Sunday, April 6, 2014

Bats Wake Up, Bring Yanks to Hump

CC Sabathia must've eaten some Canadian bacon in Toronto, because he looked heavier, and his pitching was better, too.

And the Yankees gave him some runs to work with.

Brett Gardner led off the game with a walk and a stolen base. Derek Jeter grounded him to 3rd, and Jacoby Ellsbury grounded him home. Brian McCann drew a walk, and Alfonso Soriano was hit with a pitch. Kelly Johnson doubled them home. 3-0 Yanks, before those pesky Blue Jays could even come to bat.

They did touch CC for a run in the bottom of the 1st, as Melky Cabrera again led off with a homer. (Sure, now they don't test him for steroids.) But Brian Roberts led off the top of the 4th with a walk and a stolen base. After Ichiro Suzuki struck out, Yangervis Solarte continued his hot start with a ground-rule double that got Roberts home. Then, Gardner came up, and, well, he's not the first guy you'd expect to do it, but, finally, the first Yankee home run of the season was hit. 6-1 Yankees.

The lead looked safe, but CC only got the first 2 outs in the 6th, before single, single, double, single, before a flyout kept it at 6-4.

That was it for the scoring. Adam Warren pitched a perfect 7th. Shawn Kelley allowed a 2-out triple in the 8th, but got out of it. David Robertson was a little shaky in the 9th, but stranded 2 runners. (Already, Yankee Twitterers are saying, "Enter Strandman." No, it's not funny. It's not even cute.)

It was fitting that Melky made the final out. Jays fans roared, thinking they were seeing a walkoff home run that would turn it from 6-4 Yanks to 7-6 Jays, but it turned out to be a lazy fly, a can of corn, that Ichiro easily caught.

Yankees win. WP: Sabathia (1-1). SV: Robertson (2). LP: Drew Hutchinson (1-1).

*

So, heading into the home opener tomorrow afternoon, the Yankees are 3-3. Not good, but, compared to some starts we've had from 2005 onward, and compared to being 0-2 and 2-3 earlier, not bad at all.

A headline on MLB.com says that the Yankees are "over the hump."

No, they're not. They're 3-3. They're at .500. They're not over the hump, they're at the hump.

With 1 week of the regular season in the books, and 25 weeks to go, the Tampa Bay Rays currently lead the American League Eastern Division, at 4-3. The Yankees are 3-3, thus half a game behind, but even in the (Cliché Alert) AILC, the All-Important Loss Column. The Jays are 3-4, 1 back. The Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox are both 2-4, a game and a half back, but 1 in the loss column.

This, after the Red Sox got swept in their first home series by the Milwaukee Brewers. Who, as you'll recall, are no longer in the AL. This was an Interleague series.

The Rays' Magic Number to eliminate the Yankees -- 163 (162 games in a full season +1) - the games played by the opponent in question (6) - the number of games behind (.5), rounded up to the next-highest whole number, is 157. That is, any number of Rays wins and Yankee losses adding up to 157, and the Yankees cannot overtake the Rays for winning the AL East. For the O's and Sox, it's 156. For the Jays, who've played 1 more game than the other AL East teams (except the Rays), it's 155.

Tomorrow, the home opener. Come on you Bronx Bombers!

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