Monday, September 22, 2014

New York Yankees: Everything clicks

In what has been an inconsistent season for the New York Yankees it was especially refreshing to see the team put together a very productive game from all parts of the team Sunday afternoon in the Bronx. The Yankees 5-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays was a result of solid pitching and good hitting.

Masahiro Tanaka was back on the mound for the first time since July 8 after rehabbing a slight tear in his UCL. He tossed an efficient 5.1 innings allowing just one run on five hits. Tanaka struck out four batters without issuing a walk. He threw 70 pitches, 48 for strikes and pushed his record to 13-4 on the season.

The offense showed some signs of life, at least at the top of the order. Brett Gardner launched the Yankees 15,000th home run in franchise history, Derek Jeter ripped two more hits and Brian McCann pulverized two pitches into the seats. The trio went a combined 6-for-12 accounting for all the run production.

At the back end, Adam Warren struck out three of the five batters he retired, continuing his very good September. While Dellin Betances had a slight hiccup in the eighth, David Robertson tossed a scoreless ninth for his 38th save of the season. For a day their overall situation was easy to forget.

The Yankees remain 4.5 games behind the Kansas City Royals for the final wild card spot in the American League with only seven games remaining. Chances are that even if they won out, they would be eliminated from the postseason for the second consecutive season. That said, none of the teams in the playoff picture are putting a stamp on the wild card slots.

It has certainly been a disappointing season, so enjoying one game where each facet of the game clicked was a welcome occurrence. As the Yankees hang on by a thread, they’ll need more of the same over the course of this week to stay in the fight. If there is a positive to draw from the 2014 squad, I don’t think we can’t say that they quit at any point. We'll see if it pays off.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance sports writer/editor and the Director of Content Strategy for Sportsideo.