On Military Appreciation Day, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada had monster games in leading the New York Yankees past the Houston Astros, 9-3. Javier Vazquez got the win for the Yankees which moved his record above .500 to 6-5. With the win, the Yankees move to 39-23 on the season.

Photo by Mike Stobe / Getty Images

Initial Reaction:

This afternoon, the Yankees certainly took advantage of Wandy Rodriguez having an off year (3-8, 4.95 ERA, 11.2 H/9, 1.84 K/BB).  The offensive leaders today for the Yankees were Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada, who combined for three home runs and eight RBIs.

At this point in the year, I think we know what we have with Javier Vazquez. He shows flashes of complete brilliance in which he simply cannot be hit. Then, whether it’s one bad pitch or one bad inning, he’s bound to have them. He allowed two monster home runs and scatted a few hits, but he also got out ten Astros in a row at one point.  Overall, I’m very happy with the progress of Vazquez and his line today was very solid (7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 5 K, 0 BB). With more outings like this, the more chances he’ll get to earn a win for our Yankees.

Positives From The Game:

Starting Off Right: Derek Jeter started the game off right with a leadoff home run into the Astro bullpen in left-center field. The leadoff homer was his 24th in his career.

Welcome Back, Officially: Since I welcomed back Jorge Posada on the second day of June, he has been batting .133. Needless to say, I’ve been frustrated with him hitting in the five-hole with A-Rod’s injury. However, Jorgie put me in my place in the bottom of the third, hitting a grand slam to right-center field. The home run was his 250th career home run.

Brett’s Back: Brett Gardner entered the game as a defensive replacement for Marcus Thames in the 5th inning. Hopefully tomorrow he can get the start. END OF GAME UPDATE: It turns out Marcus Thames left the game with a strained right hamstring. Brett better be ready to go for next week!

Do it Again: In the bottom of the 6th, Derek Jeter hit a three-run shot to put the Yanks up 9-3. It was his first multi-home run game since August 27, 2006.

D-Rob: Dave Robertson shut out the Astros in the final two innings of the game, allowing only two hits. His improvement is vital to the Yankees’ success with Alfredo Aceves on the DL.

Negatives From The Game:

I have no real complaints with today’s game. However, in the future, I’d like to see Javy Vazquez work on keeping the ball down to keep the home runs at a minimum. He’s allowed 13 home runs on the season, which has him tied in the AL for the third worst.

Also, in the bottom of the 7th inning, with the game well in hand, Robinson Cano fouled a ball off his foot. When he grounded out to second a pitch later, he moved very slowly down the first base line. He finished the game, but he may need a day off soon. He’s played in all but one of the Yankees games this year.

Interesting Facts:

July 26, 2004: This was the last time that Jorge Posada hit a grand slam. The Yankees needed all four of those runs to help beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5.

10: Number of batters retired by Javier Vazquez in a row before the 6th inning blast by Carlos Lee.

Black Hawk Down: Per The Yankees Lo Hud Blog, the singer of the national anthem and “God Bless America” was Keni Thomas. The 2001 movie Black Hawk Down was based on the Battle of Mogadishu, and a character in the movie was portrayed by Tac Fitzgerald.

What’s Next?:

The Yankees will go for the sweep against the Astros before an off day. After the off day, the Yankees have two home series against two local National League rivals: the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets. However, let’s hope the Yankees don’t overlook Houston: a win against the Astros counts the same as a win against the Phils or the Mets.

Projected Starters:

Brian Moehler (0-2, 6.12 ERA) vs. Phil Hughes (8-1, 2.71 ERA)