CC Sebathia was able to continue the Yankees starters streak and throw the seventh consecutive quality start in a 12-3 Yankees victory over the White Sox, on Thursday night. Sebathia allowed three runs, zero earned because of an Eduardo Nunez error, seven hits and he struck out six batters in seven innings pitched. Surprise contributor Lance Pendleton, who has not allowed any runs in 10 appearances, pitched two innings of scoreless baseball only allowing two hits.
Pendleton was actually selected by the Yankees in the fourth round of the 2005 draft. Shortly after he underwent Tommy John surgery and once he was recovered he went on to pitch in the minor leagues for a few seasons. He was selected by the Houston Astros in the 2010 Rule 5 Draft, in December. (If a minor league player is chosen in the Rule 5 draft he must be kept on the 25 man roster for the whole season or else he will be returned to the previous team.) He returned to the Yankees on March 27th and was called up on April 15th when Phil Hughes was placed on the disabled list because of a “dead arm”.
Bartolo Colon actually started the streak of dominating efforts by the starters on April 20th when he pitched six and two-thirds innings while only allowing two runs. He recorded seven strikeouts which would foreshadow his performance later in the week. Since the victory on the 20th the Yankees have not allowed more than three runs in any contest. Colon had another brilliant performance on Wednesday, against his former team, the White Sox, only allowing one run in eight innings, while recording six more strikeouts. Colon is starting to prove the doubters wrong since he has had two superb starts filling in for Hughes. This was also Sebathia’s second dominating start of the streak since he threw eight innings, allowing three earned runs and seven strikeouts during a 15-3 victory over the Orioles on the 23rd.
However, this game signaled an offensive resurgence by the Yankees that will hopefully be a trend and not a mirage. They had not scored more than three runs in any of the last three games, and they could have easily come away with a victory of they had given AJ Burnett and Ivan Nova some run support. They were finally able to capitalize on Thursday, scoring six runs off of Edwin Jackson and feasting on a struggling White Sox bullpen.
Nick Swisher probably had his best game of the season so far, contributing three hits and his first home run of the campaign. Brett Gardner might be showing signs of a resurgence after stealing his fourth base and even hitting his third home run of the season. Gardner actually has as many home runs as David Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez combined. Curtis Granderson continued his hot streak with a triple off of Jackson which scored Eduardo Nunez.
I don’t expect the Yankees to score 12 runs every game but hopefully this is a sign that the offense is turning the corner in order to not waste many more quality performances by the starters. As stated above, the rotation has been very reliable recently, but one does not know when Nova, Garcia or Colon will tail off. However, right now it seems like Garcia and Colon will be more reliable than Nova.