Glen Perkins had 4 shutout innings against one of the hottest teams in the Majors, but ran into a little trouble in the 5th. But with two outs, a backup left fielder drove a double with two men on, giving New York at 2-0 lead. No big deal, he got out of the inning with a low pitch count and there was still some game left.
Well, there was more trouble in the 6th as the inning started with a double, a walk, and a 2-run double by Alex Rodriguez. A sac fly later in the inning would make it 5-0 and Perkins was done after 6, allowing 8 hits and 5 runs with a walk and 2 strikeouts, and still just 85 pitches thrown.
Mike Lamb had a good day at the plate, spelling Justin Morneau at first base. Lamb had a double and 2 singles in 4 trips to the plate and he also drove in the team’s only run.
The only other noteworthy hitter was Alexi Casilla, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Denard Span hit lead off again, and although he was hitless in this game, in the Yankee series overall he was 5-for-11 with a couple runs scored and some stellar defense. He’s making two cases for himself; one, to play in RF and two, to bat lead off instead of Carlos Gomez. Gomez, meanwhile, isn’t helping his case at all. He’s hitting a measly .169 for the month of July, with 3 walks compared to 16 strikeouts. He’s got a .282 on-base percentage for the entire year; Grady Sizemore, the leadoff man for Cleveland, has a .377 OBP so far this season. I wouldn’t be surprised if Span continues to lead off until he either gets demoted to bench duty when Michael Cuddyer comes back or he flat out gets demoted back to AAA, due to no roster space. I personally think that the second scenario is far-fetched; he’s playing incredibly well right now, and has shown patience similar to Casilla’s.
Finally, it’s time to bring up Francisco Liriano. Get rid of Livan Hernandez and let Liriano loose. In his past 5 starts at AAA Rochester, Liriano’s combined for 35 IP, 19 hits, 1 ER, 5 walks, and 42 strikeouts. That’s a .26 ERA. I was definitely skeptical of bringing up him before the All-Star Break, but it’s clear that he has earned a spot with the ML team. Seriously, the only predictable, reliable starter we have right now is Scott Baker. Perk has had some decent games, along with Nick Blackburn and Kevin Slowey, but they manage to get shelled at the worst times possible for the team. I have a feeling that Liriano wants to come up here, and prove he can pitch at a high level again. And frankly, I want to see it.
Today is an off-day for the team and then they travel to Cleveland for a 3-game set.