If there was any sorta way they needed to win this game, it was this way.
Scoring 14 runs after witnessing an opening week that looked to be a very hopeless offensive year for the New York Yankees and losing a heartbreaking 19-inning game on Friday and looking terrible defensively on Saturday, this win is very uplifting in so many ways.
Not only scoring 14 runs was a great sign to see from the Bombers, but also seeing Masahiro Tanaka, who I believe, looked a lot better than his opening day start.
The only hard hit ball Tanaka gave up from this 3 earn runs, was the Hanley Ramirez solo shot in the 5th inning. One of those runs wasn't earned by Tanaka, since the runner (David Ortiz) was walked by Tanaka but went to third due to two pass balls by Brian McCann, who, in the top 4th, was having trouble handling the split finger fastball in the dirt.
Tanaka didn't amazing -- but he looked much better than his opening day start. You know, Curt Schilling, who was commentating this game on ESPN, made an interesting point on Tanaka that spot on -- he talked about how Tanaka didn't really get much work in spring training. And Schilling's right. He only had about three starts in spring. He needs more work in.
Another great point Schilling brought up with Tanaka, was his pitch sequence. Schilling describes how he just pitches in one spot in the strikezone, which is down and away. Everything he threw at last night's game, was down and away. And at one point the Boston Red Sox hitters began to lay off that splitter and slider, because Tanaka wasn't changing eye levels with the ball.
Schilling felt Tanaka should raise the fastball higher in the strikezone; change the eye level of the hitters. Tanaka is always down in the strikezone. He's got to change location of his fastball and maybe go high with it; make the batter chase a high fastball, or just throw it up high inside, just to change the eye level of the batter.
How about Alex Rodriguez? He's turning into an MVP candidate. Imagine that? A-Rod comes back after being suspended for a year and win the MVP. If he does, he'd win the Comeback Player of the Year Award too.
A-Rod looks like...A-Rod. I think if he would've stayed in Friday's game, he would've ended it with a homerun.
Chase Headley seems to have the short porch swing down pat. Hasn't gotten his right-handed swing in season form yet, but from the left-handed side in Yankee Stadium -- he's looking very Raul Ibanez-ish.
This win for the Yankees showed me they're in this. They're not a bad team. If they were bad, they would've won last night's game by one run. I know a win is a win, but they had to respond this way by putting up a big number early on the scoreboard. After that tough lost in 19-innings and looking bad defensively on Saturday, that was a big win last night for their mentality.
The only bats that have to get going are Brian McCann -- who did hit his first homerun of the season last night -- and Carlos Beltran. Both, McCann and Beltran, are too focused on hitting the ball over the short porch in right. You can from their left-handed swings. Beltran wasted so many at-bats on Friday night, trying to hit a homerun over to right. He kept swinging and missing on fastballs away because pitchers knew he was eyeing that right-field porch.
McCann too. Popping up pitch after pitch on Friday night. Let the ball come to you!
Though, I expect Beltran and McCann to get it going in this series against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.
All and all, big, big, big win for the Yankees.