Jobu catches us up with the 2013 Yankees after a big win against the Baltimore Orioles.
When the season started, things did not look good for the Yankees. They lost the first two games of the year in pretty sad fashion, managed to take the third game against Boston, and then looked terrible in the first two games against Detroit. Then, magically, a matchup against arguably the best pitcher in baseball, and the anemic bat of Jayson Nix, seemingly turned their season around. After winning a couple of games in Cleveland and having a couple more rained out, they took two out of three in pretty solid fashion against the Orioles. The team now sits at 6-5 after eleven games. Not bad after a 1-4 start. The key win came last night in the rubber match against the Orioles. Kudos, gents. You’re a ball club now.
How good was Kuroda on Sunday night? It really doesn’t get much more dominant for him, or anyone else for that matter. He used the off-speed pitch to keep the Orioles off balance throughout the entire game, throwing only 54 fastballs out of his 113 pitches. That’s gonna make it hard to figure out what’s coming if you’re a hitter, nameen? (note: yes, that’s a fresh prince reference.) Kuroda went the distance, throwing the third shutout (second nine inning one) in his Yankees career. He allowed only five singles and didn’t let a runner reach second base until the ninth, and he got on because Nix, the defensive speciallist, has forgotten how to play defense. Anywho, Kuroda only let four balls get out of the infield, recording five strike outs and 18 ground ball outs. That’s how you do that, Hiroki.
The offense happened all in one inning for the Yankees. Wei-Yin Chen actually pitched very well, but was again victimized by one bad inning. Usually, he has his bad inning in the sixth or seventh (ruining quality starts in fantasy baseball). This time, the bad inning came in the fifth, although it wasn’t really that bad.
Brennan Boesch, who started against a lefty for some reason, singled to lead off the inning (one of two hits) and moved to third on another single from Francisco Cervelli (who is hitting .360, btw). Lyle Overbay then hit a hard fly ball and Boesch smartly tagged over to third base. It was a good hustle play, and Nix then hit another sacrifice fly to deep right to get the Yankees on the board. As hard as they had to work to manufacture that first run, the next two came pretty easily. Gardner stepped up and got a fatty fastball up and in from Chen. He turned on it viciously, hitting a ball that knocked high off the foul pole in right for a two-run homer and a 3-0 Yankees lead. Seriously though, Brett hammered that. I don’t think it would have been quite upper tank, but it had some significant clout to it.
That was all the Yankees would need. Kuroda finished off the shutout brilliantly, giving the bullpen another day of rest (which they needed after Hughes’ pathetic outing on Saturday). The Yankees have now gone 5-1 in their last six games, and sit one game back of the Sox in the Eastern Division. The top three guys in the rotation have been the key to this winning streak. Sabathia, Kuroda and Pettitte (despite his back ailment) have been brilliant thus far. If Either Hughes or Iván Nova get their act together, or Girardi replaces one of them with David Phelps, pitching should keep this team in contention all year long.
That being said, the offense hasn’t exactly been terrible. Although the Yankees struggled to score runs against the Orioles in this past series, they pounded Verlander and then scored 24 runs in the two games against Cleveland. I guess maybe the Yankees might not be doomed after all? Who Knows, right?
Featured image courtesy of: Al Bello/Getty Images
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