The biggest concern after an offensive explosion like the Yankees put out Saturday night is a letdown, and that was evident early in Sunday's game versus Baltimore. Nick Swisher left the bases loaded twice in two innings, an anomaly to his 6-for-10 performance in Saturday's doubleheader.
Like many pitchers facing the Yankees offense, however, it is only a matter of time before the runs come. Orioles starter Jake Arrieta could not make it through the fourth inning before they finally struck, as Brett Gardner emptied the loaded bases with a three-run triple, and was later brought in by Curtis Granderson's ground-out.
The four runs were all Freddy Garcia needed. Garcia set out to bring his record to 10-7 for the season, a mark the Yankees could have easily signed up for in spring training. Like many of his starts, Garcia took a lead and held it easily, working his off-speed array of pitches nicely for six innings of two-run ball.
Per usual this year, the bullpen worked three innings of shutout ball with Noesi, Robertson and Rivera shutting down the Orioles' chances, finishing off their 10-game homestand with a 4-2 win and a solid 7-3 record overall.
They now head on the road for their first testing road trip of the season. New York starts in Chicago for four against the White Sox, a team only 3.5 games out of first in the AL Central division. The Yankees then head to Boston for a very important three-game set with the Red Sox. The Yankees have failed to even beat them this season, a task they will have to accomplish if they have any hope of winning the AL East.
The successful start of Ivan Nova has prompted the idea of a six-man rotation for this week's road trip, allowing Nova a start and two from Sabathia, including a crucial one in Fenway over the weekend.
A concern for New York is the condition of Derek Jeter, who was struck on his right hand with a pitch and was taken out of the game. He had injured the game on a ground ball in the previous game, and is listed as day-to-day with a bruised middle finger.