The Yanks are back in first place


Well, at least a tie for first place.

A 9-5 win on Sunday completed a three-game sweep of the Astros. Add that to the fact that the Marlins trumped the Rays and the two best teams in the AL East (let alone in baseball) have identical 40-23 records.

The Good:

Georgie Posada. JoPo was left for dead after coming off the DL, putting up a .133/.297/.133 line with one RBI in nine games since being activated. In the two games since that slump, he’s hit two grand slams and went 3-for-6. It’s the first time a Yankee hit salamis in back-to-back games since Bill Dickey did so in 1937, and it was just the fourth time in franchise history it’s happened (Ruth did it in 1927 and 1929). With the GS, Posada moved past Greg Nettles and into seventh place on the franchise home run list (251). The 38-year-old also caught his first game since May 16 (hairline fracture in right foot) on Sunday, but left early due to “soreness” in his foot. It should be noted that the soreness is in a different part of the foot than the fracture was, and he is confident that he’ll catch on Tuesday when the Yanks open a three-game set against the Phils.

"To be in the situation to hit two grand slams is amazing. It doesn’t happen often, you can tell (because) it’s been a while. So, I’m happy. It’s important to get some runs for the pitcher. I think after that Hughsie calmed down and threw the pitches he wanted to."

Ramiro Pena. Old noodlebat came through with a huge two-run single in the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie. The base knock will no doubt be overshadowed by Posada’s grand slam, but it was HUGE at the time.

Ace. Alfredo Aceves threw off flat ground on Sunday and reported that “nothing hurt” in his back, which is good. He could throw again tomorrow but there is still no timetable for his return.

The bullpen. Damaso Marte, CHoP, Joba and Mo combined to throw 3 1/3 innings of one-hit relief. It was huge because Hughes kind of shit the bed, though he was getting bamboozled by home plate umpire Ted Barrett.

Chad Huffman. “Huff, Huff, Give” made his major league debut on Sunday in place of Marcus Thames, who was placed on the DL with hamstring soreness. The Huffster went 1-for-4, legging out an infield single, with a walk and reached on a dropped third strike. He looked solid in right.

"I was trying to calm myself down was the biggest thing. I battled back…got out in front of it and got lucky, that’s a part of it and I had a great time."

A-Rod. Girardi said it’s possible the Yanks will have Big Al back in the lineup for the series opener against the Fightins on Tuesday. He didn’t say if that would be as a DH or at third, but either way is good news.

The Yanks. The team drew 10 walks on Sunday. They have also won 12 of 16 and have a better record at home (22-7) than The Greatest Team Ever Assembled (the Rays) does on the road (22-8). Take that you cowbell-toting pieces of shit.

The Bad:

Phil Hughes: Maybe we’ve been spoiled by The Kid earlier in the season, but he just didn’t seem to have his stuff today or the past few starts. For what it’s worth, I think he should have been removed after Geoff Blum’s double in the sixth. In a long, rainy game there’s no reason to leave a 23-year-old kid out there. Oh well, he got the win to move to 9-1 (his career-high nine wins tie him with David Price for most in AL) so there’s really nothing to complain about…despite the fact that his ERA is over 3.00 for the first time in a long time.

"I was locating for the most part; my fastball, I threw some decent cutters, I was just trying to move the ball in and out, and tried to limit the damage after that first inning. Unfortunately that sixth inning kind of blew up, but we had enough runs to hold up…I just look at it like I’m out pitching the ball. The wins can kind of be deceiving sometimes; I haven’t pitched great over the last four starts but our offense has been so good that I’m able to keep us in the game. The wins are great but I feel like I’m throwing the ball decent as well."

Home plate ump Ted Barrett. He wasn’t calling strikes the same for Hughes as he was for Moehler. It was a joke. Plus,  he botched many calls including a hit by pitch to Tex and a few strikes to Swish Dog…among many others.

Grandy. He was the only starter not to record a hit Sunday, but that’s kind of nit-picking when you win by four runs.

Up Next: The Fightin’ Phils come to town for a World Series rematch starting on Tuesday. I’ll be going to the CC vs. Halladay game on Tuesday (who wants to touch me? I SAID WHO WANTS TO F*CKING TOUCH ME), so if you’re there on Tuesday stop by section 206 and say hi.