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Yankees weekly wrap-up: Prado, McCarthy power Yanks to four straight wins

While the Yankees didn't completely take advantage of their lackluster competition this week, they at least managed to reel off four straight due in part to Brandon McCarthy's arm and Martin Prado's resurgent bat.

Jim McIsaac

Record: 4-2 (1-2 against the Astros, 3-0 against the White Sox)

The Yankees had a major chance this week to reel off some wins and close the gap in the Wild Card race, and while they squandered a bit of an opportunity against the Astros, they did manage to sweep the White Sox in a series New York had to have.  The Yankees now sit six back of Baltimore in the division and three and a half games back of the second Wild Card spot.  This was one of the more exciting weeks (two walk-off wins!) of Yankee baseball this season, and New York did a hell of a job to take their last four games, clawing their way just a hair closer to the teams in position for the playoffs.

Quick hits:

Brett Gardner has fallen back to Earth: Since Brett Gardner's monster week to begin the month of August - during which he hit four homers in six games - the Yankee outfielder has fallen back to Earth in a big way.  Since August 4th, Gardner is hitting just .182/.239/.242 with a 32 wRC+.  He only managed two hits in 16 at bats this week, but hopefully he can regroup and get back to his old ways for the last month of the year - we all know the Yankees desperately need all the offense they can get.

Robertson's rough week: David Robertson had a bit of a rough time of it this week, as he blew a save on Sunday and, after giving up a three-run blast to Chris Carter of the Astros, took the loss on Tuesday.  Still, D-Rob did get the win on Friday night and has obviously been quite good this year (2.36 FIP) - he'd also been terrific in August (he'd been six-for-six in save opportunities until the Astros series this month) until this week.  This will undoubtedly just be a blip on the radar of another terrific season for the Yankee reliever (but it'd be nice to have that Carter home run back).

Position Player of the week:  Martin Prado

Prado had been just about a black hole in the Yankee lineup since coming over from Arizona, but this week saw him break out of his slump in a big way.  Prado hit an even .400 this week (10-for-25), clubbing two doubles and one home run.  He even mustered up a walk-off single against Chicago on Friday night, helping the Yankees get off to a much-needed good start in their series against the White Sox.  Without Prado's performance this week, the Yankees might've dropped too many games for even the most optimistic of Yankee fans to feel hopeful about September.

Pitcher of the week: Brandon McCarthy

Brandon McCarthy pitched a gem this week - the Yankee newcomer threw a complete game shutout against Houston on Thursday, giving up just four hits while striking out eight and walking none.  McCarthy's performance buoyed a desperate Yankee team, helping New York snap a two-game losing streak and mercifully avoid a sweep at the hands of the Astros.  McCarthy's been a revelation since arriving from Arizona, pitching to the tune of a 1.90 ERA and a 2.33 FIP and doing a great job of shoring up the depleted Yankee rotation.  If he keeps performing at anywhere close to this level, the front office should seriously consider re-signing McCarthy in the offseason.