The New York Yankees have now won seven games in a row and have built back their AL East leading margin to two and a half games. Life is feeling pretty good right now. Masahiro Tanaka has given the team two great starts and the Yankees are getting timely hits of the big fly variety and the one base at a time type too. Let's look at a few things to bask in this little glow (before dark clouds roll in).
The impressive part of this win streak is that Yankee starting pitchers have won six of the seven games. In other words, they have all pitched well enough to stay in the game, have competed and have come out ahead. Tanaka, of course, has been VERY encouraging. But CC Sabathia, Adam Warren, Nathan Eovaldi and Michael Pineda have all won games in this streak. That is encouraging and impressive.
During this winning streak, the Yankees have beaten Max Scherzer, Felix Hernandez, C.J. Wilson, Garrett Richards and Jered Weaver. Wilson and Weaver aside, those are some really great pitchers to have snaked. It is enough to start hoping the Yankees face an ace these days.
Can we start liking Stephen Drew again? Maybe. Maybe not. He does have four homers in his last three games and has a .308/.308/1.231 triple slash line in the past week. All the while, his defense is very comforting at second (and at short when he plays there).
But. There is always a "but." All four of Drew's hits in the last week have been homers. He still has a BABIP of .107 over his last fourteen days and an amazing .167 BABIP for the season. I am still very interested in what will happen with Brendan Ryan. You can't have three really bad hitters in your infield mix...can you?
The YES announcers talked quite a bit about Chase Headley in the number two spot in the batting order in last night's game and made it sound like it was a great thing for Headley to be batting there. Uh. Fact check please! Headley has a .421 OPS in the last week, a .520 OPS in his last two weeks and his wOBA is down to .299 for the season and his wRC+ is at a paltry 88 for the season.
I still think Headley will get hot and have a decent season.
My favorite moment from last night was Dellin Betances against Yunel Escobar. Betances started him with two 98 MPH fastballs that were too high. But Escobar swung at one of them over his head. Then Betances threw him a slider/curve (whatever it is) and Escobar practically soiled his pants. He literally jumped and the pitch settled in the middle of the strike zone. It was priceless. Escobar was toast after that and struck out on another slider off the plate outside.
The Yankees need their other relievers to be able to shut down the ninth when there is not a save situation. Chasen Shreve could not do it either last night and Andrew Miller had to be wasted again. Can't someone come in to those types of situations and throw a 1-2-3 inning!?
Has anything been more fun lately than seeing Brian McCann coming up with men on base? McCann has an OPS of .956 over the last month and is well over one for the past two weeks. He is just getting it done right now. McCann's wOBA is now fourth among qualifying catchers and his defense has been rated strongly as well. He really should be an All Star.
You hate to see an opposing player hit a home run against you, but, dang, it sure is fun to watch Bryce Harper right now. At least it was a solo shot.
Well, as George Harrison once sang, "All Things Must Pass." Winning streaks don't go on forever. Yankee fans wouldn't mind if it went just a bit longer though. Enjoy tonight's game and the weekly adventure of Nathan Eovaldi. May the winds be blowing in.