When Mike previewed the Subway Series on Friday, he didn’t have to work too hard to determine who had the pitching advantage. WIth Joba vs. Livan, Pettitte vs. Nieve, and Burnett vs. Santana, the advantages clearly went: Yanks, Yanks, Mets. The Yanks took Friday’s game, though the pitching advantage was essentially a push (Joba only allowed two runs, but his short outing exposed the bullpen). On Saturday they couldn’t get anything going off a guy who hadn’t started a game since 2006. And then on Sunday they laid into arguably the best pitcher in the league to take a landslide victory in the series’ decisive game.
There’s not much left to say about the game itself. The Yanks came out guns blazing and had one of their best offensive games of the year against Santana. While nearly everyone on the offense contributed to the onslaught, the key — as it is in most blowouts — was production from the bottom of the order. Matsui hit a big two-run homer, Melky went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI, and Frankie Cervelli went 3 for 5 with a RBI. There was no reprieve when the lineup turned over, as Derek Jeter went 4 for 4, bringing his average to .310 and further demonstrating that he is a huge threat out of the leadoff spot.
A.J. Burnett was partly frustrating but mostly awesome. He made some trouble for himself in the third and fourth innings, but worked out of both jams using his stuff to get some key strikeouts. He finished the day with eight in seven innings, though the four walks don’t look pretty. That’s what you get with Burnett, though. Sometimes he’ll let a couple of those runs cross, but he’ll mix that with a few games where he bears down and gets the guys at the plate. He needed a game like this after his debacle in Boston, and that’s what he got. Hopefully he can bring it again when he faces his old gang in Florida next weekend.
David Robertson and Phil Hughes capped off the day with matching scoreless innings. These are two guys the Yanks are simply going to have to use more. Robertson is basically third on the depth chart right now, behind Coke and Aceves, and could be rising. Hughes needs to get innings, and it’s useful to see him pitch one in a game before an off-day. WIth Bruney back on Tuesday, the Yanks bullpen all the sudden becomes a bit deeper. Mo-Bruney-Coke-Aceves-Robertson-Hughes and one of Tomko/Veras (more on that tomorrow) looks much better. Much better.
Yesterday, I was flipping out — and yeah, I was bitching about everything. Today, that’s all gone. It goes to show that baseball seasons unfold in strange ways. The team looks like crap against the Sox and for the first two against the Mets, but they come back and show you what they can do — and against Johan Santana, no less. Thanks to a lucky break on Friday they took two of three from the Mets, and that’s big for this team. Like Greg Schiano they’re chopping wood, taking two out of three in series after series. They could use a few sweeps in the next few, though, as they play the weaker portion of the NL East.
Programming note: It’s 7:00, and we’re going to open this up for a Cardinals-Indians discussion. The Sunday Night game features Cliff Lee vs. Chris Carpenter, so it should be a good one. Also, Boston lost, which is another good thing.