The profanities weren’t as audible and the smattering of boos were less intense than the last time Javier Vazquez walked off a Yankee Stadium mound in pinstripes. Still, there were plenty of jeers when the right-hander shuffled off the bump yesterday.
While statistically it was not terrible and certainly not as ugly as his relief performance in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS, Vazquez’s first home start of his second stint as a Yankee ended the same way — with a loss.
“It’s the first game,” said Vazquez after the 5-3 defeat to the Angels. “I’m a little disappointed but it’s part of the game.”
Five days after the Rays hammered him for eight runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings, the Angels scored four on six hits in 5 1/3.
The worst part of Vazquez’s afternoon came in rapid succession to open the third. The Angels belted three off-speed pitches to build a 2-0 lead. A visit from pitching coach Dave Eiland settled down Vazquez, who then retired eight of the next nine heading into the sixth. That’s when two more runs crossed the plate, though, and his day was done.
“Javy is accomplished guy,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He’ll get going. He’ll get sharper and he’ll get plenty of wins.