CLEVELAND -- The Yankees made a shambles of the Indians' home opener today, getting a three-run home run from hometown hero-turned-villain Travis Hafner and a pair of solo shots from Robbie Cano. And that's not all:
HIRO, DON'T BE A HERO: Hiroki Kuroda, who had to leave his last start in the second inning after reaching up, and tipping, a line drive with his barehand, nearly did it again in the first inning today, but this time, luckily, his reflexes were a tick too slow.
"Again!," a bemused Joe Girardi said. "You'd like to tell him not to do it, but it's instinctual and you'd just be wasting your breath."
Kuroda survived a rocky first inning -- three runs on three hits and a pair of walks -- to turn in a serviceable 5 1/3 innings to earn his first win of the season.
SHAKY PEN: Once again, the Yankees bullpen was less than airtight, although Boone Logan, who has struggled lately, looked better, allowing a hit and a walk in 1 1/3 innings but striking out two to escape danger.
Not so for Shawn Kelley, who had a horrific eighth inning -- a two-run homer, a triple, a double, and two wild pitches -- or Joba Chamberlain, who came in to pitch the ninth with a five run lead but looked so shaky Girardi actually got Mariano Rivera up in the bullpen. Joba walked two hitters, causing the manager to pay a mound call. Asked what he told Chamberlain, Girardi hesitated before replying "Nothing. It was a long nothing."
Whatever Girardi didn't say, it worked, because Joba ended the game by getting the dangerous Mark Reynolds to strike out on a slider in the dirt.
NO SERVICE:The wireless internet and cellphone service went out in the pressbox at Progressive Field, causing no end of cussing and complaining among media members unable to do their jobs during the game. But afterward, a shred of consolation was obtained by the knowledge that the Yankees' had communications problems as well; the phone between the dugout and bullpen went out, forcing Girardi to rely on a system of hand signals and foot messengers running back and forth. "When you can't call the bullpen," Girardi said, "That's a problem."
Considering the way the Yankee pen has performed, their was only one comeback to that: "It is?"