Nick Swisher will be the DH in the second game and will come in on a .336 roll with 32 RBI over his last 38 games. He went 3 for 4 in the 8-3 win in the first game, including a two-run homer. He’s up to .266 overall. His slow start is a distant memory.
“It’s so funny,” Swisher said. “People are like, ‘What are you doing differently?’ I don’t know, man. I just feel like I’m trying to be myself again, man. I’m just trying to go out there and compete every single day. I don’t feel like there’s anything specific; I think (it’s) more mental than anything. But either way, I like where I’m sitting right now.”
The bottom five in the order — Swisher, Eric Chavez, Jorge Posada, Chris Dickerson and Francisco Cervelli — went 10 for 19 with six runs scored, two doubles, one homer and six RBI.
“We expect all our guys to hit, but it seemed like the bottom of the order did a ton of damage today — Chavez, Posada, Dickerson and Cervi,” Joe Girardi said. “They had big days today and were on base a lot and drove in a lot of runs for us. Those contributions are extremely important because it can’t always be the guys in the middle. You get a big day from Swish, too, which is great. So it’s always nice when everyone is contributing.”
Girardi said he didn’t know what to expect when Chavez returned Monday. But after seeing him go 2 for 4 in the opener, Girardi said, “He looks pretty good to me.” Chavez told me after the game that his injury wasn’t as much a fractured left foot as it was a bone separation.
The oft-injured third baseman just hopes he can hold up the rest of the season.
“For me, the skills are there,” Chavez said. “It’s getting the body to cooperate.
“The only time I think about it is when I’m rounding the bases. When I touch the bases, I kind of stutter step around them a little bit. I know that’s a little funny, but I’m still reluctant to hit the bag full force and put all my weight on it.
“For me, the key is to stay healthy. I have two more months to do it. Hopefully I can.”
Bartolo Colon didn’t have his good two-seamer and didn’t provide as much distance as usual, but he only gave up two runs in five innings. Colon, by the way, is now 4-0 with a 1.32 ERA with Cervelli behind the plate.
“I think on a day when he didn’t have his ‘A’ stuff, he limited the damage and got us a win that we needed,” Girardi said.
Cory Wade continues to provide a boost out of the bullpen. His ERA is at 2.08 over 15 outings after giving up one run and two hits over three innings.
“He can throw every pitch in every count,” Cervelli said.