Thursday, April 18, 2013

Hafner Powers Yankees Past Dbacks

By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

April 17th, 2013

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. New York Yankees

Final Score: Diamondbacks 3 Yankees 4

The New York Yankees were trailing for most of this game, and it looked like they weren’t going to be able to get a win in this one, but some late-inning hitting got the job done for the Yankees, as they won their third straight game.

C.C. Sabathia was able to pick up his third win of the season, but there has to be some concerns about the velocity of his pitches, which has dropped a good amount from last season. In all of his starts velocity has been down, and this one would be no different for Sabathia, as his fastball never got above 90mph, and his slider was down to 77mph, which is about a three to five mph drop from his normal. Sabathia despite having his velocity down was able to go eight innings allowing only three runs on six hits, and one walk.

Mariano Rivera made his second straight appearance against the Diamondbacks, and was able to pick up his second straight save in as many days. Rivera didn’t allow a base runner in the ninth, while earning his fourth save of the season, as it seems Rivera hasn’t missed a beat coming back from his knee surgery.

Leadoff hitter Brett Gardner was able to get the Yankees back into the game in the seventh inning with a clutch two-out, two-run RBI base hit, which tied the game at three. Gardner went two for four in the game, and is starting to hit the ball better, as his batting average is up to .259.

Manager Joe Girardi made the right move in the eighth inning pinch hitting for Designated Hitter Ben Francisco in favor of Travis Hafner. Hafner made the Yankees skipper look like a genius by hitting a solo homerun off David Hernandez, which turned out to be the game winner, and Hafner’s fourth homer of the season.

The Diamondbacks pitching staff did a very good against the three and four hitters for the Yankees in Robinson Cano and Kevin Youkilis. Cano and Youkilis each went hitless in this game going a combine zero for seven, which makes this a very impressive win for the Yankees, as they two best hitters were non-factors.

The Yankees will have sweep on their minds on Thursday, as Phil Hughes (0-2, 10.29 ERA) will look to right his early season woes against Patrick Corbin (2-0, 1.50 ERA).

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