by Cole Hoyt, Contributing Writer and Loyal Yankees Fan
CC Sabathia’s return after three weeks on the DL was Christmas in July for Yankees fans. Sabathia only gave up four hits in his first outing of the second half. The former All-Star and Cy Young award winner did not give up a run in his brilliant outing. Yankees Manager Joe Girardi only allowed Sabathia to go two pitches over his set 85-pitch count on Tuesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Even though lightning delayed the start of Wednesday nights game, the Yankees got right into the swing of things with a four-run first inning against the struggling Blue Jays. The Pinstripes first baseman Mark Teixeria did not let the All-Star break mess up his rhythm as he delivered a two-run homer.
Hiroki Kuroda pitched lights-out and did not give up a run in his seven innings of work. Without allowing a single walk, Kuroda fanned five in his win over the Blue Jays. The Yankees have won nine of their past 11 games and even the rain couldn’t cause them to cool down. After about an hour of delay due to rain, the game was called and the Yankees picked up another “W”. Statisticians may argue that the success is caused by the Bombers scoring at least three runs in 42 straight games.
On the other hand, some analysts believe that the outstanding pitching and bullpen have extended the winning streak. But here are the facts. The Bombers are leading the league in slugging and homers. The Pinstripes rank third in runs scored and on-base percentage. On the pitching side, the Yankees continue to lead the league with 57 wins and fall in third place with 31 saves. Fielding has been excellent by only committing 47 errors thus far. While all of these stats are impressive individually, when combined, it proves the dominance of the New York Yankees and establishes them as the best team in baseball.
On a down note, Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner is going to have season ending surgery to fix his inflamed right elbow. Unfortunately, the Yankees told the media that the star left fielder is not expected to play the rest of the season. The Yankees front office also told reporters that Dr. Christopher Ahmad, the team physician, will preform the surgery. Veteran left-fielder Raul Ibanez is going to fill in for the injured Gardner.
Don’t get too depressed! Joba Chamberlin is expected to return this year after he dislocated his ankle in a non-baseball related injury. If Joba returns this season, this will help the bullpen in a substantial way by giving the middle relievers some much needed rest.
Mr. October has rejoined his former team Thursday as a special adviser after he was asked to take a break from the team after making negative comments towards third baseman Alex Rodriguez and former Yankees. Yankees skipper Joe Girardi told reporters, “I think it’s all behind us. I think that’s the most important thing.” (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/baseball/mlb/wires/07/19/2010.ap.bba.yankees.jackson.1st.ld.writethru.0580/)
The Yankees will take on the struggling Oakland Athletics this weekend followed by the ice cold Seattle Mariners. The competition heats up however, as the Yankees will face division rivals, the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles. But with CC back in action and the bats on fire the Yankees can beat any team in the league.