LADY AT THE BAT: Yankees Reclaim 1st, Head Home With Encouraging Signs

Monday, August 17, 2015

Yankees Reclaim 1st, Head Home With Encouraging Signs

A weekend sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays would have been nice:  A tit for tat kind of revenge for last weekend’s series sweep and some breathing room in the division standings. It wasn't to be, however.

Luis Severino, who again pitched very well (6.0 IP, 3 ER) and this time in a playoff like atmosphere, surely would have liked a win to go along with his 3.18 ERA. That’s not bad for anyone, let alone a 21 year old rookie. The three runs he did surrender on Sunday afternoon were all earned but, had Carlos Beltran been able to catch a fly ball, Severino would have been out of that pivotal 3rd inning in which he struggled.

Still, though, nobody’s mad at Beltran right? How could we be after his heroics on Friday night, cracking a game winning 3-run HR and shifting the momentum, and 1st place, back to the Yankees? The Yankees also won Saturday’s game, courtesy of Masahiro Tanaka’s brilliant performance so, while winning Sunday’s game would have been fantastic, the Yankees did exactly what they needed to do over the weekend.

They won a series against a division rival and reclaimed 1st place in the process. Yes, a 0.5 game lead (2 in the loss column as John Sterling reassures us daily during the games' radio broadcast) is nothing to crow about but it’s better than being 0.5 GB.

The Yankees are again in control of their own destiny and there were a few encouraging signs for the Yankees over the weekend:
  • Their starting pitchers limited the powerful Blue Jays offense to just 7 ERs over the series and their bullpen gave up none;

  • Jacoby Ellsbury’s bat showed some life as he had two multi-hit games across the three games and added a HR in Sunday’s game. He also attempted a SB and, although he was unsuccessful, at least it shows his legs are feeling better;

  • The bullpen was able to get some rest as the Yankees were able to give Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller two back to back games off 
Next up for the Yankees is a three game set against the 59-58 Minnesota Twins, who took a weekend series against the same Cleveland Indians, whom the Yankees struggled against last week. The Yankees need to ensure there’s no drop off in adrenaline, especially since Toronto has to sit idle while the Yankees play on Monday. In reality, 1.0 game is no better than 0.5 games but, psychologically, it should give the team a lift to jump up 0.5 game rather fall into a virtual tie.

With Hope Week coming up, the good vibes will be flowing at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees offense needs to continue it’s slow awakening and add some fireworks to the mix.


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