The Yankees squandered a great opportunity to bank some wins earlier this week as they lost two of three to the Texas Rangers. New York's offense only showed up in one game against them, and that game - a 12-11 win - was almost given away by the bullpen. After a travel day that allowed the Yankees to shift from Arlington to Boston, the offense, again, looked lost in a 4-3 loss to the Red Sox, and it appeared the Yankees might waste away a terrific chance to make up some ground in the division race. However, the bats came alive in the second and third games and the Yankees salvaged a series win that culminated in a dramatic 8-7 slugfest on Sunday night.
Carlos Beltran heating up - Carlos Beltran had a terrific week, as the Yankees slugger, who's had a tough season and has been plagued by injuries, hit .480 over the past six games with two doubles and five RBI. Beltran has been one of the hottest Yankee hitters since the All Star Break - he's got a 192 wRC+ in the second half - and it couldn't come at a better time. If the Yankees are going to make the playoffs, they're going to need Beltran's bat to come alive.
Ninja Cash strikes again - While he's not a player, GM Brian Cashman has certainly had a great week. After already acquiring Brandon McCarthy and Chase Headley, Cash made two more good upgrades this week at the trade deadline, turning the injured Kelly Johnson into Stephen Drew (who at least figures to be a defensive upgrade and has seen his bat come around over the past couple weeks) and minor league slugger Peter O`Brien into Martin Prado. Prado figures to play a lot of right field, but he can also play most infield positions and will give the Yankees more depth in their lineup. It wasn't flashy, but Cashman did enough to improve the Yankees, making them better defensively and getting rid of some of the black holes (cough, Brian Roberts, cough) in their lineup.
Hitter of the week: Brett Gardner
GGBG had a terrific week last week, especially in the series against Texas. Gardner hit four homers in three games against the Rangers, including two against Darvish, and he added another in the series finale against Boston on Sunday night. Overall, Gardner hit .478 this week with three doubles, five home runs, and seven RBI. He is having the best season of his career at the plate in 2014 - his 125 wRC+ would be a career-high, and his 15 homers is already the highest mark he's posted in his seven years in the majors. Gardner's one of the hottest hitters in the league right now, and it's been a lot of fun to witness.
Update: Gardner was the American League's Player of the Week as well! Not bad at all.
#NYY Brett Gardner has been named the AL Player of the Week after hitting .478 with three doubles, five homers, seven RBI, 5 walks & 8 runs.— YES Network (@YESNetwork) August 4, 2014
Pitcher of the Week: Hiroki Kuroda
As the only starter to go more than six innings this week, Kuroda gets the nod here. It could've gone to Shawn Kelley or David Robertson, who both had decent weeks out of the bullpen (although D-Rob did almost blow the slugfest against Texas), but Kuroda pitched quite well against the Rangers and shouldn't get any less credit because the offense didn't show up. Kuroda threw seven innings of three-run ball, but once again took the loss due to a lack of run support, which has become a common theme over his past few seasons in New York. As the last remaining starter from from the rotation that began the season, the Yankees will need Kuroda to keep it up down the stretch - hopefully, with their deadline additions, they now have enough offense to get him some wins.