Sunday, May 12, 2013

Yankees Win Fourth Straight

The Yankees were able to out-slug the Royals in last night's game but tonight they were able to earn a victory by keeping it a close game throughout. Temporarily the Yankees trailed after Andy Pettitte gave up two runs in the early-going but were able to rebound when Vernon Wells hit a two-run home run to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead that they would put in the hands of Mariano Rivera, who notched his fourteenth save of the season. Rivera has been used a lot this year, mainly because the Yankees are not blowing teams out as much as they used to. Nevertheless, Rivera has done the job successfully all fourteen times he has been called upon. Every night a key player steps up and puts the Yankees on his back. Vernon Wells did the honors tonight after Overbay picked the Yankees up in last night's game. Brian Cashman deserves a lot of credit because the men who are winning games are the spring pickups that people (myself included) laughed at. Wells and Overbay have impressed me, because their careers were essentially over but they were able to revitalize themselves in the pinstripes. With the Yankee pinstripes comes an element of accountability, where if you do not do the job the Yankees will not hesitate in letting you go. The Yankees are in the business of winning and unlike the Mets, they can't afford a first baseman who can't hit his weight for the first month and a half of the season.

Andy Pettitte was by all means not vintage tonight but his seven innings of allowing only two runs gave the Yankees a huge lift in a game that puts them in position to sweep the series tomorrow afternoon. Pettitte was laboring early, already having thrown over 80 pitches by the fourth inning. He pulled himself together after earning the lead back and did what Andy Pettitte usually does; he gave a gritty performance and did not allow any further damage after the Butler home run in the fourth. This is the seventieth time in Pettitte's career that Mariano Rivera saved a game that he started, by far the most in the history of Major League Baseball. That statistic is special, mostly because in order to team up for so many wins both pitchers have to be good through an extended period of time. If Pettitte didn't leave to Houston for three years he would own many pitching statistic categories in Yankees all-time lists.

As the Yankees go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon, they will send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound opposite former Angel Ervin Santana. Santana gives up a lot of home runs, and the Yankees like to hit them. This should call for a fun match-up as the Royals try to stop the Yankees from sweeping them in their own building.

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