1. Enough runs to outscore the opposition.
2. A good enough starting pitching performance from Phil Hughes to make 1. be a lot easier.
3. A better relief appearance from Rafael Soriano than we got on Monday night.
We got all three. Hughes (13-11) was fantastic, going 7 innings, allowing 1 run on 4 hits and 3 walks, striking out 5.
Which we needed badly, because Ricky Romero (8-12) also pitched really well. The Yankees got an RBI single from Nick Swisher in the 3rd and a sacrifice fly from Curtis Granderson in the 4th, and that was it. Soriano slammed the door in the 9th, the way he couldn't do the night before (got his 34th save), and the Yankees won, 2-1.
The Baltimore Orioles won last night, so they remain 3 1/2 games out, 3 in the loss column, and the Yankees' Magic Number to win the American League East drops only to 31. The Tampa Bay Rays lost, dropping them to 5 back, with an elimination number of 29. The Boston Red Sox lost, leaving them 13 1/2 back (14 in the loss column), elimination number 20. And with the loss, the Jays are 17 1/2 back (17), and 17 is also their elimination number.
The series concludes this afternoon, with CC Sabathia pitching against J.A. Happ. A battle of the initials. Hopefully, CC, the one who doesn't use periods in his initials, will do what he usually does, which is shut the opposition down.
Which is what Phil Hughes did last night.
Over the last 4 seasons, including this one, Phil Hughes has won 44 games for the New York Yankees. He makes $3.2 million this season.
In contrast, over those same 4 seasons, Johan Santana, for whom Yankee general manager Brian Cashman refused to trade Hughes, has won 30 games. He makes $25 million this season.
Johan Santana has a no-hitter. *
Phil Hughes has a World Series ring.
Say what you want about Cashman, but he got that one right.