LADY AT THE BAT: Yankees Sweep Cleveland Ahead of West Coast Trip

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Yankees Sweep Cleveland Ahead of West Coast Trip

After a day in which the Yankees, courtesy of their erstwhile third baseman, were in the news for reasons that are making baseball fans sigh yet again, the Yankees gave their fans a genuine reason to smile by sweeping the Cleveland Indians, including old friend Nick Swisher, right out of the Bronx.

From the first inning, it seemed clear that the Yankees were determined to leave Yankee Stadium in feel good fashion. After dropping a two game set to the Mets and two of three to the Boston Red Sox, the sentiment was appreciated.

For an afternoon game on a getaway day after the Yankees had already clinched the series, this Yankees line up was more conventional than I would have guessed if asked before the game. Aside from sitting Ichiro Suzuki, a move that could be based on performance as much as resting the 39 year old outfielders legs, it was pretty much the “A” lineup version of the 2013 Yankees.

Home runs by Travis Hafner and Brett Gardner, as well as a complete game performance by CC Sabathia secured the win. The team then headed for Seattle, the first leg of a lengthy road trip to the West Coast, not something to be discounted for the oldest team in baseball with an average age of 31.0. Games with a start time after 10 PM are tough on the fans but for athletes, creatures of habit, it can’t be easy either.

This is a ten game stretch against the Mariners, the continually surprising Oakland A’s, the underperforming but still dangerous Angels and an interleague matchup against the Dodgers. With Baltimore playing Tampa Bay then following the Yankees out West and Boston doing the reverse, this trip represents a good chance for the Yankees to gain some ground while their division rivals beat up on each other. With the offense starting to click again, scoring at least four runs in each game of the Cleveland series, and CC showing some dominance as the weather heats up, the team would appear to be in good position to do just that.

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