Yanks continue to tame Texas
The Yankees continue to pick up the slack for ailing teammates and at the same time are making a bold statement against the Rangers, winners of the past two American League pennants. Texas, which leads the major leagues in scoring, has totaled only four runs in the three games thus far in this series.
Josh Hamilton was all the offense the Rangers could muster Wednesday night with two long home runs off Freddy Garcia. Fortunately for the Yanks, Garcia allowed only two other hits and no more runs to come away with his third consecutive victory. Freddy had perhaps the best slider of his season in holding down the Rangers for 6 2/3 innings. The righthander walked one batter and struck out six in improving his season record to 7-5 with a 4.68 ERA, a record you will take every day of the week from a fifth starter.
Garcia, who returned to the rotation last month when Andy Pettitte went on the disabled list, continued his career success against the Rangers. Freddy remained unbeaten against them over his past eight starts dating to Sept. 8, 2004. He is 5-0 with a 1.89 ERA in those games and 9-5 with a 4.03 ERA overall against Texas.
It was the third straight impressive start for the rotation since CC Sabathia was placed on the DL Sunday for the second time this season. Against the Rangers in this series, Yankees starters are 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings. Texas has had one hit in 11 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Eric Chavez, who has done a remarkable job filling in at third base for disabled Alex Rodriguez, had another big night with three singles, a walk and a run batted in. Chavez’s one glitch was an errant throw in the ninth inning, although video replays indicated that Nick Swisher playing first base may have saved Chavez from a boot with a good scoop, but umpire Marty Foster apparently did not see that Swish kept his foot on the bag. The play did not prove costly as Rafael Soriano chalked up his 28th save.
For Chavez, August has been a torrid month. He is batting .516 with two doubles, four home runs and nine RBI in 31 at-bats this month, which has raised his season average from .265 to .303. Chavez has a six-game hitting streak (all multi-hit games) during which he is batting .609 with three home runs and seven RBI in 23 at-bats.
It is all part of a tremendous job done by starting third basemen for the Yankees during A-Rod’s absence, to the tune of .408 with seven home runs in 71 at-bats.
Swisher has hurt the Rangers all week and did so again with an RBI double in the Yanks’ three-run third inning. In eight games since being moved into the 2-hole, Swisher is batting .286 with eight runs, two doubles, two home runs and 11 RBI in 35 at-bats.
The Yankees extended their home winning streak against Texas in regular-season play to eight and have won 11 of the past 12 meetings between them at Yankee Stadium.