The Yankees sure have done a better job getting past their injuries than the Red Sox. They have more talent and more depth than the Red Sox have, too. The pitching is much better. The gap between these first- and last-place teams is now 11 1/2 games after this 10-3 win by the Yankees.
“They don’t focus on the negative,” Joe Girardi said. “They focus on the job at hand. Because you’re going to go through injuries. Every team is going through it. We’re not immune to it. But they focus on what they’ve got to do that day. Who’s in the lineup, they go to work, pitchers go to work, and they try to win a game.”
The Yankees have had 13 players on the DL. The Red Sox have had 22. But Carl Crawford and Jacobi Ellsbury have been back since mid-July. Big Papi Ortiz is due back next Wednesday. The team has lost six of seven to fall to 49-51. The Yankees were saying not to count them out yet. Bobby Valentine was saying the same thing.
“We’ll turn it around,” Valentine said. “We haven’t had our big streak yet. That’s the good news.”
Ichiro went 1 for 4 in his debut in the pinstriped threads. He appreciated the warmth shown by the fans.
“Usually, I come in and the fans behind me are pretty tough on me,” Ichiro said. “But tonight they were great. They were awesome.”
He sure seems to appreciate being here.
“I was very excited,” Ichiro said. “My first game here in Yankee Stadium was against the Boston Red Sox. In Japan, you twist your cheek to see if it’s real or not, if I’m not dreaming. That’s really how I feel right now.”
Phil Hughes gave up three solo homers but only two other hits in seven innings. He’s up to 10-8 after his first win since July 1.
“With nobody on, the last thing I want to do is walk guys,” Hughes said. “That can lead to big innings. If I give up a solo home run here or there, I can work around that and find kind of a rhythm.”
Eric Chavez got hit high on the side of the right ankle in the eighth. He left after the inning when it tightened up, then met the media with a big wrap on it.
Chavez said it looked worse than it was. He said X-rays were negative, that it was just a bruise. He wasn’t sure if he would be available off the bench today. But he isn’t scheduled to start at third these next two games with lefties pitching.
“If there’s a good time to get hit, it was a good time,” Chavez said.
Today’s pitching matchup will feature CC Sabathia and Jon Lester.