But, somehow, the hitters stole the show in last night's 3-1 win over the Royals. The New York Times focused on Alex Rodriguez's 2 RBI single, how the crowd was behind him as he snapped an 8 game streak without an RBI. Cue the obligatory quotes from Joe Girardi about "RBI guys find a way to get it done," as though Alex were merely a clutch hitter and not one of the most talented players of his generation.
Joba Chamberlain pitched the 8th inning in place of Rafael Soriano because the big righty is headed for the doctor's office, though that's a footnote in the Times' article. Seems like the news of the night to me.
LoHud is focused on "the resurgence" of Derek Jeter. When he's hitting .314, then I'll call it resurgence. For now, it's two good games in row. But, I guess we love Jeter enough that 2 games is enough to rekindle all the hope of spring.
MLB.com's Yankee recap is all about the offense, too, but it offers a kernel of truth from Joe G. that I want to use as a spring point:
"Pitching is so important," Girardi said, "and we're getting it."
I don't believe that pitchers "pitch to the score" in close games. Sure, in a blowout, a guy like CC Sabathia will fire a few over the plate in hopes of inducing quick contact and getting an out. But I don't think most pitchers have some hidden extra gear for 1-1 games in the 5th inning. If they did, we'd see it more often.
So there's a fair amount of luck involved in getting a great game from your pitching staff while your offense is scuffling, so the team can steal a win.
The Yankees stole a win last night with great pitching and just barely enough hitting. That's what good teams do (not because they "want it" more, or grit or clutch or heart, but because they are more talented).
And it couldn't have come at a better time, as the Red Sox lost to the Blue Jays, the Rays lost to the Indians (I may have to re-evaluate how seriously I'm taking Cleveland. Let's set a date of May 31; that's after the Indians' 54th game, a third of the way through the season, and then we'll evaluate the Tribe's pitching, offense and defense).