The season is still young, but the hottest team in baseball is the New York Yankees, and they’re doing it without Didi Gregorius and Gary Sanchez.
The Bronx Bombers completed a three-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals with a 9-3 victory last night. The only thing better than a seven-game winning streak is Greg Bird finally making solid contact. Bird entered the night 1-for-26, but broke out against Adam Wainwright. He went 3-for-3 with a double and a monster two-run shot into the Bleacher Creatures in the second inning.
“I just wasn’t having the at-bats I wanted to have,” Bird said of his early struggles. “For me it’s about simplicity. Swinging at good pitches, having quality at-bats, and I really didn’t think I was doing a good enough job of that.”
Multiple Yankees joined the multiple-hit parade. Aaron Hicks stayed hot, going 2-for-3 with another homer, Castro was 2-for-5, Headley was 2-for-2 with two runs scored and Austin Romine went 2-for-3 with two RBIs. A big reason for the early success has been the admirable jobs that fill-ins like Ronald Torreyes and Austin Romine have done for Gregorius and Sanchez. Romine has spent most of the time behind the plate and is hitting .368 with a homer and four RBIs, and Torreyes is at .250 with a home run and a team-high 10 RBIs.
Another early storyline for Yankees has been Chase Headley’s ability to get on base. Headley has moved all over the lineup so far this year and it’s because Girardi is comfortable and confident that his third baseman will get on base and give whoever is hitting behind him, a chance to drive him in. Headley has scored 11 runs in 12 games, while hitting .410. He’s sporting a .531 OBP and even has three stolen bases.
Bad news for Cards fans: Adam Wainwright got shelled again. The veteran right-hander gave up four earned on ten hits in just 4 2/3 innings and is now 0-3 with an ERA over seven.
Good news for Yankee fans: Michael Pineda was stellar again. In his first start coming off his marvelous 7 2/3 with 11 Ks, Big Mike (2-1) went seven again, fanning six Cardinals and scattering six hits while only giving up two earned.
“It’s important because you want him to keep going, and get some momentum,” manager Joe Girardi said . “He had a hard time doing that last year.”
Girardi attributes the winning streak to the starting pitching, which wasn’t good at all during their 1-4 start.
“Our pitching has been really good,” The Yankees’ skipper said. “The starters have done a tremendous job in this streak. They’ve gotten deep into games and held the other team in check.”
Jordan Montgomery (0-0, 3.86) will be the next New York starter to try extending the streak to eight games. Montgomery made his Major League debut last week in a win against Tampa Bay, but he’ll look for a little more length this time out, as he only threw 4 2/3 innings in that start.
Yankees DH Matt Holliday (stiff lower back) sat out for the second consecutive day against his former team, denying him a chance to face good buddy Wainwright. Girardi said Holliday felt much better and he would be surprised if the veteran slugger wasn’t available to play Monday.
In Case You Didn’t Know: Not to jump the gun 12 games into the season, but the Yankees have opened the season undefeated at home (6-0). The last time they got out to such a start was 1998 and I think we all know what happened that year.