It’s A Win Streak!

September 19, 2010 – 9:16 am

NYY 11, Baltimore 3. So that’s what it’s like to win a laugher. I’d almost forgotten. For the first time in two weeks, the Yankees actually won a game by more than one run. And after losing three series in a row, they have finally won a series. Could things be looking up again?

xyzzyCC Sabathia got his first 20-win season ever, and did it in typical CC style — he clearly didn’t have his best stuff, giving up seven hits over seven innings, and only getting through one inning without any base runners — but he got the job done, pitching with an early lead and never getting in to serious trouble. That’s what separates pitchers like CC from the others — the ability to still get the job done even when they don’t have their best stuff.

Offensively it was the best the Yankees have looked in a long time, as they got contributions all up and down the lineup. Jorge Posada got a key 2-out single with the bases loaded in the first to give the Yankees an early 2-0 lead. Fancy that, actually hitting with RISP and two outs. Robbie Cano got a 2-run jack in the fifth to put him over the 100 RBI mark for the first time in his career, and Curtis Granderson hit a 3-run homer in the eighth to pretty much ice the game. And even Derek Jeter got two hits (albeit one was a high chopper on the infield) to go along with two RBIs. Jete actually has a 7-game hitting streak going, with a .290 BA and .378 OBP over that period. Could the real Derek Jeter finally be back?

So today the Yanks go for the sweep, but what makes this game so critical is that Andy Pettitte makes his first start since coming off the DL. If the Yankees are going to have any kind of success in the post-season, Pettitte has to be back to where he was two months ago when he last pitched. There is no one else on the staff anywhere close to being a true No. 2 pitcher, and you’ve got to have two solid starters if you are going to do anything in the playoffs. Andy is 38 years old, and at that age being laid off for 60 days is awfully tough. But he’s a gamer if there ever was one, so this is going to be interesting to see how he is able to come back.

Photo: ESPN Box Score | FanGraphs Game Graph | PitchFX Game Tool

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