As the afternoon ticks on — it is after all about time for Robert Goulet to show up — let’s take a look at some recent Yankee trends. Think of it as a general “Who’s hot and who’s not” for the Yankees.
On the pitching front, A.J. Burnett has been lights out of late. Through May 22, he was just 2-2 with a 5.28 ERA, and the Yankee Universe was growing restless. Since then, Burnett has made 10 utterly dominant starts. He is 7-2 over that stretch with a 2.31 ERA and 58 strike outs in 62.1 innings.
Joining him atop the Yankee rotation is CC Sabathia. While the Big Man hasn’t gotten the run support to win more games, over his last 14 starts, CC is 8-3 with a 3.18 ERA. Opponents are hitting just .218/.276/.347 off him over his last 96.1 innings.
In the bullpen, Phil Hughes and Mariano Rivera have been holding down the fort. Since his flu-inspired disaster against Tampa on June 6, Rivera has 16 saves over 18 appearances. He has allowed five hits, one run and two walks over 18 innings while striking out 17. He hasn’t surrendered a run in 15 straight games. Hughes is working on a stretch of 14 straight appearances without a run. He’s thrown 17.2 innings, giving up 10 hits and a Mariano-like three walks while striking out 22. One day, these two might pitch poorly.
Offensively, the Yanks have turned into the A-Rod Show. Since taking a day off in Florida, A-Rod has been mashing to the tune of a .322/.446/.667 line with 10 HR and 29 RBI. Joining him in the hitting party have been Robinson Cano (.344/.374/.550 over 139 PAs since June 12), Derek Jeter (.357/.435/.457 over 147 PA since June 11), Hideki Matsui (.319/.441/.702 over 59 PAs since June 30), and Jorge Posada (.341/.412/.591 over 51 PAs since July 4).
On the other side of the equation are the slumping Yanks. Mark Teixeira has hit just .248/.342/.383 with 4 HR since June 11. Johnny Damon, while working on a five-game hitting streak, is batting just .240/.343/.438 since June 8. Nick Swisher is making us all miss Xavier Nady quite a bit too. Since June 8, Swisher is at just .200/.313/.309 with two jacks and 15 RBI in 131 plate appearances.
And that’s your state of the Yankees report. Make of it what you will.
Unrelated Update (4:10 p.m.): Mark Buehrle just threw a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Good news for the Yanks as they, for now, gain a half a game on Tampa.