Saturday, July 14, 2012

Yankees start second half off with a bang

The New York Yankees started off their second half with a bang, two of them in fact.

Mark Teixeira, who drew mixed reviews in the Yankees’ midseason report cards, proved that his reemergence in Boston last weekend was no fluke, hitting not one, but two home run bombs, the second of which tied the game after the Yankees were effectively throttled by CJ Wilson, who desperately wished to be a Yankee. Teixeira is a notoriously slow starter, but I think a lot of his early struggles this year could be traced to that mysterious coughing illness. I’m expecting a big second half from him now that he is fully healthy (unless his archrival Vicente Padilla decides to take another shot at him when the Red Sox come into town).

Russell Martin did not fare so well in the midseason report cards, drawing poor grades of C’s and D’s due to his offensive struggles, although his work behind the plate has remained consistent. He needed a big night more than anyone else on the Yankees roster and last night he got it. Martin’s clutch two-out base hit completed the Yankees comeback and he ended the game by throwing out his third runner of the evening. His obvious elation about the comeback victory and the huge role he played in it was priceless.

It was nice to see the Yankees start off the second half of the season with a win. All the glowing reports of their first-half performance, plus their substantial lead in the American League standings, clearly have not gone to their heads at all. We could be in for something very special the rest of the way.   

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