Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Road Well Traveled

Thanks to the pitching of A.J. Burnett and the bat of Nick Swisher, the Yankees finished off a three game sweep of the Oakland A's on Wednesday to turn what was a poor starting road trip into a positive 4-2 record. The Yankees now head to one of their house of horrors, Anaheim, to face the Los Angeles Angels with a chance to win at least five of nine on the trip and with a very good chance to win six since CC Sabathia and Bartolo Colon will start two of the three games (Ivan Nova starts the other).

The Yankees got great pitching in the Oakland series and that continued yesterday when Burnett shook off some early struggles (including a 2-run home run by Josh Willingham) to give the Yankees seven solid innings in a 4-2 win. The Yankees trailed 2-1 when they put two on with none out against A's starter Gio Gonzalez in the 4th inning. That's when things got a little weird- Swisher showed bunt on the first two pitches (both balls) - only third base coach Rob Thomson hadn't given him the bunt sign. While A's pitching coach Ron Romanick was telling Gonzalez to throw strikes (he had thrown six straight out of the strike zone), Swisher found out from Thomson that he had misread the signs. So then all Swisher did was rip a three run home run into the left field seats to put the Yankees ahead for good.

Burnett then made it stand up by shutting down the A's lineup with the exception of Coco Crisp, who had two hits and walk, but was stranded at third after tripling in the 5th and at second base after he swiped it in the 3rd.

Joba Chamberlain worked out of a two on, one out jam in the 8th when he speared Conor Jackson's line drive and turned it into a double play. Mariano Rivera breezed through the 9th for his first save since May 10. It came in his 1,004th appearance, tying him with Goose Gossage for 14th place on the all-time list.


Derek Jeter had one hit, leaving him with 16 to go to the 3,000 mark. The captain has a 7 game hitting streak in which he's hitting .333 (9-27).

The Yankees have beaten the A's 10 straight times, the longest current streak of any team in the Majors.

Nick Swisher has a modest six game hitting streak, all on the road trip. He's 6-20 (.300) with one hit in each game.

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