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Melky's Late-Inning HR Upends Rangers

It wasn't technically a "walk-off" win, but it worked out just the same.

Chien-Ming Wang was ineffective in his return to the starting rotation, but Mark Teixeira doubled twice and drove in three runs in his return from a sore ankle and Melky Cabrera snapped a 6-6 tie with a two-run bomb in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Yanks toppled the Rangers 8-6 in the Bronx.  Johnny Damon got the Bombers up and running with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the first, but Texas scored a pair of runs in frames three and four and added a single run in the fifth to take a 5-1 lead.

But it didn't hold up.

Nick Swisher worked a grueling bases loaded walk in the fifth inning to pull the Yanks to within 5-2 and Tex followed with a bases clearing double.  Alex Rodriguez capped the five-run outburst with an RBI-single to give the Yankees a 6-5 lead.

But it didn't hold up.

Ian Kinsler smacked a solo home run in the sixth off Alfredo Aceves to knot the score at 6-6.

But that just set up Melky to be the Pinstriped Hero for the fourth time this season.

I was trapped at work during this, but John and Suzy guided me through the action (as best they could).  Judge for yourself how crappy this round up is.

The Good:

Melky Cabrera.  It's probably still too early to say which Yankee you want at the plate when the chips are down, but no one would argue if you said Cabrera.  The Melk-Man continued to pound out big hits as he pulled a 1-1 pitch into the first row in left field to give the Yanks their eventual margin of victory.  It was Melky's 6th round-tripper of the year and they have all come at home.  I guess he knows what the people want to see.  Cabrera finished 1 for 4 with a run scored and 2 RBI.

Mark Teixeira.  The Tex-Man missed Wednesday night's game with a sore ankle and the Yankees managed just six hits and two runs.  Teixeira was back in the lineup Thursday afternoon and the Bombers collected 10 hits and scored eight runs.  Coincidence?  I think not!  In any event, Tex's cue-shot-double down the third-base line gave him 47 runs batted in for the season.  Never miss another game, Mark.  Teixeira finished 2 for 4 with a run scored and 3 ribbies.

David Robertson.  D-Rob didn't do anything special, but he still managed to do something that doesn't happen every day.  And when I say Robertson didn't do anything special, I'm not kidding.  Robertson retired Elvis Andrus on one pitch (one!) to end the eighth inning and it was enough to give him his first win of the season.  I wanted to highlight D-Rob's day to illustrate to all the boys and girls out there that sometimes good things can fall right into your lap.  Robertson improved to 1-0 with this: .1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.

The Bad:

Chien-Ming Wang.  It began like a fairy tale return, but life isn't a fairy tale (unless you're David Robertson).  The Wanger retired the first six Rangers he faced, but then fell into trouble in the third.  Chris Davis led off with an opposite-field double and eventually scored the tying run on a wild pitch.  Hank Blalock stroked an RBI-single later in the frame to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead.  Davis doubled home two runs in the fourth inning and Nelson Cruz deposited a solo home run into the Yankee bullpen in the fifth to end Wang's day.  I could put on my pinstriped shades and make the argument that some of the balls weren't hit hard and that Wang's velocity was good, but I can't in good conscience do that.  This isn't spring training and Wang was lucky the offense bailed him out of his fourth loss against zero victories this year.  Still, I'm hoping this is a step in the right direction.  After all, Wang did lower his ERA from 16.07 to 14.46 with his effort.  I kid because I care.  Wang picked up a no-decision with this: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 1 HR.

The Ugly:

Justice is lost.  How does Bob Watson sleep at night?  Major League Baseball suspended A.J. Burnett for six games and fined him an undisclosed amount for pitching up and in on Nelson Cruz Tuesday night.  Meanwhile, Vicente Padilla, who hit Teixeira twice in that game, was slapped with just a fine.  "That's interesting," Burnett said of the discrepancy. "But that's their decision."  Burnett said he will appeal the ruling.  I believe this is the third Yankee pitcher in a row who has been suspended without actually hitting a batter (LaTroy Hawkins and Joba Chamberlain being the others).  Doesn't make much sense does it?  But I guess there was some justice as Texas reportedly requested outright waivers for Padilla after Tuesday's game, the first step in granting him his release.  I guess karma really is a bitch.

The Yanks will welcome in the Tampa Bay Rays Friday night for the beginning of a four-game set.  David Price (1-0, 3.00 ERA) will go against CC Sabathia (5-3, 3.46) in the opener.  Price struck out 11 batters in his last start against the Minnesota Twins, allowing one run on five hits over 5 2/3 innings.  The hard-throwing lefty is 0-0 with 3.38 ERA in one career appearance against the Bombers.  Derek Jeter is 1 for 2 with a homer against Price.  Sabathia is 4-0 in his past five starts, including a 10-5 victory against the Indians in Cleveland his last time out.  The big lefty had a terrific May -- finishing 4-1 with a 2.56 ERA in six starts.  CC has gone at least seven innings in five consecutive starts and has pitched into the sixth in all but one start this season.  Sabathia is 7-1 with a 2.44 ERA in 11 career starts against Tampa.  Carlos Pena has two career homers against Sabathia, but has also struck out eight times in 21 at-bats and is hitting .190 lifetime against the left-hander.

It's a matchup of rising star vs. established superstar.  Should be a good one.


Ah, the Melkman, where would we be without him?

Wang is a couple more games worth of flat sinkers away from assuming the #2 spot in Scranton's rotation behind Igawa.

This is what happens when you screw up a starting pitcher's rebab twice.

You just can't wait to slam the coffin lid on Wang.

So you think he'll be the ace in SWB? I don't know, Igawa's a proven quantity down there.

You make me sick ...

The Melkman delivers, again!

Too soon to give up on Wang though. In the new homer friendly stadium, any mistake is going to hurt you, just like in Colorado or Philly.

That's a good point. I just don't know if Wang is still favoring his foot or hip or whatever or if it's something else.

Wang was left hung out to dry in the bullpen.
He needs more time to regain a starting pitcher's stamina.

Do you think it's just stamina?

He pitched perfectly in the first two innings.
He did a couple of mistakes but don't forget he faced one of the best hitting teams in baseball.

He did make a couple of mistakes

I think everything will work out if he just needs to regain his stamina. I'm worried that he may be thinking too much on the mound. But we'll see how he responds against the BoSox his next time out.

don't sell yourself short. Your round ups are never crappy. I enjoy your perspective and insites on the games compared to what the press hands us.

Thanks, Scott! Your check for the kind words is in the mail ...

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