These are the kinds of games that win pennants.
The Yanks 4-3 win Thursday night comes on the heels of losing 2 of 3 in Toronto, which ended the streak of five straight winning series, including sweeps in two series. Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner at the top of the order set the tone with 4 hits and 3 runs scored. The top two RBI men, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira delivered all 4 runs, with 2 batted in apiece.
Nathan Evoldi didn't make it out of the sixth inning, but pitched well enough for the win and the bullpen picked it up from there. Justin Wilson bailed Eovaldi out of a sixth inning two out jam and set the Orioles down in order in the seventh. From there, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller retired the final six to preserve the win. Miller, who one of these days may officially be named the closer, is now 12 for 12 in save opportunities, and has given up three hits in 14 2/3 innings, allowed no runs and has fanned 25.
Oh yeah, and Alex Rodriguez hit his seventh home run.
Now only three players in major league history have hit more home runs than Alex. Some may not like it but A-Rod needs 53 home runs to tie Babe Ruth at 714. It won't happen this year, and for awhile it seemed it would never happen, but now with Willie Mays in the background, Ruth's third place standing is on the radar.
Needing more immediate attention is the milestone for Alex of 3000 hits. A-Rod sits at 2962, which means he needs only38 hits to reach the moment that will launch a celebration, subdued though it may be.
But the big takeaway from Thursday is the win, the type of win of which championships are made. Still early, I know, but these 4-3 type games are much more common than lopsided blowouts, and so far the Yankees have been on the winning side more often than not. Let's keep up the good work.
On The Radar
In five days, Chris Capuano might be making his final rehab start, throwing 90 pitches. Thursday's outing at AAA Scranton has Capuano on track for a return to the rotation and a likely demotion for Chase Whitley, who pitched well in two starts. Masahiro Tanaka started throwing again Thursday, without incident, and may be able to return soon, though there has to be some doubt that he will be back before the end of May. Who, then, leaves the rotation with Tanaka and Capuano back? Ivan Nova is also back on the comeback trail. Guess it is a good problem to have. It always seems to work itself out. Hopefully that doesn't mean there is another injury or two waiting to happen.