The Yankees scored seven earned runs off Rays ace, David Price in five innings today. All of the Yankee starters safely reached base. However, Yankee starter, Andy Pettitte left the game in the third inning with an apparent strained groin. The Yankee bullpen held the Rays to only two runs over the final seven frames to secure the 9-5 victory and series win.

AP

Initial Reaction:

After Carlos Pena’s first inning, three-run home run, coupled with Pettitte’s third inning injury, the game could have gotten away from the Yankees. However, Joe Girardi effectively managed the bullpen. David Robertson was brought on and got out of a 1st and 3rd, one out jam. The combo of Robertson, Chan Ho Park, Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, and Mariano Rivera cruised through the rest of game, giving up only six hits. After AJ Burnett’s blow up yesterday, the bullpen was short. Girardi did an excellent job at managing the game.

The offense was led by the top half of the Yankee order. Collectively, the 1-5 hitters went 9 for 20 with seven RBIs. Jorge Posada was no slouch either, picking up two RBIs. Alex Rodriguez hit his 15th home run of the year.

Positives From The Game:

Bullpen Management: Mentioned above, the game really could have gotten away from the Yanks in the third inning. Robertson’s performance was really the key to the game.

The Price Is Wrong: After three-run Tampa Bay first inning, I didn’t have a good feeling with David Price toeing the rubber for Tampa Bay. However, the Yankee bats responded right away as Robinson Cano had a two-RBI double in the first.

Negatives From The Game:

Andy–DL?: Andy Pettitte left the game in the third inning after straining his groin. Curtis Granderson missed nearly a month with a Grade Two groin injury.

Joe Girardi mentioned in the post game that Pettite had a Grade One strain and will probably land on the disabled list as a precaution.

Mariano?: With a commanding 9-5 lead in the ninth inning and two out, Mariano Rivera came on for…one out? Joba Chamberlain gave up a run in an inning and a half and didn’t look awful.

Interesting Facts:

598: Alex Rodriguez hit his 598th home run today. Rodriguez has six games at home before hitting the road. Let’s hope he can hit #600 at home.

10-2: The Yankees have really played well over the past two and a half weeks.

What’s Next?: The Yanks have tomorrow off before welcoming the Angels in for a quick two-game set.

Pitching Match-Up:

Scott Kazmir (7-9, 6.92 ERA)  vs. Phil Hughes (11-2, 3.65 ERA)