June was a much better month for the Yankees than May or April was. It was easily the best month of the season for the team and that was reflected in their rise to the top of the AL East standings and the month ending with a 5-game Yankee lead on the Orioles (6 after yesterday's game). That being the case, it was a much easier and more pleasant task picking the winners for the AB4AR "Best of The Month" awards for June. I'm sure everybody already has an idea as to who the winner for Player of The Month will be, but after the jump the rest of the best players and moments from June can be found.
(Ya gotta love Old Timer's Day. Courtesy of Getty Images)
If this is how the rotation is going to pitch in CC and Andy's absence, then the Yankees should be just fine until CC returns sometime after the All Star break. Ivan Nova threw 7+ innings of 1-run ball on Thursday, Hiroki Kuroda threw 7 shutout innings on Saturday, and Phil Hughes wrapped up the series split with 8 more solid innings of work yesterday. The other 2 spots are yet to be solidified, but the 3 remaining everyday starters don't seem to have missed a beat.
- The White Sox lineup came out swinging at everything, and they hit some show-me strikes hard to score 2 runs in the top of the 1st. Hughes's fastball command was quite perfect, and the aggressive White Sox made him pay for it.
- As a counter to the strong Chicago start, the Yankees managed to load the bases with nobody out in the top of the 1st. But cleanup hitter Robinson Cano grounded into a 1-2-3 DP and Nick Swisher struck out swinging. Goddamn you, RISP Fail.
- Gavin Floyd escaped the 1st inning, but wouldn't be so lucky in the 2nd when he gave up a 2-run HR to Eric Chavez, or in the 3rd when he gave up another 2-run shot to Robinson Cano to give the Yankees a 4-2 lead. Floyd wasn't very sharp, and had to work hard through the first 3 innings on a very hot day.
- Those 4 runs were all the Yankees would score, but they were also all Hughes would need. After the rocky 1st inning he settled down, and really settled in after escaping another 2-on situation in the top of the 3rd.
- From the 4th inning on, Hughes retired 15 of the 16 batters he faced, giving up just one base hit and 0 walks while striking out 5. Hughes used his curveball a lot more early in the count, mixed some changeups in when needed, and really started to hit his spots with his fastball.
- After getting 2 days off on Thursday and Friday, Rafael Soriano got his 18 save of the season in his 2nd straight day of work.