Don’t look now, but the Yankees are on something of a roll. Saturday’s 3-2 win over the Royals was their fourth straight victory and 11th in their last 15 games. Since the 1-4 start, they’ve gone 21-9. Pretty remarkable. Let’s recap…
- Dandy Andy: After two dud outings, Andy Pettitte rebounded to hold Kansas City to two runs in seven rock solid innings. He missed his spots a few times pretty badly — none worse than the pitch Billy Butler hit for a solo homer — but nothing like those last two starts. Pettitte struck out seven and walked just one, recording eleven outs on the ground compared to just three in the air. Needless to say, it was very good to see vintage Andy out there after that little hiccup.
- Shields’ Two Mistakes: The Yankees were down 2-1 in the fifth inning when Royals’ starter Jamie Shields made two mistakes. First, he hit nine-hole hitter Chris Stewart with a two-strike pitch to leadoff the inning. Second, he grooved a 3-1 fastball to Vernon Wells with two outs, a pitch that landed over the left field wall for a go-ahead two-run homer. Shields pitched very well aside from those two mistakes, but they ultimately cost him and his team the game.
- Leftovers: David Robertson struck out the side in the eighth and was absolutely disgusting. Just nasty stuff. Unhittable. Mariano Rivera allowed a double in the ninth but otherwise nailed things down for his 14th save in as many chances … Jayson Nix has reached base seven times in the series after picking up two hits and a walk in this game … the Yankees managed to win even though the one through five hitters went a combined 2-for-19 with a walk. One of those hits was the Wells homer, the other a Travis Hafner infield single … Lorenzo Cain walked on three balls in the fifth inning because apparently no one in the ballpark was paying attention. It was a long at-bat with a lot of pickoff throws to first, but still. How does no one catch that?
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. In case you’re wondering, the Yankees now lead the AL East by a full game. It’s early though, I wouldn’t get too excited just yet. They’ll go for the sweep on Sunday afternoon, when Hiroki Kuroda gets the ball against right-hander Ervin Santana.