For a while last night, it looked as if they wouldn't do it. Until the fourth inning, the Yankees couldn't even sniff former Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander. It looked as if he were putting together a completely dominant outing, something that, for him, has been rare during this 2014 season. However, with the help of their own starter, Chris Capuano, the Yankees were able to stay in the game. Then, their bullpen gave them the chance to create some breathing room. It all led to a win and, to at least a split of this huge series against the Detroit Tigers.
Verlander's mediocre year has been the subject of plenty of speculation by experts and fans alike. The questions about it range from, "Is he still recovering from the core muscle surgery he had in January?" to, "He's 31 years old now: are his skills starting to diminish?"
The core muscle surgery might be part of it, but I think the age is a bigger part of it.
When I think of that age issue, I think of this Winter's free agent class, more specifically its pitchers. If you don't know exactly who I'm referring to, go back under your rock.
Max Scherzer and Jon Lester are both 30 years old. There is already a ton of talk about them wearing Yankee pinstripes next season. If you listen to some people it is already a fait accompli. I so hope they are wrong. If the Yankees haven't learned anything from their past, I'll be tempted to crawl under that rock myself.
Thankfully, those decisions won't need to be made for several months. Time to focus on today: the series finale and a chance for a series victory. Go Yankees.