After Hector Noesi gave the Yankees all they could have asked and more than they could have expected, Robinson Cano finally drove in the runs that gave the Yankees first-timer his first big league win. And when it was over, Cano had a message for the kid.
“I told him in the dugout, I said, ‘This is your first win. So you’ve got to buy me dinner now,’” Cano said. “He said, ‘OK, Saturday.’ I said, ‘You’ve got to take me to one of those special places.’ It’s good. He was here two weeks, didn’t pitch, and came back. It’s good, I like that. Guys, when they don’t pitch, they get their chance.”
Noesi said he was absolutely planning to take his second baseman to dinner, but here’s the thing: I have to think Noesi’s reward for such a terrific performance might be a demotion back to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre rotation. The Yankees will need a fresh arm tonight, and Noesi won’t be available for at least three or four days. He has options, and it certainly doesn’t hurt to keep him stretched out. Might be a tough break for the player, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the right move for the team.
Whether he goes or stays, Noesi had quite the big league debut last night. Four scoreless innings in an extra-inning game when there was no margin for error. Joe Girardi said he was most impressed that Noesi came out of the gate throwing strikes. Noesi struck out the first two guys he faced before having to pitch out of a bases-loaded jam.
“I said to my family, ‘I’m going to strikeout the first one for them,’” Noesi said.
There was incredible calm from Noesi on the mound, and he said after the game that he never felt like there were runners on base. He had to stay calm and stay focused — “Be relaxed to do what you have to do, pitch by pitch,” he said — and for four innings last night, he was able to do all that.
“This is a guy that was just watching everybody pitching,” Cano said. “Your first game, tie game. It’s really tough to be in a game like that. That guy, he can pitch. I was real impressed.”
Here’s Noesi, soft spoken after the biggest innings of his career.
Associated Press photo