Though Ivan Nova somehow made it nine straight starts without a loss, the primary postgame topic in the Yankees clubhouse Tuesday night was a single at-bat by the team's hottest hitter.
Robinson Cano fouled off seven straight pitches in a 12-pitch at-bat against Danny Duffy before hitting a critical three-run homer in the five-run fourth that turned the game around.
"Amazing," Nova said.
“It’s as good as it gets," Joe Girardi said. "That’s just a great at-bat.”
Girardi said later of Cano that the second baseman was "just born to hit."
Cano blasted a 3-and-2 slider to deep right-center for his 21st homer of the season and fifth in his last 12 games.
“I didn’t know what he was going to throw on the pitch," Cano said. "I was just thinking to swing at a strike and if not you get a walk and go to first.”
Cano is now 20 for his last 50, raising his average to .306, the highest it's been since May 3. He very much looks like the player he was much of 2010, when he finished third in MVP voting.
“I’ve been able to drive the ball the other way, something I wasn’t doing in the first half," Cano said. "Now in the second half I’ve had, what, three, four homers the other way? That’s what you want, using the whole field.”
Said Girardi: "I think he’s turned it up a notch here in the last couple weeks," Girardi said. "He’s had a good second half for us. There’s a lot put on Robbie’s shoulders everyday. He understands the expectations and he handles them really well….what we’ve seen the last two weeks or so is as good as he’s been.”