The Andy and Ichiro Show Is a Hit

Yankees sweep doubleheader to remain in first

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Vintage is the hottest trend in Bronx fashion.

    There's not much about Wednesday's results that would make sense if you went back about seven months and told people what happened. 

    The Yankees won both games of a doubleheader behind the pitching of Andy Pettitte and the hitting of Ichiro Suzuki allowing them to remain a half-game ahead of the Orioles, who won their 15th straight extra innings game on Wednesday night in Seattle.

    As John Sterling says just about every single night, you can't predict baseball. The Yankees remain a half-game ahead of the Orioles thanks to their busy day of work after a rainout and the performances of two guys who weren't in the plans way back when.

    Pettitte made his first start since late June and showed absolutely no signs of rust while shutting out the Blue Jays for the first five innings of a 4-2 win. He threw 75 pitches, avoided even hints of trouble and generally looked just like the Pettitte that the team needed him to be.

    The offense staked Pettitte to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and then didn't do much to extend things. That meant it got a bit hairy in the eighth as the Blue Jays scored two and then loaded the bases off of David Robertson, who got replaced in favor of a four-out save for Rafael Soriano. 

    Soriano promptly gave up a laser beam to right field, but Ichiro was able to snare it. We didn't know it at the time, but that was a coming attraction.

    After going 3 for 4 in the afternoon, Suzuki went 4 for 4 in the nightcap and singled home the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning of the 2-1 win to send the crowd at Yankee Stadium into a torrent of cheers for the veteran outfielder. The hits were all classic Ichiro, the feet seeming to start running toward first base as he swung and the ball coming out at odd angles that no one else seems able to conjure. 

    Suzuki also stole four bases in four tries at night, which means that he was, for two games, exactly the player that the Yankees played against instead of the aging player that they traded for in the twilight of his career. David Phelps pitched well and Boone Logan got the team out of a jam, but the night belonged to Suzuki from beginning to end. 

    They might not be the players you expected to see standing in the spotlight in the biggest games of the season, but it would be hard to find anyone who isn't thrilled that the two old soldiers had a little bit of ammo left before they fade away for good. 

    Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

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