Bronx, NY - During the last four games, the Yankees held the highest hitting team in the American League, the Detroit Tigers, to six runs. They also won three of four games against a starting rotation that included three former Cy Young Award winners.
The finest pitched game occurred in the final game of the series on Thursday afternoon between Rick Porcello of the Tigers, the only non-Cy Young winner who started for Detroit in the series, and rookie Shane Greene, who was making his sixth major league start. The two put zeroes on the scoreboard in every half-inning with only one exception.
The pitchers’ duel between the starters lasted seven innings as Porcello was replaced by reliever Phil Coke at the start of the eighth. The righty yielded nine hits, hit one batter, but issued no walks during his seven inning stint. The only frame in which he was unable to blank the Yanks was the fourth.
In the third and sixth innings the Yankees threatened as two batters singled, but each rally was stopped by a double play. Yankee manager Joe Girardi gave credit to the Detroit starter for quashing the threat, “He has the ability to get the double play. He’s a complete pitcher.”
With two out, three successive Yankee batters, Carlos Beltran, Chase Headley and Stephen Drew, singled. Drew’s hit drove in the only run of the game. The run batted in was the sixth for Drew who only joined the club one week earlier.
Yankee newcomer Headley, who joined the Yanks on July 22, praised the man who became his teammate nine days later, “I’m really proud of the way he’s [Drew] stepped up for us.”
The newest Yankee position player is happy to be wearing pinstripes, “It’s just a lot of fun to be a part of this team. I think things are going to work out well.”
In his post-game press conference, Girardi recognized publicly the improvement in the club’s play thanks to the new additions to the lineup, “The additions have been huge and that’s why we’re winning. It’s definitely been beneficial to us. It’s changed the complexion of the game.”
Another first year Yankee, Greene, pitched the best game of the series and the best in his short career in the majors. He went his deepest in a game, one batter in the ninth inning, without giving up a run. After the game, the Florida native felt great by being allowed to remain that long, “Obviously, I wanted to get the guy out [Ian Kinsler singled to lead-off the ninth], but they gave me an opportunity. It’s awesome.”
The 25 year-old only surrendered five hits and three walks while blanking the Tigers. He felt his best pitch during the contest was his sinker, “I was keeping it down a lot.” Girardi only had positive words regarding his performance, “He did everything he could to beat a very good team. His stuff was excellent all day.”
Rookies have, thus far, taken up the slack for the injured starters. They have started a major league high 50 games and the Yanks have won 31 of the 50.
On Friday night, Esmil Rogers is scheduled to be the 12th different Yankee pitcher to start a game in 2014. Trevor Bauer is set to be the starter for the Cleveland Indians who will begin a three game series in the Bronx.