Last week was not a fun week to be a New York Yankees fan. Over a seven game stretch against their two biggest rivals, the Yankees went 1-6 and scored one run or less in five of those games. First the New York Mets beat them in four straight games, and then the hated Boston Red Sox came in and took two out of three from them. In the process, the Yankees not only fell out of first place, but dropped down into a tie for third place.
With a ten game west coast trip looming, the three game series against the Cleveland Indians took on added importance. Today, behind a complete game effort from C.C. Sabathia, the Yankees completed a sweep of the Indians and gained some momentum as they boarded the plane for Seattle.
Sabathia was once again dominant today, building off of a tremendous outing last Friday night against the Red Sox. For a while, it looked like he might have had perfect game type stuff with him on the mound. He retired the first 14 batters of the game before surrendering a bloop single to Mike Aviles with two outs in the fifth. Despite giving up a few runs late, Sabathia was able to finish the complete game, saving a bullpen that had been taxed recently and in desperate need for some rest.
Now, the Yankees turn their attention to a west coast swing that will test a lineup that hasn’t been producing much lately. They play a four game set against the Seattle Mariners starting Thursday, including a Sunday match-up against their ace, Felix Hernandez. The Yankees will then head to play a hot Oakland Athletics team that has again surprised many baseball analysts by competing in the AL West. Finally, they’ll play three games against the Los Angeles Angels before returning home June 18th.
That’s a tough stretch for any team, particularly a team that has been struggling for the last two weeks. That’s why this three game sweep of the Indians was so vital for their confidence. An old saying warns that, “momentum is only as good as tomorrow’s starting pitcher.” However, the Yankees will take any momentum they can get as they head deeper into a tough June schedule.