Like most of the guys on the beat, I take my days off when the Yankees are home. That means I haven’t been to every game at Yankee Stadium this season, but I’ve been to a lot of them, and last night felt different than any home game I’ve been to this year. The weather’s a little nicer, and I’m sure that had something to do with it, but the place was packed and roaring. When Derek Jeter had a 3-2 count with two outs and the bases loaded in the fifth inning, the Stadium seemed certain he’d drive in at least one run.
“When you’re on a streak like we’re on now, you know you’re going to get to the ballpark and there’s going to be good energy in the stadium,” Russell Martin said. “The fans, they’re probably watching us on the road a little bit and they were excited. I think they feel good about us, and we feel good about our team too. You can definitely feel it in the stadium. There’s definitely a good energy going on.”
The Yankees came into last night’s game with nine straight wins, but the last six had been on the road. Monday night was a homecoming, and a chance to show off just how well this team is playing. The Yankees winning streak hasn’t been about lopsided blowouts, it’s been about effective baseball. They’ve pitched incredibly well, played good defense and found ways to score enough runs.
“It’s very difficult, especially the teams that we’ve been playing,” Derek Jeter said. “We’ve been playing some good teams, teams that have been hot. It all starts with our pitchers. You pitch like that, we’re going to have a chance to win. You don’t see too many teams win that many games in a row, so you try to ride that wave as long as you can.”
In the month of June, the Yankees rotation has a 1.97 ERA. It has a 2.09 ERA during these past 10 wins.
“It feels great, especially the way we’ve been playing,” CC Sabathia said. “It hasn’t all been blowouts. There’s been comebacks, extra-inning games, big hits. It just gives you the confidence that you’re going to get the job done.”
The Yankees have been playing extremely well for four weeks now, and they’ve reached new heights during this 10-game winning streak. Last night, Yankee Stadium got to experience it first-hand.
“Every day our goal is to go out there and win a ball game, and we’ve been doing it 10 games in a row,” Martin said. “Don’t really try to think too much about it, just go out there every day and play the game to the best of our ability. Lately that’s been enough to win games.”
Associated Press photos