I really love when nights like tonight occur.
People were down on the Yankees for signing Derek Lowe. They were wondering why they would even bother with a guy who was let go by Cleveland of all teams.
Well, Lowe showed them why the Yanks took a chance on him by shocking pretty much everyone who watches the sport of baseball.
And the other subplot was that Ryan Dempster, who reportedly was thisclose to becoming a Yankee at the trade deadline, was making the start for Texas.
But let’s start from the beginning of the game, shall we?
The Rangers struck first against Phelps with a run in the first – Nelson Cruz hit an RBI single – and they picked up a run in the second – on a home run by David Murphy. picking up a run in the first and second innings.
Meanwhile, Dempster set the Yankees down in order during his first two innings.
When the bottom of the third rolled around, Dempster wasn’t so lucky.
Of all of the people in the Yankees lineup, Russell Martin got things started with a single. Raul Ibanez followed with a single of his own to runners on first and second with no outs. Ichiro Suzuki hit a sacrifice bunt and Martin and Ibanez advanced to second and third. Dempster followed that with a walk to Derek Jeter which loaded the bases for Nick Swisher.
Swisher deposited an 1-0 slider into the second deck of right field in about three seconds. It was Swisher’s 15th home run of the season, the 6th grand slam of his career and it was the 200th home run of his career.
It was also the Yankees’s 9th grand slam of 2012 and put them up 4-2, a lead they wouldn’t give up.
While the offense was a big story in tonight’s game, the biggest story was Lowe’s performance.
As I mentioned in the beginning of this recap, the Yankees acquired Lowe off the scrapheap this past weekend. A signing that was made fun of by pretty much everyone – fans of the Yankees, fans of other teams, writers, bloggers etc. And coming into tonight’s game, people weren’t expecting much from Lowe.
Well, he showed them! Lowe pitched four innings of two-hit ball with four strikeouts. He was able to keep the Rangers off the scoreboard and he picked up an elusive four-inning save. It was his first save since 2001.
People are already poo pooing the performance claiming that it’s only one game. I know it was only one game, even Lowe himself knows that but this was a game in August against a very good, division leading Texas Ranger team who is looking to make their third World Series in a row.
So why can’t people be happy about it?
And it wasn’t as if Lowe was pitching against a terrible team or even a mediocre team. He had this performance against a fellow Division leader when the Yankees really needed it.
Phelps lasted a full five innings and gave up two runs on six hits. He surrendered one walk, struck out three and gave up a home run to David Murphy in the second inning.
Some game notes:
- Eric Chavez who returned to the lineup and batted fifth, continuing his hot hitting, picking up two more tonight. His average is now .293 on the season.
- Ichiro hit a stand up triple which led to the Yankees scoring two more runs in the seventh inning.
- And last but certainly not least, Derek Jeter picked up his 154th hit of the year. He’s now tied with Nap Lajoie for 13th all-time with 3,142 hits. Next up: Eddie Murray. Jeter needs 13 more hits to get there.