Friday, August 04, 2006
Phillies Lead Yanks to Sweep
After Cory Lidle retired the first three batters he faced on weak choppers in the infield, including two to himself, it seemed as if the Yankees finally could take a deep breath.
Four months and four pitchers into the season, they may have found their No. 5 starter.
Lidle allowed one run in just six innings, leading the Yankees to an 8-1 win against the Blue Jays on Thursday in his pinstripes debut.
New York swept Toronto and has now won eight of its past nine games. The victory assured that the Yanks would be in first place in the American League East heading into a six-game road trip.
A day before his Yankees debut, Lidle said he didn't have any additional nerves and that he didn't expect any. Now with his seventh Major League team, the 34-year-old veteran is used to debuts.
The temperature reached 100 degrees during the game and, according to Torre, was the only thing that kept Lidle from going eight or even nine innings.
The Yankees traded for Lidle on Sunday in a deal that also included right fielder Bobby Abreu. After leaving the Phillies, Lidle commented that "it was almost a coin flip as to knowing if the guys behind me were going to be there," enraging some of his former teammates.
One of those teammates, left-handed setup man Arthur Rhodes, fired back, telling the New York Post that all Lidle would do after starts was "sit in the clubhouse and eat ice cream."
So after a hard day's work in the blistering heat, six anonymously-placed ice cream bars awaited Lidle when he came to the clubhouse -- one for each inning.
As far as the comments, Lidle said that's all behind him.
Lidle allowed only one hit through his first four innings and ran into trouble just once.
With two outs in the fifth, Toronto's Ryan Roberts got both his first career hit and homer with a shot that bounced off the top of the left-center-field wall. Reed Johnson followed with a double and Lidle walked Frank Catalanotto on five pitches. But Lidle escaped further trouble by getting Vernon Wells to ground out.
The Yankees' offense once again battered the Blue Jays' pitchers. They knocked out Toronto's starter before the sixth in each game of the series and chased Shaun Marcum after 2 2/3 innings in the finale.
In the first inning, Derek Jeter extended his hit streak to 12 games with a single, Alex Rodriguez walked and Giambi belted homer No. 31 to right-center to give the Yankees an early 3-0 lead.
The Yankees had plenty of men reach base. They had nine hits and walked six times. Abreu went 3-for-5 with a double in the No. 3 spot, galvanizing a two-run fifth and three-run sixth.
Lidle called himself a "slow and slower" kind of pitcher before Thursday's start. He used a mid- to high-80 mph fastball and curveball that dropped as low as 70 mph. His splitter is what catcher Sal Fasano said notched five strikeouts.
After the revolving door at the bottom of the rotation, a different style is just what the Yankees needed.
Posted by Steve Kenul at 8:55 AM
hseldon posted at 3:16 AM
It seems that the Yankees chose wisely. Let see if this gets them on track, eh?