Well, the ball game is over and the Yankees win by a score of 9 to 2 as Kei Igawa picks up his first major league victory and Alex Rodriguez belts out his league leading ninth home run of the season.
It was a nice win for the Yankees and Igawa looked pretty nifty out there in the game by throwing a lot of first pitch strikes and getting ahead of hitters all night long.
I think he had first pitch strikes on 9 of the first 10 batters he faced.
He also looked pretty slick in taking part in knocking down a ball that ended being a smooth double play by Cano and Jeter to end the Indians two run rally in the third inning and then initiating his own inning ending double play to end the sixth.
Igawa walked one batter and fanned five in his six innings of work and gave up five hits and two earned runs.
In his third start, Igawa allowed two runs in the third inning,surrendering run-scoring hits to Jason Michaels and Travis Hafner, but
kept the Indians off the board in five other frames
His ERA went down from 12.60 after his first start to 7.84 after his second start and now it’s down to 6.06. That’s still a little high, but it’s getting lower with each start and he’s adding more pitches and more strikes and more first pitch strikes. He’s also starting to keep the ball down, whether it’s a pitch in the zone or not, and that’s especially helpful with his change up. I read before that the Yankees had looked at him as sort of a project or a work in progress when he first came here from Japan and weren’t looking at him as an immediate front of the rotation starter to plug into a top spot in their pitching staff, so in that frame of mind — I would have to think the are very pleased with his progress.
After the game Kim Jones interviewed Jorge Posada for the YES post game show
and he said that he thought he was great in both of his last outings.
And once again the Yankees bullpen was phenomenal in relief as the ‘pen pitched three scoreless innings without giving up any runs (earned or unearned) and allowed no hits in their three innings of work.
And really the only Indian to have any sort of offensive night at the plate was Travis Hafner who went 3-3 off of Igawa with a RBI and then was finally struck out in his fourth turn at bat by the Yankee bullpen.
If Hafner had taken the night off the Indians would have had two hits and one run instead of 5 hits and 2 runs.
He pretty much was their offense tonight and that, I guess, should come as no surprise considering what kind of hitter he is.
I was reading an article in the newest issue of USA Today Sports Weekly about Travis Hafner where they used a statistic called Adjusted OPS (or OPS+), Conventional OPS (on base percentage added to slugging percentage) to determine that Travis Hafner is ranked as the fourth most productive hitter (behind Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols, and Frank Thomas) among active players with at least 2,000 plate appearances.
Hafner’s 159 score ranks him as 16th of all time on their list and ties him with Stan Musial.
I wasn’t surprised by that information as I’m constantly amazed at how underrated Hafner is.
(You can click on the picture to the right to read about the list and how it works and how is ranked and where…)
I can’t believe that as great of a hitter as he’s been in the past three or four years that he has still yet to be selected as either a starter or a back up for any All Star Team.
So, I guess what I’m getting at here as that I don’t think Igawa has anything to be ashamed of because ‘Pronk got some hits off of him because Big Travis is the kind of impact hitter that’s going to get his base knocks.
You just have to limit the damage he can do by holding him to singles and not having to pitch to him with multiple runners on.
I think Igawa did that successfully for his six innings and that allowed the Yankees offense to do their job and give him gobs of run support.
And less than 24 hours after the Yankees chased the Indians starter Jake Westbrook off of the mound in less than two innings these same Yankee hitters sent tonight’s starter Jeremy Sowers to the showers in just two and two thirds innings as he allowed six runs and nine hits in the effort, walking one and striking out one.
And I as I said earlier —- Alex Rodriguez
belted off his league leading 9th home run tonight as a part of a three run sixth for the Yanks that also saw Jason Giambi crushing off his 3rd home run of the season with the next Yankee at bat as they went back to back to tack on 3 extra runs in five pitches from the hands of Indians pitching.
It was a strong performance by the entire team that guaranteed a Yankees series win and once again it was a dominant outing by the bullpen that put the icing on the cake.
Solid baseball is being played in the Bronx and if they boys in pinstripes keep up this sort of pace and this sort of play the Red Sox need to start looking over their shoulders for this upcoming weekend series in Fenway Park.