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Swisher beginning to look like his old self

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Mark Teixeira kept hitting go-ahead home runs, Derek Jeter kept pulling closer to the 3,000-hit milestone and CC Sabathia twice reasserted himself as one of the game’s most reliable No. 1 starters. A lot of Yankees played well during the team’s nine-game road trip along the West Coast, and that’s part of what made the trip so successful.

But individually, it seems no one needed that success more than Nick Swisher.

When this trip started, Swisher was a legitimate concern. [3] He had been essentially benched during the previous home stand, and he was hitless in his previous four starts. Then he had a hit in eight of nine games during the road trip. He also drew his share of walks and hit three home runs, more than doubling his season total.

“I haven’t even thought about it, which is crazy,” Swisher said. “I’m so much better when I don’t try. I think sometimes when you do try too much, things go south. For myself, I’ve just been working on that mental side of the game and just really trying to fight and scratch and claw my way out of there.”

There’s always a temptation to replace any player who struggles for an extended period of time, but the best-case scenario always involves really good players remembering how to be really good again.

“He’s swung the bat great,” Joe Girardi said. “He’s swinging like he did last year. You’re seeing the ball jump off his bat. You’re seeing him go the other way. You’re seeing him pull balls. You’re seeing him hit the ball all over the place and he looks like he did before.”

Associated Press photo