Okay, so if the Yankees ever mount a serious threat against Justin Verlander, maybe we'll remember to give just a smidgen of credit to Brett Gardner. No, Gardner didn't become the Yankees' first baserunner when he led off the fourth inning. But with Verlander throwing only 33 pitches in the first three innings, maybe it will wind up meaning something that in the process of fouling out to lead off the fourth, Gardner did suck nine pitches from Verlander's (granted, considerable) tank.
Whatever the reason, when Ichiro Suzuki came up next, Verlander fell behind in the count 3-and-0. And after Verlander battled back with a couple of strikes, Ichiro slapped a change-up into left field for the Yankees' first hit, finally:
Verlander's thrown 54 pitches through four innings, and is on track to pitch for just about as long as he likes.