Considering his successes in each of his first two starts, Darrell Rasner had about hit the peak of what the Yankees expected of him. He had pitched two games, won both of them, and kept his team in contention when his fellow starters could not.
"The only thing he can really do better is throw a shutout every time," manager Joe Girardi said before Wednesday's game. "And we know that's not going to happen."
Perhaps not every time. But on this night he did -- and did with a flourish -- blanking the Orioles for seven innings and leading his Yankees to an 8-0 victory in the Bronx.
"He's been great," Girardi said. "He's just been outstanding. He's really taken advantage of his situation."
Rasner's given the Yankees a quiet lift for the better part of a month, pitching without the accolades -- and without the scrutiny -- bestowed on so many of his fellow starters.Tonight, Rasner allowed just five hits and a walk while striking out six. His fastball and cutter were sharp, allowing him to compensate for a shaky curveball. And so he made mistakes, but as Rodriguez said, "he made them with conviction."
That helped him to walk off the mound tonight without a single blemish.
For now, Rasner is in the rotation, and for now, he's been the Yankees' most consistent starter. They'll take that, and certainly so will he.
"It's a great opportunity for me," Rasner said. "With this team, you get an opportunity to win a lot of games. With the offense putting up runs and everything, there's always that opportunity. It's a great situation."