Will rout gets Yankees on a roll?
Will Tuesday night’s 14-7, 19-hit victory over the Angels be the start of something big for the Yankees? They certainly hope so as the days begin to dwindle in the final third of the season if the Yankees want to make a splash and qualify for postseason play.
The addition of Alfonso Soriano and the return from the disabled list of Curtis Granderson and Aleex Rodriguez have surely given the Yankees’ batting order some depth. It was not that long ago Lyle Overbay was batting cleanup in some games; now he is batting eighth.
After an overabundance of low-scoring and tightly contested games, the Yankees were due for an old-fashioned blowout and got it Tuesday night. Eduardo Nunez (4) and Soriano (6), the first two batters in the order, combined to drive in 10 runs, a franchise first since 1920 when RBI became an official statistic in baseball. It marked the first time any 1-2 hitters combined for 10 RBI since the Blue Jays’ Russ Adams (4) and Reed Johnson (6) did it July 1, 2005 at Boston in a 15-2 Toronto victory over the Red Sox.
The RBI figures were personal career highs for both Nunez and Soriano. The rest of the lineup all came through as well as everyone who came to bat for the Yankees had at least one hit with Overbay and Granderson joining Soriano with three-hit games. Vernon Wells socked his first home run in 208 at-bats since May 15 at Seattle. Of Wells’ 11 homers this season, four have come against teams for which he formerly played – three against the Blue Jays and one against the Angels.
I was a big proponent of the Yankees’ re-acquiring Soriano, who is one of my favorite players. After Soriano had a rough time of it for the Yanks in the 2003 World Series against the Marlins when he hit .227 with nine strikeouts, there were loud calls for him to be traded. I was opposed to that, although who could argue with letting him go to bring Rodriguez here at the peak of his powers? Well, I did, but to no avail.
Anyway, now they are here together, and the lineup seems all the better for it.
The Yankees have a lot of work to do. They need to go on one of those outrageous runs like the Dodgers have done to get back into the post-season mix. CC Sabathia got back to .500 (10-10) with a positive outing yet one that could be considered only fair. He held the Angels to three hits but walked six batters and got a huge break from an umpire’s terrible call on a runners’ break off third base erroneously judged too soon.
Nevertheless, Sabathia pitched into the seventh inning, didn’t give back any leads and even got his first putout in two seasons with a hustling cover of first base.
The night after winning consecutive games for the first time in 23 games, the Yankees made it three straight victories in a stretch equally as long. Before anyone dismisses what they have done because the Angels are a stumbling team, consider that the Yankees recently went 1-5 combined against the Padres and White Sox, two clubs that are even worse.