9:45 am Sep. 14, 2012
For much of the last month, the story of the Yankees has been that they weren't hitting with runners in scoring position, weren't protecting late leads and consequently weren't winning much, with no back-to-back wins since August 15.
The Baltimore Orioles, meanwhile, had won a bunch, erasing a ten-game lead from late July.
But in Thursday night's 2-0 win over the Red Sox, the Yankees provided a reminder that they aren't, in fact, a bad team. They didn't build a ten-game lead by accident, and their roster is filled with players who are likely to play more like the Yankees did for most of the 2012 season.
Phil Hughes, for instance, hasn't been bad even during this rough stretch, with a 2.81 E.R.A. over his past five starts entering the game. But he was even better Thursday night, throwing an economical 95 pitches over 7 1/3 innings of shutout work.
A bullpen that, until recently, has been extremely reliable took it from there, with Boone Logan, David Robertson and Rafael Soriano closing out the game.
And Derek Jeter, who is playing on a bone bruise in his ankle, managed an R.B.I. single that also happened to tie him with Willie Mays for career hits, with 3,283.
Jeter is not the M.V.P., no matter how sentiment runs—not with the kind of year Mike Trout is having for the Angels—but what he is, even at 38, is an elite performer at shortstop and a critical part of yet another contending Yankees team.
Jeter asked a rhetorical question following the game: "Now we’re on a winning streak, so we're good again, right?"
Elsewhere in New York sports:
The Mets need to convince soon-to-be free agent Kelly Shoppach to return in 2013.
Tracy McGrady worked out for the Knicks on Thursday.
Not only are the Red Bulls facing the Columbus Crew on Saturday, it looks like they'll be doing it with oft-injured Rafa Marquez.
Mike Francesa takes five minutes to say I wasn't sleeping. And also, pretty clearly, he was.