Thursday, July 8, 2010

Series in Review: Oakland Athletics

Great pitching and homeruns and webgems, Oh my!

With this being the last west coast trip of the season, the Yankees were looking to keep hot when they rolled into Oakland on Monday night. Well, that's exactly what they did. The Yankees, making their first appearance in Oakland since the Dallas Braden-Alex Rodriguez fiasco, swept the A's aside as they continued their dominating first-half of the season.

Keeping this S.I.R. fairly brief, Yankee pitching was absolutely spectacular this week. Javier Vazquez, CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett were all very successful in shutting down the mediocre Oakland offense. Of the 27 innings pitched against the A's, the starters combined for 21.2 of them (CC with 7.2, A.J. and Javy with 7 each). What's more impressive? Surrendering only 4 earned runs on 15 hits and 7 walks and striking out 15. Yes, that's a WHIP of 1.04. This type of pitching will most certainly bring another world series championship to the Bronx.

And let's give even more credit where it's deserved... the bullpen was glorious for once. 5.1 innings pitched between Damaso Marte, Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson, and Mariano Rivera let Oakland earn one hit and no runs.

The Bombers certainly lived up to their name as well. Alex Rodriguez hit his 3rd grand slam of the season and 21st of his career on Tuesday night to blow the game open. As if that wasn't enough, he added a solo shot later on to ensure a victory. Mark Teixeira blasted a homer on Monday night to give New York a 3-1 lead and capped off the series with a tremendous three-run dinger last night to give the Yankees a 5-1 lead. Nick Swisher would have the only other homerun of the series hit by the Yanks. Derek Jeter, Francisco Cervelli, Curtis Granderson, and Ramiro Pena all had RBIs en route to the sweep.

The Yankees, particularly this weekend, flashed some serious leather and proved why defense is so valuable. A-Rod had a great diving play to his right to rob a double, he doubled off a runner at 1st, Teixeira caught two foul balls by sprinting all out in foul territory as well as a leaping grab, Granderson and Swisher had some tremendous catches in the outfield, and Jeter had some nice plays to his left. It's hard to describe how significant some of these plays were, but they really did make a difference in the games.

Notes from the series:

1) Andy Pettitte was named an All-Star on Monday to replace Clay Buchholz on the roster.
2) Robinson Cano, who was originally going to participate in the Homerun Derby, will skip it due to a sore back. That back injury forced him to sit out last night's game. He is 4 for his last 31. 3) Mariano Rivera will skip the All Star Game due to a bad knee and oblique.
4) Yankees are now 17-4 against Oakland since 2008.
5) A-Rod has 597 career homeruns. He also trails Lou Gehrig for most grand slams in a career by only 2.

Yankee stats from the series:

  • Record: 3-0
  • BA: 25 for 103 (.243)
  • RISP: 7 for 21 (.333)
  • Homeruns: 5
  • Runs scored: 15
  • ERA: 1.33
Athletic stats from the series:
  • Record: 0-3
  • BA: 16 for 91 (.176)
  • RISP: 3 for 10 (.300)
  • Homeruns: 0
  • Runs scored: 4
  • ERA: 5.00
Now that the Yankees have finished off Oakland to begin their road-trip 3-0, they will travel to Seattle to face the Mariners for a four-game set. Game starts tonight at 10:05 EST and can be caught on YES and WCBS 880.

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