This is what Yankee fans have been looking for. Last night’s 6-2 win over the Mets looked like the Yankees of old and is huge for them heading into tonight’s series opener against the Red Sox.
Rookie Tyler Clippard was phenomenal in his big league debut, but the key to the game was the Yankee lineup. From top to bottom, everyone grinded out at bats and really made John Maine work for every out. They drew walks, worked themselves into good hitting counts, and made Maine show everything he has early.
The result – they got men on base and had multiple chances to drive in runs. Cano missed a three run home run by a couple of feet (an impressive blast into the 2nd deck the opposite way). Finally Johnny Damon came through with a bloop and then the Captain delivered a huge blow – a two-run rocket into the bleachers in left center. The following inning, the red-hot Jorge Posada delivered the knockout blow with a bomb down the right field line.
Finally the Yankees approach at the plate was where it needs to be. Even Bobby Abreu and Robinson Cano looked better at the plate. Abreu wasn’t flying open as much and Cano was a bit more patient and much more controlled at the dish. From an offensive standpoint, this game was extremely encouraging.
Clippard was great, and may get another start or two. It’s encouraging to see young pitching talent come up and do well, but for this season, Clippard doesn’t factor in to the long term plans.
The Yankees are 10.5 back of Boston heading into this series, and the Yankees are coming off of a spirited comeback that came up just short on Saturday, followed by a great win last night. This is an opportunity to get right back into the race with the Red Sox. A sweep would cut the deficit to 7.5 games, but simply a series win would show that the Yankees are not down for the count just yet.
I really believe that they could sweep the Red Sox. Our top 3 pitchers will be starting and the offense seems to be coming back to normal. Wakefield, Tavarez and Schilling are all very beatable with Moose, Wang and Pettitte going.
For right now though, tonight is the most important game of the season. Win tonight, then worry about tomorrow.