Robinson Cano’s first two hits last night were left stranded, but with the game tied in the bottom of the fifth, he finally did some damage. It was his two-run home run that put the Yankees in the lead and ultimately made the difference in the game. The night might have belonged to the Yankees best pitcher, but the biggest blow came from the guy who’s supposed to be their best hitter.
“That’s Robbie,” CC Sabathia said.
Cano hasn’t been himself this season, at least that’s what the numbers say, but perhaps the Yankees most encouraging sign this week has been the resurgence of their second baseman. Cano now has an extra-base hit in four straight games (after going without one in the previous 10), and he has seven RBI since Sunday (after driving in just four runs in the first 27 games of the season).
“I would say nothing (is) different, just falling now,” Cano said. “That’s what I want to do is just go out there and help the team win the game, do the little things in the game. If you’ve got men on base, you just want to be able to drive them in.”
The Yankees have had three reliable hitters this season. One is their leadoff man, who’s job is to score runs more than drive them in. Another is their right fielder, who leads the team in RBIs but missed a full week because of an injury. The third is Curtis Granderson, who’s picked up where he left off last season.
What the Yankees need is to get their middle of the order going, and no one is more important to the middle of the order than Cano. Mark Teixeira is still not hitting, and Alex Rodriguez’s .287/.388/.443 slash line shows he’s getting on base without his usual power. But if Cano can build on this little hot streak, he could make a difference. And it’s a difference the Yankees have been missing.
“It just really changes our lineup because he’s so productive,” Joe Girardi said. “He’s dangerous any time he walks to the plate.”
Associated Press photo