I'd rather be good than lucky, but I'd rather win more than either of them. But it despite beating the Twins tonight, it might behoove the Yankees to address some of the kinks in their armor before the head into LA to face the demonic Angels.
Rookie pitcher Anthony Swarzak likely had no idea that the Yankees were more scared of him than the other way around, but the surging Yankee line-up managed to overcome their fear of meeting new people and tagged the right-hander for 8 hits and 4 runs during his 4-inning outing, with the whole line-up each picking up a hit. Except one Johnny Damon. Who's probably about 2 days away from discovering he has an eye ailment again. Anytime Damon starts showing even the emerging hints of a slump, I'm going to assume he's hitting Starbucks too hard.
Derek Jeter picked up the slack, going 2-5, and the "If the season ended now" Rookie of the Year Brett Gardner added "clutch" to his growing list of valued assets to the team. His 2nd inning 2-out 2-run single brought the score to 3-0, and Twins--for absolutely no excusable reason--somehow couldn't squeeze out more than 2 runs out of 9 hits.
A.J. Burnett maintained his stranglehold on the league's coveted Wildest Pitcher title, throwing the ball pretty much anywhere but the strike zone the second he got ahead of the count and consequently walking 4. Strangely enough, his best at-bats were when he served up a first pitch ball. But after striking out 7 on Saturday, he only blanked 2 tonight.
Seven hits later, Girardi demonstrated his stranglehold on the league's coveted Most Erratic Bullpen Management title, and casually sent in Phil Coke to face the "if the season ended now" MVP, Joe Mauer. Which makes approximately zero sense, since--despite Coke's dramatic improvement--has somewhat of a history of relinquishing bombs to lefties. Five, in fact.
Then came in Phil Hughes whose sharp pitches continued to corner like they're on rails, which is reason enough to yank him in favor of having Mariano Rivera pitch the last 4 outs. Fortunately, Mo being Mo was unfazed and swiftly retired the side to wrap up the game at 4-3.
The Yankees have now won 12 of the last 14, with AJ limiting opponents to 5 runs or less for the 5th straight game. A day after the beloved Francisco Cervelli got sent down, Jorge Posada was a mess behind the plate in situations where Cervelli particularly shines. His 2 hits, including an RBI double, did an okay job of minimizing my disgruntled frustration at our catcher, but it was Nick Swisher's infuriating cutesy hop while fielding a pop-up, that really eclipsed it all.
Girardi had some thoughts about that move, which he shared with Swisher upon his return to the dugout. I wish this talking-to broached topics including, but not limited to: redirecting the attention from at-bat songs to routine cans of corns, and controlling his apparent restless leg syndrome on both defense as well as on the basepaths.