Finally A Romp

April 24, 2011 – 11:28 am

Brett GardnerNYY 15, Baltimore 3. Everything seemed to come together in this one with the Yankees winning their first laugher of the season. Alex Rodriguez continues on track to have a monster season, hitting a grand slam in the eighth to give him six RBIs on the night. Russell Martin also continued the hot pace he’s been on all season, getting two home runs and four RBIs. Even Brett Gardner got in on the act, hitting a pretty meaningless two-run homer in the ninth and going 2-for-5 for the night. Gardner entered the game with an OBP below .200, and over his last 26 ABs only had one hit and not a single walk. Here’s hoping he’s finally snapping out of that slump, as he can be a fun guy to watch. His second inning double was a thing of beauty — a solid line drive to center that 99% of players would have simply trotted to first base on. But Gardner went full-speed right out of the batter’s box and never slowed down as he rounded first. He was clearly determined to turn the routine single in to a double, or get thrown out trying. But with his incredible speed he was safe at second. He’s got to be the fastest runner on the base paths in the game today, I have to believe. Now if he can only get that OBP back up to the .383 of last year.

And if the hitting outburst were not enough, CC Sabathia put in his first really dominating performance of the year, and got his first W for the effort. He cruised through the fist six innings, giving up just two singles, and showing the great command that makes him so tough. I’m not sure what happened there in the seventh — going in to that inning, he had gone to a two-ball count on only three hitters (and all three ended up as Ks), and seemed to be ahead in the count all night. Then he walked the lead-off batter in the seventh, gave up a solid hit to Derek Lee, and then got behind in the count to Adam Jones who then took him yard and thus got the Orioles right back in the game, trailing 6-3. But then came A-Rod and the Yankee’s seven-run eighth and that was that.

As oddball a start as we saw in the AL East, things sure seem to have now settled down to what we expected. The Yankees, Rays, and Sox are back at the top of the division, each having gone 7-3 in their last ten games, while the Jays and Orioles have quietly sunk to the bottom. So looks like the race is now officially on!

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