Seemingly out of the nowhere, the New York Yankees’ offense has erupted. After not being able to score more than four runs in a single game since before Memorial Day, the Yankees scored six runs against the Mariners on Thursday night in Seattle. Then they backed it up with seven runs last night in Oakland. The offensive splurge led to a pair of Yankee wins, extending the current win streak to four. Scoring runs early and often the last two nights has made this a successful west coast trip already and there are still two games left.
The Yankees have been led by the magnificent play of the top of the order, center fielder, Jacoby Ellsbury and shortstop Derek Jeter. Ellsbury is riding a 17-game hitting streak, the longest active streak in the majors. Jeter is 8-for-16 on the west coast portion of the road trip, raising his season average twenty points since the rain out in Kansas City. He is currently sitting at .274. The Yankees have started to do some hitting with runners in scoring position. The Bombers went 6-for-13 on Friday night.
The pitching this season has been nothing short of sensational. The bullpen, led by young flame throwers Dellin Betances and Adam Warren, have been fantastic. Closer David Robertson is not Mariano Rivera, but he is a bona fide major league closer and is having a great season in his first attempt at the role. The starting rotation looked like a strength entering the season, but quickly became a potential liability with injuries to three-fifths of the rotation. Ivan Nova was lost for the season, and CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda will miss a substantial part of it. Sabathia is not due back until after the All-Star break, and Pineda will be on the shelf until August at the earliest. But the replacements (Vidal Nuno, David Phelps, and Chase Whitley) have been better than expected behind the other-worldly Masahiro Tanaka.
The big issue has been scoring runs. The Bomber offense has very little power in the lineup, especially when Teixeira needs a day off. Alfonso Soriano is a shell of his former self, who seems physically incapable of taking a pitch and has been relegated to platoon duty. Carlos Beltran has been hurt and has severely under-performed from both sides of the plate when he is in the lineup. Brian McCann has proven all the preseason “experts” wrong by not taking advantage of the short porch in right at Yankee Stadium at all. This power outage in the lineup has made runs more precious than ever, as the Yankees try to find other ways to score. The Yankees were able to do that the last few nights for the first time this month. Hopefully they can keep it up to finish off the A’s, and continue it into next week’s showdown with the AL East-leading Blue Jays.