Friday, May 29, 2009

All Alone At The Top, Yanks Are King Of The Hill

Tonight's 3-1 victory over the Tribe moves the Yankees into sole possession of 1st place. It's a place they haven't been since the end of the 2006 season. Wow. It's been 2+ seasons since the Yanks have been in first by themselves. Unbelievable.

Whoever is in charge of handing out the WWE championship belt in the Yankee clubhouse better give that thing to Alfredo Aceves. He's definitely tonight's hero. Aceves came up huge there in the 6th. Bases loaded no outs and he allows only 1 run and then proceeds to pitch 2 more scoreless innings, turning a 2-run lead over to Mo to close it out. Ace is becoming a very integral part of the Yankees bullpen. I was a little surprised that Girardi didn't pull him after the 7th. It just goes to show how little Girardi trusts the bullpen. Everyone was rested and available but Girardi left the ball in Aceves's hand. I'm astonished I'm saying this, but wise move by Girardi. Aceves has been one of the team's better pitchers and it'll be interesting to see how Girardi uses him going forward. I wouldn't mind seeing him as a 7th and 8th inning guy, at least while Bruney is on the DL. Give him the ball for 2 full innings and then give it off to Mo. Starters for 6, Ace for 2, and Mo shutting the door. Sounds like a plan.

Pettitte had a tough go of things tonight but came out relatively unscathed. Word on the street is that he was experiencing lower back spasms. I thought I noticed after the 2nd or 3rd inning that something was bothering AP. YES had a shot of him walking off the field after the 3rd out and I swear he grimaced a little. If you blinked you probably missed it and there was no mention made about it after the commercial so I didn't think much of it. I guess it was something. Andy pitched pretty damn well considering the back issue. If it really started in the 2nd or 3rd and he made it into the 6th without giving up a run, that's pretty damn good. Andy is now 5-1 on the season. Andy was pretty much the team's 4th starter. I think it's safe to say he's moved up the ladder and is the team's 3rd. And it has little to do with Wang's injury. Andy has earned it. I'm a little concerned about the back and hope it's nothing that causes him to miss a start. But if it does, paging Dr. Wang. Dr. Chien-Ming Wang. Get those legs ready CMW.

Offensively it was kind of a blah game. Then again, they did face Cliff Lee, the reigning Cy Young winner. Talk about a tough luck loser. Including tonight's loss, Lee is 2-6 with an ERA of 3.16. The Tribe have scored 7 runs in his 6 losses. Talk about pitiful. I did like the approach the Yanks had at the plate. They ran up Lee's pitch count and chased him after 6. It was great to see Jorge back in the lineup. The great Yankee offense just got a million times better. JoPo went 2-3 with a double and a walk. Not a bad return. The team struggled with RISP, going 2-for-12. You can only hope when the bats aren't there that the pitching is. Tonight it was.

Big up to Teixeira for his play in the field. I'm loving the glove. Also, congrats to Andy and Mo on their 58th win/save combo. The duo now holds the record for the most # of win/save combos. Now if someone can explain to me why that's a record I should care about, I'm all ears.

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Peace, love and Pinstripes,