(Next time on "Foul Territory", Mark learns how to high five properly. Courtesy of the AP)
Check it out, people. A real, actual winning streak. Isn't it amazing?? The Yankees have played some brutal baseball since mid-May, but they've started to turn things around across all facets of the game over their last 4 games. Their starting pitching has been much better, their relief work has been consistent and solid, they haven't been booting and throwing the ball all over the field defensively, and they've scored 4 or more runs 3 times in a row. Last night's latest victory featured the up-and-down David Phelps outdueling Oakland's Sonny Gray in this weekend series opener.
- Once again, the Yanks got off to a fast start. 3 straight singles by Gardner, Jeter, Ellsbury and a Mark Teixeira sac fly plated 2 runs in the 1st and another Gardner single scored Brian Roberts in the 2nd.
- Phelps was very sharp from the get go, and retired the first 10 batters he faced into the 4th inning. He was locating his fastball down and on the corners for strikes and generating weak contact for his defense.
- The Yankee bats went a bit cold after the 2nd and allowed Gray to stick around through 6. He gave way to the bullpen in the 7th and in the 8th against Jeff Francis was when the offense struck again. With 2 outs and runners on first and second, the bottom of the order rattled off 3 straight singles to score 4 more runs. Brian Roberts' base knock and the missed catch on the play at the plate was the big blow.
- The only thing Phelps wasn't was efficient with his pitches, and he exited with 2 outs in the 7th after giving up a double to Jed Lowrie. Dellin Betances came in and did the fireman thing to get through the 8th.
- The 4 late runs put the game safely out of reach and gave Joe the chance to rest his regulars, so he went with Jose Ramirez in the bottom of the 9th and watched Ramirez retire the 3 best Oakland hitters in order. This is why they kept him up and not Daley.
- Phelps: 6.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K. Anytime you're getting a goose egg in the R column from your starter, you're in good shape. Phelps had arguably his best outing of the season considering the competition and hopefully righted his ship after 3 poor starts in a row.
- Gardner: 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K. Keeps doing the damn thing from the leadoff spot. Led the singles barrage last night (all 12 hits were singles) and got the hitting with RISP train going early as well (team went 6-13).
Roberts: 2-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 K, 1 LOB. B-Rob was the Gardner of the bottom of the order last night. Gotta give the guy credit when he has a decent game.
- Carlos Beltran: 0-5, 1 K, 5 LOB. The only starter who didn't have a hit. Just 4-31 with 10 K since coming off the DL. Average is down to .214.
It's a night game tonight, which sucks. Hiroki Kuroda and Scott Kazmir is the starting pitching matchup, which doesn't.