Tuesday, June 2, 2009

12-3 Win Gives Yankees Best Record In AL

The AL's best team came into Yankee Stadium tonight and got their butts handed to them. The catalyst? A hard slide to break up a double play by Mark Teixeira. Teixeira may have had his hitting streak broken but his slide was definitely the big play of the game. Girardi told Teixeira on his way to first that they'd "take care of it." I'd say putting up a 7 spot and trouncing them 12-3 was taking care of it. Well done.

The offense piled it on today, scoring 12 runs on 13 hits, 6 walks, and 2 HBP. If these guys can put 21 guys on base a game, they're going to win a lot of ball games. It all starts at the top. Derek Jeter kept that hitting streak going, picking up 3 more hits. Jeter has now hit safely in 16 straight and he's seen his average jump from .266 to .319. He's had 2 or more hits in 7 straight games. The run he scored in the 4th inning was the 1500th of his career. He's the 4th Yankee in history to reach that plateau. If there's anyone out there that would prefer to see Jeter back in the 2-spot, let me know, because I want to tell you that you're crazy. Batting Jeter-Damon 1-2 is proving to be a very wise move.

The 18 game errorless streak ended tonight on an errant throw by Posada on a stolen base attempt. Bummer. I wanted to see that streak keep going but as they say, all good things must come to an end. You know, if an error had to happen, I'd rather see it happen on a stolen base attempt. It means that the rest of the defense played flawlessly. I'd rather see that than bobbled balls, dropped flies, or bad throws. Posada made up for it thought with his 3-run bomb in the 6th. Posada and Matsui each hit 3-run jacks. Matsui is looking a lot better at the plate. He's not pulling out of the box as much and hopefully that's a sign that he's figured things out. Hideki is 10 for his last 24 (.417) with 3 doubles and 3 dingers. I'd say Matsui is moving in the right direction.

A.J. Burnett had a pretty solid outing. He had that one little hiccup but pretty much was on his game. He had great control, throwing 65% of his pitches for strikes. He only issued one free pass and whiffed 8. That's 2 straight decent outings from A.J. and 2 straight wins. He didn't have his best stuff tonight, but consistently found ways to get it done. After A.J.'s last outing, I compared his 1st 10 starts this season to his 1st 10 starts last season. The stats were similar. Last year, Burnett was 4-4 with a 4.71 ERA. His WHIP was 1.48 (58 hits, 27 walks, 57.1 IP). This year after 10 starts, he's 3-2 with an ERA of 4.78. His WHIP is lower at 1.41 (59 hits, 31 walks, 64 IP). I also wrote that I hoped that win would be a jumping off point. So far, so good.

The Yankees are on fire. They're 16-4 over their last 20. They played 18 straight games without an error. The starters are 11-1 with a 3.39 ERA over that span. The offense has scored 127 runs (6.35/game) and if I had the time I'd look up their batting average and average with RISP over those 20 games. The Yankees next off day is June 16th. The next 12 games are going to be pretty tough. They have 2 more with Texas, 4 with the Rays, followed by 3 in Boston, and then back home for 3 against the Mets. It's going to be a tough stretch, but if they can continue to play well, it could put them firmly in the driver's seat, especially if they can batter the Red Sox around like a rag doll. That would be nothing less than awesome.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,