If the New York Yankees were given the opportunity to draw up the results of a game, they may have used yesterday’s pummeling of the Oakland A’s as a blueprint. The Yankees won their fourth straight game as CC Sabathia pitched seven strong innings and the offense provided plenty of support led by Mark Teixeira‘s two home runs and five RBI.
Teixeira seems to be finally ridding himself of the bronchial infection that has plagued him for several weeks. With the increasing strength and an old approach at the plate, Tex has begun to swing the bat with authority and it’s generating results the Yankees expect from their $180 million first baseman.
Teixeira recently decided he would go up to the plate with the notion of swinging at pitches that he felt he could drive versus worrying about trying to get hits. He has said that his purpose on this team is to drive in runs, not have a lofty batting average.
“I’m just trying to grind through it, trying to be a little more aggressive at the plate,” said Teixeira… I’m feeling a lot better. The days off have helped. I’m just trying to make a little bit of progress every day.” – MLB.com:
He has indeed made progress. He’s upped his season totals to 8 home runs and 28 RBI, just one RBI behind Nick Swisher for the team lead.
The games’ starting pitching matchup featured the Yankees ace Sabathia and former Yankee starter Bartolo Colon. The A’s jumped on the board in the bottom of the first on three singles, with Jonny Gomes‘ hit driving in the games’ first run.
The Yankees answered back in the top of the fourth as cleanup hitter Robinson Cano launched a Colon offering into the right field seats for his seventh home run of the season. The homer was the second in consecutive days for Cano, who also added a double and a single while scoring three runs.
The teams swapped runs in the third. Derek Jeter produced an infield single scoring Eric Chavez and Josh Reddick continued carrying the pathetic A’s offense with his 13th homer of the season and second in as many days.
Then it was time for Teixeira to take over the game. He hit a solo homer in the fourth. He added a two-run single in the sixth and then a two-run blast in the top of the ninth. He mixed in a double for good measure, ending the day 4-for-5 raising his average to .248.
Sabathia settled down from the fourth inning on and seemed to be getting stronger as the game progressed. He allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks with four strike outs.
The win moved the Yankees to 25-21 and 3.5 games (3 in the loss column) back of the AL East leading Baltimore Orioles.
JETER CONTINUES CHARGE UP HITS LIST
Jeter’s two hits brought him into a tie for 14th placed on the all-time hits list with Hall of Famer George Brett at 3,154. Next on the list is Cal Ripken Jr. who collected 3,184 hits in his Hall of Fame career with the Baltimore Orioles.
- David Robertson will not return from the disabled list during the road trip as he had hoped. He will play catch tomorrow.
- Brett Gardner is scheduled to swing a bat on Monday. Gardner has been out since April 17th.
- The Bombers are 25-11 this season when hitting at least one home run
- The Yankees have won 8 straight games in Oakland and 12 of their last 13 against the A’s.
- Cano leads the American League with 17 doubles as owns more doubles (303) since 2005 than any other player in MLB.
Hiroki Kuroda will try to get the Yankees a sweep of the A’s and gain the team a season high win streak of five games. Tommy Milone will toe the rubber for the home team looking to end the As four game losing streak. These are two teams going in opposite directions, but the two pitchers are also heading in differing spots. Kuroda has lost of his last four starts while Malone has won three of his last four.
MY TWO CENTS
For what it’s worth, after such a rotten stretch where the Yankees offense couldn’t do anything right, they have begun to get production out of various sources in the last few games. Alex Rodriguez began the trend with a two homer game on Wednesday. But getting Teixeira going now couldn’t have happened at a better time.
Whether is was the illness, the approach at the plate or a combination of the two, we should be happy his performance has taken a positive turn. We also have to be aware that Teixeira is not Don Mattingly. He will not hit for average any longer, especially since he refuses to try to avoid shifts employed by opponents when he hits from the left side.
If he continues to go up to the plate with the mindset that he is just going to try to drill the ball, the average will not rise and we will have to enjoy the ups and expect the downs of streaky hitting. Teixeira wants to be productive. To him that means 30 homers and 100+ RBIs and he is willing to sacrifice his batting average for it. His average will rise and fall with the good and bad of trying to homer in every at-bat.
In the end, the Yankees will be happy with the 30/100 seasons and his performance in the field, but wouldn’t it be nice if he could stick with a program where he tried to lace a single to left when the opportunity presented itself from the left-side? I guess we can’t ask for everything, and Tex has declared not to expect such a style going forward. His modus operandi is now ‘Grip it and Rip it’. Here’s to short streaks of two-homer games with 5 RBI and four day stretches with nothing else.
Tags: Bartolo Colon Brett Gardner Cal Ripken Jr. CC Sabathia Curtis Granderson David Robertson Derek Jeter Eric Chavez George Brett Hiroki Kuroda Jonny Gomes Josh Reddick Mark Teixeira New York Yankees Nick Swisher Oakland A's Robinson Cano Tommy Milone Yankees