I’m not sure how you judge your days, but if you’re a guy has been in the big leagues less than a week, it’s probably a good day when the game’s best closer wants to talk about you.
“How about Curtis?” Mariano Rivera said last night. “That was a good at-bat, huh?”
Yes, yes it was. And Chad Huffman had a big hit right before it. With Marcus Thames and Nick Johnson on the disabled list, the veterans on the Yankees bench are 24-year-olds Ramiro Pena and Francisco Cervelli. But the kids have been alright. Pena’s glove is ridiculous and he’s come up with some big hits, Kevin Russo helped bridge the gap when injuries crushed the outfield, Cervelli has been key through Jorge Posada’s injuries, and now Huffman and Curtis have played well in their brief time in New York.
The Yankees might very well try to bolster their bench in the next month and a half, but they’ve gotten some solid contributions from young players out of the minor league system, and the other guys in the clubhouse have noticed.
Mariano Rivera: “They wear the uniform. When they wear that uniform they want to do everything in their power to do right and contribute to the win.”
Alex Rodriguez: “You can’t say enough about our young kids. Every single one of those guys had some unbelievable at-bats. Give those kids a lot of credit. They definitely acted like seasoned veteran. Just very proud of those guys in the ninth inning.”
Joe Girardi: “They had great at-bats. You look at Colin Curtis’s at-bats all trip long. They were all very very good. And Huffman has had much better at-bats off the bench than he did in maybe his first start.”
Here’s Huffman talking about last night.
And here’s Curtis.
That’s Curtis in the picture on the right. Huffman is on the left.