Since my last update, the Yankees have been red-hot, winning 10 of their last 11 games, sweeping a four-game set against Minnesota and adding a more conventional three-game sweep of the Orioles at home.
During that streak, the Bombers managed three consecutive walk-off victories from May 15-17th, all against the Twins. Melky Cabrera was the hero Friday night against Joe Nathan. Alex Rodriguez provided the dramatics with a two-run, walk-off homer on Saturday. And Johnny Damon deposited a game-winning home run into the right field seats in the 10th inning on Sunday afternoon. It was the first time the Yankees accomplished three consecutive walk-off victories since 1972. New York got the scoring done early in the final game of the Twins series, scoring 6 runs in the first inning and coming away with a 7-6 victory.
The Orioles came into town Tuesday night and were shut down by CC Sabathia. A pitchers' duel for most of the game, the Yankees scored seven in the seventh to win 9-1. Phil Hughes won his second game of the season the following night, thanks in large part to back-to-back-to-back home runs from Nick Swisher, Robinson Cano, and Melky Cabrera. And I was on-hand for the series finale, where the Yankees put up six quick runs and hung on for a 7-4 victory despite losing Joba Chamberlain in the first inning after he was hit in the leg by a line drive off the bat of Adam Jones.
The winning streak finally came to an end at 9 games. Interleague play began Friday against the defending champion Philadelphia Phillies and A.J. Burnett allowed 5 runs en route to a 7-3 loss. Chien-Ming Wang was activated from the disabled list before the game and pitched three innings of relief, allowing a monstrous home run to Raul Ibanez but mostly settling down afterwards and displaying an improved sinker and greater velocity.
Saturday afternoon, the Yankees were back to their winning ways. Having trailed the entire game, they mounted a ninth inning comeback against closer Brad Lidge. Alex Rodriguez hit a two-run, game-tying home run and Melky Cabrera, King of the Walk-Offs, delivered the final blow (and received his second whipped cream pie to the face of the homestand).
The Yankees are playing loose and playing well, and getting contributions up and down the lineup. Mark Teixeira, in particular, has really benefitted from A-Rod's return.
Tomorrow, Cole Hamels and CC Sabathia go for their respective teams, looking to secure a series victory and wrap-up the weekend series with a win.