The Yankees won their eighth consecutive game today against the TorontoBlue Jays, and are the hottest team in baseball as the stretch run begins.
Javy Vazquez was less than stellar in his return to the starting rotation today, giving up five runs in four and two thirds innings pitched, the Blue Jays also slugged two home runs.
The bullpen came in and bridged the gap to Mariano Rivera, and as usual, the sandman finished it off. Mo also lowered his ERA to 1.07, which would be a career low if it holds up through the end of the season, pretty amazing for a 40 year old pitcher.
The Yankees offense continued their hot hitting, driving in seven runs on the strength of nine hits.
But it was Marcus Thames who delivered the big blow in the seventh inning, a two run shot to left-center field, breaking a 5-5 tie and putting the Yanks on top 7-5.
With the win the Yanks move to 86-50 on the season, which is their high water mark for the year, and their eight game winning streak is the longest this year as well.
The win is also significant because the Red Sox lost the first game of a double header with the White Sox today, making them nine and a half games out of first, and possibly putting the nails into the coffin on Boston’s season.
Meanwhile the Yanks extend their lead over the Rays as well, pushing them two games out of first currently, but they still play tonight at Baltimore.
Even more good news for the Bronx Bombers today, as Andy Pettitte threw 50 pitches in a simulated game without aggravating his groin injury. Alex Rodriguez took part in that simulated game and collected two hits, and didn’t experience any setbacks either, he will likely be activated tomorrow.
On a lighter note, Reggie Jackson served as the umpire for the simulated game, wonder how small that strike zone was?
So with reinforcements on the way, and the Yankees performing so well, they have to be considered not only the hottest team in the Majors, but the best team in baseball as the playoffs draw closer with each passing day.