It's a happy time. LET'S ROLL!
5 Yankee Points, 4/22
1. Another Series, Another Win
Yesterday's 3-1 result makes 5 series wins to start the year. And we haven't even started playing the bad teams yet! If we can take this momentum and win the next series in Anaheim, we'll be 6-for-6 against the Red Sox, Angels twice, Tampa Bay, Oakland, and Texas. Two of those teams will probably make the playoffs, and the others should come close. I'm actually scared of what we're going to do against the likes of Baltimore and Kansas City.
The last time the Yanks started this hot was 2003, when they won 8 straight series to kick off the season (one series with Tampa ended 1-1 due to a rain-out). That team won 101 games and lost in the World Series to Florida.
So is it too early to talk about the possibility of winning 110 games? Not for my friend Spike, who planted that particular fantasy in my brain yesterday afternoon. Speaking of Spike, a big Mariners fan...
2. You're Welcome, Seattle
On Monday, April 12th, Seattle was 2-6 and in the AL West cellar. Since then, they've reeled of a 7-1 streak to improve their season mark to 9-7. In that same exact span, the Yankees took 2 of 3 from the Angels, swept the Rangers, and have won two in a row from the As. That's a 7-1 record against the AL West, and guess which team is now tied for the lead in that division? The Mariners!
The sad part is, we don't even get to play them while Cliff Lee is injured. The teams finally meet in late May, and we'll probably have to deal with the Lee-King Felix combo.
But if Spike is right, and we have a chance at 110 wins, then maybe we also have a chance at Seattle's record of 116. To get there, we'll need a lot of help from the man of the night...
Fantastic performance from the 23 year-old. 7 1/3 innings, one hit, three walks, ten strikeouts. Wow. Just like last night, I only caught a couple innings and thus missed most of the virtuoso performance. But at the end of the second, when he struck out Gabe Gross on a disgusting curve, it was obvious that Philthy Phil was dealing. As I turned off the tv, I remember thinking that he'd probably throw a no-hitter, and I'd miss it because I have the sleeping habits of an old man. But my rec league basketball championship is tonight, and I couldn't risk being tired, so I made the responsible choice.
Sure enough, he took the no-no into the 8th inning, when a comebacker by Chavez hit him in the chest. Hughes thought it bounced up, but it stayed right in front, and the As third baseman easily took first. End of the no-hitter, but a fantastic performance nonetheless. And I love that it only took him 101 pitches.
The message board I frequent, NYYFans, is in quite a state of excitement. He's allowed 4 hits in 12.1 innings, and his WHIP is under 1. Maybe it's too early for a coronation, but it is pretty incredible that a guy capable of such an amazing performance is our 5th starter. Damn.
Another strong night for Brett, who went 2-3 with an RBI and a walk. He's tied for the AL lead in stolen bases with 7, and he's rocking a .333 average, .444 OBP, and .394 wOBA. And that's our #9 hitter.
5. The .320 club
With almost one tenth of the season in the books, five of our usual starters are batting above .320. Roll call!
That is a fearsome bunch, right there. Combined with the OBP of Nick Johnson, it's no wonder opposing starters have only made the 7th inning twice in 14 chances.
There's not much to complain about, with one notable exception: Teixeira. Common wisdom and past performance tells us he'll get going soon, but that .118 average is pretty ugly.
Otherwise, it's hard to believe how well things are going. It almost makes me nervous. Tonight, CC goes for a sweep in his old stomping grounds. It's an afternoon game, so I'll actually get to watch most of it. He's up against Dallas Braden (easily one of the coolest names in baseball). Braden's year has been stellar so far; he's 2-0 with 6 ER and 16 Ks in 20 innings. Put your best dollars on another low-scoring affair.