1928. 1939. 2010. Those are the only three teams in Yankee history to open a season by winning eight of their first nine series. Pretty neat, huh? After winning tonight’s game 4-1, the Yanks locked up the series heading into tomorrow afternoon’s series finale. Oh, and in case you were wondering, the ’28 and ’39 Yanks both went on to sweep the World Series.
- AJ Burnett was lights out tonight, as he has been all season long. Burnett pitched into the 8th inning, allowed only seven baserunners (5H/2BB) and struck out eight O’s. He had command of his fastball and his breaking pitch and, when he had to, was able to work quickly and more efficiently by pitching to contact. In short, everything people said about his maturation as a pitcher was on display tonight;
- Francisco Cervelli put on a defensive clinic with acrobatic catches over the dugout railing, blocking all varieties of pitches in the dirt, and generally commanding the area behind home plate for his pitchers. His enthusiasm is infectious and it really looks like the staff loves throwing to him. Best of all, Cervelli had his first three-hit game, going 3-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt that led to an additional insurance run. Posada who?
- It’s hard to find any “bad” in tonight’s performance by the team. Sure, I could nitpick Cano’s swinging at the first pitch in a bases-loaded, two out situation in the bottom of the 5th after Orioles starter Brian Matusz had walked three batters in the inning but Cano had two hits on the night (both opposite field singles). I could also nitpick Jeter’s declining plate discipline but I won’t be overly concerned until we reach mid-season and he’s still swinging at bad pitches early in counts. There’s just not much to quibble with after back-to-back wins against the woebegone O’s.
- It’s not so much “bad” as a legitimate question: Joba Chamberlain has thrown 31 pitches in back-to-back days of work in place of Rivera. Say tomorrow’s game is a save situation. Who comes in? It surely can’t be Robertson, as he’s off high-leverage work until further notice. Aceves? Marte?
The Yanks have won three in a row and six of their previous seven games. At 18-8, they’re off to a nice start. Pettitte goes for the sweep tomorrow…