Saturday, July 3, 2010

Yankee offense wakes up for just one inning

Let's not get too excited about the 11-run rally the New York Yankees posted today.

It was a great sign that Mark Teixeira doubled and Brett Gardner homered with the bases loaded. As Gardner noted after the game, the Yankee offense had been scuffling. But the hitters woke up to score 11 runs in about 40 minutes, more than in the previous four games combined. You could see the pressure lift off of them, with a jubilant Nick Swisher nearly knocking Gardner's arm off while congratulating him for his grand slam.

“It was good for them," said Andy Pettitte, the Yankees starter and primary beneficiary of all those runs. "To score that many runs in that inning was amazing to watch."

But the one-inning explosion does not mean the slump is over. All 11 runs came during the third inning and three of them only scored because John McDonald dropped a fly ball off the bat of Alex Rodriguez in the sun. Prior to that inning, the Yankees offense extended its hitless streak with runners in scoring position to 0 for 25 before the Tex at-bat. And the offense was very quiet the rest of the day, failing to score any more runs.

Can the Yankees offense build on that one inning? Maybe. It’s hard to imagine that a lineup as talented as this one could continue to be so inconsistent. But for at least one frame, the batters did their jobs.

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