Jorge Posada hit a 5th inning grand slam while rookie outfielder, Chad Huffman picked up his first hit of his major league career as the Yankees won a very rainy game, 9-5. The win completed the sweep of the Astros. Phil Hughes did not have his best stuff, but picked up his ninth victory.

AP

Initial Reaction:

Given the quality of the opponent, this was Phil Hughes’ worst start of the season. Hughes was cruising, up 7-1 with a runner on first base with two outs in the sixth. However, a double, single and home run cut the lead to 7-5. He did give up five runs, which matched a previous season-high against the Red Sox. Hughes looked tired after throwing 95 pitches, but the bullpen and offense picked him up. His next start will come against the light-hitting Mets.

As a fan, I love watching rookies make their debuts. In light of Marcus Thames’ sore hamstring, the Yankees called up rookie outfielder, Chad Huffman. Huffman had a great debut. Huffman went 1 for 4, but reached base in three of his five at-bats.

Positives From The Game:

Hip Hip: This was Posada’s first game playing as a catcher since May 16th and boy was it a good one! Posada crushed his second grand slam in as many days. Before yesterday slam, Posada was 2 for 24 since coming off the disabled list. Regardless of his position, the Yankees need his bat in the lineup.

Nino like the Storm: Nino aka Ramiro Pena had a clutch, two-out two-RBI single in the bottom of the fourth to give the Yankees the lead.

Ho Hum Robinson: Robinson Cano hit his 13th home run on the season. Like Adam noted, we might as well give him a permanent spot in this column.

When’s the Next A-Bomb?: Alex Rodriguez, who is dealing with a sore groin, did not play at all against the Astros. Luckily, the injury isn’t considered to be serious. The team is hoping Rodriguez will play against the Phillies on Tuesday night.

Negatives From The Game:

Top of the 1st: On one of the wackiest plays from this season, the Astros had the speedy Michael Bourne on second base and Hunter Pence was on first with Carlos Lee at the plate. Since both runners were stealing, Lee took the pitch, but did not move out of the way. Posada threw the ball, but it hit off Lee’s bat. Apparently it’s in the rule book that runners are not required to get out of the way during a stolen base attempt. It proved to be an important play as Lee hit a sacrifice fly to give the Astros a 1-0 lead.

Time of Game: In between the ground crew putting dry dirt on the field and the onslaught of 14 collective runs, this game took 3:45 to complete.

Interesting Facts:

1st Place: Today’s win coupled with the Rays loss creates a tie at the top of the division.

7: Jorge Posada’s 5th inning grand slam placed him 7th place on the Yankees all-time home run list (251 HRs).

100: Robinson Cano’s fourth inning home run was the 100th of his career.

7: Phil Hughes has received an average of seven runs of support per start, easily tops in the league.

99: Phil Hughes has thrown at least 99 pitches in each of his twelve starts this season.

What’s Next?:

Aces are wild. The Phillies will come to the Bronx on Tuesday night for a three-game set.

Tuesday, 7:05 PM, YES: Roy Halladay (8-4, 1.94 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia (6-3, 4.01 ERA)

Last Start:
Halladay: Loss, eight innings, one earned run, eight strikeouts (vs. Marlins)
Sabathia: Win, seven innings, two earned runs, eight strikeouts (at Orioles)

Career Stats:
Halladay: 18-6, 2.84 ERA (35 starts); 8-4, 3.18 ERA at Yankee Stadium
Sabathia: 1-1, 4.35 ERA (three starts); 2-0, 3.21 ERA at Yankee Stadium in 2010.

**Halladay went 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA in five starts against the Yankees in 2009 as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays.
**Halladay is 2-1 with a 2.03 ERA on the road. He also has one perfect game.