Who said the New York Yankees couldn't win a game without hitting a home run? It took them 64 games, but the Bronx Bombers finally managed to squeak out a win without the benefit of the long ball.
A timely hit by Mark Teixeira in the top of the 14th inning finally broke the deadlocked score between the Yanks and Washington Nationals. Mr. Low Average himself, Tex ripped an RBI double down the right field line to end an at-bat that featured home-plate umpire Tim Timmons stretching his strike zone.
Ballgame over. Yankees win. (without a home run!)— Mark Feinsand (@BloggingBombers) June 16, 2012
The win gives the Yanks an eight-game winning streak, and the Bombers are playing their best baseball of the 2012 campaign by far having won 18 of their last 22 games. They also have the best record in the American League.
Andy Pettitte pitched beautifully once again and continues to prove he was the answer to this rotation's consistency problems. After today's performance against the Nats that saw him go seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits with six strikeouts, Pettitte's ERA is an impressive 2.77.
And that's not just because he turned 40 yesterday.
Along with Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova and Hiroki Kuroda, the Bombers have gotten at least two consecutive quality starts from each of their arms in the rotation with the exception of CC Sabathia.
If that's the least of the Yankees' problems concerning their rotation, I'd say they're in good shape.
New York's reliance on the long ball certainly isn't gone with this win. This just released the Bombers of this stigma streak; it didn't cure their addiction altogether. No doubt, this team is still horrendous with runners in scoring position.
For example, the Yanks were 2-for-18 over the course of the 14-inning game with runners in scoring position.
Even when Brett Gardner does return to the lineup, there isn't much wiggle room for manager Joe Girardi to work with. Gardner gives New York the ability to steal bases and move runners, but the Yankees' lineup is built around power bats, and at the very least, solid bats not worth bunting with.
No matter what, it isn't stopping the Bombers from winning now, and it looks like this team is taking form for a run at the postseason.