Los Angeles, CA
|Mo River is 18 for 18 in save opportunities|
Sometimes you have one of those break-even weeks. I guess it's better to go 3-3 than get your ass kicked and end up 0-6, right? The Yankees battled two division foes this week and took 2 out of 3 in Tampa this weekend, but they dropped 2 out of 3 in Baltimore. The Yankees continued to play super close games and were engaged in three extra inning games. They won 2 out of 3 of those "overtime" affairs, but the bullpen ate up a lot of innings.
The Yankees have been plagued with injuries all year and have to eat over $100 million in payroll on a few keys players on the disabled list. Just when they get Granderson back in the lineup, he's out on the 15-Day DL with a broken pinkie knuckle after being hit by a pitch. Tough break. Despite all of the weird injuries to starters, the Yanks (30-19) are still in first place in the AL East and sitting 11 games above .500.
The good news is that the Yanks got Ivan Nova back and he won a relief appearance in a Yanks 4-3 come-from-behind win in Tampa on Saturday. David Phelps got inserted into the rotation to replace Nova, and Phelped remained in the rotation to fill in for Andy Pettitte (who is out for another week with a bad back). Phelps started five games in May and The Yants are 4-1 when Phelps starts (he's 2-1 with 2 NDs as a starter). In Phelps' only loss, he pitched well, but the Yanks got blanked by the Indians 1-0.
The Yankees lack of run production continues to be their Achilles Heel. When the Yanks don't score, they don't win (they are 5-15 in games they score 3 or fewer runs). When the Yanks produce 5 or more, they are still undefeated with a 17-0 record.
The Yanks' bats are inconsistent, but their bullpen is reliable. When the Yanks are ahead after 7 innings, they have yet to lose a game with an impressive 25-0. Most of that is attributed to Mariano Rivera, who is a perfect 18 for 18 in saves this season. The way Mo is pitching, it might even make him reconsider hanging it up at the end of the season.
On Deck: The Yankees play four games against the Mets in a Subway Series with two games at Shea and two games in the Bronx. Then the Yanks host the Red Sox for a three-game weekend series, which will be a highly-anticipated showdown of the top two teams in the AL East. Whoever wins that series will emerge atop of the AL East. Can't wait to watch it.