Commentary

Jorge, DJ join Yankees' bat attack

Scrutinized veterans get in on fun as Bronx Bombers score 13 runs in Baltimore

Updated: May 20, 2011, 8:54 AM ET
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com

BALTIMORE -- Dressed in suits, the business attire of a corporate team, they boarded their charter jet back for the Subway Series laughing as much as this serious bunch can.

They left New York on Sunday, swept by the Red Sox and in the midst of the Jorge Posada sitdown turmoil. They return with Posada, sporting a first baseman's glove, an RBI double, a good swing right-handed and a tiny glimmer that maybe there are a few more good days in pinstripes for him.

On top of that, Posada's good buddy Derek Jeter took a break from hitting ground balls to knock a double and a triple Thursday.

The New York Yankees laughed all the way to a 13-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. They ended the game with Jeter flanked at short by Posada at first and Russell Martin at third. The benefits of a blowout.

[+] EnlargeJorge Posada
Greg Fiume/Getty Images"It is not an easy job," Jorge Posada -- a catcher until this season -- said of playing first base.

As usual, CC Sabathia ate up the Orioles like they were crabcakes on a platter. He is 16-2 with a 2.74 ERA against them in his career. In eight scoreless innings, Sabathia threw 109 pitches, 84 for strikes. He was as ridiculously good in his eight innings as Bartolo Colon was Wednesday night.

Jeter began the game with a double to right. He would score as part of the five-run first, which was highlighted by Nick Swisher's three-run double. It gave Sabathia a cushion he probably didn't even need.

"I love it," Sabathia said. "I'll take it every time."

That request is starting to be granted. Sabathia has been on the mound the four times the Yankees have scored 12 or more runs.

Posada didn't seem totally pleased about playing first. He had done it a few times in his career but not since July 10, 2008.

"It is not an easy job," Posada said.

Mark Teixeira -- who moved to DH for a night and hit a two-run homer -- gave Posada high marks, as he scooped a low Jeter throw out of the dirt in the fifth. Teixeira noted that Posada didn't get any ground balls. Posada didn't seem to mind.

"When you don't do something every time, you have to think about it," Posada said. "You have to make sure you are in the right place."

Posada, in his postgame interview, quickly transitioned into catcher mode, talking about how "CC was awesome."

This past Saturday, Posada was getting everything out in the open to Joe Giradi. On Thursday, he did his manager a favor.

By not having any flubs at first, Posada prevented any cause celebre that could be the talk of the town going into the Subway Series. Instead, Posada -- who was given favorable treatment by Girardi, who chose to bat him seventh instead of ninth -- went 1-for-3 with an RBI double and a run scored.

Perhaps more importantly, he drove a ball deep to center batting right-handed. It resulted in his 25th out in as many at-bats against lefties but provided a little hope if Girardi gives him a chance again to bat righty.

"Hopefully, I can get in there some more against lefties," Posada said.

There is no guarantee of that. In fact, it seems sort of unlikely. However, to remain on the team, Posada might have to diversify his game. First and foremost, he must hit left-handed. With Eric Chavez out, Posada also needs to be a legit backup option at first.

"He was good," Girardi said. "He's been working at it."

Jeter is working at chipping away at 3,000 hits -- his double and triple pushed him just 30 away from the milestone -- while the Yankees try to make everyone look past his not-leadoff-worthy .309 on-base percentage.

With the Mets coming to the Bronx, this might be as good a time as any for Jeter to really get going. Of all the hitters who have ever batted against the Mets, two own a career .380 average. They are Jeter and Rico Carty. So maybe this is when Jeter starts to lift his game.

A little less than a week ago, Posada lost his head. He still doesn't seem to be that happy with his position on the club, but he is coping the best he can. On Thursday, it was as a first baseman.

"It was kind of funny having him over there," Sabathia said.

All around, it was a laugher for the Yankees. Now, they come into the serious business of the Subway Series feeling a little different than when they left the Bronx on Sunday.

• • •

Sabthia retaliated for the beaning Chris Dickerson took Wednesday and the hit-by-pitch Orioles starter Brad Bergesen inflicted on Robinson Cano in the top of the first Thursday. With two outs in the bottom of the inning, Sabathia, who had perfect control on the night, hit Nick Markakis with a 95 mph fastball in the small of the back. Both benches were warned. Girardi said he thought the warning was just. ... Sabathia and Colon combined for 16 scoreless innings against the Orioles in the two-game series. .... The Yankees won three of four on the road trip. ... The Yankees have won all six games against the Orioles this season.

Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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