The New York Yankees have seemingly come out of their recent funk. They have now won 7 of 10 games beating the Blue Jays Wednesday afternoon in the Bronx behind two 2-run HR’s from Andruw Jones and the solid pitching of Freddy Garcia. This gave the Bombers another series win as they head out to the West Coast for an 11 day 9 game road trip. They sit percentage points ahead of the Red Sox for first place in the AL East with a decent balance of pitching and offense.
Did their stirring 2 out rally against perrenial gas can Frank Francisco on Tuesday set this ballclub straight? If you are a believer in the “Steinbrenner Doctrine“ (nothing less than a World Championship is acceptable) you have to hope so.
There are a lot of things to like about this ballclub. Curtis Granderson has come into his own and is a stud hitting .280 with 16 homers and 36 RBI’s. They have one of the game’s true aces in C.C. Sabathia and the most star-studded lineup in the big leagues. These are some of the reasons why the recent slide of comparatively garbage baseball was so unacceptable. Sabathia is a dominant second half pitcher whose velocity goes up into the high 90′s during the hot summer months, and he’s a pretty decent first-half pitcher as well (5-3, 3.17, 62 K). Let’s not forget maybe the greatest weapon in baseball history in indomitable closer Mariano Rivera. Rivera set a Major League record yesterday by appearing in his 1,000 game, the most by a single hurler with one team. The pitching staff has been collectively solid and has kept the team in almost every game.
Naturally, this could come off the rails very quickly. The offense has been intolerably inconsistent as witnessed by the gem that scrub Jays long-reliever Carlos Villanueva tossed against them on Monday night. The Yankees are brutal with runners in scoring position. Nick Swisher (.204, 19 RBI, 2 HR) quite frankly stinks. Robinson Cano, since signing with agent Scott Boras seems to be channeling his inner Roger Dorn (.279, 9 HR, 32 RBI) and dogging it at times. Derek Jeter doesn’t hit many balls hard and I think Mark Teixeira is a bit overated and gets away with inconsistent hitting by being great at first base. The defense has also been atrocious aside from Teixeira.
On this upcoming trip the Yankees will face 6 of the best pitchers in the league starting with phenom Michael Pineda and the defending Cy Young Winner Felix Hernandez in Seattle. Not exactly the best formula for an underachieving and inconsistent lineup. A West Coast swing of 3-6 would be disatrous but could very easily happen if the prime-aged Yankees like Cano and Teixeira don’t support Granderson and get some timely hits. It would be nice if Jeter showed up too.
Bud Selig has achieved his goal of NFL-like parity in baseball. The Yankees are certainly one of about 8 teams in the American League capable of winning the pennant based on their talent alone. They just have to play up to that talent, quit making excuses and find a way to get it done.
About the Author
Written by Brendan Sennott
I was born in the heart of the AL East in the late 70's and am a huge Yankees fan. (Don't hate) I have moved around to a lot of solid baseball markets in my life(Boston, Chicago, Detroit) and was a part-time reporter, producer, blogger, and on air personality for WDFN Radio Sportsradio 1130 The Fan in Detroit. I still live in the "D" and am married with one beautiful 9 month old daughter. My girls are my life. In my media career I've interviewed players, managers and executives in the sport and would love to get back in the business full time. Baseball is my passion. I look forward to shooting straight about the Yanks and M.L.B in my new blog and getting your feedback.