The numbers suggest the New York Yankees won’t be making the playoffs, but with hitting like they had in a 6-2 win over the Kansas City Royals which included an excellent day from Martin Prado and another solid start for Brandon McCarthy, maybe it’s wise to keep our eyes on them a little while longer.
The Royals lost their starting pitcher Danny Duffy right after the first pitch. This put Liam Hendricks on the mound, and he struggled to produce at the same level, giving up seven hits in four innings, resulting in four runs. The Yankees kept on their excellent hitting after Hendricks left and Casey Coleman came on to pitch, giving up two runs in his single inning of shabby throwing.
The Yankees aren’t used to scoring like this, as funny as it sounds. Martin Prado has been on fire, chalking up his 10th multiple hit game over his last 16 appearances, helping out the Yankees to score six runs for the first time since late August. Prado was 3-for-4 with his average rising to .309 this season. Ichiro Suzuki finished with 2-for-2, coming in to pinch hit for Zelous Wheeler. John Ryan Murphy, playing catcher instead of Brian McCann, also had two hits.
Brandon McCarthy is another player who began the season with the Arizona Diamondbacks only to find himself playing for the Yankees in July, just like Prado. He improved to 6-4 with the Yankees, with a 2.79 ERA following a 6.2 innings performance in which he allowed six hits and two runs, which comes as a complete difference to his record with the Diamondbacks this season: 3-10 with a 5.01 ERA.
It’s nice just to contribute. I spent the first half of the season being a hindrance on an organization, and that’s something that doesn’t sit well. So to come somewhere where there’s a playoff race going on, and you’re a positive influence on something that’s helping the team win, that’s really all you can ask for.
Despite not hitting any home runs, it was another great day for Jacoby Ellsbury, who is hitting .359 with 13 RBIs (had one in this game) in his last 18 games. His more impressive feats, besides his 1-for-4 with an RBI in the game, came due to his fielding abilities, denying two big hits at center, running down a potential RBI extra-base hit by Josh Willingham in the gap in the fourth and caught Gordon’s sinking liner in the eighth.
Pitching hasn’t been the problem this season for the Yankees – not for the starters and not in the bullpen, where Dellin Betances has been excellent, usually coming in as the setup man. He had another perfect inning of relief in the win, with another strikeout. He is now only six away from beating Mariano Rivera’s record from 1996 of 130 strikeouts in relief for the entire season. Hitting has been harder to come by, and once again it’ll be about carrying this momentum into whatever’s left of this season.