for this game

Yankees sharp in final opener at Yankee Stadium

Apr 2, 2008 - 3:37 AM By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- Joe Girardi began his tenure as manager of the New York Yankees by seeing things that happened so often during his playing days here - solid pitching and timely hitting.

Chien-Ming Wang pitched seven solid innings as the Yankees scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh and posted a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in the final home opener at the current Yankee Stadium on Tuesday.

Melky Cabrera hit a tying home run in the sixth and made two consecutive highlight-reel catches and in the seventh as the Yankees used smart base-running to take the lead and turn things over to their bullpen.

They were able to win a low-scoring game because of Wang (1-0), who allowed two runs and six hits in his first Opening Day start. Wang, who struggled during last season's Division Series loss to Cleveland, also recorded 13 groundball outs.

"Chien-Ming Wang did what he's done so many times," Girardi said. "He had his sinkerball working and, from what I saw in spring training and tonight, this is his best performance so far, and that's extremely encouraging for me. He was down in the zone. He got a lot of ground balls like he always does and he was great."

"He had a real good sinker, a real good four-seam fastball," New York pitching coach Dave Eiland said. "He mixed in some sliders at times, threw some splits. He went out there and pitched tonight."

Wang was locked in a duel with Toronto ace Roy Halladay (0-1), who allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings. Halladay worked quickly and took a 2-1 lead into the sixth before Cabrera capped a lengthy at-bat with a home run that just cleared the right field fence.

"He was hitting his spots all game long," New York left fielder Johnny Damon said. "In the sixth, he wasn't as crisp as he was earlier in the game, but still pretty good. We're going to have to do that - battle against tough pitchers like that. Fortunately, we were able to get a key run off him and our bullpen's much-improved."

"He (Halladay) pitched great," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "He really did. It's a tough place to pitch to lefthanders because you're staring at the short porch."

After tying the game, the Yankees immediately began another rally.

Alex Rodriguez singled and Jason Giambi walked. Following a one-out intentional walk to Jorge Posada, Hideki Matsui drove in Rodriguez with a ground ball that was bobbled by second baseman Aaron Hill, ruining any chance of an inning-ending double play.

"I felt good the whole time," said Halladay, who lost to the Yankees for the first since September 2004. "It was one of those things where you catch things one way and other times (where) you don't."

After taking the lead, Girardi turned it over to his bullpen just like Joe Torre had successfully done when the new manager played here from 1996-1999.

Joba Chamberlain worked around a one-out walk to Alex Rios in the eighth and stranded him on second when Frank Thomas struck out on three pitches. Mariano Rivera worked a perfect ninth for his 444th career save.

"When you have good starting pitching, everything falls into place. Doc did a great job, and Wang did a great job," said Toronto center fielder Vernon Wells, who made the last out against Chamberlain. "It just came down to timely hitting in the end there, and they came through."

The formula of timely hitting and effective pitching sent the Yankees to their major-league record 11th straight Opening Day victory and made Girardi the 10th manager in franchise history to win his debut.

"When you play Opening Day, you want to get a lot of firsts out of the way," captain Derek Jeter said. "You want to get your first win out of the way. You want to get your first out of the way, so you can just sort of relax."

The Yankees grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first on Rodriguez's two-out RBI double. Marco Scutaro tied it with an RBI groundout in the second and scored in the fifth on Shannon Stewart's run-scoring groundout.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TORONTO 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 6 0
    NY YANKEES 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 x 3 8 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TOR - ROY HALLADAY, SCOTT DOWNS (8TH) AND GREGG ZAUN
    NYY - CHIEN-MING WANG, JOBA CHAMBERLAIN (8TH), MARIANO
    RIVERA (9TH) AND JORGE POSADA

    HOME RUNS: TOR - NONE
    NY

    Apr 1 9:40 PM
  • 45
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Blue Jays 2, Yankees 3  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 1 9:32 PM
  • 10
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    McTool Added 5 roots

    Blue Jays 2, Yankees 3  Top 8, 0 OutsApr 1 9:12 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY HIDEKI MATSUI SCORED ALEX RODRIGUEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H MATSUI ON FIRST, J GIAMBI ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 2
    NY YANKEES 3 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: M CABRERA (.500, 1-FOR-2, HR, RBI)

    Blue Jays 2, Yankees 3  Bot 7, 0 OutsApr 1 9:06 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MELKY CABRERA (1) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF ROY HALLADAY.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 2, NY YANKEES 2
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J DAMON (.000, 0-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays 2, Yankees 2  Bot 6, 0 OutsApr 1 8:42 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY SHANNON STEWART SCORED MARCO SCUTARO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G ZAUN ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 2
    NY YANKEES 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A RIOS (1.000, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Blue Jays 2, Yankees 1  Top 5, 0 OutsApr 1 8:20 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY MARCO SCUTARO SCORED FRANK THOMAS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M SCUTARO ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 1
    NY YANKEES 1 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: G ZAUN (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Blue Jays 1, Yankees 1  Top 2, 0 OutsApr 1 7:35 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ALEX RODRIGUEZ SCORED BOBBY ABREU.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A RODRIGUEZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 0
    NY YANKEES 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J GIAMBI (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Blue Jays 0, Yankees 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsApr 1 7:24 PM
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    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesApr 1 3:03 PM