Tuesday, August 13, 2013

An Unfamiliar Offensive Explosion

How unfamiliar was tonight? This is the first time since April 9th that the Yankees have scored at least twelve runs. On April 9th it was against the Kansas City Royals when Travis Hafner and Kevin Youkilis were doing damage for the Bombers. Tonight a different cast of characters joined in on the offensive output as Alfonso Soriano drove in six runs, a career high, on two home runs. One home run gave the Yankees the lead in the fifth inning after the Angels took the lead off Sabathia. The second long ball came in pile-on mode in the seventh inning when the Yankees scored four runs against Joe Blanton. Alfonso Soriano is hitting his stride in his second stint with the Yankees, much like Ichiro did toward the end of August and into September last year. To differentiate, I think it's safe to say that Soriano's impact has been more on the power side of things. Although he did drive in a run on an RBI single to right-center with a runner on third base, resembling something that Ichiro does with his eyes closed. Eduardo Nunez, who was the leadoff hitter, had two hits and drove in four runs on two force outs in the infield and on a bloop single with two outs in the eighth inning. Nunez was just trying to put the ball in play and it worked at the time as he gave the Yankees a couple of RBI when the game was still tight. Alex Rodriguez also recorded his first double of the season which scored two runs. Everybody joined the party tonight as every Yankee starter recorded at least one hit, which amounted to nineteen hits total in the contest. Despite all of the offense tonight the night belonged to Alfonso Soriano who hit two home runs and drove in six runs.

CC Sabathia was the beneficiary of an explosive offense, which certainly makes up for his lack of offensive support throughout the majority of the year. CC was not strong tonight as he went only six innings, allowing three runs (two earned), walked SIX but struck out seven batters. Sabathia caught a huge break in the sixth inning with the bases loaded and one out when Tommy Field lined into a double play when Chris Nelson tried to score from third on what would be a sac fly but Chris Nelson left third base too soon and the Yankees appealed to which the umpire ruled that the runner did indeed leave the base before the ball was caught in left by Soriano. Had that run scored, the game would be tied at 4. Instead, the floodgates opened up for the Yankees and they took advantage promptly after they catch the break.

After struggling so mightily in the middle of the season, the Yankees have won their last three games and four of their last five games. All they have to do over their next two games is to split and they will have themselves their second straight series win. The team needs to keep focusing on their games and the standings will respond in their favor down the stretch. Tomorrow, the Yankees will try to make it four in a row against a tough customer in Jered Weaver who is the ace of the Angels staff. The thriving Ivan Nova will make the start for the Yankees. Nova has too, been plagued by little run support but has pitched very well since June.

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