Shuffle the lineup and the Yankees score 12 runs on 18 hits. How about that? The Yankees manufactured some runs tonight, and they got three of them on Curtis Granderson home run. The top six hitters each had at least two hits, and every Yankee who played had at least one. Can’t be a coincidence, right?
“I don’t know,” Joe Girardi said. “You can talk about moving hitters all the time. We try to stay pretty consistent around here so guys know where they’re at. I remember the other day when we led off Granderson, he had two RBIs and everyone seemed to like that. Let’s just hope this one scores a lot of runs for a while.”
Truth is, no one in the Yankees clubhouse — including Girardi — seemed to think the batting order was much of a factor. The Yankees simply hit tonight, something they hadn’t done with much consistency lately. Granderson dropped from first to sixth and went 3-for-5 with an RBI single, a double and his 30th home run of the season.
“Just didn’t miss them tonight,” Granderson said. “That’s the only difference. Nothing changed from yesterday to today. … In three years I’ve batted in every position except for the fourth spot, so it’s no different by any means today versus yesterday.”
Girardi also refused to put much weight into Granderson moving down in the order.
“That’s baseball,” Girardi said. “Some days you’re going to hit the ball and some days you’re not. Sometimes you can make too much of it. You just keep running him out there and he’s going to be productive. … I look at his last at-bat. He just missed it. He hit a ball hard foul, he just missed hitting that fair. Then he just popped a ball up. That’s the difference in this game. You can over-evaluate it, and you can talk about shaking up things. It’s a small difference every day.”
But didn’t Girardi want to take some small amount of credit for tonight’s offensive outburst?
“I didn’t swing once tonight,” Girardi said. “That probably would have sped the game up, though.”
• CC Sabathia was charged with five runs — three earned — through 6.2 innings. He struck out seven and admitted he was surprised when Girardi pulled him from the game after just 94 pitches. “You’re always upset when you’re not able to finish your inning,” Sabathia said. “But like I said, that’s why Joe’s the manager and I go out and throw the ball. … I felt pretty good.”
• Girardi’s reason for bringing in Dave Robertson in that situation: “I had Robby ready,” he said. “It was two outs and I just felt it was time to go to Robby. Delmon Young obviously hits left handers a little bit better than right handers, and Robby had a couple of days off, and I just felt it was time to go to Robby.”
• Really, that whole seventh inning was kind of absurd. Casey McGehee made an error, then Mark Teixeira couldn’t get the out at the plate, then Robertson gave up an infield single, a ground ball single into left field, another infield single and a bloop to left. The Tigers pulled within a run that inning. “It’s not the way you want to see it go,” Girardi said. “But we ended up getting the big out, the final out, and then tacking on some more runs the next inning, and that was big.”
• Speaking of tacking on more runs, Girardi decided to let Chavez hit for himself against lefty Phil Coke in the eighth. Chavez had a great at-bat that ended with an RBI groundout. “Chavy’s at-bat was tremendous, and that’s a tough at-bat,” Girardi said. “He doesn’t see a lot of left-handers, but I left him in there thinking if you pinch hit Jones they might walk him, and then you’d have Grandy facing a left-hander. I said, you know what, I like the way Chavy’s swinging, I’m going to go with it.”
• Chavez stayed hot with two hits and two RBI. He’s hitting .583 this series. Have to think he’ll play third base tomorrow and use the weekend — against all those left-handed starters — to rest a little bit.
• The Yankees had gone 13 consecutive games without an error before tonight. Robinson Cano made one and McGehee made one. “It’s going to happen,” Girardi said. “It shows you that they’re human, that’s all. It doesn’t happen very often, but we made a couple tonight and were able to overcome them.”
• Each team was warned after Cano was hit by a pitch in the lower back in the third inning. Sabathia said that had no impact on the way he approached hitters. “I’ve still got to throw the ball to both sides of the plate,” Sabathia said. “It’s at the umpire’s discretion, so I’ve still got to go out and be aggressive.”
• Give the last word tonight to Granderson: “We’re still right where we need to be. You’re going to have streaks throughout the course of the season where they’re not necessarily the most favorable. If they were, the records would be crazy. But things even themselves out when it’s all done, and there’s a lot of baseball left to play.”
Associated Press photos