NYY 6, Toronto 3

July 17, 2012 – 10:44 am

Phil Hughes got the starting rotation back on track with the first quality start since the All-Star break and the offense came from two of the most unlikely sources, Russell Martin with a solo home run in the second, and then Raul Ibanez with the game-winning grand slam in the eighth.

You do have to marvel at what the Yankees have done so far this year — they now have a 9-game lead in the toughest division in the MLB, and the best record in all of baseball while playing what is arguably the toughest schedule. And yet no single player is having a stand-out year. Robinson Cano is clearly the best hitter and is certainly having a very good year, with an OPS more than 100 points better than last year. But all the other “big guns” are playing below their 2011 levels. And pitching, it’s the same way. Phil Hughes is much improved from last year, but from a 5.79 ERA he only had one direction to go. Other than that, again, all the other starters are pitching below their 2011 levels.

The key seems to be consistency, all up and down the lineup and throughout the starting rotation and bullpen. Other than Martin, everyone in the lineup is contributing, and every game it seems like someone steps up and delivers. And since the ASB, even Martin has been doing more than his share. Ditto for the starting rotation — no glaring holes at all. Even with Pettitte out, Garcia and Phelps have filled in quite well. Indeed, you could classify the rotation as one ace (CC of course) and a bunch of No. 2 and No. 3 starters. And finally ditto for the bullpen — Logan, Eppley, and Rapada have all been the height of consistency (well, at least up until recently), Robertson has been lights out in the eighth, and Soriano has been very Mo-like as a closer (well, in results anyways if not in overall efficiency).

With such depth and consistency everywhere, it’s hard to see how the Yankees could possibly stumble at this point. So there, I’ve certainly put the hex on them now!

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E SO BB
Blue Jays 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 3 6 0 6 5
Yankees 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 4 X 6 8 1 8 5
WP: D. Robertson (1-3)   LP: A. Loup (0-1)   S: R. Soriano (23)
QS: NYY – P. Hughes (7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO, 1 HR)
QS: TOR – H. Alvarez (6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 6 SO, 1 HR)
HR: NYY – R. Ibanez, R. Martin, TOR– A. Lind
LOB: NYY 6, TOR 8   RISP: NYY 3-for-8, TOR 1-for-10

MLB.com Box Score | Gameday | FanGraphs Game Graph | PitchFX Game Tool

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