The Yankees took care of business Sunday afternoon, topping the Orioles 4-2 to win this weekend’s four-game set, and also go a season-high 22 games over .500. Freddy Garcia turned in yet another strong performance, throwing 6 innings of six-strikeout, two-run ball.
O’s starter Jake Arrieta managed to wiggle out of two bases-loaded situation in the first three innings, but wouldn’t be so fortunate after loading the bases for a third time in the fourth, this time with no outs. Brett Gardner came through with a huge bases-clearing triple, and was knocked in on an RBI groundout by Curtis Granderson two batters later. That was all the offense the Yankees would end up needing, and considering Arrieta walked six men in five innings, the Orioles are lucky they didn’t yield even more runs.
As an aside, Derek Jeter had to leave the game after taking an Arrieta pitch to the hand, and given the Yankees’ current roster construction, Francisco Cervelli wound up having to play second base for the first time in his career, managing to do so without incident.
I’m sure we’ll have plenty more thoughts and analysis on the trade deadline, but as you likely know the Yankees declined to make any moves, which in my opinion is just fine. Barring a total collapse they’re essentially guaranteed to make the playoffs, and while some people will make the argument that they’re not a championship-caliber team, I submit to you that as long as you make the dance, anything can happen.
Sure, the Yankees have four relative question marks in the rotation, but there’s no denying that Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia and even Ivan Nova have performed quite a bit better than many would have expected, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable at this point to expect any of that trio to deliver a representative start in a postseason game. Sure, any one of them could just as easily get bombed — or even injured or experience a rapid decline into mediocrity prior to October — but you could say the same thing about anyone.
Bottom line, Brian Cashman and company didn’t like any of the hypothetical deals they were mulling enough to pull the trigger, and that’s OK. The Rockies were asking for a Cliff Lee-type package for Ubaldo Jimenez, and Ubaldo is not Cliff Lee. NL Central lifer Wandy Rodriguez wasn’t exciting anyone enough to surrender anything worthwhile, and Hiroki Kuroda decided he likes being on a losing team too much to leave Los Angeles. I personally wouldn’t have minded seeing Erik Bedard come to the Bronx instead of Boston, but he’s not exactly a sure thing either.
One thing seems almost certain now — Jesus Montero will be making his Major League debut for the Yankees soon; it’s really just a matter of when. And with the news that Manny Banuelos was promoted to AAA today, it’s not out of the question that we could see the Yankees’ prize pitching prospect pitching important innings in another month as well.
Oh, and Alex Rodriguez comes back in roughly two weeks. So for those upset that the team didn’t make a trade, it’s probably best to keep in mind that help is still on the way, only this time it isn’t costing the Yankees anything except time.