Jun 23, 2007

Kei OK

After a disappointing sweep in Colorado, the Yanks were depending on Japanese import Kei Igawa to end the losing streak. He made his (not) much anticipated return tonight and pitched four great innings before a fifth inning meltdown. He started off very well, keeping his fastball low and using his changeup effectively - even striking out Barry Bonds on three pitches, before giving up two runs in the fifth on three hits and two walks. Even though the start lowered his era by nearly half a run, he got away with a lot of mistakes: high changeups, pitches off the plate that the hitters swung at, hard hit balls right at defenders, etc. He did however, look good against lefties so maybe his eventual role will be as a lefty specialist/long reliever. To BR.com for the answer... nope - lefties and righties are both hitting him about equally (to a .900 OPS!).

Hideki Matsui made the play of the game, robbing Bengie Molina of a three-run double. Igawa had been pulled for Vizcaino - Molina lined a high fastball that made my heart jump into my throat (I was sure it was gone), but Matsui ran it down in deep left field to make a leaping catch right in front of the wall. Whew...

Derek Jeter continued his poor baserunning, being picked off twice! (One was technically a caught stealing.)

Arod was the hero though, going 4-4 with 2 rbi, a double and a walk.

Our ace goes tomorrow, so I feel good about taking this series.

PS: Every team ahead of us in the wildcard lost tonight, so we're 5.5 back and tied with Minnesota.

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