They always say if you don’t have pitching, you don’t have anything. Sorry, Cleveland, but you don’t have any pitching. This really came into play when their starter Carlos Carrasco gets ejected in the 4th inning for intentionally hitting batter Kevin Youkilis in retribution for previous batter Robinson Cano’s 2-run homer. Sure, the Yankees were up 7-0 at that point, but that was just childish and mean-spirited, especially in light of the fact Carrasco just got back from a 6-game suspension for intentionally drilling a Royals’ batter in 2011. (The time discrepancy was explained as: Carrasco then had and was recovering and rehabbing from Tommy John surgery immediately following this incident, which is an 18-month standard recovery time; and this was his first start back, following the surgery and the suspension). Girardi & Co. would never put up with that kind of behavior, so I’m hoping he’s not long for some permanent punishment before someone really gets hurt.
Outside of that bit of drama, the game ended up basically like extended batting practice for the Yankees in tonight’s 14-1 win. Yes, that’s right — 14 runs, off 18 Yankee hits. So instead of my basic summary, game wrap-up, and highlights, I now have to summarize the summary. Gardner and Cano each earned 2 doubles, Wells and Overbay each with 1 double. Gardner earned 2 RBIs; Cervelli, Youkilis, and Boesch each earned 1; and Cano grabbed 4. Being as they are after all the “Bronx Bombers”, home runs, however, were the tall order of the day, with Ichiro, Cano, Youkilis, Overbay (his first as a Yankee), and Boesch (also his first in Pinstripes) each yanking one out of Progressive Field tonight.
Also solid tonight was starting pitcher Andy Pettitte, who thanks to his team is now 2-0 for 2013. He threw 97 pitches over 7 innings, striking out 4 batters and only giving up 1 run, a solo home run in the 6th and the Indians’ only run scored tonight. His replacement Adam Warren also gave a solid performance for the final 2 innings, saving Rivera and Robertson and Chamberlain for any future, tighter scoring games in the near future.
Nearly 30,000 empty seats in the stadium tonight (compared to yesterday’s sold-out crowd), heavy on the home runs, fielding grounders, base running, singles and doubles for almost everyone… to me, this game ended up looking like a lot of the Yankee batting practices I’ve attended. I mean, I do feel bad for the Indians. No one really wants to get slammed like this. And after seeing that scoreboard continue to crawl upwards for the other team, it has to be disheartening, and a younger or “less experienced” team like the Indians won’t have the voracity to pull together and execute an effective rally or at least attempt one.
And while it’s still early in the season, I do love that the Yankees are finally finding that groove and playing as a team, even without their (recovering) veterans. This, to me, signals a stronger, well-rounded team that has a chance (despite critics) at doing something great, even amazing this year. Again, it’s still early and I’m still (perhaps naively) hopeful, but that’s the fun part about April — October and most everything is still so possible.