BRONX, N.Y. - Hideki Matsui hit a 2-run homer that scored Alex Rodriguez in the fourth inning off of Rays pitcher James Shields and that's all they needed.
The Yankees won their third game of the season on Sunday afternoon in the Bronx, beating the Rays 2-0. After dropping the first two games of a four game set against the Rays, the Yankees bounced back with a much needed win.
Yankees pitcher Chien-Ming Wang pitched his second game of the season and he did not disappoint. Wang pitched six scoreless innings and only gave up four hits. He also struck out six batters. One ground ball out after another, the Rays batters were retired and couldn't get anything going. Wang seems to be forgetting about his dismal post-season for the Yankees last year when he was shelled twice by the Indians and has started out the season 2-0. Through the first week of games, only Hughes and Wang have pitched winning games for the Yankees this season.
Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera continue to take care of business in the late innings. Chamberlain pitched two scoreless innings and Mariano Rivera notched his third save of the season which tied him with three other pitchers for the Major League lead. Francisco Rodriguez, George Sherrill and Joe Nathan also have three saves on the year. Rivera didn't get his third save of the season last year until May 3rd. Chamberlain and Rivera combined for three innings and held the Rays hitless.
Robinson Cano had a huge play in the 7th with runners on the corners and one out. He caught a line drive off the bat of Shawn Riggans and then he made a snap throw to first where Betemit was playing to double off Eric Hinske. Wilson Betemit was playing first in place of Jason Giambi who has a sore left groin.
Despite a big win, the big story in New York is the Yankee bats right now. They are indeed ice cold. Jeter is 5-23 to start the season. Robinson Cano, who normally is one of the Yankees best hitters finally got a few hits today including a double which brought his average to .174, which was below .100 the past few games. Only Melky Cabrera, Alex Rodriguez and after today, Hideki Matsui are the only batters on the team who have a home run. Johnny Damon is only hitting .136, resulting in him only crossing home plate once this season. The Yankees are known for their great hitting and power numbers which aren't showing thus far this season. The Yankees as a whole are hitting .231 right now. If it weren't for good pitched games from Wang and Hughes, the Yankees could very well be sitting at 0-6. It is only a matter of time before the Yankee bats come around. They will most likely explode next week after the slow start one would think.
On Monday night, Jason Hammel will get the ball for the Rays, in his season debut. Mike Mussina will look to bounce back after he suffered a loss from the Blue Jays last week. The Yankees will try to salvage the four game set against the Rays and split the series. The Yankees are currently sitting in fourth in the AL East, with the Red Sox (3-4) in last. Looking in the rear view mirror are the Orioles (4-1), Blue Jays (4-2) and Rays (3-2) respectively.
I am willing to bet the Yankees bats get going on national television.