Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Game 2/2 Analysis: Yankees Sweep Double Header

Not only do the Yankees sweep the day/night double header against the Chicago Cubs, but they also shut them out in both games, marking the first time the Yankees have shut out an opponent in two straight games since Aug 7-8, 2009 against the Red Sox. To go even further, the Yankees have not allowed a run in 21 innings, since the sixth inning of Sunday's game against Boston which the Yankees went on to win. The two starters for the Yankees today were the two biggest wildcards of the season. However, both went on the mound and proved why they should not be doubted. Michael Pineda pitched the night-cap of the split double header, and despite running into trouble and putting men on base he escaped his own jams and went on to pitch six solid innings. Girardi took Pineda out because he doesn't want the 25 year old fresh off major shoulder surgery to reinjure himself. Pineda's pitches weren't especially devastating today as highlighted by his three strikeouts. He still managed to give the Yankees quality innings though, and kept them in a game that they could easily have lost because the Yankees offense scored only two runs and a combined five runs in both games. There were not many negatives to take away from either of today's games. As a matter of fact, there was a lot to be excited about in both games, specifically in regards to the starting pitching performances. The Yankees future was on display in the double header. The future is Michael Pineda. The future is Masahiro Tanaka. If these pitchers can stay healthy and pitch as well as they have combined this season, I feel good about the Yankees long term starting rotation plans.

After taking both games against Chicago and winning three out of four against the Red Sox, the Yankees will take their 9-6, first place record to what has been a house of horrors for them in recent years. They will play four games in St. Petersburg, Florida against the depleted Tampa Bay Rays, who have been having trouble all season long scoring runs. Also, every time you turn around, another one of their starting pitchers is injured, most recently Matt Moore who is headed for Tommy John surgery. Given that the top notch starters besides David Price are not in the rotation, I expect the Yankees to continue what they have been doing since Thursday. They are riding a 4 game winning streak, and I believe they can sustain that in Tampa.

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