ball to the closer.”
• Of course, it wasn’t all Sabathia’s fault. The second run scored only because a passed ball moved him into scoring position. “It really backed up on me,” Jorge Posada said. “No excuses. I missed it. It was a slider that backed up and I just missed it.”
• Girardi might have tipped his hand when asked if the Yankees were making a move to add Dustin Moseley. “We have not made a move yet,” he said. I’m sure he would have rather not used the word “yet.”
• Speaking of Moseley, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre has added starter David Phelps from Double-A Trenton to fill a spot in the rotation.
• You might have noticed the mound needing work late in the game. Sabathia said it was no big deal, just dry and had a deep hole from the previous pitcher.
• Girardi on his plan for the ninth inning before and after the Rodriguez home run: “It didn’t change my plan. Mo was coming in.”
• Rodriguez hit home run No. 595 tonight. “The 600th, it’s hard to just ignore it,” he said. “You see it up on the scoreboard. You see fans talking about it. You guys ask me about every home run I hit. But 600 is not the end of the season. It’s not the end of my career. It’s kind of like first base. You want to go right through it.”
• Good news for the Yankees. They’re in first place on July 1. Since 1995, they’ve never had a lead on this date and not gone on to win the division. Thanks to Matt for the heads up on the link.
Associated Press photo of Cano.