I guess the recession affects even the richest team in baseball, since everything the Yankees have done since the ASB has been a monument to economical. If someone showed me the box scores for the last 7 games and told me they were from a Yankee homestand which included 2 of the worst teams in the league, I'd ask them if they were getting their sports info from Chris Berman.
And then if I was told that in this 7-game span, the Yankees' success was the handiwork of their pitchers who kept their opponents to an average of 2 runs a game, I'd ask if they were talking to Joe Morgan. I don't even know what I'd say if they concluded this exercise with the fact the Homerun Hedoism stigma of the stadium would be met with less than 10 long balls.
In their comeback win against the A's, the Yankees continued to demonstrate they're doing their part to cut back on excess wherever they can: after a wet delay that pushed the game til 10PM (west coast-esque start time made me forget they were home and not Oakland's Coliseum), the Yankees zipped through the game in under 3 hours, holding the A's to 3 runs over 9 hits.
CC Sabathia has gotten into the habit of pulling the Joba Rule, which now states he can't settle in until he's got at least 2 awkward/sloppy innings under his 8-foott long belt. I received the now routine "Fatso struggling" text after he allowed Nomar Garciaparra to score off Jack Cust's sac fly, followed by Bobby Crosby's RBI single. Matt Holliday doubled and scored to make it 3-0.
It wasn't a very auspicious start, and I think CC's consistent trouble with the A's may rank alongside Cody Ransom's presence as one of the most inexplicable Yankee mysteries.
Vin Mazzaro looked as though he was going to exploit the hell out of the Yankees' incurable fear of new pitchers, retiring the first 6 batters he faced, 4 on strikeouts. It wasn't until the 4th inning that Oakland passed over the conch shell to the Yanks, where a 2-run bomb from Mark Teixeira opened up the floodgates. Alex Rodriguez walked, stole a base (!), and then was brought home with Jorge Posada's RBI double. Eric Hinske's RBI single put the Yanks on top.
(PS, I'm pretty sure the only 2 types of at-bats Posada knows about are swinging strikeouts and well-timed RBI doubles, most of which occur by a blooper than dunks in just beyond the infield.)
The 5th inning was just as brutal for Vin, who probably won't be comforted tonight by his 7Ks. Eh, he's from Jersey, his hometown buddies are probably happy at least. And as painful as stuffing the bases may have been for Vin, that's how refreshing it was for the few remaining fans at the game.
Teixeira's double brought in Derek Jeter and advanced Johnny Damon to third, who had reached on an infield single. Posada brought in Damon, and then the 4th/5th inning all-you-can-eat run buffet shut down, and the Yankees' bats went into a food coma.
The score would stay that way through the end, as Phil Hughes closed out the game with hitless 8th and 9th innings. His first career save, and undoubtedly an invigorating, comforting suggestion of the Yankees' future Mo substitute. Neither Yankee pitcher let up a single walk tonight. \
The Yankees have now won 7 in a row, The score was 2-1 three of those times, 6-4 twice, and I will admit that part of me wanted to see the A's drive home another run just for the symmetry of it all.
Tomorrow Joba Chamberlain (5-2, 4.05) tries to keep his 1-game winning streak alive, when the Yankees face Brett Anderson (5-7, 4.25). Our boy can't rely on the run support from his team anymore. He'll have to rely on the defense behind him, so my advice to Joba -- if he wants to maintain his team's trend of otherwordly fielding performance--is that he needs to stop taking his sweet time between pitches and also stop getting through innings with the speed of a parade float.
Ask any New Yorker -- there are few things we hate more than slow walkers.