I think a lot of us owe Javier Vazquez a big time apology. Especially me.
In April and early May, I basically had all but packed his bags and tried to ship him back to the National League.
I did a popular feature story on how Vazquez would easily fit in with the Mets. A lot of you agreed with the story and some disagreed with it.
Some who disagreed thought I needed to give Vazquez a chance to find his rhythm and I thought at the time, you all needed your head examined because at the time, Vazquez sucked.
Now, it's a complete 180 degrees and I was wrong.
I don't know if it was a lack of confidence or just a feel for the town, whatever the case may be, Vazquez seems to have found something.
Following his May 1 disaster at home against the White Sox, Vazquez turned it around.
After May 1, he was 1-3 with a 9.78 ERA. Awful.
Since then, he has gone 4-2, which puts his record at 6-5 with a 5.63 ERA. The ERA is nothing special, but the wins are. Now Javy is winning games for the Yankees instead of burying them early on.
Before May 1, Vazquez was getting knocked out of games in the third or fourth inning and it taxed the already struggling bullpen.
Now, he's finding ways to go deeper into games.
In his last six starts, he's pitched seven innings four times. Only one of those games was a loss because the Yankees were shutout in a 2-0 game against the Tigers.
His last three starts have been phenomenal.
Against the Orioles on June 1, he got out of a bases loaded jam in the seventh inning with the game tied at 1-1 picking up a 3-1 victory.
Against the Blue Jays on June 6, Vazquez prevented the Yankees from being swept, struck out nine hitters and got a 4-3 win.
In Saturdays game against the Astros, Vazquez had total control of this game and the offense backed him up in a 9-3 win.
In a month, Vazquez went from a 1-4 record, a 9-plus ERA and being thrown out of town to a 6-5 record, a 5-plus ERA and on a roll. How a month can change things.
Vazquez's pitching only strengthens an already good rotation.
CC Sabathia (6-3), A.J. Burnett (6-4), Andy Pettitte (8-1) and Phil Hughes (8-1) were already good enough to carry the load for the Yankees, but now add a consistent and good Vazquez into the pitching mix, and this rotation is flat-out scary.
Between the five of them, their record is 34-14. As of Saturday, the Yankees have won 39 games, so the starters are taking care of business and winning for the team, which is crucial.
Can Javy keep this pace up? A lot of us Yankee fans sure hope so. His next start will be Friday night against the Mets, a team he dominated back on May 21, holding them to one hit over seven innings and getting the decision in a 2-1 contest.
For all of us nay-sayers who wanted to pack Vazquez's bags, I'll speak for us here: we are sorry.
We're sorry for jumping on Vasquez so soon because we didn't think he would figure his stuff out, and so soon too. Because now, Vazquez looks like the 2009 pitcher who won 15 games, struck out over 200 batters and pitched over 200 innings.
That's the Javier Vazquez Yankees Universe all expected when they traded Melky Cabrera away for him back in the winter.
Keep up the good work Javy and continue to win games, the Yankees need your arm every five days out there, especially in the pennant race with the Rays.
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