The Yankees can be praised for their play on the field, the last two games, as well as their actions off of it.
First of all, the Yankee have won their last two games, the first one against the Mariners, in the series opener against Felix Hernandez, who is one of the best pitchers in baseball. This was a clutch win for the team as it put them four games ahead of the Red Sox and it proved that they could beat a top flight starting pitcher as they were three hit by Jared Weaver in the Angels series. They had an offensive explosion off of last year’s CY Young winner as Mark Teixiera hit his 37th homer, Chris Dickerson hit a two run blast for his first of the season and Robinson Cano hit a three RBI double in the seventh in the 7-3 victory.
Phil Hughes had his second start in a row where he allowed two runs or less as he only gave up one run in six dominating innings of work. It seems like he is rounding into form just in time for the playoffs. He walked three batters which is a little high but all that matters is that only one runner crossed home plate. Hughes should definitely have a role in the playoffs but that might be out of the bullpen as it seems like the starters might be CC Sebathia, Ivan Nova, Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia.
They also won the game before down the west coast in Anaheim on 9/11 by the score of 6-5. There was a very fitting tribute before the game as first responders and a survivor threw out the first pitch to Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada who were all prominent members of the 2001 Yankees team. Rivera picked up his 599th career save and is now only three saves away from passing Trevor Hoffman as the all-time leader and cementing himself as officially the greatest closer in baseball history.
Eric Chavez, Jeter and Cano each picked up two hits for the Yankees while Curtis Granderson led the team with two RBI as a result of his deep home run. They were the offensive players that helped end the losing streak.
The Yankees close victory was a key one because it ended the four game slide and before the 6-0 loss to the Angels on Saturday they had previously come on the short end of three straight one run losses. Even though they were in first place the whole time it was critical to start this winning streak to put some distance between them and the Boston Red Sox.
David Ortiz even came out and said that they are in panic mode since they are 2-8 in their last 10 games and the surging Tampa Bay Rays are threatening to become the AL Wild Card instead of Boston. The Red Sox could be on their way to collapsing in a similar way that the Mets did in 2008 as they went 5-12 to end that season.
A.J. Burnett will pitch for the Yankees tonight so the bullpen should be ready to do their job. Luckily, the Mariners have a pitcher named Charlie Furbush taking the mound who is struggling almost as much with a 4.84 ERA.
As previously stated, the Yankees made positive headlines off the field, once again, saying that they will donate $100,000 to support the rescue/relief efforts in association with Hurricane Irene. Of that $100,000, half will go to the Salvation Army and the other half will go to the Red Cross. In addition, they will be making a $25,000 donation to support the rescue/relief of the Texas wildfires.