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9 runs more than enough for win this time around, steamroll Rangers 9-2

Has Andy Pettitte pitched better or has our offense supported him more? It's like he's been the control in this "Evaluating the Efficacy of the Yankees System in a 162-game Period" experiment, and has acted as a barometer of how powerful this team has become, from top to bottom. He won his 3rd straight win tonight, but with a discernibly improved perfomance since his shaky start in Boston.

And on the subject of improvement, the Yankees collectively came back tonight after a crushing 10-9 loss on Tuesday, putting up the same number of runs but putting out a much different defensive performance, as well. One that held the Rangers' solid lineup to only 2 runs.

The game was looking eerily similar to last night when Posada went yard in the 2nd inning to stake the Yanks to a 3-0 lead. The Rangers weren't quite as successful in emulating last night's offensive binge. The bullet liners they had roped to every corner of the stadium were traded in for what seemed like one ground-into-DP after another (4, to be exact. But it seemed like more on account of 7 of the 31 ABs were strikeouts.)

As for the rest of the game:

  • If you go by the box score, David Murphy was the only one who played for Texas today. (Offensively, anyway. But in terms of defense, I'm pretty sure that Elvis Andrus kid may as well be Bugs Bunny.)

  • The Yanks spread their hits around, with Hideki Matsui putting up his standard [read: bordering on ridiculous] consistency, and is now 14 for his last 40 ABs with 18 RBIs in that time.

  • This has all been post-getting-his-knee-drained-of-fluid. Which makes me wonder what exactly this fluid was. It's like he just got rattlesnake poison syphoned out of him or something.

  • Robinson Cano, conversely, still hasn't driven in a run that wasn't himself. (I exagerrate, but 1/3 of his total ribbies from the season have been himself crossing that plate.) 

  • I'd say he's earned a free pass or two, but it bears mentioning that Robbie has been delivering his fair share of Swisherisms on the field lately. Head not all there, fielding routiners with the same crispness and lucidity as a Real World confessional. But no move was more of a spot-on impression than getting picked off today, which meant Jerry Hairston Jr's subsequent bomb was a solo instead of a duo. A gaff that actually didn't, ultimately, "loom large" in the grand scheme of things, but semantics.

  • Brian "I sell my team's leads on ebay for cheap" Bruney characteristically loaded the bases when he came in for relief of Pettitte in the 8th. (Does he think that it won't count as a hold unless he puts half the lineup on base first? I'm serious.) Phil Hughes had been warming up, but the 5-run 7th put the kabosh on that idea. I know they're professional athletes and probably don't care, but I still feel a pang of sympathy for pitchers who have to experience the "Oh, nice, we got a huge cushion, we don't need our ace, we can just use whatshisface" ego-assaulter.

  • Derek Jeter inched closer to the all-time hit list leader, and it never really registered til tonight how mind boggling this is. He's 17 hits away from surpassing one of the greatest men to ever take the field. The sublime part is that it's in the midst of one of the most electric seasons I can remember watching.

And watching that stat flash on screen while the team was coming at their opponents like a firehose extinguishing a match...I admittedly got goosebumps about the Yankees franchise and their 2009 season.