After losing four in a row to the Mets, and five games overall, the Yankees (31-23) got a much needed 4-1 victory of the rival Boston Red Sox. They are now one game behind Boston for first place in the AL East.
In three out of the last four games the Yankees only scored one run against the suspect Mets’ pitching staff. Jon Lester, who has a 3.53 ERA, turned out to the pitcher who would bring the bats to life. This was the game that first baseman, Mark Teixeira, and third baseman, Kevin Youkilis, finally made their return from injury.
In his season debut, Teixeira went 0-3 but did score a run after getting a walk in the second. The team has not been drawing walks recently so Teixeira’s ability to do so, in addition to his power, will definitely help. Teixeira usually struggles during the first month of the season so hopefully he will be able to hit like it is June. The team can’t have him take a month to start to hit like in past seasons. This is because once he gets in his groove he is one of the best hitters in baseball.
In Youkilis’s first game action since April 27, he was able to g0 1-4. His single drove in Ichiro Suzuki for the team’s third run of the game. His return from the disabled list will move David Adams into a reserve role. Adams started out hitting well but is now in the middle of a slump.
Ichiro went 2-3 with two runs scored and an RBI during the night game at Yankee Stadium and is showing signs of hitting like he did last season. He is now nine for his last 24, which is a .375 average. The Yankees need him to hit for a high average and score runs so that he can be a spark plug at the bottom of the lineup.
Also, just as importantly as Teixeira and Youkilis helping the offense is that CC Sabathia returned to his dominating ways. Sabathia has been the ace of the staff since 2009 but has struggled a little recently. He came into the game 0-2 with a 4.86 ERA in his last five starts (he had actually allowed two runs or less in three of those starts).
It appears that with this start Sabathia is continuing his trent of pitching better as the temperature rises. He also tied his season high of 10 strikeouts in the game against the Red Sox.
In the 7:05 p.m. game tonight on FOX, Phil Hughes will pitch for the Yankees (2-3, 4.97 ERA) and Felix Doubront (3-2, 5.29 ERA) will pitch for Boston. Hughes is coming off two successful starts where he allowed two runs or less in both outings so hopefully he will help the team start a winning streak.
Also, in other news, Curtis Granderson is donating $5 million to help his alma mater, University of Illinois-Chicago, build a new baseball stadium. The total cost to build the stadium is $7 million. It is great that even though Granderson has twice been the victim of bad luck as a result of being hit by a pitch, he continues to make a difference everywhere that he can.