Javier Vazquez earned is first victory of the season and first as a Yankee since September 2004, but two late home runs took some of the luster off his performance. Even though he threw an impressive 72 strikes, Vazquez needed 107 pitches to complete only 5 1/3 innings. Also, while he did mix his pitches, he seemed to shy away from the slider in favor of the curve and change. With his fastball missing about 2 mph, there were fewer swings and misses resulting from the change of speeds. To be fair to Vazquez, a miscommunication by Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano in the sixth inning did contribute to one of his earned runs, and his six strikeouts in 5+ innings do suggest superior stuff. Still, Vazquez will need to find his lost velocity (only 40% of his fastballs topped 90mph) and also throw his slider more if he is going to repeat his 2009 success. In the meantime, he can use this victory as a stepping stone heading into his next start in Anaheim.
As has become their usual, the Yankees used a very patient approach to frustrate starter Gio Gonzalez, whose pitch count approached 100 by the fifth inning. It was the third straight game that an opposition starter threw at least 30 pitches in an inning, and failed to complete 5 innings as a result. The Oakland defense also contributed to Gonzalez’ demise as a Daric Barton misplay, curiously scored a hit, on a Jorge Posada grounder led to three first inning runs.
- Nick Swisher snapped a 0-16 stretch with a two run single in the first inning.
- Yankee batters drew 10 walks in the game, the most since taking 11 free passes against the Mets on June 28, 2009. Three of the walks were issued to Robinson Cano, who had accomplished the feat three times in the past, including most recently against the Texas Rangers on August 5, 2008.
- Alex Rodriguez’ fifth inning HR was the 585th of his career, leaving him one behind Frank Robinson for 7th place on the all-time list.
- Boone Logan made an eventful Yankees debut in the 6th inning. One pitch into his appearance, home plate umpire Ed Rapuano, who earlier had been hit in the facemask by a foul ball, was forced to leave the game, resulting in an extended delay.
- Logan was also forced to get an extra out in the 7th inning when Derek Jeter double clutched on an infield single by Rajai Davis. Eventually, Logan would depart with the bases loaded, but Joba Chamberlain stranded his runners by striking out Kevin Kouzmanoff.
- Athletic’s reliever and former Yankee Edwar Ramirez made his first appearance against his old mates. In typical Edwar fashion, he walked four and struck out two in two innings of work.
- Derek Jeter went 0-5, snapping his season long hitting streak of 11 games.