The Yankees have won seven of their last nine games and have averaged close to seven runs a game.
Two reasons why are Melky Cabrera and Hideki Matsui.
Cabrera has hit in a career-best 12 straight games (19 of 52) with seven RBI. His batting average has gone from .254 to .275.
Matsui has a 11-game hitting streak (16 of 44) with 10 of the hits either homers (six) or doubles (four). He has scored 12 runs and driven in 10 in those 11 games.
When the Yankees played well last summer, Cabrera was usually involved and that is the case again. He and Robbie Cano may be the two best trade chips Brian Cashman has. But they also are the only two players in the starting lineup who were born in the 80s.
The Yankees need some guys who can gleefully chest bump after a game. Cano and Cabrera have flaws and I’m not sold on either of them. But at least they seem to be enjoying themselves.
Matsui is provided the left-handed power the Yankees throught they had in April and never did. It’s hard to intimidate the starting pitcher when only one guy is hitting homers. Now we’re seeing a team that can fall behind and – single, single boom! – catch right back up.
Here’s a couple of other numbers that caught my eye:
Derek Jeter has sit safely in 77 of the 89 games in which he has had an at-bat.
Johnny Damon is 3 of 18 since the All-Star break and has gotten the ball out of the infield five times. Maybe the Yankees should let him grow the long hair back.
Mariano Rivera’s last 10 appearances: 12 9 1 1 0 11. He’s now throwing his two-seam fastball along with the cutter and proving every day he’s worth an extension.
Kei Igawa has thrown 931 pitches in 51.2 innings. The scout who recommended him shouldn’t be fired. He should be made to watch him pitch.