Robinson Cano really didn’t have a great game, but when the New York Yankees needed him the most, he delivered on cue.
Cano belted a towering tiebreaking home run in the eighth-inning, atoning for an error he committed in the sixth-inning, to lift the Yankees over the New York Mets in a 6-5 victory during the Subway Series finale at Citi Field on Sunday.
On a night where two of baseball’s best pitchers were set to faceoff, as Yankees ace CC Sabathia took the mound opposite Mets right-hander R.A. Dickey –who was coming off consecutive one-hitters– Cano stole the show and provided the heroics. Hours after the pitchers’ duel faded, while trailing 5-2, the Mets capitalized on Cano’s error at second base to score three unearned runs with two outs in the sixth to tie it up. Leading off the eighth, the Yanks second baseman redeemed his blunder, when he drove a 2-0 pitch from Mets reliever Miguel Batista (1-2) over the apple orchard in dead center field for his 16th homer of the season and his fifth bomb in seven games.
After a slow start in April that saw him hit just .267/.323/.389 (batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage) with one home run and four RBI, Cano has really turned it on over the past two months. In May, he improved to .312/.364/.606 with seven home runs and 19 RBI. Through 21 games in June, his line has increased to .320/.420/.693 with eight homers and 13 RBI. The 29-year-old, three-time All-Star and Silver Slugger’s stellar play has been one of the many reasons why the Bronx Bombers are 15 games above .500 and battling to stay in first place in the American League East with a 43-28 record. Cano now has 16 homers to go with 36 RBI for the season.
Not even Dickey’s darting knuckleball could prevent another power show by the Yankees. It was the second time this season the Bronx Bombers have squared off against their interborough rivals in interleague play. Including a sweep at home earlier this month, the Yanks have won five of the six games against the Mets this year, and five consecutive series against the squad from Queens since May 2010– firmly cementing their claim to the city. The Yanks run this town and Robinson Cano will make sure that it stays that way.