After their 11-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim behind 7.1 effective innings from Ivan Nova, the Yankees have now won four games in a row and five out of their last six games. Led by Alfonso Soriano’s 13 RBIs in the last two games, their 25 runs scored in the last two games were as many runs as they scored in their previous eight games combined.
Soriano’s performance since hitting his 2,000th career hit on Sunday has been one out of a video game. In the past four games, which includes an 0-3 on Monday, Soriano is 7-15, with seven runs scored, the aforementioned 13 RBIs, five homers and one grand slam. He joins Tony Lazzeri, (15 in 1936) Lou Gehrig (12 in 1930) and Babe Ruth (12 in 1927) as Yankees who have hit 12 or more RBIs in a two-game span.
However, his last two games is where the historic damage has happened. His walk-up song is Hot in Here by Nelly and he is certainly living up to that. He is only the fourth Yankee who has slugged back-to-back multi homer games. He is also the first Yankee to drive in seven runs in a game since Alex Rodriguez did so on the last game of the 2009 season against the Tampa Bay Rays.
He was able to hit his grand slam last night against Angels ace, Jared Weaver, with two outs in the first inning. His hot streak definitely appears to be legit because Weaver has been one of the best pitchers in the American League this season, and partly because of Soriano, his ERA went from 2.87 to 3.49 after yesterday’s game.
Since the Yankees scored 11 runs there were definitely other players who contributed to the offensive outburst. Robinson Cano, who is now in 15th place in the all-time Yankee hit list, went 4-4, with two runs scored and an RBI. This was also his 22nd four-hit game as a Yankee. Curtis Granderson was two for three, with two runs scored an an RBI. Granderson is now eight for his last 14, with a homer, two runs batted in and five runs scored. Cano, Alex Rodriguez, Granderson and Soriano, who were the 3-6 in the lineup and will be on most nights, can rival any heart of the lineup in the league.
The Yankees now truly have a legitimate lineup with power at multiple positions. That is something that could not have been said for much of the season and the lineup will be able to give pitchers much more run support. This includes Ivan Nova, who received more than four runs in a start for the first time since July 10.
Nova, who picked up his sixth win of the season, has now pitched seven or more innings in his last seven starts while limiting the opposition to three runs or less in all of those starts. He has allowed two runs or less in five of those starts and figures to form an imposing trio at the top of the rotation with Hiroki Kuroda and CC Sabathia, if Sabathia can continue his resurgence.
The Bronx Bombers, as they can fittingly be called again, are currently five games behind the Oakland Athletics for the second Wild-Card and will try to sweep the Angels on Thursday. The finale of the series will be a matinee that will start at 1:05.
Phil Hughes will start for the Yankees and C.J. Wilson will take the hill for the Angels. Hughes has a 4.99 season ERA, but Hughes’s home ERA is a horrible 6.18. If he wants to make anything of his season he will need to pitch six innings while allowing three runs.