My sister lives just outside Berkeley, and Marc Carig’s family lives all around Oakland. When Phil Hughes heard that two of the Yankees beat writers were spending today’s off day in the Bay Area rather than flying immediately to Southern California, he was positively appalled.
The Yankees have earned the right to enjoy a day off. A few guys have found a place to go fishing, Hughes has his niece’s birthday party and Nick Swisher gets to see his house again. There are certainly worse places to spend an off day, and there are much worse ways to lead into an off day.
The Yankees have won four in a row for the first time this season, they just swept a three-game series by beating three of the best young pitchers in baseball and they’re back in first place with a two-game cushion.
“We’re definitely having fun,” A.J. Burnett said. “In the dugout. In here (in the clubhouse). On the plane. We’re starting to get where we need to be. We’re a winning team.”
Since that six-game losing streak, the Yankees have won 11 of 15. This road trip started with two one-run losses. Had those two gone the other way, the Yankees would have to be considered the hottest team in the American League (maybe the hottest in baseball depending on how you’d compare them against the Diamondbacks). The formula has been simple: Good starting pitching, reliable back end of the bullpen and some situational hitting mixed with the Yankees typical home run power.
“We lost those two tough games in Seattle, and I think that really ate at us,” Swisher said. “For us to come back and show the fight and tenacity that we did (in Oakland), that’s the Yankee team that I know. That’s what we want to continue to keep doing.”
The Yankees get right back at it tomorrow against the Angels. The pitching matchup doesn’t get any easier. Jered Weaver has the start for Los Angeles.
“The guys feel good about themselves,” Joe Girardi said. “They can enjoy themselves (today) and rest and relax, and then get back to work on Friday.”
Associated Press photo